WordPress Multisite or WordPress Network or WPMU - any of these refer to WordPress when it has been setup as a network of blogs or websites.

I’ve been using WordPress Multisite for about 3 years now - many more famous WordPress people have written about setting up WordPress Multisite, but this is my take on it.

I want to show you that it is easy to get started with WordPress Multisite in fact you can have your network of WordPress sites up in under 5 minutes (supposing you already have WordPress installed).


How to Enable WordPress Multisite

WP-Config - Enable Multisite

Open your favorite editor and then open wp-config.php which is in the root of your WordPress directory.

Insert these 2 lines in your wp-config.php file, save the file.

define('WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true); //or true

WordPress Admin - Network Settings

Login to WordPress Admin and turn off all your plugins first … then go to the link for Network Setup.

Follow the instructions carefully and edit your wp-config.php again - and also edit your .htaccess file.

Then you’re all done.

WP-Config - Additional Settings

Add these extra changes to wp-config.php

define('MULTISITE', true);
define('SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL', true);
define('DOMAIN\_CURRENT\_SITE', 'http://your_website.com');
define('PATH\_CURRENT\_SITE', '/');
define('SITE\_ID\_CURRENT_SITE', 1);
define('BLOG\_ID\_CURRENT_SITE', 1);

If you wanted, you can delete the 2 lines you added before - but this will hide the Network Settings menu links.

.htaccess - Multisite Rewrite Rules

Add these to your .htaccess file, replacing all the existing WordPress rules. If you can’t save the .htaccess file, or you can’t access wp-admin after making these changes, then check your permissions on the file or check with your ISP that Permissions are set properly including Allow Overrides=On for your virtualhost file.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index.php$ - [L]

\# uploaded files
RewriteRule ^files/(.+) wp-includes/ms-files.php?file=$1 [L]

\# add a trailing slash to /wp-admin
RewriteRule ^wp-admin$ wp-admin/ [R=301,L]

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -f [OR]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -d
RewriteRule ^ - [L]
RewriteRule ^(wp-(content|admin|includes).*) $1 [L]
RewriteRule ^(.*.php)$ $1 [L]
RewriteRule . index.php [L]


Once you’ve saved both the WP-Config.php and .htaccess files - then click the link to Log back in.

You’re all done here - Now you can go to the Network Settings Admin page and setup your new WordPress Multisite.

Tags: FAQ, multisite, network, WordPress

Read more from my blog for an introduction and quick tips on developing in Hugo or UCTD.

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Damien Saunders
An experienced management consultant and business leader interested in digital transformation, product centred design and scaled agile. If I'm not writing about living with UCTD (an autoimmune disease), I'm probably listening to music, reading a book or learning more about wine.
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