Sub-domain or Sub-directory?

Which is best for hosting websites, sub-domains or sub-directories? I want to offer the ability for instant sign-up w/option to choose a free theme or premium theme w/upgrades and possibly some eCommerce (not sure on the eCommerce yet). I believe I will be using the ProSites plugin to manage upgrade features.

I would like the ability to export a site individually using BackUpBuddy or other backup system if I want to take a site off the multisite installation to create a stand-alone site or visa-versa, to install an existing site to the multisite installation.

Thank you for your advise.

  • aecnu

    Greetings Jan,

    Thank you for the great questions.

    Which is best for hosting websites, sub-domains or sub-directories?

    This depends on your hosting. If you do not have a dedicated IP then Sub Domains are out.

    Removing and adding sites to an existing MultiSite is not so easy no matter what software you use the same as removing them.

    Using the export and import feature of WordPress usually proves to be the best option in this case.

    Thank you for being a WPMU DEV Community Member!

    Cheers, Joe

  • Jan

    Now, I find out. I have spent the last 12 hours trying to make sub-domains work on a shared VPS server and created another post with the additional issues encountered. I didn't find in any of the documentation that sub-domains will not work on a shared server, quite contrary from several forums... that you can have multisite on a shared server but didn't mention that one has to use sub-directories! (now I'm hitting my head on the desk!) smh Oh the headache! :slight_frown:

  • Jan

    Well, I thought this issue was resolved but it has appeared again...smh! The multisite install worked after I got the dedicated IP on an install on a basic theme. I created several new sites and was able to access them, etc.

    So I exported the site I want to work with on the multisite which is an Elegant Themes theme (don't know if it matters) to the dedicated IP for development. Now, I'm back to square one, again! I have re-installed the website twice and gone through the steps meticulously. I did find one thing I missed earlier but it still worked on the other install w/the basic theme....I didn't remove the line, define('WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', ture); but it worked before, however I removed it this time.

    I do have a question on the .htaccess file though. Do I keep the lines:

    # BEGIN WordPress
    <IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
    # END WordPress

    putting the mod_rewrite rules inbetween the >< brackets? I have tried it both ways.

    I have the wildcard sub-domain setup as well.

    When using the links provided by Zyniker earlier, I see that it appears to be the same issue...I guess several problems could create the same results though.

    From Zynkier:
    Looks like it's probably a DNS issue: and

    And checking nameservers, not only in WHM but at IntoDNS and can't tell for sure if there are problems that would cause this looks good to me (probably not the best judge). .

    I was hoping to move past this issue...gosh, looks like it will be months to get this thing built!

    Was hoping not to have to build a new website for my company just now. If Elegant Themes is the issue, may have to.

    The new site in questions is:

    Thanks again for your help.

  • Jan

    I discovered why I kept on getting the error message "server not found" and the login and dasboard not directing correctly after creating a new website. I needed to restart my dns service in WHM. I finally got someone on chat at HG to help. The last few times I tried to get help, once they saw multisite they said they don't support! But it was a server issue all along. Wasted a week and a half but moving along now. Now to the next challenge.

    Y'all are great here. I appreciate your help.

  • Jan

    Unfortunately, I got on chat with a few support reps two weeks ago who said that they would not support problem solving for multisite. But I have since gotten back on chat and found several support reps that have been very helpful. It took persistence to get them to help solve the issue I was having. It was a server setting that they had to modify, nothing I was doing wrong. Being new to multisite, I wasted a lot of time letting them put me off. But I'm moving forward now...bit by bit.

  • aecnu

    Greetings Everyone,

    Jan made my point exactly. It was a server setting - she had to contact them several times to get someone to fix a server setting that was affecting her MultiSite.

    She lost hours of time, was getting the run around.

    Dig into history and you will find they had security breaches on more then one occasion that were second to none.

    They con with unlimited disk space but count your files, once you reach a certain file count point - it is a forced upgrade

    They lie that they back up your files/site but do not openly disclose that after a certain file count they only back up your database files.

    They put so many accounts on a single server that server loads go very high 16+ and things slow way down. I limit each server to no more then 10 VPS's per box and loads of 2+ and to date that has only been during backups to off site servers.

    They will have dozens. Yes I have been on the inside looking out before with Host Gator and years ago as a reseller during one of those security breaches and all my clients, every single one of them had their web sites defaced - I knew there was a better way.

    Sure it is Russian Roulette - some people have a good experience until they do not.

    Cheers, Joe

  • Jan

    @idomagic - That is so true. I just got a few of the cogs back to back. But have since received the help I needed.

    @tony_cd - For this particular instance, I had to restart the DNS services in WHM. The server could not see the wildcard sub-domains until this happened. It was really simple once I knew what to do. I have VPS which is a mistake for me, I don't want or need anything other than regular Reseller, I don't know about the server backend and don't want to learn it. If you have VPS then you would enter the word "Bind" in the search at the top and then select the option to Restart DNS Services. Not sure on the regular hosting accounts. Support would need to do it then, I guess. But that was this problem in particular. Hope this helps.

    @aecnu - I have looked at your plans and they look pretty good (of course, I'm looking at HG's sales page and it " looks like " I'm getting more for the money) but the main concern I have is not having access to support 24/7 via chat which I use on a regular basis when developing new projects such multisite. I need a continuous conversation when experiencing a problem and someone to be on chat so I can follow-up on the issue to be sure their advise worked before letting them go. I like that I can get a transcript of the chat to refer back to and not have to contact them again for the same issue if I can fix it myself. I like some of the points you make concerning the php memory limit being set at 512M instead of 256M which is what mine are set at and that you specialize in multisite.

    I'm fixing to make a change since I no longer want to be on VPS but to what is not certain at this moment. Thanks for your imput.

  • aecnu

    Greetings janlfox,

    Thank you for your input and I agree that the HG sales page looks like a better buy, but that was one of my main points is they straight out lie to your face. Unlimited disk space right! (but they do not publicly disclose they count your files instead)

    Blue Host unlimited bandwidth - right - but they also show they throttle it even on reseller plans to 15 Mbps - it should be 100Mbps if not throttled. Throttling bandwidth and then saying it is unlimited is well - a lie to some degree unless they correctly stated unlimited throttled bandwidth.

    We have disclosed everything with the truth and some benefits were not disclosed.

    Ask every dedicated server owner of ours, we hooked them up with a commercial SSL certificate for their server, each and everyone of them for free so that log ins etc. are all SSL, HG giving away certs --> I do not think so.

    When dealing with live chat I agree with you 110%, but at the same time I have 300 users and I rarely hear from one of them a day.

    In other words you need live chat because something is not working right or as anticipated, but what if it did not happen that way because the hosting performed in a way that it is truly not necessary.

    Maybe that is where I lose out - I am not a liar and do not fill my sales pages full of BS rhetoric and lies. Everything is disclosed though not the free SSL certificate ... lol ... plus other things like free manual MultiSite installation etc.

    Host Gator cant touch this.

    Sincerely, Joe

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