How to point domains to mapped WP Multisite subdomains

I'm pretty sure I have everything all setup for my first Multisite install. However, I'm trying to figure out some of the details of the domain mapping thing. I'm actually fairly certain I have it all setup correctly, except I'm unsure of how to setup the domain itself. I purchase my domains separately from my hosting, then point them over using nameservers. Should I just add the domain as a addon-domain in cpanel, or should I do something at the registrar level to point it to the WP-created sub-domain it's been mapped to?

  • Timothy Bowers

    Hi fiddlerstudios.

    The choice is yours. You can stick it as an addon or parked domain. Providing it points to your root WordPress Multisite install, it should work fine. Not always good for when you want your users to add their own domains though, unless you want to manage it all manually of course.

    You can do this at the DNS level but you require a dedicated IP. You would set the A record to point to your WordPress Multisite IP. You could also use the CNAME for create sub domains which can be mapped. This would be good if your user has:

    their-site.com - static site, and they want a blog
    blog.their-site.com - Their blog, hosted with you.

    Hope this helps. :slight_smile:

    If you need anything else then please let us know, and once again, welcome!! :slight_smile:

  • Tevya

    I have a dedicated IP so the A record option is probably the best, I'm thinking.

    I actually do want to manage all the mapping myself. I was dissapointed to see that the WPMUDev plugin doesn't allow you to do all this from the Network Admin, like it's sister plugin in the WP.org repository: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-mu-domain-mapping/ That would make my life much easier if it had that option and/or a way to turn on/off that feature.

    If there's a way to put in a request that it be added, please let me know, I'd love to have it. There are some of us who are running networks of sites where we manage them all as part of our services to our clients.

  • Timothy Bowers

    Hey again. :slight_smile:

    I was dissapointed to see that the WPMUDev plugin doesn't allow you to do all this from the Network Admin, like it's sister plugin in the WP.org

    Could you elaborate what you mean here?

    Each sub site has its own domain name mapping area where you enter the domain to be mapped, is this what you mean?

    If there's a way to put in a request that it be added, please let me know, I'd love to have it. There are some of us who are running networks of sites where we manage them all as part of our services to our clients.

    I'm one of those people, I provide multisite environments to my clients in addition to stand alone installs. :slight_smile:

    Perhaps I just misunderstood what you mean?

  • Tevya

    Looking at the screenshots and reading this article: http://ottopress.com/2010/wordpress-3-0-multisite-domain-mapping-tutorial/ I thought that from the Network Admin you could see all the mappings in one place and easily add new ones, edit, etc. Now that I look more carefully, It doesn't appear that is the case.

    Even still, I'd like to request that for a future update (if it's even possible). It would be nice to be able to look at and manage those in the same way you manage sites, plugins, etc, from the Network Admin, rather than having to go to each individual site's admin to set the mapping. Thanks!

  • Timothy Bowers

    I know Barry was doing some work on adding support to see those custom mapped domains in the network admin, but I think you will still need to add them on the respective websites.

    Even still, I'd like to request that for a future update (if it's even possible). It would be nice to be able to look at and manage those in the same way you manage sites, plugins, etc, from the Network Admin, rather than having to go to each individual site's admin to set the mapping. Thanks!

    Thats a fantastic idea, like and inline quick edit? anyone else looking for this?

    It would be a +1 for me!!

  • Tevya

    Okay, I've played with it and I'm not getting something. I have 2 situations:

    1) I can just use the A name record like you indicated from my registrar and point it to my main domain (fiddlerstudios.com). However, an A name record wants some kind of a subdomain entry in the first field. What do I put there? I know the IP goes in the last, but what about the first?

    2) Some domains are already pointed at my host, via nameservers, where they're setup with things like Google Apps. On those ones, do I have to transfer all the Google Apps records to my registrar? Then do #1. Or can I just leave the registrar settings alone, and somehow add/replace an A name record on my host to get it to point to the WP subdomain?

  • aecnu

    Greetings Tevya Washburn :slight_smile:

    1) I can just use the A name record like you indicated from my registrar and point it to my main domain (fiddlerstudios.com). However, an A name record wants some kind of a subdomain entry in the first field. What do I put there? I know the IP goes in the last, but what about the first?
    after doing some tracing and checking out your fiddlerstudios.com which is pointing to its own domain name servers:

    Name Server: NS1.FIDDLERSTUDIOS.COM
    Name Server: NS2.FIDDLERSTUDIOS.COM

    After querying the name servers it appears that everything is OK with that portion including the "A" record.

    So what is the problem with the FiddlerStudios.com?

    2) Some domains are already pointed at my host, via nameservers, where they're setup with things like Google Apps. On those ones, do I have to transfer all the Google Apps records to my registrar? Then do #1. Or can I just leave the registrar settings alone, and somehow add/replace an A name record on my host to get it to point to the WP subdomain?

    To add a domain to be mapped you would make just an "A" record pointing at your IP 50.116.67.182 right there in your current name servers. I would leave the "Registry" settings as they are pointing to your name servers rather then adding a "A" record at the registry - keeping everything in one place and organized.

    You should be able to point just a domain as an "A" Record on your name server without creating a full blown site.

    So this is how it works .....

    you signup and register a web site with fiddlerstudios.com and lets say I name it joe - during the registration portion it will want to create the sub domain joe.fiddlerstudios.com, or if done/added from the Network Admin Panel I would just enter joe.

    At the completion of registration or addition as described above the subdomain joe.fiddlerstudios.com becomes active as it's own site and can be addressed in the browser.

