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I want to offer my clients WordPress websites, but want to use WP multisite. I've read multiple articles on using a plugin, not using a plugin, etc.

My clients own their own domain names and want me to host/manage their sites. So I'll be using my main website as the install abc.com.

When you visit one of their sites like client1.com or client2.com, I don't want the domain name to be a subsite client1.abc.com. I need them to stay on client1.com or client2.com.

I did find a lot of tutorials, but most are with a plugin and some are reporting buggy behavior.

I've tried messing with the DNS as well, but the site still isn't redirecting. So I guess I'm just looking for the best way to do this.

Any and all help is appreciated.

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To keep your options open with an open architecture you can create a multisite Network installation with multiple Networks. This means for each separate client you would give them a new Network. The advantage of this is that you can offer the scalability to Clients and keep your options open. Clients can easily have more sites (sub-domains) added to their Network.

structure would be

Network1 > abc.com (main site for the whole Wordpress Multi-Network install)
Network2 > client1.com
Network3 > client2.com
Network4 > client3.com
Network4 > client3.com/shop

this shows,

  • Client1&2 have only one main site.
  • Client3 has a main site "client3.com" and also one "client3.com/shop" subsite/sub-domain.

To make all this happen you need to install the plugin wp-multi-network. Follow the install guidance for setup within wp-config.php for the plugin and also add this to your wp-config.php file..

define( 'WP_HOME',    '//' . $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] );
define( 'WP_SITEURL', '//' . $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] );

Be sure when you create your Wordpress Multi Network installation select "subfolder" install and not "subdomain" installation (refer to the codex codex.wordpress.org/Create_A_Network) and configure your sites for wordpress pretty permalinks (ref codex.wordpress.org/Using_Permalinks)

  • Hi Justin, sorry for the delay. I like this idea. I already do have a multisite install up and running. However, I'm still a little confused. Am I installing WordPress on each of those sites or folders? The way I understand multisite, WP creates a new DB table and that's it. No extra install. – lz430 Mar 23 '17 at 16:30
  • yes your are exactly right you only need one WordPress install and this must be installed in the root folder. Then to get the url / permalink like client3.com/shop to work as one of the sites you need to install the WordPress as subfolders (e.g. client3.com/shop) and not subdomains (e.g. shop.client3.com) during the install. – Justin Mar 24 '17 at 14:48

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