I'm usually running WP on Nginx + PHP-FPM in a sub-directory (similar to Mark Jaquith's Skeleton) without any issues, all permalinks are working just fine. Now I tried to do this with WordPress Multisite and got some problems.

My wp-config.php settings:

// Give WordPress it's own directory
define( 'WP_SITEURL', 'http://' . $_SERVER['SERVER_NAME'] . '/core' );
define( 'WP_HOME', 'http://' . $_SERVER['SERVER_NAME'] );

// Use custom content directory
define( 'WP_CONTENT_DIR', dirname( __FILE__ ) . '/content' );
define( 'WP_CONTENT_URL', 'http://' . $_SERVER['SERVER_NAME'] . '/content' );

In the filesystem it looks like this:

content/ - wp-content direcotry
core/ - wordpress directory
    wp-content/ - original folder, emppty
    ... - other wp core files

With Multisite I want to have subdomain sites, like:


After Network installation I've got a main site on a root domain, which is example.com, but it switches to example.com/core, which is not what I need. How to remove this /core/ part from the main site frontend?

Next, when I go to main site admin, it opens via example.com/core/wp-admin/ which is correct. But when I go to network admin, it switches to example.com/wp-admin/network/ and shows 'Not found'. If I manually add /core/ part in the ulr, it works. How to add /core/ part to Network Admin?

Next, the problem with network sites. With some hacking of html source via Firebug I created one.example.com. It's frontend works. When I try to access the backend, it goes to one.example.com/wp-admin (which is wrong, missing /core/ part) and browser says 'The page isn't redirecting properly'. If I manually add the /core/ part and open one.example.com/core/wp-admin/ it shows the admin page but the styles and scripts are missing, of course. How to get subdomains admin working?

To further clarify, the correct working urls should be:

http://example.com - main network site
http://example.com/core/wp-admin - main network site admin
http://example.com/core/wp-admin/network - network admin
http://one.example.com - some network site
http://one.example.com/core/wp-admin - some network site admin

Here's my current site config for Nginx:

server {

    listen 80;
    server_name example.com *.example.com;
    root /var/www/example.com/httpdocs;
    index index.php;

    location / {
        try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$args;

    location ~ \.php$ {
        fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+\.php)(/.+)$;
        fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php5-fpm.sock;
        fastcgi_index index.php;
        fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
        include fastcgi_params;


This config works fine with regular, single-site WordPress install, when WP is installed in /core/ dir. I've removed all multisite-specific Nginx rules to be able to start from scratch.

I've checked dozens of support topics, Stackoverflow / Stackexchange questions, Nginx forums etc. Tried different configs - couldn't get it running.

Thanks ahead for any hints and help!

1 Answer 1


It sounds like it's not possible with stock WordPress Multisite to have a subdomain network from a WordPress-in-a-subdirectory installation:

WordPress must run from the root of your webfolder (i.e. public_html) for subdomains to work correctly. They will not work from within a subdirectory.
-- Before You Create a Network

  • Yes, you're right. Will have to switch to subdirectory multisite setup. Aug 1, 2014 at 10:35

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