How to set up your own WordPress Multisite

Before 2010 when WordPress 3.0 was introduced, people who needed to create multiple WordPress websites had to do so using a separate version of WordPress known as the WordPress MultiUser (WPMU). But with WordPress 3.0 came the WordPress Multisite functionality.


WordPress Multisite is simply a feature that allows you to create more than one WordPress website, using the same WordPress account.

Basically, you don’t need to create different WordPress accounts for all your websites; one WordPress account is enough to manage all your websites, no matter how many you decide to create. You can also share Plugins and Themes across all websites on the network, although you would need a separate media directory for each individual website.

WordPress Multisite is a must have feature for bloggers, business owners and internet marketers who constantly find themselves having to discuss several topics or set up different businesses. You don’t want to confuse your visitors by talking about health supplements on a website that’s in the technology niche or discussing real estate on a male grooming blog. Every website owner seeks to establish themselves as an authority in any chosen niche and marrying several niches into one website defeats this purpose. This is why most website owners prefer to create multiple websites across different niches.

However, managing multiple individual websites can be a bit cumbersome and this is why you would love the WordPress Multisite feature because it helps you put all your ‘eggs in a basket’ by having all your websites in one place so that you can easily manage them without stress.

Features of WordPress Multisite

  • Host multiple websites or blogs on one WordPress account.
  • Install WordPress across multiple websites with a single click.
  • Have a network of sub-domains on your WordPress websites.
  • Different users can create accounts or blogs on the same WordPress account.
  • Install WordPress Themes and Plugins to be used across different WordPress Sites.
  • Make changes to your website’s themes and Plugins with one single click.

Who Should Use WordPress Multisite?

WordPress Multisite is a really great feature but it’s not suitable for everyone.  There are a few reasons why you would want to use the WordPress Multisite feature:

  • You have multiple websites that use the same types of themes and Plugins. Using WordPress Multisite features would make it easier for you to install, update and manage all your Plugins across multiple websites instead of updating them one after the other, which would of course take a lot of time.
  • You have a business with multiple branches. WordPress Multisite would allow you create different websites for your branches that you can manage with a single WordPress account. Your staff can also have blogs or websites of their own with WordPress Multisite.
  • You need to create unique subsections on your website. For instance, you may integrate an online into your existing WordPress account, with a unique sub-domain.
  • You really want to avoid wasting time on individually managing all your different websites.

You should n’t use WordPress Multisite if:

  • You have no intentions to create more than one blog or website now or in the future.
  • You want to create multiple websites that would have unique databases.
  • You want your websites to have separate IP addresses.
  • You are setting up websites for different clients with different hosting providers.
  • Your hosting plan does not support hosting of multisite or do not have the necessary server requirements.
  • You can’t edit the files on your server.

Benefits of Using WordPress Multisite

There are a lot of benefits that come with creating your multiple websites using the WordPress multi-site. Some of them include:

  • Single Administrator for multiple websites.
  • Design other sub-sections of your website in your unique way to distinguish it from your main website.
  • Reduce time spent on managing your websites.
  • One click install for WordPress over multiple websites.

Step By Step Guide For Creating a WordPress Multisite

Multisite is very easy to install. If you already have websites with WordPress installed, you can install WordPress Multisite on it. However, you would not be able to use the default permalink structure on your website because there would be a need for WordPress to add the correct names of your sub-domains.

You should also ensure that you backup your files before you install WordPress Multisite on your existing website so that if during installation, something goes wrong, you would be able to re-install the previous version with ease.

To install WordPress Multisite on a new website, here are the steps to take:

Check and Meet Up With All Requirements

  • First, you need a WordPress hosting account and a domain name. There are a lot of cheap hosting service providers that you can use including Bluehost, iPage, SiteGround and Inmotion. All these hosting providers are compatible with WordPress Multisite.
  • Next, you need to install WordPress and activate the WordPress Multisite Networking.

In your WordPress configuration file (wp-config.php), you would see a line that looks like this;

“/*That’s all, stop editing! Happy Blogging.*/”
You need to edit that line and add the following line just before it.
Define (‘WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE’, true);

Then save and upload the wp-config.php file to your server.

After this, your website would be able to support Multisite functions.

  • The next step is to set up your multisite network. To do this, you would need to deactivate all activated Plugins on your website and then in your WordPress dashboard, go to Tools-Network Setup to start your Multisite network configuration.
  • Choose whether you want to install Multisite on your subdomains or subdirectories.
  • You would see a prompt asking you to install Apache’s mod rewrite module, most hosting providers already have this installed so you can just skip this step.
  • Provide a title for your network and include the email address of the network administrator.
  • Click on the install button.

You would be redirected to the network install screen where you would see a bunch of texts provided. Simply copy each of the texts and paste them in your wp-config.php and .htaccess as specified then save the files.

Once this is done, you can now start adding new subdomains to your Network. To do this, log in to your WordPress Admin Account. You would see the WordPress Multisite Network menu, click on it to start customizing your sub-domains.

How to Create a Subdomain on Your Multisite Network

You can add sub-domains to your existing WordPress Multisite Network by going to your Cpanel dashboard. Click on the Domains Section and then the Subdomain section. Click on the Create a Subdomain.

  • In the subdomain field under the ‘Create a Subdomain’ field, enter *
  • Check the document root and ensure that it is pointing to the directory where your WordPress wp-config.php file is located.
  • Then click on the create button to add the subdomain.

