I need to create a complex WordPress-powered set up, which I would like to run from a single code base.

My setup is complicated by a number of factors. First of all I already have software running the site's homepage, so I cannot install WordPress in the root of the domain.

example.com // <- site powered by a non-WordPress engine

To this, I would like to add a multisite installation running in a sub-directory structure:

example.com/multisite/      // <- multi-site installation of WordPress

So far, this is easily done. The complexity arises when I want to also power some sub-domains with this WordPress installation:

site3.example.com   // <- subdomain sites I would also like to power with WordPress

I would be grateful if anyone could tell me if this is possible or not. If it is possible, have you managed to get something like this up and running? What's the right way to go about this? Are additional plugins helpful?

I will appreciate any help.

  • Grok is right - domain map some sub sites to be subdomans.
    – andrea_r
    Nov 9, 2011 at 14:11

1 Answer 1


If the subdomains are just for looks and don't actually impact data. Then have all subdomains point to the same place, install the domain mapping plugin: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-mu-domain-mapping/

That may help.

Alternatively you could just setup manual aliases to the main domain and as long as they all point to the exact same spot and you turn off any canonicalization it should work.

  • Both, I guess: Subdomains such as site3.example.com should tie into WordPress and be powered by it. There are some other subdomains however, such as other.example.com, which are not run by WordPress. I would be happy to set each one up manually, without using DNS wildcards, etc.
    – grumpus
    Nov 8, 2011 at 23:09
  • Is it one database for all subdomain and subfolders? Nov 8, 2011 at 23:13
  • Yes, that would be preferable. Two separate multisite instalations would also be acceptable, if it isn't possible with one.
    – grumpus
    Nov 8, 2011 at 23:15
  • What would the subdomains be doing exactly? Are they just aesthetic or is there more to it than that? Actually, does "wordpress" have to care about the subdomains or does a plugin/theme within it have to? Nov 8, 2011 at 23:17
  • The subdomains are just for aesthetics to organize a large site with many separate WordPress "microsites". As to the second question, I guess it doesn't matter if it's "wordpress" itself, or a plugin/theme that takes care of the subdomains.
    – grumpus
    Nov 8, 2011 at 23:20

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