New sites are showing to be "not found"

I am having a problem with my multiSite where I get the following message when I try to start a new site. It seems that I go through the process and the site shows up on my list of sites but when I try to edit the site or go to the dashboard I get "site not found" and these are the details:
The server at can't be found, because the DNS lookup failed. DNS is the network service that translates a website's name to its Internet address. This error is most often caused by having no connection to the Internet or a misconfigured network. It can also be caused by an unresponsive DNS server or a firewall preventing Google Chrome from accessing the network.

Other browsers have the same problem.
Some added info that may or may not be related:
The main site and all of the old sub sites seem to be okay.
I have had some recent hacking but I think my site is clean now.
Around the time that this started I was trying to change my user name. This is a separate problem but I mention it in case it may be related. I was reading about how you should not use admin (I don't use that but my user name is the same as the name of my website so I thought it would be more secure to use an obscure user name). I was not successful at changing it because it says the super admin user name is tied to the e-mail address and when I make a new super admin it seems I have to use a different e-mail because the first e-mail is already in use by the other super admin. I talked to my host and they tried to change it in the database but they said they put it back the way it was.

I made 2 other users for the new site that cannot be found and those users are getting the same message.

I did try to delete it and start over and get the same results. I also tried a different unrelated new site and it seems that all new sites have the same problem.

I will try and check the database on the server and see what e-mails are associated with what users. However, if this was the problem wouldn't the old sites be messed up too?

Any ideas?

  • Michael Bissett

    Hey @Catrina, hope you're doing well today! :slight_smile:

    Just to confirm:

    - Is this a subdomain Multisite, or a subdirectory Multisite? What type of addresses do your old subsites have?
    - If you're running a subdomain Multisite, are you using a wildcard subdomain to provide the subdomains, or are you using another method?
    - Did this only start to occur after your site was hacked?

    Please advise,

  • Catrina

    Hi Michael,
    Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.
    I will try to answer these questions correctly but it was quite a while ago that I set up the multisite and I'm not super savvy. I believe it is a subdomain (it is the type where the address is The old sites have the same type of addresses and one of them is mapped. The mapped site is parked on my host.
    I believe the wildcard is where you put the * correct? Yes that is what I did.
    When I talk with my host it seems that they are upset with me for first getting hacked and second that I even have a multisite on their server even though they claim to be "unlimited". Could they have changed something to limit me? If so what should I look for. I started this new site over the weekend and it worked when I first did it. It was after I talked to my host and they were mucking around in my database that this new problem started.
    Yes this problem just started in the last few days. It was after the hack. I had the site cleaned professionally but then I got an e-mail from the host that malicious code was again found and removed. The second time it was one small piece where the first time it was widespread. I installed wordfence and cloudfare and have been looking into some other things to tighten things up since I'm not sure if the second instance of malicious code was something that was missed the first time or if it is a new thing and they are still getting in.
    The host suggested that it was because of "outdated themes" so I have another post today here on WPMU about that.
    The only other action that I have taken so far from "hardening wordpress" was trying to change the user name as mentioned above. Except I deleted some unused plugins and themes and of course have been better about updating things.
    I have to go to work now but will try and check this throughout the day.

  • Catrina

    Too late :slight_frown:
    The hackers got it again, or were never gone in the first place.
    They deleted whole sites and plugin's including Multisite and really made a mess of things.
    I didn't know if I would be able to tell for sure how much other files were compromised or missing. so I decided to just start fresh with a new wordpress install on a different server rather than try to repair.
    Right now I'm getting my primary site up and running again, but next I have to decide multisite again or subsites.
    Any convincing ideas to help me decide?

  • Catrina

    Hi Michael,
    Thanks for your help.
    I have 5 and maybe more unrelated product lines that I would like to each have it's own websites. Then I have a handful of family and friends websites. There are 3 charity websites for clubs that I belong to. In the future I hope to offer paid websites but I learned from my mistakes and want to start slower this time and get the sites mentioned above fully developed first. All of the current sites currently fall under the broad heading of garden, food and outdoor related blogs so I was looking at the possibility of forming some sort of community. Again I'm going to do it one piece at a time this time instead of going for the whole ball of wax from the start.

  • Michael Bissett

    Hey @Catrina, my apologies for the delay here!

    This tutorial of ours comes to mind, regarding the setup of Multisite in general:

    In regards to the difference between sub-domain & subdirectory subsites, I trust you're thinking of the SEO perspective? This article comes to mind as well:

    Hope this helps! :slight_smile:

    Kind Regards,

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