You can create and manage new subdomains easily now. Simply go to your WordPress admin account and click on the sites button on your dashboard. You would see a ‘Create a New Site’ Button and a ‘Create a New User Button’. The former allows you to add new subdomains to your website, while the latter is used for adding new users to your Multisite Network.

You can also manage all the sites on your Multisite Network by clicking the Sites button in your Dashboard.

Choosing the right theme for your site

One of the most important decisions you would ever have to make for your WordPress website is the choice of a suitable theme. The theme you choose would determine the overall outlook of your website, and would also have a great role to play in determining visitor engagement on your website. Therefore, it is extremely important to choose a good theme for your WordPress website.

But for the sake of those who do not already know, let’s define what a WordPress theme is and what it’s supposed to do.

What is a WordPress Theme?

Think of WordPress theme as an architectural design.

When you want to build your home, you would have to decide on a number of aesthetic features like how you would want it to look, the colors, designs and functionality. That’s exactly what your WordPress theme does; it helps you choose the overall design of your website and how you want it to appear to your visitors. It would also help you choose other things like:

  • Page Layouts of your Website.
  • Location of Widgets.
  • Font Styling.
  • Colors of your Website.
  • How your blog posts would appear as well as other unique features.

There are paid and Unpaid WordPress Press themes that you can choose from. You can also design your own WordPress theme if that’s what you would prefer. Even though there are a lot of free WordPress themes, Premium (Paid) themes are more reliable as they come with better client support and documentation.

Features of a Good WordPress Theme

To choose a good WordPress theme, it is important to know what a good WordPress Theme should look like:

Detailed Documentation

To install and use your WordPress Theme perfectly, you would need detailed explanations and step by step tutorials. This is why the first thing you should be looking out for when you want to select a WordPress theme is the documentation. The theme must have a detailed tutorial that teaches you how to install, modify and customize the theme to suit your own unique needs.


You also need a WordPress theme that makes it very easy for search engines to crawl your website. The more SEO-friendly your website is, the more visitors it would attract and the more revenue you would be able to generate.

Mobile Responsive

Hey! It’s 2015; mobile responsive websites are a must have now because if your website is not mobile friendly, you would be missing out on a number of visitors your website.

Theme Customizer

It’s also better to go for a theme that allows you to customize as much as possible, and manipulate some of the key elements like the fonts, backgrounds and logos.

Social Sharing Options

Social sharing is extremely important in the World Wide Web today as it helps your content to have a wider reach and audience. Therefore, choosing a WordPress website that allows for social sharing is not just an option but a necessity.

Automatic Upgrades

WordPress theme publishers are always introducing new versions and upgrades all the time and it might be really stressful if you have you have to manually update your WordPress themes all the time, hence the need to opt for a WordPress theme that allows for automatic updates.

Retina Display Compatible

Most Computer gadgets that are being released in recent times come with Retina and HD displays. If you choose a theme that is not compatible with these features, the images and visuals on your website would have poor quality and would not be sharp ad crisp when accessed using a gadget with the HD or Retina display.

Useful Add-ons

Good WordPress themes would also have other useful add-ons that you would need to enhance your experience and those of your website’s visitors.


You should avoid complex and heavy WordPress themes and settle for themes that are easy to use and understand and that would not slow your website down.

Solid Client Support

You don’t want to wait for months to have your support ticket attended to. You need to be sure that if you ever run into any challenges with your WordPress theme, you would be promptly attended to and have the problem fixed very fast.

Excellent Reviews

Lastly, you want a theme that is already tested and trusted, with lots of genuine, positive feedback.

How to Choose a WordPress Theme

There are a number of factors to consider when you want to choose the most suitable WordPress Theme for you. Some of them include:

  • Pricing: Like I mentioned earlier, there are free and paid WordPress Themes and the truth is that with WordPress Themes, price often indicates good quality. Although there are some Paid WordPress Themes that have free versions, the functionalities are usually limited ad you would most likely be required to upgrade to a paid version to enjoy some of its features.

As for free WordPress Themes, a good number of them are poorly coded but you would find a lot of free WordPress themes that are great to choose from.

If you need to create a unique website, don’t go for free WordPress Themes as there are usually Thousands of Websites using the same Plugin but if you just need to create a simple blog or website, you can go for free WordPress Themes.

  • Weight: This is another extremely important factor to consider because some WordPress Themes have too many unnecessary features and bloat codes in them, which would only end up slowing down your website and increasing the load time.
  • Design: Your Website theme is supposed to make your website look more beautiful and appealing to users. Therefore, you should also consider the design output when choosing your WordPress Theme.
  • Mobile Responsiveness: This is not an option because doing otherwise would cost you a lot of potential visitors. Therefore, when searching for the perfect WordPress Theme to use, make sure it says ‘Mobile Responsive’
  • SEO Ready: You should also search for the term ‘SEO Ready’ or ‘SEO Optimized’ in order to be sure you are choosing an SEO friendly WordPress Theme.
  • Customization: Choose a WordPress Plugin that allows you to Customize easily from your WordPress Dashboard.
  • Security: The security of your website is very important, in order to avoid compromise of your website’s security, you should go for a WordPress Theme with strong security features.

With all of these in mind, you would be able to select the best WordPress Themes without much bloat codes.

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