Multi Network, Multi Domains & Domain Mapping ARGGHHH!

I'm having more than a little confusion with Multi Network, Multi Domains & Domain Mapping.

So what I want is to have my maindomain-com.

Then I want a network of child domains under maindomain-com - so they'll be;; etc.

I need to be able to:
• Create blogs on the child domains from maindomain – exactly like creating a normal wpmu blog except that it goes on childdomain-com
• Manage the child domains through maindomain
• New members to maindomain-com can create a blog under any of the child domains that suits their needs.
• Within a childdomain-com be able to create a client network, where the client can add a site for each of their branches, so I guess much like edublogs Campus. But I need to have control over how many blogs they create.
• Client sites should be able to domain map to their own domain

So my questions are:

1. Can I do all of the above?
2. What plugins do I need?
3. Where do I find DETAILED instructions on setting up the DNS / Servers?

thanks in advance


  • Aphrodite
    • The Reaper

    sure you can do that. The basis are :

    - Multisite activated
    - multidomains
    - domain mapping.

    The dns set up is very simple if you use a Cpanel server : just... park the domain on top on the main one, create a * subdomain on each domain, and enter the domains in multidomains setup.

    The DETAILED instructions... well the problem is that it depends on your server type :slight_smile:

    What do you mean by "the client can creat e a child network" ?

    With that config, (the one exactly on my main network) I can create a site, mapped on a main domain subsite (so mapped on AND create sub sites, but still on the same network.

  • Aphrodite
    • The Reaper

    Ok, now I understand, this is typically (but theorically...) a job for multinetwork, indeed.

    In fact, with single multidomains and domain mapping it can work, but all the problem would be so the registration process that will mention ALL domains, and only using main site.
    Multinetwork divides that and should limit the domain choices to ITS domains.

    And that is the problem. Multinetwork is very sensitive, and i am not sure that multidomain and mapping will work on it without a very hard coding customization. The big problem will be the plugins that must be choosen carefully.

    Well, I never test multinetwork really, and will not be, (sorry about that :slight_frown: ) very helpfull.

    Nevertheless, as you use cpanel its more simple. As YOUR base domains just must be parked on the main one in cpanel, and add a * subdomain to activate the wildcard dns. From that, multinetwork should work simply (just... add a new domain as new network).

    IF that works, then install multidomains, and network activate it network by network to see if that work. I am pretty sure it will not, and that will require a modification of the sunrise.php but must be confirmed. (be sure tu use the dm-sunrise.php, renamed sunrise.php, given in the plugin download files)

    THEN activate the domain mapping, network by network.

    I think @Ulrich could confim that.

    @Ulrich ?

  • DavidM
    • DEV MAN’s Mascot

    Hi Stef,

    From what you've described, I rather think the plugin Ovidiu mentioned (the same which Aphrodite was describing the implementation of) is what you'd be looking for here.

    Could you let us know if that's more so what you're looking to do, a sort of multinetwork?

    @Aphrodite, Ovidiu, thanks again for your awesomeness in helping out! I'll gladly give you both rep points even though you've both got an abundance! :slight_smile:


  • Miss B Hayving
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    I've been looking at WP Multi Network & Andrea's paid version too.

    I'm pretty sure I need a combination of Multi Network, Multi Domains & Domain Mapping - but apparently Multi Network will allow new members of my site to select the domain they want their site on - so that means I wouldnt neet multi domains.

    Am still a little confused in the usage of multi networks....

    So I have mainsite-com then I want statesite-com to sit under mainsite.
    statesite-com will then be a network with city sites under it.

    So a couple of dumb questions:

    Dumb Question One:
    How do I get the wp installation on statesite-com?
    Do I have to create a separate wp installation on the statesite domains and then add them to the network in mainsite-com?
    If not - how do I create the wp installation on the statesite domains?

    Dumb Question Two:
    Is it possible to have city.state.mainsite-com
    With a network on city and another network on state
    And then domain map city.state.mainsite-com to citysite-com
    and domain map state.mainsite-com to statesite-com?

  • Aphrodite
    • The Reaper

    thats a tough one... and a very complex DNS setting. Not aware enough to answer that, if you can or not have a main site network as in order to have user site as

    Well, would be better in sub directory mode : in fact.

    Ulrich this is one for you....

  • wpcdn
    • Syntax Hero

    @Stef, an observation or two:

    What you're trying to do is very complex. I'm not yet sure I understand it. I think I do, but it took several reads. But, if it's that hard to figure out, your users might have trouble too. There is a lot to be said for the "keep it simple" concept.

    Within a childdomain-com be able to create a client network, where the client can add a site for each of their branches, so I guess much like edublogs Campus.

    I may be wrong, but I believe edublogs Campus is not part of the main system, but consists of networks custom-created for Campus clients. So if you're trying to merge that functionality into one network (even if it's acting as a series of networks), you might be creating something very complex to manage...putting a lot of eggs in one basket, so to speak.

    Just my .02 for thought.


  • Miss B Hayving
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Ok I'll employ the KISS method!

    I've discovered wpmanage which will at least make MY life easier in managing & updating all the domains. Will give that a shot and figure the rest out as I go.

    The main reason for wanting it to all run of the one main domain was so I can pull global stuff to the main site creating an overall directory. But again will figure that out as I go.

    cheers so much for you help all

  • Aphrodite
    • The Reaper

    Hi stef...
    Well, thought about this onie on this night and here what came up.

    In addition of the "keep it simple' concept there is something else : security, performance, and updates.

    With a so complex config on only ONE install, I finnally discourage you to do it like this. You will have performance issue quickly.

    If that comes big you will have troubles. Moreover, the complexity will make the whole install sensitive, and the use of sexy plugins for your users will be difficult.

    I suggest you, finally, to do this :

    1 "main site", part of any network, redirecting on what you want
    1 separate install per state
    forget the "" structure, i think it is not so pertinent
    share the themes folder using symlinks on your server (if you have a dedicated but seems necessary with your project, thats what i do for all my networks)

    An overall directory is anyway something you will have to perform semi manually, using any directory plugin or theme. The "blog directory" for exemple, will NOT take sites from other (even integrated) virtual networks.

    And so for posts, better to use autoblog to get post all over the different networks.

  • DavidM
    • DEV MAN’s Mascot

    Hi Stef,

    I'm venturing to guess you're giving that other plugin a good run-through. Did you have any other questions on Multi-Domains or Domain Mapping at this point? We'll be happy to delve into that with you if so, just let us know.


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