Installing WP MultiSite on Server running WHMCS

Hello WPMU folks! Here's the end goal: https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/web-hosting-design-business-wordpress-multisite/

And here's what I've done so far:
Bought a VPS w/ WHMCS from GoDaddy. Punched myself in the face a few times trying to get it set up. Bought a WPMU membership. Re-read the above article 40 more times.
Using FileZilla, logged into server and found a TON of folders, directories, and stuff that made me punch myself in the face a few more times for getting in over my head.

Now, somewhere there has to be a tutorial regarding the what needs to be done <really bold>BETWEEN</really, really bold> the two steps!

Am I supposed to start with an initial install of WP MultiSite into one of these folders? If so, which one: public_html, www, one of the other folders? I would ponder a guess that this is really an important step. So, I want to make sure I get it right the first time.

So what are the steps between where I'm at, and where I need to be?

Thanks for the help! -Brad

  • Jack Kitterhing

    Hi there Brad, @brad_griffin

    I hope you are well today and thank you for your question.

    I would suggest for you not keep punching yourself in the face :wink:

    Back to the issue :slight_smile: With GoDaddy I have personally never used them, normally a website would be in the public_html folder of the files, but what do you have in the www. folder? Do you know where the domain points to?

    So what are the steps between where I'm at, and where I need to be?

    The steps would be to set up the multisite step 1 :slight_smile:

    Step 2: Choose how your going to sell the sites, WHMCS integration and provisioning, or Pro Sites (I'd go with Pro Sites), but that choice is of course yours :slight_smile:

    Step 3: Install and configure domain mapping, so your users can have their own personal domain.

    Step 4: Install easy blogging (highly recommend will make it much more simple for your users to use :slight_smile:

    Step 5: Install new blog templates, this will mean that you can setup demo sites and give the user a choice to choose to replica that site on your install.

    Step 6: Install other plugins you want activated.

    Thanks!

    Kind Regards
    Jack.

  • Brad Griffin

    BAM BABY!
    went down the article

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/web-hosting-design-business-wordpress-multisite/ and installed every plugin the article mentioned!

    First thought though...
    When I click install on a plugin, that plug in isn't available to my site http://inspirethemes.com until I click "Network Activate". Now, hold on a second, I don't want other people having access to "My" Plugins! ...yet, when I click "Network Activate" for me to use the plugin, it becomes available for all the other users, correct?

    So how do I make all those dozen or so plugins available only to me on my site?

  • Jack Kitterhing

    Hey there Brad (@brad_griffin)

    I hope your well today, glad to hear it's been going well so far :slight_smile:

    First thought though...
    When I click install on a plugin, that plug in isn't available to my site http://inspirethemes.com until I click "Network Activate". Now, hold on a second, I don't want other people having access to "My" Plugins! ...yet, when I click "Network Activate" for me to use the plugin, it becomes available for all the other users, correct?

    So how do I make all those dozen or so plugins available only to me on my site?

    In your network admin, just don't network activate the ones you want only for your site and go to your sites own dashboard and go to > plugins > then you can activate the ones that aren't network activated, did you also want to block these specific plugins from being activated by other users on their sites?

    I found this theme http://themeforest.net/item/alpha-modern-hosting-wordpress-theme/4526270 which looks good, that's an actual WordPress theme, if your using the WHMCS integration plugin, you need to use the portal theme for the actual WHMCS part :slight_smile:

    Thank you for being a WPMU DEV member and have a great weekend!

    Kind Regards
    Jack.

  • Brad Griffin

    Thanks for the help Jack! That did the trick!

    Remember that original WPMU article I posted? As I was reading through it, I was making sure I clicked on each one and installed it. Then it hit me: "Wait, If I click 'network enable', won't other people be able to see these as well?"

    But your steps worked wonderfully. Thanks Again!

    Now, onto figuring out which steps in which order need to happen to make this vision into a reality... After all, that was a really long article with a lot of information!

