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How to Setup WordPress Multisite – Video Demonstration

As you already know, I’m a huge supporter of WordPress. It’s the most widely used Content Management System that powers the vast majority of modern day websites. The functionality that’s baked into it is second to none and the ability to extend it with additional functionality via the thousands of free or premium plugins and your ability to style it with your choice of, again, the thousands of free and premium themes makes WordPress stand out from the rest. All I have to say is WORD!!!!

WordPress Advanced Functionality

Alright, how can you make an already extremely versatile piece of software even better? Add the ability to create your own network of websites all on one WordPress Installation. This is called WordPress Multisite. What is WordPress Multisite you might be asking? Great question. It’s an advanced setup that is exactly what the uses to power millions of websites and easily manage the updating of the WordPress Core, themes and plugins in a significantly more significant way.

This is a valuable time saving feature that makes managing all your websites or your clients websites without having to log into each dashboard, which if you probably already know, can take an extremely long time. Time is money!

How to Setup WordPress Multisite YouTube Video

For your convenience, I created a demonstration video that you can watch to see exactly how to setup WordPress Multisite. The video is up above.

WordPress Website URL Structure

With a WordPress Multisite, you can have each site as either a sub-domain, sub-directory or you can use Domain Mapping to map the URL to a unique Domain Name. Now that’s powerful. This enables you to have all your websites with their unique domain names all on the same installation. This also means you can host your clients websites on your installation and map their domain names properly. You will save a crazy amount of time keeping everything up to date.

WordPress Themes & Plugins

With a WordPress Multisite Installation, you can share all your themes and plugins with each website. You can network enable or selectively choose which site gets the theme or plugin you want. This means you can add very specific functionality on a site by site basis. This is a great way to add value to your clients.

How to Make Money with WordPress Multisite

Now if you’re a WordPress Developer, Designer or Consultant, you probably already started to calculate the potential earnings you can make with this type of setup. You can have your clients buy a domain name and you can host their sites on your installation and charge them a monthly hosting & management fee. Maybe $20 or even $30 per month. Now if you have 100 clients, you will have some nice added income coming in which can be helpful during those slow months.

Heck, you can choose to invest your time building your client base and try and get around 500 clients each paying you $30 per month for hosting, management and access to your Premium Themes & Plugins. That’s $15,000 per month. Again, WORD!!! 

Stop Teasing Me, How do I setup WordPress Multisite?

Alright, here we go. First thing is you will want to take a full backup of your database and files. You should always perform backups before making any major changes to your site. you will then have to deactivate all your current plugins and make sure your permalink structure works.

You will then need to edit your wp-config.php file either in your hosting control panel or a text editor on your computer and then FTP it to your server. You will need to insert this snippet of code towards the bottom of your wp-config.php file

/* Multisite */
define( 'WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true );

It should be placed just above the comment block that says /* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */. 

You will then go back to your website and refresh it in the browser. You will then find there’s a new option available Network Setup  in your Tools Menu. Click on the Network Setup link to Create your Network. You will then need to choose either a sub-domain or sub-directory setup. Fill in the details asked of you and then Enable the Network.

You will then have to add code to your wp-config.php file and .htaccess file. Follow the instructions and you will be good to go.

Add this code just below the code you previously added.

define('MULTISITE', true);
define('SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL', false);
define('DOMAIN_CURRENT_SITE', '');
define('PATH_CURRENT_SITE', '/');
define('SITE_ID_CURRENT_SITE', 1);
define('BLOG_ID_CURRENT_SITE', 1);

Make sure to replace with your domain name.

# BEGIN WordPress
<ifmodule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]

# add a trailing slash to /wp-admin
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]

# END WordPress

Once you complete all the setup steps, you can now start creating websites and configure them to suit your needs.

Final Thoughts on WordPress Multisite

There are endless possibilities when it comes to what you can achieve with WordPress Multisite. There are some considerations you will have to think about before getting started. Since you will be running an advanced WordPress Installation with potentially hundreds or even thousands of websites, shared hosting just won’t cut it.

I recommend you get either a robust VPS Virtual Private server or a dedicated server. This way you can ensure your websites are performing well. You will also need to optimize the server to ensure it is fine-tuned for WordPress Multisite. You will want to make sure your clients websites perform well in the browser, ideally loading in under 2 seconds or even 1 second if possible.

You will also want to decide how you will handle payments, which is something you will need to stay on top of. In this type of situation, you will technically be a Web Hosting Provider, so make sure you have your proper terms of Use, Statement of Availability SOA and other required documentations ready.

Hopefully you found this article helpful. If you did, subscribe to PixemWeb so you can stay current on the latest tips & tricks to managing your WordPress Powered Website.

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