Mapping a domain on WordPress 4.5+ Multisite

How to map domains without using a plugin

WordPress 4.5 added a little-documented feature that allows you to map domains to your multisite installation. Previously, this required the use of an additional plugin – usually the WordPress MU Domain Mapping plugin. However, this required a little extra work – notably moving a couple of the plugin files and editing the wp-config.php file. The updates to core now mean that the process is greatly simplified.

To use the new feature, your multisite installation will need to have a dedicated IP address and you’ll need to point the DNS of your domain to map to this IP address. So, let’s say as an example, we have a multisite installation with its root domain at mymultisite.com. You created a sub-site at subsite.mymultisite.com which you’d like to map to mysubsite.com. To do this:

  1. Log into the domain registrar’s control panel for mysubsite.com and update the DNS records so that the A records for mysubsite.com are directed to the dedicated IP address for your multisite.
  2. In your multisite network settings, click on Sites to list all the subsites.
  3. Select the subsite you wish to map, e.g. subsite.mymultisite.com.
  4. In the Site Address (URL) field, enter the full URL to the domain name you’re mapping to (e.g. http://mysubsite.com).
  5. Click Save Changes and that’s it.

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 17.23.36

One thing to remember is that DNS changes don’t usually happen immediately so after making the change in step 1, you might find you have to wait several hours, even up to 48 hours, for the new DNS records to propagate.

Mapping a domain in WordPress multisite without a dedicated IP

It’s also possible to map domains in WordPress 4.5+ without a dedicated IP address and without a plugin. To do this:

  1. Ensure that the nameservers of your root domain, e.g. mymultisite.com, are set to your host nameservers. This will allow you to manage the DNS in cPanel or other hosting environment.
  2. Set the nameservers of your subsite domain, e.g. mysubsite.com, to the same nameservers as your host nameservers.
  3. Add your subsite domain as a parked domain or alias of your root domain. (See below).
  4. In the Site Address (URL) field, enter the full URL to the domain name you’re mapping to (e.g. http://mysubsite.com).
  5. Click Save Changes and that’s it.

As with the method above using a dedicated IP, you’ll need to wait several hours for all the DNS changes to take effect.

Adding your subsite domain as a parked domain or alias

If you’re using the method without a dedicated IP, you will need to park your subsite domain against your root domain. To do this in cPanel:

  1. Log into your root domain account
  2. Click on Parked Domain (this might now read Aliases)
    Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 06.36.51
  3. Enter your subsite domain under the heading ‘Create a new alias’
    Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 06.38.44
  4. Click Add Domain and your domain will be added as an alias.
    Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 06.39.52

 

 


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9 thoughts on “Mapping a domain on WordPress 4.5+ Multisite

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Hi. Good tuto. But it’s not work for me. I follow step by step “Mapping a domain in WordPress multisite without a dedicated IP” but it’s not work for me. Let’s show you my steps comparing your example:
1) – 2).-.-dpartytoursrd.com is mysubsite.com. It now has the nameservers of my root directory mymultisite.com.
3).-dpartytoursrd.com is added as a alias domain, check to see: http://prntscr.com/dslk99
4).- In the Site Address (URL) field, I entered the full URL: http://prntscr.com/dslle6
5).- I saved
But nothing!!! It redirect me at the multisite url, heaqui.com instead dpartytoursrd.com

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Hi Edner

A couple of things: it can take a while for DNS to propagate. So if you only just set the nameservers or alias, maybe you need to wait 24 hours.

Also, you could try adding the sub site domain as an Addon Domain instead of an Alias. Remove it as an alias first then try it as an Addon.

Gareth

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[…] is redundant as far as I can see. So I disabled the plugin and followed the article here – Mapping a domain on WordPress 4.5+ Multisite. That cleared the redirect […]

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Thanks for this write-up! Adding the Alias in cPanel was the step I was missing.

John

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Thank you for this article. It was very helpful. Do you know if it possible to map more than one domain to a sub-site? The WPMU Dev one we have been using allows that and we have a few sites with two domains mapped to the same site.

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Hi Sylvia – the short answer is that I don’t know if you can map more than one domain to a subsite. I would guess not but I don’t know for certain.

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Your instructions are the clearest and make the most sense of all the ones I’ve seen …. however … it didn’t work for me.

I had to use your instructions for mapping without a dedicated IP:

1. My multisite domain was setup correctly by default.
2. I successfully switched nameservers of my new domain to my host nameservers. The DreamHost “website coming soon.” Page showed up as evidence.
3. I added the new domain as parked. The DreamHost “this is a parked domain” page showed up as evidence.
I4. In the Site Address (URL) field, I entered the full new URL to the domain name you’re mapping to.
5. I clicked Saved Changes and waited …. nothing happened. The domain is parked page stayed there. I waited 36 hours. Nothing. I don’t even know how to troubleshoot it.

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Hi – maybe try adding the sub site domain as an Addon Domain instead of an Alias. Remove it as an alias first then try it as an Addon.

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Thanks for this! I’m desperately hoping to get this working since we recently activated Really Simple SSL Pro Multisite on our network of 1400+ sites, and started experiencing the same issue with some domains mapped via the WPMUDev plugin.

Unfortunately, after allowing ample time for propagation neither of the suggestions are working. We do have a dedicated IP, but when that suggestion did not work I tried using the Alias method and get the cPanel warning, “…the domain is already pointed to an IP address that does not appear to use DNS servers associated with this server.” Even though the name servers assigned are the same as the host server as described, and DNS records are inactive at the registrar (1and1) because we are using custom name servers.

Attempts to create an Add On Domain, result in the same error.

Any additional suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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