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.

Conclusion

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.

Shortlink:

1,117 Comments

  1. Hi.. I hope you can help, Im having issues getting domain mapping to work the way I expect it to… I followed all of the instructions to the letter, all went ok, all looks like you describe.

    Ill explain my setup first:

    I have a blog in a subfolder of my main domain: domain.com/blog
    I originally setup mynewdomain.com as a mapped domain to above, set it as primary, and it seems to work.
    However, I also have mynewdomain.net which when selected, shows the root blog installation domain.com. I really want to change the primary mapped domain to mynewdomain.net, but when I do this, trying to use either mapped domain takes me to the root domain.com blog.

    DNS is ok (I think!), as Im getting to the root domain blog, but its like WP is not redirecting…

    Its driving me nuts!!

    Can someone please help?? Ive posted on WP forum, but no replies after 3 days!!!

  2. Can each new domain use a unique ip? What would be involved in setting that up? A different ip per new domain?

  3. […] Update Otto has a good walkthrough setting up the Domain Mapping Plugin. […]

  4. Hello,
    I have uploaded sunrise.php to Wp-Content and domain_mapping.php to mu-plugins. I also activated sunrise on my config.php
    As I go to my dashboard, I currently see no Super Admin. Help. Also when I go to plugins it says:
    Domain Mapping Disabled. You must create a network for it to work.

  5. Thanks for the great article. I am currently working with a WP network and it comes very handy. If I may a question though, is it possible to map a user site to two different domains?

    Thank you!

    • Yes, that’s what this post is all about, mapping domains to instances set up in a multi-site network.

      Not sure what your question is here. Please clarify.

      If you are asking if you can map two domains to one instance in the WordPress mult-site network, you cannot. You can only forward one domain to the other.

      Tony Zeoli

  6. Hi,

    Thanks for this awesome tutorial.

    I’ve come accross a problem. I was able to successfully add a new network, and a new site:

    http://descargarpelicula.clickmember.net

    I then was able to successfully create domain mapping to: descargarpelicula.net – and it worked fine!

    But then “randomly” it just stopped working. I tried deleting the new sattelite site, but still didn’t work? It’s very strange.

    To confirm if there was another problem, I was able to successfully crete another network + domain mapping successfully….

    Any ideas?

    . I then successfully
    And it worked fine. Except an hour later, it stopped working? I tried deleting the site, and recreating it….but I still couldn’t

  7. I have a question, all the url examples I see have domain.com/subfolder/. Can I have multiple domains such as primarydomain.com and someotherdomain.com?

    Thanks!

  8. I’ve got a mu install of wordpress, and have a variety of sites which use my.domain.com/site1, my.domain.com/site2 as their URLs.

    The server which has the wordpress install shares an IP address with another site, not connected to the wordpress sites at all (it’s a drupal site).

    I’m trying to use the domain mapping to change my.domain.com/site1 to site1.com, but all I get is a 404 error ‘not found – the requested URL / was not found on this server’.

    Does this domain mapping plugin work with a shared IP address?

  9. For some reason my mapped domain (busproplus.com) is going to a default apache CGI page.

    Here are the steps that I’ve taken:
    -cpanel: verified that A record for primary domain sitespiration.com pointing to IP of my VPS already exists
    -cpanel: created A record for *.sitespiration.com (root site)
    -cpanel: parked the domain to be mapped (busproplus.com), with no redirect
    -ftp: loaded domain_mapping.php into mu-plugins dir
    -ftp: loaded sunrise.php into wp-content dir
    -ftp: updated wp-config to enable sunrise
    -WP admin (network): “Domain Mapping” -> added IP address for VPS
    -WP admin (network): “Domains” -> added blog ID and domain map
    -WP admin (network): “Sites” shows blog domain mapped properly
    -WP admin (blog): “Domain Mapping” -> shows blog domain mapped properly

    What am I missing?

    For some reason my mapped domain (busproplus.com) is still going to a default apache CGI page.

    Any ideas?

  10. Resolved. Turns out I had to flush the DNS cache.

  11. Hello !

    I installed this the addon Domain Mapping.

