WordPress Multisite – How to Install and Setup (Illustrated Guide)

WordPress Multisite installations allow you to run and manage multiple websites/blogs from one WP-Admin area. If you have decided to transform your current WordPress installation into a multisite, we’ll guide you on how to accomplish that here.

1. What do you need?

In order for you to be able to set up your WordPress multisite, all you need is access to your website’s file via File Manager, FTP, SFTP or SSH and, of course, to the WP-Admin Dashboard.

2. Setup the WordPress Multisite

  1. In order to enable the WordPress multisite, you need to access your website’s files, locate the wp-config.php file(it is located in the root folder) and open it with a text editor application of our choice (Notepad, Notepad++, Sublime Text, etc).

    Inside the wp-config.php file, we need to paste this code:

    →define( ‘WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE’, true );

    The code can be pasted anywhere in the config file, as long as it is under the <?php starting code. In my case, I’ve decided to put it at the top of the file. It will look like this:
    wp-config.php editing image
  2. Now we need to set up our Multisite Network. To begin that, we will first need to disable our plugins. We can do that by navigating to our plugins page in the dashboard, selecting all of the plugins, use the bulk deactivation from the dropdown menu and clicking on ‘Apply’.
    plugins deactivate image
  3. In your WP-Admin Dashboard navigate to Tools > Network Setup.
    network setup section image
  4. In there, you need to select whether you want to use sub-domains or sub-directories for your multisite. In my case, I will use sub-directories.

    After we make the selection, we need to click on ‘Install’.

  5. You should now see this screen, instructing you that you need to add some code to your files in order to finish setting up the network.
    create a network of wordpress sites image
  6. Open up your wp-config.php file again and add the code that is given to you. The code will look like this:

    →define(‘MULTISITE’, true);
    define(‘SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL’, false);
    define(‘DOMAIN_CURRENT_SITE’, ‘localhost’);
    define(‘PATH_CURRENT_SITE’, ‘/’);
    define(‘SITE_ID_CURRENT_SITE’, 1);
    define(‘BLOG_ID_CURRENT_SITE’, 1);

    After the code has been added, your wp-config.php should look like the one on the screenshot:
    wp-config.php file editing
  7. Now, open up your .htaccess file(located in the root folder where wp-config.php is located) and add the second code that was provided to you add the bottom of the file:

    →RewriteEngine On
    RewriteBase /
    RewriteRule ^index.php$ – [L]
    RewriteRule ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?wp-admin$ $1wp-admin/ [R=301,L]
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -f [OR]
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -d
    RewriteRule ^ – [L]
    RewriteRule ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?(wp-(content|admin|includes).) $2 [L] RewriteRule ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?(..php)$ $2 [L]
    RewriteRule . index.php [L]

    The .htaccess file should like look this:
    .htacess file editing image
  8. You will now have to log in again to your WP-Admin dashboard.
  9. To make sure that everything works correctly, you should be able to open this menu(Dashboard > My Sites), which will eventually list your Multisite Network’s websites.
    my sites section image

Congratulations! You have now set up your first WordPress Multisite in just a couple of minutes.

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