We are developing a WordPress multisite (group of 5 subsites) and we are facing this problem. We developed the multisite as http://wpsite.com/sub1, http://wpsite.com/sub2,... etc. Now we want to access these sites as sub1.mainsite.com, sub2.mainsite.com and mainsite.com is already a working stand-alone website.

We have checked many articles and questions but could not find a suitable solution.

We have tried doing a permanent redirect from sub1.mainsite.com that points to http://wpsite.com/sub1, however, the URL changes in the address bar which is not we want.

What is the best way to solve this problem? Please help.

1 Answer 1


With a little leg work you can convert a subfolder wp network into a subdomain wp network. I've done it myself so I know its possible. Easiest approach would be to

  • backup files and database
  • give yourself a cushion of time to deal with problems
  • review the network setup instructions for sub-domain,
  • properly point your subdomains to the wordpress folder
  • make the subdomain changes in admin > Network Setup, wp-config, and htaccess
  • use WPCLI to find+replace on database (old subfolder to new subdomain)
  • troubleshoot any issues (hard coded urls, missing images, browser cached 301's, serialized strings -- depends on your setup)

Here's an article on it:

Alternatively, (this is more of a round-about solution), but you can look at each sub-domain as simply another domain (because really thats all they are). Properly point your subdomains to your wordpress folder. You can then domain-map your subfolder sites to a sub-domain by changing each sites Site URL to the sub-domain or by using a domain mapping plugin.

  • Thank you David, the solution you have mentioned is about changing the subfolder pattern to subdomain pattern which in my case wpsite.com/sub1 will become sub1.wpsite.com. I want something that it should change to sub1.maindomain.com where my maindomain is different from wpsite. Are you getting me? Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 18:16
  • My apologies for misunderstanding. But if thats the case, my second answer applies, just domain map it then. Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 18:20
  • I already have websites running on sub1.maindomain.com and we deployed the wordpress multisite on wpsite.maindomain.com/sub1, sub2 etc. Now we want those new sites to be accessed from the previous subdomain "sub1.maindomain.com" should point to "wpsite.maindomain.com/sub1" and likewise for other subsites. Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 18:23
  • with domain mapping you can point any subdomain to any wordpress install in a network. Point the A record and vhost settings for sub1.maindomain.com to your new wpsite.maindomain.com's wordpress network setup. Install domain mapping plugin on your new network. Via Domain Mapping Network Settings, set wpsite.maindomain.com/sub1's primary domain to sub1.maindomain.com. (sub1.maindomain.com will then render wpsite.maindomain.com/sub1 and the url will stay as sub1.maindomain.com). Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 18:33
  • okay, thanks. Are you referring to use this plugin Domain Mapping ? With this plugin, won't there be any permanent redirect of the subdomain but will change the A records of the subdomain, right? Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 18:50

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