    Now to add the Domain itself ..... lets say joe.com to the sub domain joe.fiddlerstudios.com go to Domain Mapping in the relative control panel go to -->tools-->Domain Mapping and add joe.com to the joe.fiddlerstudios.com domain map under the section titled "Custom Domain"

    Note: somewhere along the line you need to have just an "A" record for joe.com pointing to your MS install IP 50.116.67.182 - it does not matter if your name servers or registry as long as it is done.
    Customers tend to not want to lose control of their domain names and they will do it at the registry. Those whom own the domain name and the host too would usually want to point the domain at their own name servers and then create the "A" record there.
    For customer it is easier to have them point an "A" record at the MS install IP then to have them change their name servers to your name servers and then you have to create the "A" record.

    Hope this gives a clear picture of the flow of Domain Mapping for you :slight_smile:

    Joe :slight_smile:

  • Tevya

    after doing some tracing and checking out your fiddlerstudios.com which is pointing to its own domain name servers:
    Name Server: NS1.FIDDLERSTUDIOS.COM
    Name Server: NS2.FIDDLERSTUDIOS.COM
    After querying the name servers it appears that everything is OK with that portion including the "A" record.

    Yes, I know this. Everything is fine there. In question #1, I was simply asking what goes in the first feild of the A record for the mapped domain? FiddlerStudios is the primary domain (thus the nameservers), and is setup as the main site on Multisite and working just fine. However, I'm trying to migrate fiddlermedical.com as a sub site. Its all setup and running fine at fiddlermedical.fiddlerstudios.com. I also know how to set the mapping up in the plugin. I'm just confused on the A record. Since it's been it's own domain on my hosting account, I'm unsure of which A records to change, and what they should look like.

    Here's what they currently look like: image here. Can you tell me which A records I should change and/or add? There's 2 fields for every A record. I need to know what goes in each. If you can help me understand this, I think I can deduce #2 based on this one.

  • Timothy Bowers

    Hey there.

    Its the A Record:

    fiddlermedical.com. 14400 IN A IP-MU-INSTALL

    You can leave the MX records for Google to handle those.

    As you are not using this cpanel for email, ftp or hosting as they are being dealt with by other services like Google or your mu install, it seems pointless in it having its own cPanel.

    Does your registrar not allow you to manage your own DNS settings? It could be done there instead.

    Take care.

  • Tevya

    That is the IP of the MU install, that's what I don't get. It's been that way all along, but instead points to its own domain/cpanel/WP install.

    Should the first field be fiddlerstudios.com. instead? Since fiddlerstudios.com is the main domain on the MU install?

    My registrar does allow that. I'd rather not bother with moving the google mx records right now though. I assume that's ultimately the best route though, as it's one less redirect in the path to the actual site?

  • Timothy Bowers

    Hey.

    Does fiddlerstudios.com have its own dedicated IP?

    I put that IP into my browser and get your default cPanel page.

    That IP needs to be your MU Install, otherwise any A Record pointing in will just get the cPanel page unless its configured through whm/cpanel to go to its own directory.

    My registrar does allow that. I'd rather not bother with moving the google mx records right now though. I assume that's ultimately the best route though, as it's one less redirect in the path to the actual site?

    Your preference really. Some people only use their own sites and so prefer to use Addon/parked domains. Also means if you change IP ever, this won't be a problem.

    Basically all you need is to have any domain being sent to the main install. That IP is not on the main install so I would correct that first. You may need to edit the server aliases/httpd with you keeping it on the same server.

  • Tevya

    Actually I'm on a Hostgator VPS with a dedicated IP. Those domains he listed are all mine (many registered for clients). Now you see why I'm switching to Multisite :slight_smile:

    Though you can run MU on a shared host: http://waitingforfairies.com/2010/wordpress-multi-site-domain-mapping-on-shared-hosting/

    I'm going to talk to Hostgator and see what's up!?!?!

    Thanks for working with me on this Timothy. I'll try with them, then maybe check back here if I'm still not getting something.

  • Tevya

    Okay, after working with them. I just added fiddlermedical as a parked domain for now. Everything appears to work correctly with fiddlermedical.com appearing in the address even in the admin, etc.

    But I've got 2 problems:

    1) These 2 lines appear at the bottom of each page, front end or admin of fiddlermedical, but not fiddlerstudios:

    Warning: Unknown: open(/tmp/sess_fe2f470be0d6a60897a9ff0fdadd5f93, O_RDWR) failed: Permission denied (13) in Unknown on line 0

    Warning: Unknown: Failed to write session data (files). Please verify that the current setting of session.save_path is correct (/tmp) in Unknown on line 0

    2) It wants me to login to the fiddlermedical admin, even when navigating to if via the Network Admin where I'm logged in as the super admin.

    Any ideas?

  • Timothy Bowers

    Hey again.

    They should be able to edit your httpd.conf and change the main virtualhost DocumentRoot for the IP. Have it go into the right /public_html/ folder.

    Glad you figured out the other issue with those warnings.

    For your #2 second issue, Its because of the session. Single Signon with domain mapping is not currently supported with this plugin.

    Using the Multi-Domain plugin which is really for handling multiple networks (not domain mapping for users) allows for single signon. So if they are all your domains, I suppose you could use that. Each domain would be its own network though and not a child of one network.

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/multi-domains

    Hope this answer your question. :slight_smile:

  • Timothy Bowers

    Or......

    In Network Admin, under settings:

    wp-admin/network/settings.php

    You have:

    Administration mapping

    The settings below allow you to control how the domain mapping plugin operates with the administration area.

    The domain used for the administration area should be the

    You could set that to "Original Domain". Then the admin area for all websites would be subdomain.yourdomain.com and should allow shared login I believe.

    Sorry forgot to mention that before. :slight_smile:

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