    I installed this addon but now I can’t log on admin web sites except for the main website.
    The answer is certainly check “Remote login “.
    I coach this and when I save, it remains unchecked.
    Have you any idea?
    Thank you very much!

    I have 4 websites at all.

  12. i need 2 domains for 2 countries using the SAME wp-installation. is that with multiple domain mapping possible?

  13. Hello,

    I have a problem with this plugin.

    I have Domain mapping in Supra Admin but not in Tools.

    Have you got a idea for me ?

    Thanks

  14. My first problem is ok.

    But i have this problem now :

    Hello,

    I’m french and I’m sorry for my english.

    I have a problem with this plugin.

    I have a main website and 3 child Websites.

    When I use the version 0.5.4, I can’t connect to the child website admin.
    But the 4 websites is ok.

    When I use the version 0.4.3, I can connect to the child website admin.
    But the links of the websites children are redirected to the parent website

    Have you got a idea for me ?

    Thanks you very much

  15. Does it give an error message? It’s hard to tell why you can’t connect. There are many points of failure

  16. Hello,

    I created 4 blogs on WordPress 3.0 (subdirectory install) and I installed the plugin 0.5.4 Domain Mapping.

    The 4 blogs work (front end) but I can not access the back-end for 3 blogs Secondary.

    I can go to the login page of the back-end, but I can’t go further: the page reload without showing error or else.

    Does anyone know how I should do to make it work please ?

    I think I already tried all possible settings for the plugin but without success. I have also tried to install 0.4.3 version of Domain Mapping but in this case the back-end work but not the front-ends (redirect always to main site)…

    Please help me!

    PS: Sorry for my broken English, I’m French …

  17. Funny, I’m an expert at this, but now I’m having an issue in 3.1.

    I’ve set up a network and added a news site.

    In the new admin, things look a little different for domain mapping. There is now no Site ID listed, so I’m assuming Site 2 would be the second site in the network.

    Now that I’ve added the new site, I can see it in the network admin, but it’s only showing one site in the primary site dashboard.

    Anyone have any ideas?

    • If you go to /wp-admin/network/sites.php and click the edit link on the site, you can see the site ID in the URL. ?id=whatever.

      The Mapping column there only shows the primary mapping as far as I can tell. At least, when you only have one mapping setup for it.

      The Tools->Domain Mapping still does show up on each individual site’s dashboard, and that’s probably the easier way to create a mapping for a new site.

      • I figured it out. I hadn’t set myself up as a User for the new site yet, and I was just not being shown the second site. So, I’m all set.

        Actually, in your latest version, Domain Mapping is showing up under Network Admin panel and not under each individual site. Were you aware of this?

        Am I doing something wrong, if I see Domain Mapping under Network Admin?

        BTW, one more question. Can I have two completely different domains (netmix.co and elenrue.com) running two distinct networks on the same server using 1 IP address?

        • I have:

          netmix.co at 205.186.183.116

          I have:

          elenarue.com at 205.186.183.116

          I’m trying to map sharedorigins.org to elenarue.com using IP address and selecting “sharedorigins.org” as the primary domain under Tools – Domain Mapping

          But, I’m just getting a 404.

          I have:

          http://www.sharedorigins.org A 205.186.183.116
          sharedorigins.org A 205.186.183.116

          Should I just use:

          http://www.sharedorigins.org CNAME elenarue.org.
          sharedorigins.org CNAME elenarue.org.

          And, if so, in the CNAME field in Tools Domain Mapping, do I put “elenarue.com” or elenarue.com.”

        • The domain mapping plugin isn’t mine. I didn’t write it.

          And while I haven’t checked the latest version, I do see the Domain Mapping option on the individual sites under the Tools menu.

          • Ah…I thought it was yours. Doh! Sorry about that.

            Yes, the latest version moves Domain Mapping under Network admin instead of each site. I rolled back to a prior version and its under Tools for the specific domain. I’ll have to check with the author on that one.

