I just installed WPMU for the first time, and it took me about 24 hours to figure out, ugh :/ But I finally did, yay!
Amongst the many errors and frustrations that occurred along the way:
- New WordPress installs would show a 404 page or a blank page
- How to connect external domains
- Whether an external domain mapping plugin was needed
- Whether I could get each site in the list to all be numerically in order or alphabetical (you can try, but it’s more hassle than it’s worth)
The server I installed it on is HostGator shared server. HostGator Support told me that WPMU is not supported, nor recommended, but I got it to work 😉
- Getting subdomain installs to work: In CPanel > Simple DNS Zone Editor > find the webdisk.[yourdomain].[tld] entry, and Delete it. Then you’ll be able to add the wildcard subdomain: *.[yourdomain].[tld], which is necessary to let WPMU handle subdomains for which there’s no fixed entry. That’s right, remove any fixed subdomains for which you want to use WPMU for (all others connected to a non-WPMU WordPress install you can leave of course, just ensure there’s no subdomain or folder common names used with WPMU), otherwise the URL will route to that folder, rather than the root folder /public_html which is where WPMU should be.
- Connecting an external domain to a WPMU subdomain: this one took a long while too to figure out. First, install WordPress MU Domain Mapping, then add a site by the ID (mouse over Edit in the site list to see the ID) and add the domain. Then click Edit for a WPMU site, then click the Settings tab, then change both the siteurl and home URL to the external domain. Ensure the external domain’s A record is pointed at your server IP. Then in CPanel, go to Parked Domains, to quickly add the domain and point it to the root. Note, some of these changes can take a minute to kick in, so don’t give up and think it doesn’t work if it doesn’t work right away, it can take a minute for the server to update.
- Site IDs and alphabetical order: Some people feel off when things aren’t in order (me included), and want their site IDs to be in numerical order without a gap, and alphabetical order. It’s not worth the struggle with WPMU, but I can tell you one quick trick, if things get out of order… simply edit each site, give the subdomain a number in order from top to bottom, then go back through the list and enter your subdomain names in alphabetical order. Yeah it takes a little work, but that’s the quickest way to do it. Keep in mind in the future, if you add or delete one, and have built sites on these domains, it won’t work, and you’ll just have to let go of trying to keep it organized and use search instead.
Hope that helps someone out there in Internet land!