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Leonard Zakoor

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How can I use different domains on a WP multisite install?

I want to offer my clients WordPress websites, but want to use WP multisite. I've read multiple articles on using a plugin, not using a plugin, etc.

My clients own their own domain names and want me to host/manage their sites. So I'll be using my main website as the install

When you visit one of their sites like or, I don't want the domain name to be a I need them to stay on or

I did find a lot of tutorials, but most are with a plugin and some are reporting buggy behavior.  What I've done so far is setup the multisite on my main domain. I've added an external domain(I own it) and pointed that DNS to my server.

I've never done a WP multisite install before so this is my first attempt. I need to know the following:
 - Do I need to install WP into a folder/directory for each hosted domain?
 - Once DNS is pointed to my server, how does know what to show?
 - I host on Godaddy so should I setup each client as a subdomain?
 - For each sites content, is that managed by each sites individual dashboard?

Any and all help is appreciated.
Avatar of Terry Woods
Terry Woods
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1. No, WP Multisite just needs one Wordpress installation.
4. Yes, each site can have its own admin user and gets its own dashboard. There is also a Network Admin dashboard which allows Themes and plugins to be loaded and made available to all sites. Plugins that are "Network Activated" from the Network Admin dashboard become active on all sites and can't be deactivated for any individual site.

Hopefully someone else can answer your 2nd and 3rd questions.
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Leonard Zakoor


Thank you Terry, I appreciate your time.

Hopefully someone has experience with this and can answer.
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James Rodgers
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So the very first thing I have to do is get a root level domain install going. I'm going to be putting this to the test this week James!

Thanks for the detailed answer. I'll post back here ASAP!!
Thanks for that. I got the root domain setup and multisite installed. I added the plugin you suggested. However, when I map a new domain, I'm getting a 404. I ended up setting a wildcard(*) subdomain, but ultimately I want an external domain to point to my WP installs.

Hi everyone,
Just wanted to say that I am hosting on Godaddy w/Cpanel. I've pointed an external domain over to my server, however, it's not resolving. Does the fact that I'm hosting w/Godaddy have anything to do with it?

Please help!
you might need to add the domain on your cpanel as a reference to your site
Hey James,
You mean add it as an "Addon Domain"? Godaddy cPanel isn't the greatest. Apparently I have to get access to WHM because I'm not allowed to add any addon domains.

That's really the only thing different from the instructions you've posted. But it's still not working the way I thought it should. I can't believe a multisite install like this either hasn't been done, or doesn't have a much better process in place. I've been trying to do this for almost 4 weeks now.
yea, i have done multisite install but they were self hosted so not sure about godaddy settings

have you reviewed this

also, try calling or emailing them
Thanks for that James.  Yes I did setup everything for multisite.

I guess my next course of action is to call Godaddy.
I had to call Godaddy and after much talking figured everything out! Thanks for the help!