  18. Okay, finally have it working. Am I able to have one of my subsites have a child site? For example, the primary installation is at http://www.primary-wordpress.com, and one of my subsites is called awesome.primary-wordpress.com (which is mapped to awesome.com).

    How can I have some pages on subdomains on awesome.com, such as landingpage1.awesome.com and landingpage2.aweseome.com

  19. Hello Otto!

    Great tutorial here and we *mostly* have it working.

    Thing is, to keep the blog network as secure as possible, the business here want logins and the admin dashboard to only be available over https over the 2 different blog domains. Have you been able to have SSL working with this multi-site plugin?

    Many thanks,

    Sean

    • Setting up SSL is a bit of its own thing anyway. Since SSL certificates are tied to a domain, you have to do special measures on the webserver’s virtual hosting to get it working on the various different domains you’re using.

      Domain mapping doesn’t care about SSL one way or another, although I don’t know if the interface makes it obvious when SSL will be used or not. Multisite itself supports SSL for admin/login just fine, and you can set it to force SSL admin without a problem. The only thing different with domain mapping is to get it to use the proper certificate for your domain, which is a webserver level thing, not a WordPress thing.

      I have not done it, but I know it is possible to buy SSL certs that work on multiple, pre-specified, domains. That might make setting it up across several domains easier.

      More info: http://codex.wordpress.org/Administration_Over_SSL

      • Thank you Otto! Will check out that link at once. We have 2 IPs and 2 certificates on the single box for historic reasons – both work under ordinary http and php scripts. But we thought to make use of them here with our wordpress installation.

        “Multisite itself supports SSL for admin/login just fine, and you can set it to force SSL admin without a problem”

        I have not found this! But I’m reassured to know that’s how it should be… I’ll keep tinkering away at the configuration and see what I can come up with… Thanks again!

  20. […] me reste à tester le plugin WordPress MU Domain Mappin. Voici le lien de la documentation : http://ottopress.com/2010/wordpress-3-0-multisite-domain-mapping-tutorial. Son rôle est de permettre l’ajout de sites sous leur propre nom de domaine dans un réseau […]

  21. i don(t find a plugin which manage sitemap for multisite.
    Have you an advice ?

  22. version 0.5.4 Domain Mapping: Domains is looks different

    I have only save and search option, I did New Domain Save but nothing is shows up in search it is completely empty

    Please advice what should I do to troubleshoot it

  23. Hello !

    It is regarding the domain mapping…

    I am using Doncha’s Domain mapping plugin on WordPress MS installations for months and never had a problem. Recently I got a problem with one of My WP installations.

    After the successful usage of this plugin for months , I have used dedicated IP and it was propagated after a few hours. I have tested the domains after the propagation and worked everything fine. I have checked many domains to test on different sub-sites and got no issues.

    Problem from yesterday …..

    Suddenly all the mapped domains were failed. I mean they are not showing up as they should be. Some of them are showing ” Page Cannot Be displayed ” error page

    Some other are redirecting(Mapping) to other installations on my server (I Use other CMSs with sub-domains ). I have deleted on of the CMS . Then it is pointing to other CMS

    What I did to replicate the problem ?

    -I have tried deleting the Plugin and re-activating it
    -Deleted all the mapped domains both on registrar end and WP domain mapping page
    -I thought the issue is with the dedicated IP I set . I have tried changing the dedicated IPs . But still the problem persists . If the problem is with the Dedicated IP . Why it worked fine for several hours? So I don’t think it is the cause

    Can you please help me to solve the problem?

    Thanks !

    • Update :

      I can see that my new dedicated IP is redirecting to other sub-domain installation on the same server and that is causing the problem

      My server is of CentOS VPS with Cpanel and I can handle it my self if I get some help to do it. Does any body have Idea on solving this issue? Could any body show me a path to make it work?

      Thank you!

