Step 0: Before You Begin
Compared to normal, single installs of WordPress, there are more considerations to take when creating a network. You must decide if you want to use subdomains or subfolders for your install, and also how you want to manage those. Running a network also has different nuances for installing themes and plugins (each individual site can activate both, but install neither).
This guide describes how to install manually WordPress Multisite in your current WordPress installation. There are also available ready-to-run packages from BitNami.
Please read Before You Create A Network in full before continuing.
Step 1: Prepare Your WordPress
Your existing WordPress site will be updated when creating a network. Unless this is a fresh install and you have nothing to lose, please backup your database and files.
Also deactivate all active plugins. You can reactivate them again after the network is created.
Step 2: Allow Multisite
To enable the Network Setup menu item, you must first define multisite in the
wp-config.php and add this line above where it says
/* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */. If it doesn’t say that anywhere, then add the line somewhere above the first line that begins with
You will need to refresh your browser to continue.
Step 3: Installing a Network
The previous step enables the Network Setup item in your Tools menu. Use that menu item to go to the Create a Network of WordPress Sites screen.
To see an example of the Create a Network of WordPress Sites screen, look at Administration > Tools > Network Setup. The screen does not look exactly the same in all circumstances. The example shown is for an installation on
localhost, which restricts the options available.
Addresses of Sites in your Network
You are given the choice between sub-domains and sub-directories, except when existing settings restrict your choice.
You must choose one or the other. You can reconfigure your network to use the other choice after installation, despite the advice on the screen, but reconfiguring it might not be easy.
You only need wildcard DNS for on-demand domain-based sites, despite the advice that may be on the screen.
Once more: See Before You Create A Network.
- Sub-domains — a domain-based network in which on-demand sites use subdomains
- Sub-directories — a path-based network in which on-demand sites use paths
There are filled in automatically, but you can make changes.
- Server Address
- The domain of the URL you are using to access your WordPress installation.
- Network Title
- The title of your network as a whole.
- Admin E-mail Address
- Your email address as super admin of the network as a whole.
Double-check the details and press the Install button.
Note: The installer may perform a check for wildcard subdomains when you have not configured them yet, or when you do not need them at all. Ignore the warning if it does not apply to your network. See the Server Requirements section in Before You Create A Network for information about wildcard subdomains.
Step 4: Enabling the Network
To enable your network, follow the instructions on the Create a Network of WordPress Sites screen. The instructions that you see are customized for your installation. They might not be the same as the examples you see here.
Back up your existing
.htaccess files, unless this is a fresh install and you have nothing to lose.
There are three steps:
- 1. Create a directory for media file uploads
- This directory must be writable by the web server, the same as your
- 2. Add the specified lines to your
- The extra lines go just after where you added the line in Step 1: Prepare Your WordPress.
- 3. Add the specified lines to your
- If you do not have a
.htaccess file, then create it in the same directory as your
- In some cases you might also have to add Options FollowSymlinks at the start of the file.
After completing these steps, log in again using the link provided. You might have to clear your browser’s cache and cookies in order to log in.
Step 5: Network Admin Settings
At the left of your WordPress toolbar, My Sites is now the second item. There, all your sites are listed, with handy fly-out menus, as well as a Network Admin menu item. Under Network Admin you can use the Dashboard item to go to the Network Dashboard screen.
Go to the Settings Screen to configure network options, and the Sites Screen to manage your sites.
For more information, see: Network Admin
Upgraded and can’t find the Network Admin menu?
Step 6: Administration
There are some additional things you might need to know about advanced administration of the network, due to the additional complexity of a Multisite. Even if you’re familiar with WordPress, the location and behavior of Multisite Network Administration can be confusing.
Read Multisite Network Administration for more information.
For help troubleshooting: