The other day, Klint Finley wrote a very good walkthrough of using the new Multisite functionality of WordPress 3.0. In the comments, a lot of people wanted to know how to use your own domain names. Since I’m doing that now, here’s a quick walkthrough/how-to guide.

Step 1: Manual Plugin Installation

The Domain Mapping plugin is not your regular kind of plugin. You cannot install it through the normal Plugins->Add New menu. Well, actually, you can, it just won’t work.

So first, download the plugin manually.

Note: For this tutorial, I will be using the WordPress MU Domain Mapping plugin. However, I am using the trunk version of the plugin. It has fixes in it that you will need for proper 3.0 support. Don’t try it with the regular version. (Note: The regular version works fine. This was originally written before the latest version, or 3.0, was released.)

The plugin has two main files you need to put in the proper places.

Domain mapping php file location

The first file is the domain_mapping.php file. This needs to go into the mu-plugins folder. The mu-plugins folder is a special folder, which you may not even have yet. Just create it underneath the wp-content folder and put that file into it.

Sunrise php file location

The second file is the sunrise.php file. This is a special filename for WordPress. Don’t worry about it, just put it in the wp-content folder.

Step 2: Activate Sunrise

Now you need to edit your wp-config.php file. Add this line of code to it:

define( 'SUNRISE', 'on' );

Simple, really. This will cause WordPress to go load that sunrise.php file and use it.

Step 3: Server info

Now you have to configure the domain mapping plugin so that it knows what it’s doing properly. This is easy to do, really. Go to your main domain’s admin page and log in as a super admin. Then go to the new Super Admin->Domain Mapping menu.

Domain mapping setup screen

Here you have a few different options, but two main ones that count. You can either put in the IP address of your server (as defined in your domain’s main A record) or you can put in a CNAME that points to your server. The IP address is what most people will want to use. If your server uses more than one, you can enter them all here, separated by commas.

Other options on this page:

  • Remote Login – This will make your login pages for all sites redirect to your main site to do the actual login. The benefit of this is that when you log in to one, you log into all of them. The downside is that the URL changes to another domain in order to log in.
  • Permanent redirect (better for your blogger’s pagerank) – This makes your subdomain or subdirectory sites redirect to their domains. You should leave this on.
  • User domain mapping page – Turn this on if you want users to be able to put in their own domains for mapping.
  • Redirect administration pages to blog’s original domain (remote login disabled if redirect disabled) – This makes all admin pages show up on the original domain instead of on the new domains. You need this enabled for remote login to work.

Generally I leave only the middle two on. Remote-login is iffy at best, and I want my new domain name to show up everywhere.

Step 4: Mapping the Domain

There’s a bit of a prerequisite here before you do this. When you buy a new domain, you will need to edit its DNS settings to actually point to your server IP or CNAME or whatever you do to make the domain connect to your server. For me, I just give it a new A record with my server IP in it. Easy.

Update: Okay, so there may be more to it than just that, depending on your host. Every host is different, and you’ll have to talk to your host to make them able to point the domain name at your existing site. How to do this varies from host to host, but the important thing is that when you visit your new domain (before you do this!) then you want it to go to your main site, as is.

There’s two ways you can actually map a domain to one of your sites. The user screen is the simplest way, if you left that option on before. Log into the site you actually want to map to a new domain, then go to Tools->Domain Mapping.

User Domain Mapping Screen

All you really do is put in a new domain and set it as the primary. Simple.

Note that if you didn’t get the domain pointed at your server before doing this, then your site will instantly vanish from the realm of mortal man. Setting the primary domain takes effect instantly. You won’t be able to access the site through the old domain any more.

The other way to set domain mapping is through the Super Admin->Domains menu. Here you’ll find a list of sites and their ID numbers. You can map an id number directly to a domain name here. The Tools approach is a bit easier to use, but this will allow you to map domains without visiting them, as you can access this list from your main domain. You can also correct broken domain mappings from here.

Step 5: Seeing the Mapped Domains

If you go to Super Admin->Sites, you’ll find this type of a listing:

Sites listing

You’ll note that on the right hand side you can see the column showing the mapped domains.

Special Note: See in the picture how I’m using a subdirectory install? That’s relatively new. In older versions of the domain mapping system, you had to use a subdomain installation and wildcard DNS for domain mapping to work. This is no longer the case, domain mapping works just fine with subdirectories.


And that’s how it’s done. It’s not super complex, but it does require some knowledge of DNS and how servers work. If you can successfully set up a multi-site install to begin with, you can probably do this as well. Just be aware that it is slightly finicky, and know that you will break your site if you put in the wrong settings somewhere. However, your main domain will always be accessible as long as you don’t try to map it, so you’ll be able to go in from there to correct your mistakes.



  1. It felt like I read almost every tutorial out there, but after reading this one it finally all made sense. Thank you for clearly explaining and for including screenshots. Set everything up in what felt like light speed!

  2. I have 15 to 17 sub-domains. So if I implement this solution, I want to have common footer through out main domain and subdomains. So in this case suppose I do a change at one place, will affect the other places too? or I will have to do the change over all the sub-domains again?

  3. […] WordPress 3.0 Domain Mapping Tutorial (Otto on WordPress) […]

  4. […] WordPress 3.0 Domain Mapping Tutorial (Otto on WordPress) […]

  5. I’ve been trying to get to redirect to

    I’ve followed the tutorial here (or at least I think I have; I’ve been round it several times) and have reached the following situation: – opens correctly

    If I set as primary it opens correctly

    If I set as primary
    both are taken to a listing of .ftpquota and cgibin/

    I’m sure I’m missing something very simple but can’t see what.

  6. […] using a Media Temple GS (it may work on other but I’m on a GS when I write this) go ahead and follow this tutorial from Otto, or buy this plugin and get the […]

  7. I am trying to use this plugin on my free domain (, But i can not install it. It is showing some error. What’s the problem?

  8. […] Full instructions are on the Installation page and are quite easy to follow. You should also read this page […]

  9. Hi author,
    I am running a fresh multisite install and that too is a sub directory install, i want to install the sunrise.php as well as the domain mapping into it. My web install is at and running on godaddy servers, kindly help me out doing the mapping.
    Ankush Mehrotra

  10. […] are unique to each individual site. This is important because each site in a Multisite Network with Domain Mapping enabled will need to have it’s own unique CloudFront […]

  11. HI,
    Thanks a lot for making this information available.

    However, in the step 3 I got stuck as I got this message:

    The domain mapping plugin only works if the site is installed in /. This is a limitation of how virtual servers work and is very difficult to work around.
    when I log in to wp-admin.

    I hav

    As I understand it I have open some php-files (as I can´t get it done through wp-admin).
    But which php-files do I have to change in order to get everything at the / level?
    It might be in Apache, WP as well as in MySQL.

  12. Hello
    In the updated plugin, in the domains page there is an site id field
    what is it?
    I’m not able to add a domain….
    please help

  13. Hi – I’m trying to get multisite to work as described, followed the instructions above but browsing to the subdomain site ‘’ keeps taking me to ‘’ no matter what I try. I verified my .htaccess contents match what the plugin gives on the settings page… What could I be doing wrong?

    • of course right after I post the question I *finally* figured out, the apache conf for the new site ‘’ was rewriting to ‘’ – I updated the rewrite rule for the new site to rewrite to ‘’ and all is well. thanks for the great instructions!

  14. Hi,

    I’m trying to get my subdomain multisite working. I created the mu-plugins folder , but each time I add the domain_mapping.php file to the mu-plugins folder, everything in my domain goes BLANK. When I remove the domain_mapping.php file from the folder, everything goes normal again. Is there a workaround for this?

    Thanks, June Hardy

  15. I am very confused. I got through Step 3 and left only 2 and 3 checked (even though there are 5 options that I have, not 4).

    Step 4: Mapping the Domain makes no sense to me whatsoever. I cannot find anywhere in the site anything that resembles the image shown above (

    I want users to be able to use their own domain names, what’s more important; to make sure they are using the correct IP or a CNAME. I must be a total idiot because this part makes no sense to me.

  16. Does anyone pay attention to this post or is it just a waste of my time? Clearly no one seems to care about responding or helping.

    • You do realize that this post is over two years old, right?

      Your original question and subsequent nagging emails (which I ignored) basically show that you’re unaware that things change over time. This post was written when WordPress 3.0 was new, about 2 years back. WordPress is now up to version 3.5, and while the look of this plugin has changed and some minor new features have been added, the basic process I’m describing in this post is pretty much exactly the same. Only now you do most of it from the Network Admin menu areas, mainly.

      If you’re looking for free help and advice, then I’m happy to give that to you, but on my own schedule, and only if I’m interested. You complaining that these 2 year old screenshots don’t look like the modern day version doesn’t particularly interest me.

      If you’re looking for actual professional support, on a schedule that you set and choose, then I suggest you find a good person to do the work for you, and pay them.

      • I would have no idea how old your description is or the age if the screenshots, one can only presume it is recent because there are recent comments from this month alone as well as the developers up to date plugin page are referring your post as being authoritative, that’s why I’m here, trying to look for authoritative assistance because I have followed all of the instructions and something is clearly not working. Sorry if you’re upset taking time out of your well paid job to respond to those us less fortunate to not have your skill set knowledge and technical prowess. I’m just trying to get the plugin to work as advertised and at the moment it isn’t.

        Nothing is for free and I certainly have paid it forward many a time in various support and help forums just like this. I thought that was the whole concept here. I’m just trying to see if I can meet a deadline for a client. Your help would be much appreciated, if you’re too busy then I can certainly respect that. I don’t think you need to be so abrupt about it.

        • The very first line in the tutorial, right under the title: “June 4, 2010, 12:25 pm”.

          I understand that you are having problems figuring the plugin out, and that the tutorial is old, but sending me two separate emails and leaving a comment here and then also complaining that I didn’t answer you, all within less than a day… It’s a bit strong, man.

          If you need immediate and specific assistance, relying on a free site with free tips and tricks which I give out, for free, might not be the best place to go. Try the StackExchange site.

          • Hi,

            Thanks for a wonderful tutorial. Even 2 years after, it is still THE reference point for the issue discussed. Infact, that is the real problem now — as the key resource for folks looking for a solution to this task, it needs updating!

            Specifically this paragraph:

            “The first file is the domain_mapping.php file. This needs to go into the mu-plugins folder. The mu-plugins folder is a special folder, which you may not even have yet. Just create it underneath the wp-content folder and put that file into it.”

            It was at the heart of all sorts of problem I had for hours that prevented my sub-sites from showing up at all. At the end of the day I was able to get an error displayed in the Network Plugins screen to show that the “domain_mapping.php” file was either creating a conflict (when it is left in the original “wp-content/plugins/wordpress-mu-domain-mapping” folder, as well as putting it in the “wp-content/mu-plugins” folder) or that the wp-mu-domain-mapping plugin has been deactivated because the plugin file “domain_mapping.php” cannot be found (when MOVED from the original folder and placed in the “wp-content/mu-plugins” folder only). Eventually, I kept the file inside just the “wp-content/plugins/wordpress-mu-domain-mapping” folder only, removing it from the “wp-content/mu-plugins” folder and, voila!, the subsites showed up and all the problems went away! :-)

            Lots of folks appreciate what you’ve done with this post, and several more will arrive here to get a solution to this task; it’ll just be super if you can take a bit of time and update the post to reflect this issue I discussed above, as well as the screenshots pointed out.

            More power to your elbow!!

  17. I saw the comments from Scott Tuchman and let me say that:
    Otto does not seem angry at all, on the contrary he seems quite patient to bother responding and explaining to a troll like Scott Tuchman why he is having these issues and what he can do about it.
    Although the instructions are outdated, I was able to lean on them to get my MU working on this Oct 6.
    It’s my opinion that Scott Tuchman should “pay it forward” by apologizing to Otto for getting out of line on his board, and thank Otto for taking the time to explain where Scott Tuchman is mistaken, and how he can get the help he seeks.

    • Thanks Joe for your thoughts. I would have just as soon sent Otto some beer money (clearly I should have done that first before posting in here) but I fail to see where he as helped me with the issue. Why should I thank him for being snarky. I think I was very clear and specific about the issue and the confusion I was having. At no time did I ever mention that the post was two years old, I wasn’t aware of that until Otto so eloquently pointed that out. It was actually your recent posts that led me to believe that this post had regular eyes on it.

      I didn’t come here to randomly call out someone I don’t even know who is supposed to be more knowledgeable about the plugin than I am. As you can see, my post is pretty straight forward and specific about the question, but hey, if it makes you feel better to make me the bad guy, that’s cool.

      • It’s funny that you’d think beer money in advance would motivate him and shows the type of mindset you’re coming from.

        • Enough, guys. No need for this to go on and be emailed out to subscribers. Go out, relax, have a beer.

        • My mindset? Must be the drugs I did 30 years ago. I could swear at the very top of the page in the right hand column the very top line is ‘BUY OTTO A BEER” followed by a PayPal donation form, but then this might just be a bad dream.

          Like I said, must have been a bad day. It seems that WPMU has a similar plugin for $19 and I’m fairly certain from my experience with them, it will work out of the box, their instructions will be up to date and accurate and they are respectful enough to respond in a far more customer friendly manner.

          I just proved that you get what you pay for, in this case I paid nothing and my expectations far exceeded that, so I got nothing in return of any substance; that is other than a pretty damn good laugh to break up the end of my long day with. Cheers to you both! Time for some Bourbon Barrel Stout at the local brew-pub.

  18. Scott Tuchman it’s not about what makes me feel better, you became the bad guy when you hurled obscene insults at Otto (apparently since deleted but showed up in my email) and accused him of being angry and threatened to confront him face-to-face about his “anger issues”.
    The fact that you can’t be bothered to look at a post’s date is moot.

  19. Hi, is it best to use subdomain or sub-directory option to set up your WP network for use with this plugin?

    For instance, I want to have a few sites with regular domain names… http://www.test.com —

    Thanks in advance.

    • It doesn’t actually matter, either works. Sub-directory is probably easier to setup and use for most cases.

      • Thanks brotha! This dedicated IP thing is key I believe. I couldn’t get mine to work so I’m going to get a dedicated IP and try it that way. I have a reseller account but no dedicated IP and they lock it down pretty good so I’m going to see what I can do with a dedicated IP.

        I was using subdomains and I couldn’t figure out how to get the external domains to map, but I think it’s because of dedicated IP issues.

  20. Hi Otto,

    After much searching I came across this post, this whole thing has me confused and while it clarified a few things it didn’t answer the question I have been seeking. I don’t know whether it’s my lack of search specific keywords but anything I type seems to bring up sub domains and the like which is not what I am after. My sister has an existing domain with her wordpress installation, she recently decided to rebrand after not having much success under her current name and purchased a new domain name. She wants to keep all the files where they are and has parked her new domain name with her current host that the wordpress site is located. Currently when you type in her new address, while it takes you to the existing wordpress site, as soon as a link is clicked it goes back to the old domain name. Will this plugin rectify that situation? I understand you are a busy man and appreciate any insight you can provide!



  21. The WordPress Multisite is a great feature but rather obscure and difficult to set up for a lot of us. Also many
    webhosting services try to avoid supporting it as much as they can (no official reason but I can figure out why).
    I really think it deserves a lot more of attention from you WordPress guys. I have a great respect of your input in the
    WP Community Otto, but really saying that you need to pay for a professional is not the answer I’d expect from you.

    • If somebody is going to nag me five times, via three different channels, in two days and then complain that I’m not helping them or paying attention to their questions, then you know what? Yeah, go pay somebody to solve your problem. I have a job too. I have a ton of work to do. I write this blog on my own dime, in my own free time. I’m happy to offer advice and help people, but if somebody is going to be a nagging jerk about it and not realize that I’m giving out *free* advice here, then yes, I’m perfectly happy to tell them to go elsewhere.

      • Hey Otto, We wanted to chime in to say thank you for this post AND for all the time, contributions and attention to detail which you (and your team?) contribute to the WordPress community at large. (That’s a pretty long list of your personal WP core contributions in the right side column there!) We just found this post and your excellent, resourceful website. Thank you!

        We are glad you do post the date under the title/heading. It’s helpful to have blog posts dated. Perhaps more peeps will do the same–there is credibility and relevancy in dating one’s blog posts.

        BTW, we found this site via a link (on page 379?) of Chris & Jeff’s “Digging into WordPress” book. Your site’s resources are VERY helpful, and this page especially is helpful and still very relevant. Thank you again.

        We’re finding that using FREE and relevant online resources–such as yours–is a process of studying, gleaning, and applying information to the overall developing picture. In that sense, the sum total of what we’re learning facilitates our learning curve and ultimately (hopefully) our ability to successfully to solve a problem and implement a solution.

        Unfortunately, it’s clear that so many (takers?) just want to be provided with a free A-Z check-list of procedures, or an instant solution to their problem. Such folks appear to be forgetting the personal responsibility of taking ownership of a roadblock and applying one’s own brain and sweat equity to the learning process and discovery of a solution. Too bad for them.

        The manner is which you have handled the unpleasantries of one person in this comment stream are a great example of how to be real, sincere and to the point. You clearly have shown a lot of restraint, and it’s admirable that you chose to let the exchange speak for itself. That in itself speaks heaps favorably for you!

        As we’re struggling with the DIY aspects of learning this stuff whilst we create our new, online presence with limited resources (aren’t we all), we realize that it’s the contributions of experts like yourself that keep us going. We also document excellent resources such as this site which provide ongoing value.

        We look forward to expressing our thank$ appropriately in the future, and buying you a really big “cup of coffee.” Hang in there; your efforts are appreciated! Cheers, Steve and Sally Wharton, Seattle

  22. […] network counterpart. This can be a tricky issue, and requires a guide on its own. Here is a great guide on installation. Once you have this install your site should now be running on the new network! We’re not done […]

  23. i havent got a mu-plugin folder??? i just have a plug in folder – dont know how to put things in the folder. can you help x x x

    • Like it says in the post:

      “The mu-plugins folder is a special folder, which you may not even have yet. Just create it underneath the wp-content folder and put that file into it.”

      So, just create the folder.

  24. Hi Otto,

    I got everything going just fine after I got my dedicated IP – that’s key. Thanks. I have another inquiry as I’ve been on the internet all day looking for a solution but it seems that everyone has run into a wall.

    Multisite with mapped domains and SSL? The problem is that your main domain has a dedicated IP and when you map another domain to it, you’ll map it with an A record for example – but now that domain you mapped cannot have it’s own IP and SSL’s require their own IP. It’s a Catch 22. Your main domain can have the SSL and it works fine… but other domain names mapped to that IP can’t use the main domain’s SSL.

    So I understand you can do a wildcard SSL with subdomains but the power of this would be to have everyone have their own domain name with an SSL. I saw that multi-domain SSL certifications are not compatible with Cpanel and so you’ll have to find a host that can handle it though SNI or use a method similar to this

    I also found a host that say they can handle multiple domain certificates on WP Multisite installs – BUT they tell me that it will only work if all of your domains are on your/their server – so you’d have to migrate everyone who has existing host services over to their server and then reset that back up (pain in the a**) – instead of just making a simple A record pointing to your IP.

    I guess my question is do you know of any workarounds where you can have SSL’s for your mapped domains? Do you know of any developments regarding this issue?

  25. i have been wracking my mind all night on this

    i believe i followed the instructions to the tee, but having problems with sunrise

    i keep getting this message when i go to domain mapping or domains:

    Please uncomment the line define( ‘SUNRISE’, ‘on’ ); or add it to your /home3/njvideoh/public_html/wp-config.php

    which is the exact folder its in

    also above dashboard it says: define( ‘SUNRISE’, ‘on’ );

    fyi im no programmer or php guy in any way shape or form… just followed the instructions…

    as far as the actual code for sunrise i just copied and pasted the one from this site
    and put it at the very top above everything else… like below:

    define( ‘SUNRISE’, ‘on’ );

    so my thoughts are that has something to with it…meaning the location of the code

    idk…hopefully someone can help

    • Hi Geoff:
      I’m not an expert either, but you need to put the

      define( ‘SUNRISE’, ‘on’ );

      line within the php tags. So it will need to go after the


      • awesome that worked…thanks otto…hopefully you can help with the final set up… im so close…will gladly pay you for your time…i have bluehost cpanel and its really just me dont have any other clients or anything and its only 2 sites…i really just want to get this set up you can just come onto my computer remotely and put the final pieces together…i cant get the setting right and wordpress isnt recognizing my sub domain…i followed all those instructions…but feel maybe im just missing one small piece of the puzzle gladdy pay you for your time

  26. Thank you for this tutorial! I tried following the directions included with the plug-in but could not get it to work. Now I’m still waiting on my newly purchased domain to propagate, but I believe everything is working now, pending that.

  27. I have a main domain
    I created many subdomains and one of them called “reviewsofproactol” (Reviews of Proactol)
    Which became
    Now I learnt about domain mapping
    I want to
    Is it possible?
    Do I need to buy another domain “” or my existing subdomain will be mapped as “”
    I am bit confused because
    1. if I have to purchase a domain then map, then why is the use of domain mapping
    2. If I don’t need to purchase the new domain then why people pay to buy domains if they can just utilize domain mapping plugins.

    Please explain

    • Hi, Ameer..
      domain mapping is a technique to point a subdomain of an existing domain to a new domain (you need to buy new domain first..)

      Kind of how to’s..

      If you buy new domain and you don’t know how to map it –> it’s useless..

      If you know how to map a domain (with this plugin) but you have not buy the desirable domain name –> it’s useless too..

      Maybe searching for a basic knowledge on how a DNS and website server works will help you to understand this.


  28. Hi there!
    I have read up on the MU, and I have before testet WP MU.

    Now I have a WP site with ~~110 posts and ~~30 pages.
    I will also make a new website now with ~~5500 posts (migrate it from another CMS).

    My thought is to combine them in an WP multisite.
    Is the best way to do a clean MU install and export from the existing WP?
    Then copy in the theme and fix stuff that needs to be fixed?

    What about images and hyperlinks, if the URL changes?
    Can one update such things with ease, or would one have to edit the posts?

    I want to have different sites with different domains, like:
    site1 > domain1
    site2 > domain2

    They will not look the same and they will not have the same custom fields, however the same authors will produce content.

    Thank you for your time!

  29. […] Installation durchzuführen. Hier bleibt nur der Modus, die ganze Geschichte über Subdomains oder mit einem entsprechenden Plugin mit verschiedenen Domains zu […]

  30. Hello,

    Is it possible to implement if WP MU is installed not in the host root (primary) but on add on domain?

    Then, for instance instead of parking the domain I want to map, I would make it as an add on and point to the folder of add on domain with WP MU…

    Would that work? If not what are my options if I want to map domains on add on domain wp Install?

  31. […] If you set up a WordPress Multisite Network on a server with other websites on it (for example, Lawyerist Sites is hosted on the Lawyerist server, so there are a number of directories on the server. If your network is set up similarly, you will probably get frustrated trying to set up domain mapping according to the “standard” tutorial by Otto on WordPress. […]

  32. Hi Otto,

    If I understand you correctly, you say that the WordPress MU Domain Mapping plugin needs to be installed in the mu-plugins folder, or it won’t work.

    I now have a multisite install ( is in a subdirectory) and the sites seem to come up correctly, though the plugin is installed in the regular plugins directory, not the mu-plugins folder. (I remember having difficulty setting things up.)

    When I experimentally deactivated the WordPress MU Domain Mapping plugin, the site still came up, but the customization of my theme (Weaver ii Pro) did not show up correctly. Now what could explain that??

    Now I want to set up another multisite install, this time with subdomains rather than subdirectories.

    Are your instructions still good for the latest release of WordPress, or will an automatic install in the plugins directory now work?

    • PHP files in the mu-plugins folder are auto-loaded by WordPress. This is basically the same as having an always-on Network Activated plugin. So yes, it’ll work if you Network Activate it, but then if you accidentally turn it off, your sites suddenly don’t work properly and go all weird.

      The instructions remain correct, put it in mu-plugins.

  33. thanx for sharing very important topic. great

  34. Does this still work? I’m getting a weird redirect loop problem :\
    Did I just set it up wrong?

  35. Hi! I followed the instructions but I can map new domains. If i enter a site id and/or a domain and then i click save nothing happens and none of my blogs are mapped. how can i solve it? im also available to pay for fixing this issue. thanks :)

  36. Thank you Otto! I don’t have it working yet because I am waiting on my hosting company to enable wildcard subdomains. It looks like I can do it at but the phone support folks seem to think they need to do it.

    Here’s a short list of sites with what seem like additional quality information about WP MU with subdomains and the ‘WordPress MU Domain Mapping’ plugin.






    FYI, I have no connection with any of these sites whatsoever. I am just sharing some of the resources I am using to unravel this problem. Again, thank you.

  37. […] subdirectories ( or subdomains ( Unofficially, it also supports multiple domains via a domain-mapping […]

  38. Thank you for this guide.

    I’m ready to map my domains, but have put together my network with two existing domains instead of a new one. My network currently has my main site ( and my subsidiary site ( I would like to maintain the separate domains with a single blog that will feature relevant articles for both domains.

    It sounds like a person should be certain before they change the domains in the domain mapping area and to be honest, I’m a little confused on this front how this will apply to my two existing domains.

    Any advise would be helpful. Thanks again for maintaining your post for so long.



  39. […] It requires manual installation as one file must be copied to wp-content/. When upgrading the plugin, remember to update domain_mapping.php and sunrise.php. Full instructions are on the Installation page and are quite easy to follow. You should also read this page too. […]

  40. I will gladly by you (Otto) a CASE of beer for solving my issue. I installed multisite and had that working fine.
    on windows iis – main

    sub sites work fine


    I installed the Domain Mapping, init, and it appears to be all set

    BUT when I goto I get a 403 – if I goto (the sub site that worked before and will work again if a turn off domain mapping) it says but again a 403

  41. Hi Otto,

    Many thanks for this guide. I am new to WP and setting up sites in general and before I finalise my multisite setup I am trying to find out if it is possible to map a WP domain or subdomain(s) to another domain(s) subfolder(s)?
    For example map,
    WP –>
    WP –>
    WP –>

    “Page1, Page2 and Page3” in this example are subdirectories of the same domain and it is important that the mapping is to the correct subdirectory/folder.

    I have been searching for a while to find this information and it doesn’t seem to be a question that is asked much (maybe as it’s not possible)
    Thanks in Advance.


  42. […] More information on Multi-Site Functionality: Enable Multisite In WordPress 3.0 WordPress 3.0: Multisite Domain Mapping Tutorial […]

  43. Hi, i did the simple installation. After going the the settings page i get the following error:
    Warning! This plugin will only work if WordPress is installed in the root directory of your webserver. It is currently installed in ’/wpcloud/’.
    Basicly i don’t want to install the WP install to my root. To install the Multisite on Windows was kind of a hard job so i don’t want to go over the proces again after i totally rebuild it. Therefor my question is, is there any solution to use this plugin while WP is installed in a subfolder? Since i use Windows i use subdirecty Multisite installation and not subdomain by the way.

    I must also make you a compliment about your handling with the smart guy who thought he was funny. In my opinion it is great that people contribute in their own time on a free basis, i will always respect that. And when i can share information others need i do so.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Unfortunately, when it says it needs to be in the root of the installation, that’s non-negotiable. You could probably do a bunch of extra .htaccess trickery to get around it, and then modify the plugin’s code to eliminate the check, but there’s no “simple” way to do what you’re asking.

      Basically, the root of the site needs to hit WordPress’s files so that the same root will be hit on the alternate domains. If you have it in /wpcloud/, then every site will have to have the /wpcloud/ directory in their URL.

  44. Hello,I am a hosting provider with my own data center in a room inside my office. I love using word press multi-site as the main stream product for my customers. The tutorial was awesome on how to configure domain mapping and feel that your tutorial + what I added should be included somewhere on here as well, being that this page comes up on top searches for my issue and many others like mine maybe re-written lol.

    BUT I saw issues.
    my set up on (which is bare bones site for now) im changing the site so please dont email me or msg me that it sucks or don’t look like much) lol

    Below is what i have:

    *windows server 2008 R2
    *IIS 7.5 web server
    *My sql
    *Wordpress multisite (
    *GoDaddy for my parked domains

    If you have what i have, or something like this. You WILL get a WHITE SCREEN on the entire network/ the users site if you follow the directions above.

    In order to configure IIS7 to work with the mapping and have your customers domain in the top address bar, for SEO purposes and to NOT have your the entire site site show up.

    Do this:

    * pointed the A record of the customers site to my IP
    * go into IIS7 and find your site which hosts your WPMU site my case i called it shawkMain and add their domain both and http://theirsite, also http://ftp.theirsite, and even subdomains if any. add them to the bindings of your folder, so now you have your domains and their domain all under one binding.

    *DELETE DELETE the “domain_mapping.php” file out of the mu_plugins folder.
    * goto the site that needs to be mapped in your wordpress network and add the NEW domain to that page and

    NOW go back and CLEAR your cache. refresh page!

    everything works great. the customers domain is shown at the top in the address bar as the main domain as well as any pages you click on will include their domain/their page while is now hidden.


    Every where i looked people did not explain this well, nor was it clear. Sometimes taking it back slowing down and talking to your self out loud the basics of networking as a request travels through your servers you will find that the domain_mapping.php file will not work and conflicts with IIS7.5 and the url re-write rules which you installed when you installed wordpress multi site.

    Follow all directions above stated by but leave out the domain mappings.php file and your good to go.

  45. I installed multi-site support and then installed this plugin but the Super Admin->Domain Mapping menu never appeared. Not sure how to debug that or whether to wipe my test machine and start over.

  46. Hi,

    i want to confirm the usage of this plugin before i buy 3 domains.

    i will have 3 domain and want to have 3 sites in one wordpress installation, is this what this plugin does?

    They will be 3 different real domains, not subdomains.

    I don’t have domains for now , so it’s not possible for me to test this.

    If it’s true that i can archive this via this plugin, can i ask how does it work?

    for example, how to login to different sites? how to config different themes for each site?

    will they have their own admin dashboard?

    the basis is only one WordPress installation,

    thank you very much!!

  47. […] Full instructions are on the Installation page and are quite easy to follow. You should also read this page […]

  48. I got through step 2, and when I log in to my site I get an error of 500 – Internal Server Error. There is a problem with the resource you are looking for, and it cannot be displayed.

    Any ideas???

Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Need to post PHP code? Wrap it in [php] and [/php] tags.