  24. please help, probably something trivial

    I can access http://www.subdomain1.main.com when this domain marked as Primary
    but when i change http://www.subdomain1.com as a Primary getting follow wrror
    Apache mod_fcgid/2.3.6 mod_auth_passthrough/2.1 mod_bwlimited/1.4 FrontPage/5.0.2.2635 Server at povtorfilm.com Port 80

    Probably missed some step in configuration, I am using CPanel

    • I had a similar problem until I properly parked my subdomain to my primary one (where WordPress is installed).

      In my instance I had to go to cpanel at http://g0tt.info and go to the parked domains area. There I parked http://gottmilk.igottcha.com/

      If you have a reseller account (WHM) you can also parked domains from there if you are more comfortable doing it from that direction.

      * One last tip (that tripped me up for an hour), since wildcard domains are being used there is not need to create a subdomain in the cPanel where wordpress is actually installed.

  25. Thanks again for posting this!

    have you managed to have an installation with multiple blogs under different domains (or subdomains) that require only a single-sign on ? ie, if there was a.site.com and b.site.com currently signin sets the cookies for either of those sites. is there a way that the login cookie can be forced to be set at the higher level, ie. site.com – and thus allowing a single sign-on? that would be useful! Thanks :)

  26. It might be worth mentioning that (as of WP-3.1 I think) you don’t have to move “domain_mapping.php” just simply do a network activate. From the author’s installation instructions, “you can ignore the instructions to place domain_mapping.php in mu-plugins. Thanks Otto.” http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-mu-domain-mapping/installation/

  27. I’m having trouble with the setup, I’m just getting the default server cgi page when I goto the mapped domain. These are the steps I’ve gone through:

    1. Installed the plugin and moved the sunrise.php into wp-config and and added the line in the wp-config.php file.
    2. (All my domains are hosted by LCN) Added the “*” and the IP of my hosting to the main domain.
    3. Added the IP for my mapped domain.
    4. Added the new site in the super admin (although I can’t find any files relating to this) – http://www.teamworksdesign.com/test/
    5. Added my IP in the domain mapping configuration.
    6. Added the mapped domain into the dashboard so it now shows where the root files are (even though there’s no folder called that in my ftp) and the site it maps to.
    7. When I load up the mapped site it just loads the default server cgi page at http://www.shareandbefair.com and a LCN parking page shareandbefair.com.

    Where am I going wrong? Can anyone help?

  28. I had trouble after converting my blog into multisite and after reading your tutorial solved and saved my lots of time Thanks :)

  29. Hi Otto,

    Just wanted to say: Thank you!

    Cheers,
    Constantin

  30. Hi, I have a question.

    I want all traffic coming to Aokoi.com to redirect to AoyamaKoiCafe.com. But I want to keep a secure membership site under Aokoi.com/wp

    Can I achieve this using this plug in? I have wordpress installed in all of the domains. (separate WP install in Aokoi.com and Aokoi.com/wp)

    Thank you so much, I really needed help.

    • Not sure. I remember breezing over some reading that had to do with 301,302 or 303 redirects. I think one of these will do it but I haven’t had a reason to go over this in detail yet. I’ll be dealing with a similar issue within the coming weeks and if I remember to come back here I’ll answer your question when I know more.

      • Hi Tim,

        Thank you very much for your quick and kind reply. It would be great if you could come back and let us know if you got it.

        Thank you so much, and your profile picture is awesome!

        Chris

  31. Using WP 3.1.1, when I try to add a map to the blog ID 1, it simply do not add. Why can’t I map the first blog? Is there something i can do to work around and map domain.com to the domain.com.br?

  32. hei..it`s nice post….but i haven`t understand to make site with domain mapping…please tell me explained

  33. Dreamhost is a lethal weapon to our site… error id: “bad_httpd_conf”…

    Sad to say that changed hosting provider in the hope that would be able to run a network of charity sites :(

    If you host with Dreamhost, you will get a nightmare host in terms of a wordpress network.

    • I have lots of success with (mt) Media Temple, granted I do run a (ve) account which isn’t for the faint of heart, I hear that the (dv) account is good, but it’s $50 per month.

