Wildcard Subdomain Questions

I decided to ask this board before proceeding forward since I don't want to break anything within my current setup.

I will try to explain as best as I can.

I currently host a Multisite Network on the Hostgator Business plan with *wildcard subdomains as well as a dedicated IP address - allowing the functionality for domain mapping, subdomain installs upon registration, etc. etc. We will call this domain: multisitedomain.com

I have our main website (we will call mainddomain.com) hosted through GoDaddy (which I am not a huge fan of) and am wanting to redefine the business model a little bit to help streamline processes as well as add a few new available features to what we do.

I have a few questions below and I'm wanting to know if this is possible and how to possibly go about it.

Question:
I want to transfer the maindomain.com over to the Hostgator plan to serve as the primary domain on the account. In doing that, can I transfer what is already the multisitedomain.com and all of it's associated sites as either an add-on domain or subdomain with wildcard still enabled on it.

What I mean is that when I transfer I wanted maindomain.com to be the primary and still allow people to register for the multisite network which will now be located at multisitedomain.maindomain.com I believe? Upon doing so, if people sign up for the network they will be located at *.multisitedomain.com.

Essentially can a wildcard domain be associated to a sub-subdomain? Or add-on domain? Or another option?

If that is possible will I need to change the hosting plan that I'm currently on? Since it is shared hosting I don't know if this functionality is possible?

The reason for doing this is that we host client sites through our multisite network but multisite comes with some disabilities and we basically want to have the multisite network for people with personal sites or small business but add the functionality for larger scaled sites to still be hosted on the network without accessing the multisite portion of it that way clients can add plugins, themes, etc. to their site since you can't do that necessarily through multisite?

I hope this makes sense.

Thanks in advance.

  • aecnu

    Greetings creativ3group,

    Essentially can a wildcard domain be associated to a sub-subdomain? Or add-on domain? Or another option?

    No it cannot, it must be the wild card domain must be the root domain and if adding Domain Mapping it then must be on a dedicated IP. Add on domain is possible but not with Domain Mapping.

    If that is possible will I need to change the hosting plan that I'm currently on?

    Unknown, this entirely depends on the plan itself versus what your needs are and there is no way to determine this without knowing the intimate details of both.

    Since it is shared hosting I don't know if this functionality is possible?

    I do not believe it is a shared hosting issue in this case, but a Dedicated IP is probably more important to the functioning of the MultiSites when using Domain Mapping.

    However, as I see as part of your plan it is possible to run the "outside of the network sites" in sub folders as stand alone WordPress installs without any trouble at all.

    Cheers, Joe

  • Tyler Orr

    With the multisitedomain.com account through Hostgator can I add separate Wordpress installs to the account that don't route through multisite program?

    Basically if I keep multisitedomain.com with all of it's associated sites with the wildcard subdomains and dedicated IP still attached and just simply transfer the maindomain.com over to Hostgator and add it as an add-on domain - will it have it's own separate configuration outside of the Multisite Network without disrupting the multisite network? I don't want to run the maindomain.com as part of the multisite network - but for it to be it's own separate installation on the same hosting plan so it can have it's own plugins and whatnot since some are non-compatible with multisite.

    Additionally, if the above is true, I would be able to host client site within that hosting plan without them being associated with the Multisite network, correct?

    I'm really just trying to consolidate the hosting and remove GoDaddy from the equation.

    If it's not possible to setup additional wordpress installations on the same hosting plan with multisite active - should I just purchase another hosting plan with Hostgator?

  • aecnu

    Greetings creativ3group,

    Basically if I keep multisitedomain.com with all of it's associated sites with the wildcard subdomains and dedicated IP still attached and just simply transfer the maindomain.com over to Hostgator and add it as an add-on domain - will it have it's own separate configuration outside of the Multisite Network without disrupting the multisite network?

    Yes this should work just fine if it is not a MultiSite install and it will put it in a sub folder of its own using the add-on domain option.

    I'm really just trying to consolidate the hosting and remove GoDaddy from the equation.

    If it's not possible to setup additional wordpress installations on the same hosting plan with multisite active - should I just purchase another hosting plan with Hostgator?

    No you should purchase it from me. Just kidding.

    It should work just fine as you and I have outlined in the paragraph above and not necessary to have another hosting plan as long as it is not a MultiSite there should be no problems :slight_smile:

    Cheers, Joe

  • Tyler Orr

    Here is an additional question as I have been filtering through all of the different options today in my head.

    I switched my maindomain.com from GoDaddy to Hostgator by purchasing an additional Business Plan.

    I was wondering if I were to drop the idea of using shared hosting and instead purchase the reseller hosting through Hostgator - would I be able to achieve what I want listed above?

    Essentially with the reseller hosting I would use WHMCS to offer the "selling of hosting" for the multisite installation while having both the maindomain.com and multisitedomain.com sitting on the same server?

    Essentially I want to get to a point where I can use the multisite domain to offer cheaper hosting solutions to people who are wanting to either build their own site or have a small business/personal site.

    For a larger business - I would like for them to be separated from the multisite instance that I have running where they can access their own cPanel and FTP.

    I want to use WHMCS for all the billing/selling items associated within the company to manage all clients both on the multisitedomain.com as well as maindomain.com - that way I don't have to purchase an individual license from WHMCS for both sites.

    That is the ultimate goal to help keep everything clean and easy to navigate/control on our end.

    I hope that is clear.

  • aecnu

    Greetings creativ3group,

    This is totally bizarre that your mapped domains were all rerouted to the add on domain. This should have never happened since the original domain should be at the top or above the add on domain in the httpd.conf file or vhosts.conf file and caught the http request first and when it did not match the domain name to the wild card original go down the list finding the add on domain.

