WP MU installation question

I am trying to configure WP MU to use subdomains instead of sub-directories. Now based on WP instructions, I shall edit the httpd.conf file and add the line:

ServerAlias *.example.com

But as I can see from our CentOS box, there is only one httpd.conf on the server and this file is responsible for the whole box, now since I don’t want to change the configuration for ‘all domains’ hosted on this server, I was wondering isn’t there a way where I can make this change ‘only’ for the domain responsible for our network?

Thanks in advance for your time and efforts

  • aweathers
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    What hosting provider are you using? And how many subdomains do you expect? I actually have a limited amount of subdomains with my current hosting provider, but was able to add site1.example.com instead and it works fine. Adding them individually has the obvious drawbacks, but at least it’ll get you up and running.

  • bpilot
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    Thank you so much aweathers for your help and time, kindly find below my replies to your questions

    We are using ThePlanet, where we are renting a CentOS dedicated server. We have full control over the server, yet the server contains other domains (belonging to us) hosted on it

    Can’t tell how many sub-domains we are going to have, very hard to expect really, as anyone can go and open a new blog :slight_smile:

    Thanks in advance for your help and time

    Best Regards

  • damian2001
    • Flash Drive

    I am sure there is a better answer but this is one I gave a few days ago on a non MU forum –

    http://jgwebdevelopment.com/plugins/wordpress-multi-site-enabler-plugin works on a new install – in CPanel make sure that you have a subdomain “*” set to point to the root folder if you want subdomains….

    All hosting accounts should support this – If you are lost ask your host to set up “wildcard” sub-domains on your account and then use the plugin I mentioned above…..

    An update is that this plug in does not seem to set up the wp-plugins dir – just create it under wp-content with your FTP client.

    Mods – Feel free to edit/delete this post :slight_smile:.

  • greenplanetfilms
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    To clarify further, cPanel and WHM make the wildcard seutp very easy now. Some of the old instructions are now obsolete. Instead of changing any config files, just add a * A record pointing to the IP in cPanel or WHM. Some people still think that all the other configuration is necessary, but it isn’t with newer versions of cPanel/WHM.

  • bpilot
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    Thanks guys for your time and help

    Unfortunately we don’t have cPanel / WHM on our server as we are using Plesk…so is there any way to do this through Plesk?

    Even if there is a manual way, I have no problem following it…so if someone can please point me to any tutorial on how to do this manually I will gladly follow it

    Thanks in advance for your help and time

  • bpilot
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    Hi masonjames,

    Thanks for your help and time. I’ve followed the instructions in the tutorials, although whenever I try to create a new blog (example: test.mydomain.com), I get routed to the Parallels default page

    Also upon installation of the Network option from WP dashboard, I got the following message on top of the dashboard page:

    Warning! Wildcard DNS my not be configured correctly

    The installer tried to contact a random hostname (39735f.www.mydomainname.com) on your domain. This resulted in an error message: Couldn’t resolve host ‘39735f.www.mydomainname.com’

    even though I’ve followed the instructions in the tutorial exactly as explained

    Can someone please guide me and tell me what I am doing wrong here?

    Thanks in advance for your time and efforts

  • bpilot
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    Found the problem and solved it…..wew! :slight_smile:

    In order to save others time looking to setup WP MU with Sub-domain option under Plesk, here are all the steps I followed:

    1. Go to Domains>domain.com>Dns Settings

    Then go to “Add record” and add the following record

    Record type: “A”

    Domain Name: *.YourDomainName.com

    IP Address: ip address of the main server (us usually your plesk address ip)

    2. Go to Domains>Domain Administrator Access

    Make sure the box next to www is un-checked

    3. Restart the server

    4. Log into your server using ( root ) access.

    Then go to


    Here check if you already have “vhost.conf” then edit that otherwise

    create a new one using following command

    vi vhost.conf

    then add the following entry in the file

    ServerAlias *.YourDomainName.com

    5. Save the file and get back to plesk and restart your apache and dns(bind) service.

    As it is shown above the missing step that caused me to see the default Parallel page for any newly created blog before was step #2

    Finally thanks all for your continuous help and support

  • fuzu42
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    @bpilot Glad you got it sorted.

    For others: while the above (edit: Plesk config) will get you up and running, it will not allow for domain mapping. BEWARE

    For anyone else thinking of setting up a new dedicated server who’s not particularly familiar with getting multisite installed, we’re big fans of the new Ubuntu 10.04 Lts for a few reasons:

    1) The server is configured to run something like multisite right off the bat

    2) 10.04 has excellent default security settings: no root login, no default passwords, encrypted home directories where .bash_history is located–very helpful if you’ve got people typing passwords directly into the command prompt

    3) The Ubuntu community is *very* active and helpful

    4) We have no plans to ever switch to RHEL, and we like Debian

    5) apt-get kicks the pants off yum (grain of salt and all that, see #4) in terms of interactive installations already in the repository: eg apt-get will get the user to give mysql a password, so it’s secure right off the bat

    6) powershell has a looooooooooong way to go before it’s useful. You’ll find much better support for WP if you stay far far away from IIS

    Note that no matter what you put on your server, you still need the *.{mysite.tld} “A” record detailed above. Most of our clients who need the power of a dedi box still go with external dns because they really don’t understand how it works, or because they want a level of redundancy that’s simply not possible with the setup they’ve paid for. (most of our clients are not WordPress’ers but that’s irrelevant) If that’s you, and you’re using your registrar’s dns, don’t worry, tell them you need a wildcard A record for the domain. If they’re worth their salt (and if they’re accredited–not an enom’er/reseller type–they definitely are) they’ll know exactly what that means, and how to do it for you.


    1 word–DON’T

    if you ever expect to have a need for the command line in any way shape or form ever again.

    Plesk *loves* overwriting config files.

    Every. Time. The. Server. Is. Rebooted.

    Just Don’t.

    Is there a way to make it work? Yes. Will I tell you how? No. If you’re learning how to muck around, you’ll be safer without this software installed.

    If your host forces Plesk upon you, leave. Friends have had great results with http://www.slicehost.com/


    If you’ve been given it, great. We don’t install it ourselves but if you must “control panel”, this is your best bet.

    Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with anyone but my own company, we’re not in the above list, and we don’t have stakes in anyone else.

    my 2 cents

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