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This is what I'd like to accomplish, hopefully under one WP install: I would like to use one WP install for my main domain + three subdomains, where subdomains need to be somehow "masked" / add-ons of other domains.

i.e. www.mymaindomain.com branch1.mymaindomain.com -> www.differentdomain.com branch2.mymaindomain.com -> www.completelydiffdomain.com branch3.mymaindomain.com -> www.anotherdomain.com

More details:

  • One main Wordpress Website, www.mymaindomain.com
  • The homepage has links that take users to three different branches of the website.
  • Client wants each branch to have it's own domain (design and everything are pretty much the same)
  • So, clicking on the first branch, should take users to www.differentdomain.com (keep in mind that the design is the same, header, footer, and what not)
  • Same thing for the second and third "branches", they take the user to a different domain, but the UI is the same.

One idea I had is to create subdomains for each "branch" and then create an add-on domain that would point to the subdomain, but this would require installing WP in each subdomain.

Is there a way to handle this (i.e. .htaccess), where subdomain.mymaindomain.com would be masked as www.differentdomain.com?

Thanks!

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

You need the following:

1) Enable WordPress Multisite in your main domain

2) Install the plugin WordPress MU Domain Mapping

After that, you'll be able to achieve your goal.

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Tips for Shared Hosting

I came across this question after successfully activating this on shared hosting on HostGator, and wanted to add a few extra resources.

Setting up Multisite

  1. WPMUDEV.com --> creating-a-network-to-enable-wordpress-multisite/
  2. WPBEGINNER.COM --> How to Install and Setup WordPress Multisite Network

Those are both fairly self-explanatory, and I used them & the WordPress Codex article to successfully setup WordPress MultiSite.

Domain Mapping

  1. Use the instructions in the WordPress Plugin "Installation" tab on Wordpress.org, and use the Ottopress link as detailed reference (for conflicting instructions, go with WordPress ... it is more up to date).
  2. ON SHARED SERVERS ... make sure you add extra domains as Parked Domains in cPanel. In other words, if your main site is mydomain1.com, and you want another site in your network to be addressed by mydomain2.com, register mydomain2.com in cPanel as a Parked domain, NOT an AddOn domain.

Shared Hosting Tutorial

NameCheap.com has an excellent tutorial/article/recipe on setting up WP MultiSite AND domain mapping on shared hosting - I can verify that it also works for HostGator (this is how I solved the issues with addon vs parked domains to make domain mapping work successfully).

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