    So yes it seems that there is something funky going on there. Are you sure you have a dedicated IP for the original site and the add on site?

    If you send me a URL I will go ahead and check using a reverse IP service I am a member of that will tell me approximately how many domains are on that IP.

    In the event with being a reseller for Host Gator the challenges of having a dedicated IP will remain the same or worse (depending on if in fact you have a dedicated IP now) since it is a fact that their reseller program is also on a shared server with shared IP's - Call them and ask them, I keep up with what the competition is up to :slight_smile:

    A VPS with two IP's may be the lowest solution for you and what your wanting to do. One IP for shared hosting account and one dedicated for your MultiSite install. A dedicated Server would be the ultimate solution which would run anywhere from $100 a month on up but give you total control and the setup with IP's that would do the trick for you and your clients.

    Please advise as to the URL of the original MultiSite so that I may run the reverse IP for you unless you have already done so.

    Cheers, Joe

  • Tyler Orr

    Thanks for the response.

    If things couldn't get worse - they have.

    The dedicated IP I have (which is confirmed that it's dedicated since I was on the phone with support all day) is now directing to a 404 error. The main site, creativ3sites.com is still working, but if you put in the ip address to the URL bar it sends to a 404 page.

    Additionally, all mapped domains are not working now either

    I spoke with a rep today and they are working on getting it resolved but haven't yet. Here is the IP address for the site:

    50.116.96.241

  • aecnu

    Greetings creativ3group,

    I am truly sorry that this has turned into a problem.

    This should be an easy fix in the servers httpd.conf file or vhosts.conf file to bring the IP assignment back to the main domain or simply removing the remnants of the other domain or possibly and simply rebooting the httpd server so the adjustments from adding or removing domains takes effect by reading in the reconfigured httpd.conf file or vhosts.conf file.

    This is my profession since 1998, networks and servers and I am Global Network Administrator for two corporations one on each side of the big pond (Atlantic).

    Reverse IP Lookup Results—6 domains hosted on IP address 50.116.96.241
    Web Site
    brookspaving.com
    creativ3sites.com
    loveuntilwhy.com
    AND 3 other domains…

    Looking forward to hearing back from you that this has been resolved with the server problems and no more 404 errors.

    Please let me know.

    Sincerely, Joe

  • Tyler Orr

    I'm currently working on changing over to a VPS server as your suggested above - unfortunately I am new to the whole server management and am worried about getting it setup.

    Are there companies that you recommend for a VPS solution that would allow me to do the following:

    Have Creativ3Group.com as the main site where I can host larger client sites off of this storage system (essentially completely different wordpress installations)

    Have Creativ3Sites.com as the multisite account for people looking to build their own site/smaller scaled sites.

    All of the payment systems are managed via WHMCS with using the ProSites plugin to sell essential "upgrades" for plugins, themes, etc.

    The nice thing with a Hostgator VPS is that you get a WHMCS license for $5/mo versus paying what is on the WHMCS site. If you go with a Linux Dedicated Server you get it for free. So that is beneficial but I am also very weary with it all since I am having the problems that I am currently having with them.

  • Tyler Orr

    Just to give you an update over here - I've made a lot of progress over the past few days.

    The IP address has been resolved and is working correctly (thank God!)

    I purchased a VPS with them and have been in the process of transferring the Creativ3Group (main site) account over so I can begin running test and figure out how to manage the VPS correctly.

    I'll eventually want to move the Multisite on Creativ3Sites over to the VPS - I'm just cautious right now since I'm new to VPS.

    In regards to everything - the VPS came with Two Private Name servers with an IP address attached to each. The Nameservers are linked up with Creativ3Group.com

    For the instance of moving the Creativ3Sites over in the future - will I need to purchase an additional IP address to serve as a "Dedicated IP" for that site? As for the Wildcard domain migration as well - is this achievable through WHM/Cpanel that I have installed on the VPS or will it be something I have to contact them about?

    Thanks again for all the help and answering these ridiculous questions.

  • aecnu

    Greetings creativ3group,

    The only ridiculous question is the one that you don't ask :slight_smile:

    Concerning the wildcard and VPS, you should be able to pop it in the DNS using Cpanel without any issues.

    You still need a dedicated IP for your MultiSite install to work correctly.

    The name servers are going to be shared with other nameserver IP's and are not available for you to use.

    Your VPS came with a Dedicated IP?

    I would suggest moving your main network there then using Networks for WordPress to create other child networks to fulfill what you have suggested you wanted to accomplish in an earlier post.

    However, I myself have just started to use this plugin in the last couple weeks, and though it has to date worked flawlessly, I cannot vouch for its use in all situations.

    Cheers, Joe

  • PC

    Greetings creativ3group,

    We have not heard back from you as to the status of this issue.
    If you are still having an issue please let us know so that we may try to get you fixed up as soon as possible by choosing to check mark this ticket as unresolved below and posting any new errors or symptoms you are noticing.
    This action will also bring your ticket up front back in plain view again within the ticket system.
    Thank you for being a WPMU Dev member!
    Cheers
    PC

  • wowlookart

    Essentially can a wildcard domain be associated to a sub-subdomain? Or add-on domain? Or another option?

    **edit - I just re-read your question and the solution I gave below is not what you are asking for :slight_smile:

    I don't know if you can do this on hostgator but I do it on Rackspace.

    https://codex.wordpress.org/Configuring_Wildcard_Subdomains

    ^do this but on a subdomain

    ServerAlias *staging.example.com

    *staging.example.com A 192.0.43.10

    Install WPMS on dev.example.com and it will create all the subdomains in front of 'staging.'

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