Issue correctly installing and configuring Domain Mapper

I have a multisite install on digitalocean (nginx, mariadb stack). I tried activating the domain mapping plugin and it automatically took my site down. I quickly delete it. This was before I'd even configured it. I want to map a sub domain (e.g., ) to a custom domain ( I read the documentation around the plugin but it seems to be gear toward cpanel. I don't have cpanel on my server and I'm not sure how to proceed. Can you advise? Please be as detailed as possible. This is a new area for me and I'm learning as I go.

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Nicolas,

    I hope you're well today and thank you for your question!

    Domain Mapping docs are indeed focused mainly on cPanel because it's the most popular server management panel around. The panel doesn't matter much however as the plugin doesn't connect to it in anyway. I don't know what kind of panel are you using (if any) so I'll try to give you more "generic" (but hopefully detailed enough) guide then :slight_smile:

    There are three main steps to get this all to work:

    1. Install and enable "Domain Mapping"
    2. Configure domain that's about to be mapped ( in this case)
    3. Map the domain to the sub-site

    1. Install and enable "Domain Mapping"

    I understand that you have removed the plugin so here are the steps for getting it to work:

    - go to "WPMU DEV -> Plugins" page in your "Network Admin"
    - type "Domain Mapping" in a search box
    - click "Install"
    - do NOT click activate after that

    - access your WordPress install using FTP
    - go to the "/wp-content/plugins/domain-mapping" folder
    - download the "sunrise.php" file to your local drive
    - delete the "sunrise.php" file from the server
    - upload the "sunrise.php" file from your local drive to the "/wp-content" folder on your server

    - to go the "Network Admin -> Plugins" page of your site backend and "Network Activate" Domain Mapping plugin.

    At this point, the Domain Mapping should be up and running. It doesn't require any additional configuration for now.

    If it takes down your site again it would mean that there's either too low memory or there's a conflict of some kind with other plugins. If that would happen, let me know please and I'll help you get it to work.

    2. Domain configuration

    The domain that's about to be mapped to a sub-site requires some additional configuration and that's mainly what's explained using cPanel as example. I realize though it can be a bit "tricky". The first part is to know whether you are using a dedicated IP for your site or not. If it's a dedicated IP it should have a "root folder" (sometimes referred as a "document root"; that's the same) configured to be the same "root folder" as is set for your main domain.

    In other words, if you type the IP into the browser address bar it should load the main site of your Multisite Network.

    The IP root folder is configured different way in different panels so it's a bit difficult to explain how to do it not knowing what tool are you using. Is that Plesk or other panel? Or are you working directly on a server e.g. via SSH? If the latter, what's the OS that server runs?

    Once the root folder for IP is setup, all it takes is to set DNS A record to point to that IP and wait until DNS settings propagate. This can take anything from about an 1-3 hours up to 72 hours. You will know that it works, if when you type that domain name in a browser address bar it loads the main site of your Multisite Network.

    If you do not have a dedicated IP or cannot for some reason set root folder for IP (some hosts doesn't allow that or you need to ask host tech staff for assistance), you may add that "domain to be mapped" to your server (again, how to do this depends mostly on the way you handle your server configuration so the same questions as above apply) as an "add-on" domain and configure it to use the same "root folder" (document root) as the main domain of your Multisite.

    This should also result in a "domain to be mapped" loading the main site of your Multisite.

    Once this is working, you are ready to map the domain.

    3. Mapping the domain

    - go to the dashboard of the sub-site that you wish to add the domain to (
    - go to "Tools -> Domain Mapping" page
    - type the name of the domain ( into the text input field under the "Map new domain name:" label
    - click "Map domain"

    If everything is configured properly, the domain should be added and instantly available. After that you will also be able to select whether the sub-site should be available under both addresses (an "original" - sub-domain and mapped) or only one of them (e.g. any attempt to visit "original" sub-domain should be redirected to the mapped domain).

    I hope that helps! If you need some more detailed information, please replay with answers to my questions from this post and I"ll be happy to provide you with more detailed guides.

    In case your site went down after you run through point 1, let me also know please.

    Best regards,

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Nicholas!

    I'm sorry that this happened and I'll be more than happy to help you with this. However, in case of the issue that takes the site down the support access feature will not be enough. First, I may need to make some slight changes to your setup by editing files such as wp-config.php for example and second, I will have to test it so if the site goes down again I'm totally cut off.

    Therefore, I'll need a direct access in order to be able to proceed. That said, please send in:

    Subject: "Attn: Adam Czajczyk"

    - Mark to my attention, the subject line should contain only: ATTN: Adam Czajczyk
    - Do not include anything else in the subject line, doing so may delay our response due to how email filtering works.
    - Link back to this thread
    - login URL and admin account login credentials (may be a temporary admin account) data
    - Include FTP log-in details (hostname, username & password)
    - Include hosting control panel access details (login address, username & password) - cPanel's usually the control panel used for this, but your provider may use something else; I'll need this for accessing your site's database, preferably via phpMyAdmin
    - Include any relevant URLs for your site

    Please use our contact form here

    Select "I have a different question" from the drop-down list. 

    Please be sure to make a full backup of your entire site first!

    Best regards,

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