I’m experimenting with WordPress multisite for a number of reasons.
The first, I would like to develop sites for clients in a faster and more efficient process as time is money right. Right now I have to create a data base, add the fresh WordPress code, plugins and theme and then start the project.
Second reason, I have several business and family web sites. Having those all within one network theoretically should reduce the time it takes me to build and maintain them.
The third reason, I host clients WordPress sites, each is an individual install so keeping them updated when a client doesn’t want to have a maintenance project is not happening. If I have those sites within a network should allow me to offer affordable maintenance offers and keep their sites updated.
You have to install WordPress within the root of a domain and since all my sites were already at the root I opted to purchase a few new domains for my projects. Here’s the process I followed. Since I have a VPS server I was able to do all the technicals within the Cpanel.
1. Purchase a new domain and added this account as a Cpanel account if this is applicable to your goals.
2. Installed WordPress within the root directory and created the database the same way I install a single install of WordPress.
3. Chose to create my multiple sites as subdomains. Don’t add the subdomain at your control panel, that’s what the wild-card setting will handle. Once you choose your type of setup (subdomain or subdirectory), you cannot go back. Don’t act on that information now, just use this information when following the next step.
Set the Wildcard DNS record
4. Install the multisite following the instructions at wordpress.org. You can also get some good information at youtube.com searching for wordpress multisite installation.
5. Add your themes and plugins. DO NOT NETWORK ACTIVATE! Only activate network wide if you require an activated plugin in each and every site. I activated network wide for Wp_reCAPTCHA because I want all comments within my network to have spam control.
6. Setup your permalinks, home page and all other setting as you would any other site.
7. The first thing I noticed about multisite was the way blogs or sites are organized. You can see this within the file structure. When you add a site, the sites are given IDs . As you’ll see below.
The number match the /wp-content/blogs.dir folder BUT ID 1 is not listed here. The media library files for your primary (root) site are stored the same as the single install. Those are in the uploads folder.
The top domain’s stored image folder will look like this:
8. I don’t like my images organized by date and most always change this option on my sites. This is hard to find but to set the upload in the media library so they are not stored by upload year/month, choose the Super Admin/Sites at the dash board. Then click on the domain you want to work with.
Then set the”Uploads Use Yearmonth Folders” to zero
The primary site, also site ID 1 will store the uploads in the same location as the single install as show below.
The additional sites in the network will be uploading to the new /blogs.dir folder.
The Mysql data base structure shows the site IDs in the table structure.
You may want to apply domain mapping next so your sites will have their own domain name.