    So, now that I've downloaded and installed all the plugins mentioned (I even got a few of them corn-figured correctly), what's the next step? Pardon my Navy service for coming out here, but a user's manual would be nice!

  • Jack Kitterhing

    Hi there Brad (@brad_griffin)

    I hope your well today, your very welcome, happy to help :slight_smile:

    The next step would be to configure every plugin how you want, are you using Pro Sites or WHMCS? Either one of those is your most important plugin, as that's how users are going to be singing up, make sure you have all your levels set up and the costs.
    After that you want to make sure everything works, go through a test run yourself, as a customer, this will also show you how it works from the customers point of view, and highlight any errors or mis-configurations.

    All our plugins have a usage tab, which sort of act as the manuals :slight_smile:

    I'm happy to assist further, just let me know what step we are at :slight_smile:

    Thank you for being a WPMU DEV member!

    Kind Regards
    Jack.

  • Brad Griffin

    Pro Sites or WHMCS

    Well, good morning Jack!

    I proudly (or foolishly - depends on who you ask) jumped face first into WHMCS.

    Hey Jack, the end result here is that I want to steal all the clients from iThemes.com, rule the world, and retire in the bahamas. Until that happens... Check out http://tffcrowley.com. That's the church I go to. Now check out that little clover at the bottom of the page. Cloversites is used by a lot of church folks and... well, I can tell you that they are all sick of it.

    My goal here is to somehow clone the process at CloverSites.com except using WordPress - much like iThemes.com does. I need to, on a VERY simple basis, be able to guide them along the process. In other words, "Look folks, the hosting, setup, configurations, technical-mumbo-jumbo-that-makes-people-at-church-give-me-the-deer-in-headlights-look. Everything is set up and DONE. Add your content, sermons, pastors, staff, watch the video tutorials, and GO!"

    Now, I need to set up the front end which would be a theme that would accommodate everything.

    And, I need to not only go through all these plugins, but more importantly, how each plugin works with each other, and how they work from the end users point of view as well.

    I haven't gotten that far down the list yet, but I've installed the Easy Blogging plugin. So, what I hear you saying is that I can use other themes (like Themeforest) on here as well? That's good to hear! My only concern there is that I when I use another theme (not necessarily from Themeforest b/c their extended licenses are really expensive) I will have to make sure the theme developer's "option tree" or "dashboard" still stays available while COMPLETELY REMOVING the ability of a person to click anything that might get themselves in trouble.

    ...but like I said, that's down the list.

    I need to first make all these plugins work together, while creating a simple, clean, functional front-end site.

  • Jack Kitterhing

    Hi Brad! (@brad_griffin) Sorry for the delay with my reply.

    I hope you are well today.

    Thanks for all the additional information. I have had a good look at what you are trying to replicate and achieve here.

    I believe if you want people to have their own domains such as mainsite.com rather than a sub domain such as subsite.mainsite.com or a sub directory such as mainsite.com/subsite. Then you have indeed made the correct choice going for WHMCS. See Pro Sites would work and is suitable, but if you use Pro Sites, you'll need to use our domain mapping plugin here https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/domain-mapping/ which means your customers would need to map their domains, and I'm guessing they aren't going to want to do that :slight_smile:

    Though you will still need domain mapping https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/domain-mapping/ with WHMCS, they should be mapped upon registration automatically :slight_smile:

    So it was most likely a good choice :slight_smile:

    Yep, you can use themes from themeforest etc, but from themeforest, if the theme is going to be used on a sub site and not just the main site, you will need the extended license, which I know is quite expensive, so they might not be the best choice, check out something like elegantthems.com they can be used on a Multisite install.

    If you wanted like a visual designer theme, you could look at the builder theme from ithemes.com :slight_smile: Or something like the headway theme here http://headwaythemes.com/
    One piece of advice, not all themes, even more so builder themes work without problems, but with our support and that of the theme authors, I'm sure it can be got working if there are any conflicts, just don't panic :slight_smile:

    Where about's are you with easy blogging, have you seen the wizard function? That's pretty cool.

