I can’t do a subdomain network activation, despite my WP install being in my Apache webroot: /var/www/html.

My WP install only gives me the option for a subdirectory-based network.

“Because your install is in a directory, the sites in your WordPress network must use sub-directories.”

I access my site at (it’s an private network for now), and WordPress’ index.php is in the webroot. There is no subdirectory for WordPress. I can create/manage/access the base site, but can’t do a subdomain network creation.

I’ve blown up the DB and recreated the install, and it behaves the same way.

Help please? What can I check? Any hints to resolve?


1 Answer 1


You need to have domain name resolution in order for subdomain Multisite to work. If you don't have a Domain Name Server, you can modify your computer (not your server) hosts file.

Then, make sure your primary WordPress installation is set to a domain name, such as server.example, and not an IP address.

  • That solved it. Going from accessing and creating the site via its IP to its hostname unlocked the subdomain option. Thanks for your help!
    – bhansley
    Jan 24, 2017 at 12:10

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