      • I’d recommend Bluehost or Hostgator, both of which provide ssh access even on shared hosting accounts, and both with 24/7 support by chat. If you feel like tossing me an affiliate bonus I’ve got ads for these two at the bottom of cwgservices.com, but you can just go to their respective sites and sign up on your own.

        • “both of which provide ssh even on shared hosting accounts,”

          Correction; I ‘am’ on Host Gator and the SSH they provide on shared accounts is only “Jailed SSH” and I’ve run into my own limitations. You ‘can’ work around this if you plan ahead and don’t have to install things in the root folder of your shared space.

          Also, if you get a reseller account they will only ‘give’ you jailed SSH for your primary account. The other domains will require a one time charge of $10 each. That last part makes me feel like they are nickling and diming you. After all, does it cost them much (if anything) to just enable ‘JAILED’ SSH by default on each domain. Grrrr.

          • That’s interesting information, Tim, thank you. My only client on HostGator at this point has a vps account, so there are no restrictions on ssh. But I used to have one with the simple shared hosting, and I made use of ssh on that account, which was probably the ‘jailed ssh’ you mention.

            SSH, jailed or not, can be a very effective tool. It provides a more secure method of moving files to and from the host. It makes it easy to get files to the server from http sites through the use of wget. It provides convenient backup using rsync from another server. It allows searching on the server using grep rather than using some difficult and slow workaround when you are trying to find a string in your files. The jailed SSH is a huge improvement over an account without SSH. Sure, you can’t install any software that requires superuser access. Most of the time you aren’t going to need that.

            SSH at bluehost is also ‘jailed’ I guess. I’ll be surprised if you find an account on any shared server with ssh access. If you are looking for that you will have to go to a vps or dedicated server, and that’s going to cost more.

            I’ve never used reseller hosting. I don’t see that it offers much. You get to offer your clients their own cpanel, so they get something like their own shared hosting account but it’s from you instead of some big company. So what? Are you really making much on that part? Why not either host them on your own account–entirely possible even on a shared account, I do it regularly–or go with a vps where you have complete control. Lunarpages has tried to seem me reseller hosting a couple of times and I’ve always said no. It’s just too much of a compromise solution.

            If you feel capable of doing everything–including the server software–a good solution is rackspace. You can get complete control over the server. But resources are severely limited, and you are going to have a heck of a time getting the performance you need. Still, it’s only ten bucks a month, not too shabby.

            There are a lot of solutions out there. I’ve tried several, and my personal favorite is bluehost. I encourage clients to get a bluehost account and give me full access to it. I get to do what I need, but I don’t have to hassle with the server software. I can concentrate on the applications. This is what I’ve found; others will find other solutions. I’d be interested to see more ideas here.

      • I run the DV account and am very, very happy with hit. I have all the control I need, whether through SSH or Plesk. It’s been rock solid for me.

  34. Hi everybody,
    since Friday we are experiment a major problem with the existing mapping in WPMU 2.9.2. It has been working perfect for 6 months now, Friday afternoon first one part and than all homepages dont woant to redirect anymore. I just went through all the installation, everything is in place. Servers – nothing unusual. redirecting / IP, nothng changed there (we have 3 domains redirecting to the IP of the 4th one, where they are archived in our dedicated server). total – I am desperate, the result is that from the page teleweb.es no links funtion to bring you to the home pages of teleweb-mallorca.com, teleweb-menorca.com and teleweb-ibiza.com, they stay where they are. Curious and not logical is that the post und the lanuguage versions funtion normally. It´s driving me nuts (more than I was before which is baaad). Can anybody relate to the mystery and come wit some creative ideas? It would save a part of my Sunday… Thanks!!

  35. I’ve read the multi-site info and I’m not 100% clear on what it does.

    All I want to do is have 50 different WordPress websites. The only thing unique to each is the MySQL data. So, why not point all 50 websites to 1 installation for the actual physical files? They are all on the same server using cpanel: 1 primary domain and 49 add-on domains.

    Does multi-site allow me to do this?

    • Yes, but it’s now called a WordPress Network and no longer multi-site.

