Need help to create a network of websites using many domain names

Hello Everyone,

I'm new to the WPMUDEV Community and would appreciate any assistance I can receive for building the network of websites I want to create.

In short, I want to create a network of websites, using many generic .com domain names I own, for several good market niches in Spanish, and offer the option of creating blogs and publishing advertising and generic marketing content on those sites.

For now, I'm considering two possible business models: one where companies can "rent" subdomains, to create marketing blogs for a fee... or another one, where individuals can publish generic articles and make money, by using an Ad revenue sharing model.

Perhaps there is a way of using both models at the same time... but this is one of the things I do not know if can be done, or how to do it with WPMUDEV system.

I have used WordPress for many years, but it's the first time I try to do a Multi Site installation, and perhaps this is the reason why I'm having troubles making it work.

I hired a Cloud Business Hosting Package with HostGator, hoping it's enough to at least create a minimum viable network, in order to begin getting subscribers and start growing.

I've tried to follow the instructions offered by WPMUDEV team... with no success.

I'm confused and I'm not sure if I should use Domain Mapping, or Multi Domains, or Pro Sites... or all of them together.

Perhaps this is a very basic question, but asking is the best way I know of how to learn something new.

I would appreciate any comment / suggestion from the Community.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Andres Molina

  • Rupok
    • Support Ninja

    Hi Andres Molina, hope you had a wonderful day.

    I've tried to follow the instructions offered by WPMUDEV team... with no success

    Can you please mention which instructions did you follow?

    You can allow your users to create a blog for a fee with our Pro Sites plugin. You will get full usage details here: https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/pro-sites/#product-usage

    Then you can use our Domain Mapping plugin so users can map their subdomains to their desired domain. You will get full usage details here: https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/domain-mapping/#product-usage

    I believe, using these two will serve your purpose. Please let us know if you have any confusion or if you are stuck at any point. We will be glad to help.

    Have a nice day. Cheers!
    Rupok

  • Andres Molina
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    Hi Rupok,

    Thank you for your reply.

    The instructions I followed were precisely the ones you mention in your post.

    The main doubt I have right now is regarding how to "prepare" the domains I want to map and add to the Domain Mapping system, as I didn't find the instructions in the manual.

    Mainly...

    What DNS should I use on these domains?
    Should I add the domains as Add-on Domains or Parked Domains on my hosting panel?
    Where do I need to create the A Record for the domain? on the Registrar's domain admin page? or on the server itself?
    Just FYI... I use GoDaddy for most of my domains and they don't let me create A records for my domains, unless they are using their own default DNS.

    Again... These are perhaps very basic questions... but I'm sure most people interested in using the Domain Mapping plug-in will not know the answer.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Have a wonderful day.

    Andrés

  • Ash
    • WordPress Hacker

    Hi there

    Let me simplify the procedure.

    For example, your main site is network.com
    You have two subsites:
    1. one.network.com
    2. two.network.com
    These two subsites you want to map with following domains repectively:
    1. one.com
    2. two.com

    So, if anyone enter one.com in the browser, it should show the site of one.network.com. Same for two.com

    So, there are two scenarios now. Either you own all the domains, or you don't. First I think you own all the domains.

    network.com site is hosted in a hosting whose nameservers are:
    ns1.networkhost.com
    ns2.networkhost.com

    So, you have entered these nameservers for network.com domain panel. You have to set same nameservers for one.com and two.com domains too.

    Then you will add one.com and two.com domains as addon or parked domain in the same hosting of network.com, and make sure you point them to the network.com wordpress root folder. So that if any one enter one.com or two.com it shows network.com site. In some hosting, addon domain is not allowed to point to root domain, in that case go with parked domain.

    After that, you will add the domains in corresponding subsites using domain panel plugin, and the mapped domain will start working.

    Now, if you don't own the domains, then you will need a dedicated IP. I know you won't have access to the domain panel of your customers so that you can't set name servers in there. So, you will pass them you IP and they need to set a DNS record for their domain and point to that IP. Only then domain panel will work.

    If you go with setting DNS to dedicated IP, then it is to be done from domain panel, godaddy in your case. Also note that, to use a dedicated IP, the IP must point to the network site. That means, when you enter the IP in the browser, the network site should be loaded.

    Hope it helps :slight_smile: Please feel free to ask more question if you have any.

    Cheers
    Ash

  • Andres Molina
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    Hi Ash,

    Thank you for your reply.

    I read a very similar explanation in a different post yesterday and I did follow the instructions, but still my network is not working.

    I do have a dedicated IP and I also own all the domains that will be used in the network.

    Now the problem might be some bad configuration, as what I get when I visit the domain I{m trying to map, I get a 403 Forbidden page.

    In case this helps, the main site of my network is creasitios.com.

    I added a domain as an add-on domain in my cPanel and also added a second domain as a parked domain, to see if there was a difference, and in fact, there was a difference: The domain I added as an add-on domain is the one showing the 403 error, and the domain I added as a parked domain is now redirecting to a page on the main site, but is not the blog either... It's always this page: http://creasitios.com/sitios-pro/?action=new_blog

    The domain I added as an add-on domain is viajesfamiliares.com.

    The domain I added as a parked domain is viajesmedicos.com.

    Also, no domains are shown in the Domain Mapping / Mapped Domains Page.... The list appears empty.

    Any advice on how to solve these problems?

    Thank you for your kind assistance.

    Have a wonderful day.

    Andrés

  • Kasia Swiderska
    • Support nomad

    Hello Andrés,

    Did you point your add-on domain to root folder of your network? So when you type it in browser it should show main site of you network.
    If yes, then go to admin panel of subsite you want this domain map and go to Tools->Domain Mapping and add your domain there. Domain Mapping does not work automatically when you point domains in your cPanel to root of the network or create A record for them - they have to be added in domain mapping in subsite.

    If you did all those steps and it is still not working would you mind allowing support access so we can have a closer look at this?
    To enable support access you can follow this guide here:
    http://premium.wpmudev.org/manuals/wpmu-dev-dashboard-enabling-staff-login/

    kind regards,
    Kasia

  • Andres Molina
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    Hi Kasia,

    Thank you for your reply.

    I have the system now working.

    I'm not sure what was the problem, but what I did was to erase the first installation, and made a new clean install, with no other plugins installed, besides the WPMU DEV Dashboard and the Domain Mapping plugins... and now it's working.

    Perhaps it was a conflict created by any of the other plugins I had installed before... but not sure which one.

    Now that I have the network working, I'll begin adding the other plugins and see if the system gets broken with any of them.

    If I have any additional problem, I'll request support again.

    Thank you to all the Support Team for the assistance.

    Have all a wonderful day.

    Andres

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