New Multisite install - Mapping Questions

Hey guys, I’m new here. This is a great site, lots of info here!
I’m planning on building an MU system (MU-Test.com) that will run off a VPS from GreenGeeks. I plan on using a Domain-based install utilizing WPMUDev’s Domain Mapping plugin to create sites like johnDoe.com, janeDoe.com, johnSmith.com, etc. I have read through all the documentation I could get my hands on both here and at wordpress, as well as an awesome video I found here by Zebedee Films.
I’m still a little confused about any pre-configuration that might be needed for the server and the MU-Test.com Domain itself.
1. I’m NOT planning an On-demand system so I’m thinking I don’t need to worry about setting up wildcard subdomains. Is this correct?
2. I’m planning on pointing each domain I intend to map at MU-Test.com’s dedicated ip address with an A record, then from within MU-Test.com’s cPanel, parking the domain before carrying out the mapping with the plugin. Does utilizing this method keep me from having to configure virtual hosts?
I think that’s it!
Thanks

    PC

    Hello there Dana,

    Welcome to WPMU DEV and thanks for posting on the forums.

    I am one of the staff members at WPMU DEV and we will be assisting you as a team here.

    Thanks for your kind words about the site. Much appreciated !

    1. I’m NOT planning an On-demand system so I’m thinking I don’t need to worry about setting up wildcard subdomains. Is this correct?

    If you are planning to use WordPress Multisite, you will need Wildcard subdomains if you are going to use Subdomain based Multisite. Eg. if your main site is site.com then you can have 2 type of multisites

    1: user.site.com (Subdomain multisite)
    2: site.com/user (Subdirectory multisite)

    For subdomain multisite you will need wildcard subdomains to work.

    2. I’m planning on pointing each domain I intend to map at MU-Test.com’s dedicated ip address with an A record, then from within MU-Test.com’s cPanel, parking the domain before carrying out the mapping with the plugin. Does utilizing this method keep me from having to configure virtual hosts?

    If you park the domain in the same hosting as your Multisite, then you do not even need to use an A record. A record is best when you are not going to park the domain in the same hosting as the multisite.

    Here is more info on this : https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/domain-mapping/#usage

    Look under More options :

    Yeah there are, you can also use Addon Domains and Parked Domains. They must point to the root of your multisite installation in order to function correctly.

    This method also does not require a dedicated IP address.

    However its not recommended you use this method for client websites as you will have to manually control their DNS. You would need to deal with MX Records if they wish to use email on that domain as well as other DNS requests.

    This is a good method if you own them all though, its quick and easy!

    Remember the domain root needs to be your multisite folder which is usually:

    /home/cpanel-username/public-html/

    I hope that helps. Please feel free to ask if you have more questions on the same.

    Cheers, PC

    Dana

    Hey Mac, thanks for the quick response and the info! So just to clarify, in regards to the wildcard subdomains, can this be setup in MU-Test.com’s cPanel under “Subdomains” by adding an asterisk, or is it more complicated and need to be done through apache?

    And also, after wildcard subdomains HAVE been successfully setup, what method does the end user employ to point their domain at MU-Test.com? I have read through the Domain Mapping Plugin’s usage section several times, but I feel like I’m missing this step. If the end user’s Domain (enduser1Domain.com) were to be available for me to park at MU-Test.com, wouldn’t enduser1Domain.com at least have to have its nameservers pointed at ns1.MU-Test.com, ns2.MU-Test.com?

    Thanks,
    Dana

      Ash

      Hi @Dana

      Yes, you need to create a subdomain with just an asterisk in network domain's control panel. If your network domain is http://domain.com then create a subdomain called *.domain.com and you are done

      And also, after wildcard subdomains HAVE been successfully setup, what method does the end user employ to point their domain at MU-Test.com?

      That depends where the mapped domain will be added. Let me draw a scenario.

      Network domain: network.com
      Subdomain: subsite.network.com
      Mapped domain subsite.com (that will be mapped with subsite.network.com)

      Now you have two ways.

      Way 1: Add subsite.com as a parked domain in network.com control panel. Add network.com's nameserver to subsite.com's domain panel. Add subsite.com domain in domain mapping settings, done!

      Way 2: If you can't host subsite.com in network.com's hosting, then you will need a dedicated IP (may need additional cost) for network.com and that IP should be pointed to network.com site (that means, if you enter the IP in the browser and press enter, it should take you to network.com site). If it is difficult for you, you can ask your host to do it. Then in subsite.com's domain panel, you need to create a DNS and point to that dedicated IP, done

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

      Cheers
      Ash