      You have a single installation of WordPress. By enabling the network using the instructions provided here and in other online forums and on the WordPress Codex, you can then add many additional “Sites” to your network. This will trigger in the database the creation of a new set of tables for each additional site. You will then have “wp_” + table name, “wp_2 + table name”, “wp_3 + table name” and so on.

      Once you create the network, you will create a folder in your wp-content directory called “blogs.dir”. The WordPress network admin will auto crate sites “2”, “3”, “4”, and so on, where your media library uploads assets to each sites distinct folder. Themes and Plug-Ins will stay in wp-contet/themes and wp-content/plugins for the main site, after which you will either be able to enable them for the entire network to utilize, or leave them deactived for “network” and then navigate to each sites Admin Dashboard to activate for only one site.

      I have 13 sites under a WordPress network. The addition of the new menu bar at the top of WordPress, which is visible when logged in, will help you navigate between your sites.

      On the hosting side, if you do create a network out of one domain, but need to host your additional domains at your hosting company, because you need email services for each, you want to create a “symlink” or “simulated link”. What happens here is that you set up a bunch of your domains at your host. You host then creates directories for those domains. However, you’ll need to delete each new directory and then use SSH to type a command that points the domain-name2 to domain-name1’s folder. If you don’t need email for the additional domains, you could simply just point the domain at the DNS Manager to the IP address of your host and the domain mapping plug-in for WordPress will retrieve the call to that domain and serve the correct site from your network.

      • Thank you. I understand everything you wrote, except the last paragraph. I’ll respond to each point for clarity for what I’m not understanding.

        >On the hosting side, if you do create a network out of one domain, but need to host your additional domains at your hosting company, because you need email services for each, you want to create a “symlink” or “simulated link”.

        The purpose for me is to have many websites using many domains, a different domain for each website, not one.

        >What happens here is that you set up a bunch of your domains at your host. You host then creates directories for those domains.

        Yes, already done.

        >However, you’ll need to delete each new directory and then use SSH to type a command that points the domain-name2 to domain-name1′s folder.

        On my hostmonster account, I don’t think I have ability to do ssh? But if so, what command are you referring to? I don’t know what the DNS manager is, do you mean change a name server from the host nameserver to the IP address?

        >If you don’t need email for the additional domains, you could simply just point the domain at the DNS Manager to the IP address of your host

        Yes, I don’t need email for these many domains. I just don’t know how one points a domain to the ip address in a dns manager?

        >and the domain mapping plug-in for WordPress will retrieve the call to that domain and serve the correct site from your network.

        Are you referring to this plug-in, or a different one? http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-mu-domain-mapping/

        Thanks!

  36. Great, thanks a lot for sharing that. I will try it out. I wonder if this approach works as well, or if its too outdated? http://www.mywebsight.ws/2006/08/11/host-multiple-wp-sites-on-one-installation/

  37. It works! I’m using your tutorial step by step and it is all fine! Thank your for sharing this!

  38. What is the info a user would have to put to map their domain form godaddy or other registrar?

    The info isn’t very descriptive:
    ——
    If your domain name includes a hostname like “www”, “blog” or some other prefix before the actual domain name you will need to add a CNAME for that hostname in your DNS pointing at this blog URL.

    If you want to redirect a domain you will need to add a DNS “A” record pointing at the IP address of this server: 69.x.xxx.xxx
    ——
    For example, my user inputs “www.mysite.com” as their domain to map to.

    What do they have to do in goDaddy to make this work?

    Thanks!

  39. I installed this the addon Domain Mapping and configure.
    But it redirecting to cgi-sys/defaultwebpage.cgi

    Thanks!

  40. Hi,

    I have installed all files. I can create sites in super admin and they are working on a wild card subdomain creator. BUT! mapping other domains on the same server is not working. I have no options to park domains on direct admin and must use domain pointer or cname. Even those are not working correctly. I got it to work on some level that the subdomain site i created, was redirecting to the new domain but could not see any install there. So i figured that i must point the second domain to the subdomain install. Since i cannot use parked domains, i must uses a cname or domain pointer. What do i need to fill in.

    example.

    sub.maindomain.com is created in super admin.
    the second domain i must point to sub.maindomain.com by cname or ip but all my domains run on the same ip. i have 2 ip numbers on the server.