    Thanks!

    Kind Regards
    Jack.

  • Brad Griffin

    Good Morning Jack!

    Where about's are you with easy blogging, have you seen the wizard function?

    I'm not quite there yet, but I will be here soon. There's just so many plugins to try to get going here. For example, I need a few template sites setup so that I can "import" all of the themes, posts, pages, settings, and files into a template. But before I can make a template page, I need to "register a new site". Before I can register a new site, I need to find the right settings for my WHMCS install. Before I can ..... and on and on and on it goes.

    Jack, I have around a dozen good, clean functioning themes that are specific for the type of demographic that are asking for this service. Mainly church themes, and missionary related non profits. The little icon next to my name in Themeforest simply states "has spent more money than his wife knows about" -HA!! And, I ditched ElegantThemes years ago.

    I'm still searching forums for 'needle in haystack' answers. This morning, I'll have to figure out the answer to this question http://wpmu.bradgriffin.me/whmcs-integration/

    Feel free to join in on the fun! The comments (that I have not approved for publishing) either I get a response like I'm a complete goon, or someone gives me a dissertation about WHMCS and forgets to answer the question

  • Jack Kitterhing

    Hi there Brad!

    With the templates sites you can set them up from network admin > sites > add new, you don't need to do that through your WHMCS installation :slight_smile:

    The little icon next to my name in Themeforest simply states "has spent more money than his wife knows about" -HA!!

    :smiley: You might be interested in this post here https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/leading-premium-wordpress-theme-providers-compared/ lots of good premium theme providers :slight_smile:

    I see that you found the answer to the WHMCS question :slight_smile: Let me know if I can be of any further assistance!

    Thank you!

    Kind Regards
    Jack.

  • Brad Griffin

    Hi @Jack Kitterhing. I decided to start over and go one plugin at a time instead of just throwing all of them in at once.

    I logged into FileZilla and deleted EVERYTHING wordpress related. Jumped over into the backend of WHMCS and figured out how to delete the mySQL tables that we made. Then reistalled WordPress 3.5.1

    Here's where I'm at now.
    I have a clean install of WP. Multisite is activated. There are only three plugins at the moment: WHMCS WordPress Integration, WordPress MU Domain Mapping, & WPMU DEV Dashboard.

    Now, I know that later, ProSites will need a site with a theme, plugins, posts, categories, and files. And that it will pull all of that from one of my already created sites. So, let's first make a site. No problem, right?

    From Network Admin>Sites>Add New. Site Address= wpmu; Site Title = WPMU, and Admin Email = my usual default catch-all gmail address. Click Add Site, then view dashboard and .... OH NO, I GOT A WHAMMIE!!!

    Ok, so without having to wonder if there are 5 billion other plugins conflicting with something, let's see what went wrong. Everything has been installed as per the instructions under the usage tab on WPMU domain mapping.

    Now, I did this over on wpmu.bradgriffin.me with no problems. It's hosted with WestHost, and I went in via cPanel, added a subdomain, then pointed the folder to /bradgriffin.me and everything went perfect.

    Now supposedly these WPMU plugins are supposed to automate that so that I (or clients) don't have to go into the backend and do any folder pointing, or subdomain creation.

    Please help me understand why it's not working correctly. Thanks! -Brad

  • Brad Griffin

    I'm sorry @Jack Kitterhing. I should have marked this as resolved. It is correctly installed on the root. The problem (and the solution for anyone else) was to call the hosting provider and get them to comprehend that the subdomains are not resolving - and I followed all the directions.

    Sometimes it baffles people at hosting companies: Oh, you're using WordPress, surely you did something wrong. Uh, no. I didn't. Oh, it must be a plugin on your WordPress site Uh, no. It's not. Oh well, did you....Dude, would you please shut up, find, and fix the bug in my hosting?!?!?

    ....needless to say it got fixed.

    Thanks for the follow up Jack! -Brad

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