I've done some searching but couldn't find this issue elsewhere, apologies if this has already been discussed elsewhere.

I've set up a Multisite install; and am trying to set up domain mapping for sub-sites. The main site has wildcard SSL enabled and WP Admin forced to SSL.

The issue is that the mapped domains do not have SSL, links in WP Admin to the frontend show as https:// even when the home URL is defined without SSL.

e.g.

Site URL https://sub.multisite.com/ Home URL: http://sub.com/ (but shows in WP Admin as https://sub.com/ e.g. the "Visit Site" link)

I've tried using the WordPress MU Domain Mapping plugin and Mercator to achieve this, both without success.

WordPress.com has a similar setup but does appear to work (mapped domains don't need SSL and the links from WP Admin are correct); I presume this is a custom solution.

Is there a solution that addresses the issue of SSL with mapped domains?

A Multi-Domain (UCC) SSL certificate will allow your users to choose their own domain to display.

It may be important for you to know that many Certificate Authorities have a limit to the number of certificates that can be issued for a single IP address so if you are running a large network of over 100 people, another solution may be necessary.

In such cases, adding another virtual host with SNI can help you to achieve this result.

Domain mapping with SSL certificates and sub-directories. Every site in your network can enjoy the privilege once reserved for single installs. A Standard SSL certificate can be used for Multisite installs with subdirectory paths such as www.your-site.com/site1/ and www.your-site.com/site2.

Standard certificates typically cost less, which is also a bonus.

On the other hand, if your Multisite is set up with subdomains, then a Wildcard SSL certificate will let your customers enjoy domains such as

You can also choose an Extended Validation (EV) certificate which would work well for subdirectory installs, but with an added layer of security. It also includes visible validation for your users to see your site has gone through a more rigorous screening process to ensure your site is safe.

Once you have decided on the kind of SSL certificate you need for your Multisite, it’s time to purchase and set one up for your main network’s domain. If you would like more information on SSL certificates and how to use them in WordPress, check out our post How to Use SSL and HTTPS with WordPress.

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