    What do i need to fill in ase record?

    name
    sub.maindomain.com

    record
    cname

    Value
    second domain?

    It is a direct admin.

    please help.

    Thanks

  41. You have to use symlinking on your shared host. This is accomplished
    using SSH and creating a simulated link, which is a file that replaces
    the folder (the folder should be removed fom the server) which fields
    the request for the domain at that IP address, but then redirects to
    point the requestor to the folder that contains the primary network.

  42. Great plugin! The domain mapping is working, finally I can avoid subdomains.
    But now my main blog (the first one without a subdomain) is responding with an empty page. Has anybody the same issue?!

    Tanks in advance! :-)

  43. WHEN should I install this plugin and map my subsites? —- before or after I move my network from localhost to a shared host?

    I have had WP 3.1.2 multi-site up and running perfectly on my Mac developing a few sites. My sites are set up like this
    Primary site: http://localhost/wordpress, http://localhost/wordpress/site2, http://localhost/wordpress/site3.

    I have purchased the domains and have the IP addresses. I’d like to do this now as it seems like it will make the transfer to shared host easier. Has anyone done this?

    Reading these posts has made it clearer to me how the subsites will redirect to my primary network on my shared host. Thanks! I have been wondered how that was going to happen….

    • I’m not exactly sure, but I would think you would use domain mapping AFTER you move you install from localhost to your shared environment, because I’m not sure there is any way to map domains on a local machine. Maybe if you’re running your machine as a web server to the open Internet and you assign your DNS to point to your IP address, it could work. But I’m not an expert here, so I’m not sure how that works. I imagine it could.

  44. This is so strange.

    Why would I need this plugin.

    I am successfully using WP MultiSite feature in sub-domains and installed this easily with DirectAdmin panel (cPanel’s competitors)

    Recently I purchased hosting at HostTheName and after having problems with the MultiSite installation and the configuration of the server, they sent me here.

    Is this plugin required when using cPanel?

    Don’t get it.

    Thanks for any advice that can help me clarify this.

    Mario Bruneau

    • This isn’t for subdomains (although it can do those too). It’s for wholly other domains. I have both ottopress.com and ottodestruct.com on a multisite setup using this plugin, for example.

      For subdomains-only you can just use multi-site directly. Just set up your wildcard subdomain and get your hosting configured right, then setup WP Multisite using the subdomain method.

  45. Super admin not showing up. What can i do :'( i use blue host and it doesnot support wild card

  46. Hi all,
    I have WP 3.1.3 and have enabled networking and also installed the domain mapping plugin as per the instructions on this blog. I have given the server ip of the domain and also mapped a blog to that domain but when I go to the sites menu of network admin, I do not see anything under the mapping column. When I go to that domain I still see the old domain page (the domain is currently running under single site wordpress installation)

    Any ideas why the mapping column is showing blank? (Although, when checked the database I see a record in wp_domain_mapping table for this domain)
    Do I also need to make some changes to apache config?

    Thanks for your help.

  47. Hi, Thank you for this really detailed post. Otto, in your example you’ve mentioned that you have both ottopress.com and ottodestruct.com on a multisite setup using this plugin. If you were to consider registered users and if ottopress.com was the primary site, would your subscribers (registered users) of primary site be able to automatically login to the ottodestruct.com (secondary) site ?

    • Yes and no. Users in WordPress get assigned roles on each site they are a part of. Without an assigned role on any given site, you can indeed login, but not actually do anything special.

      You can use plugins if you want them to be able to auto-login and get assigned a role across the whole network: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/multisite-user-management/

      • Thanks Otto for your quick response. This plugin that you pointed me to, would it also take care of the login and logout page redirection ? Do I need to have separate login and logout pages/options on each of the sites in the network or should they all point to the primary site ? Again, my sites in the network are all on their own domains and not sub-sites/sub-domains. Thanks !

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