Domains won't map

I added 2 new sites to an MU installation a couple of weeks ago. The nameservers are set, the IP is set, the aliases are set, everything should go, but they won't map. Hosting's tech support went into Network admin>sites>info and changed the site url to newsite.com, instead of mainsite.com/newsite, thinking that would fix it. But it just sent the site to a sort of under construction page. So they changed it back. What would cause these domains to not map?

  • Kasia Swiderska

    Hello Jill,

    Hosting's tech support went into Network admin>sites>info and changed the site url to newsite.com, instead of mainsite.com/newsite, thinking that would fix it. But it just sent the site to a sort of under construction page.

    That means that the domain was mapped, but it doesn't point to the main site of the Multisite in the first place.

    To map a domain you need to first point it to the main site of the Multisite. There are two ways to do that:
    - with A record pointing to the IP of the Multisite, but this will only work if two conditions are true: IP is dedicated and static and when IP is used in the browser it will open the main site of the Multisite. If one of those is not true, the method can't be used.
    - Adding domain as an add-on domain and pointing it to the directory where WP Multisite is installed. Usually when new add-on domain is added, automatically cPanel (or Plesk) creates a custom directory for that domain. So it's important to change that so it will be using the same directory where Multisite is installed.

    If you are now trying to access those domains you want to map and they are not opening the Main site of your Multisite it means they are not pointing correctly. Before it is done, the mapping will have no effect (not using a plugin or native WP method) because the domain is not reaching the Multisite.

    By your description, I would say that when you were adding those domains to your server they got own directories so that you need to check and change.

    kind regards,
    Kasia

  • Jill

    Kasia,
    Thanks for your reply. The domains were added as aliases, not as addon domains. If that makes a difference.

    And then I added them as new sites (network admin>sites>add new) to the MU installation. I am trying to map them to their own domain, not to the main site. ( mainsite.com/subsite mapped to subsite.com. )

    They WILL open as mainsite.com/subsite. Also, I am using (trying to use!) the WPMUDev mapping plugin. Normally, all I have to do is add an alias in cpanel, point the nameservers to the host, add the site to the MU, and then use the mapping plugin. That has all been done.

    Maybe I'm not understanding?

  • Kasia Swiderska

    Hello Jill,

    To map domain inside WordPress first your domain has to point to WordPress installation. Domain (in your example subsite.com) has to first open the main site of your WordPress. If it's opening then it can be mapped inside the WordPress and from there WordPress or Domain Mapping plugin will take over and make sure it will be assigned to correct subsite.

    If your domain subsite.com is not pointing to WordPress it can't be mapped.

    Please try using add-on domains instead of aliases in your cPanel and make sure that they are using the same directory where WordPress is installed.

    kind regards,
    Kasia

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