Create New Sites in WordPress Subdomain-based Multisite Network

WordPress 3.0 and above version has multisite network feature. To manage multiple sites in single WordPress install, we should enable and create multisite network in WordPress first. Once the Multisite network with subdomain-based or subdirectory-based is enabled, then the second thing we need is to add new sites to the network in order to map multiple domains in single WordPress multisite network.

The concept of WordPress multisite is to create WordPress multisite network and add multiple subdomain sites or subdirectory sites to the multisite network. Finally, map the original domain (one of the sites you want to add in network) to each subdomain or subdirectory sites in the WordPress multisite network using proper domain mapping.

The subdomain or subdirectory multisite network has been chosen by the time of multisite network creation. We can’t easily change subdomain to subdirectory during the setup process. So initially we should decide whether we need subdomain multisite network or sub directory multisite network.

Wordpress Multisite Network sites

As per the previous post, we have created subdomain-based WordPress network and configured it in WordPress using three steps—blogs.dir, wp-config.php and .htaccess file.  In this post we will discuss how to create new subdomain sites in the multisite network.

Add subdomain sites to WordPress multisite network

To add new sites, follow the procedure:

  1. Login to your multisite-enabled WordPress site.
  2. Go to network admin dashboard.
  3. Click ‘Add New’ under ‘sites’ tab in the left sidebar. You will see the below image.  Enter the new site address, site title and site admin email to add in your network. The site address will be used as a subdomain of your multisite domain name.

add new sites in multisite

For example, if you entered  ‘adwords’ in the site address field, the new site will be created:  Here, is our multisite network-enabled WordPress site.

We can add as many subdomain sites we need in the multisite network by using same procedure above—click ‘add new sites’ link. Each subdomain site in the multisite network works as separate WordPress site and has separate admin dashboard.  We can change themes and enable plugins to individual site but the themes and plugins should be installed through network admin.  Even though each subdomain site has separate wp-dashboard, there is  no need to login separately because all the subdomain sites are connected in the multisite network. Each sub domain site dashboard has link to the network admin. We can access all subdomain sites in the network via the network admin.  With the help of professional domain mapping, we can map each subdomain site with the original site we need to add in the multisite network.

Problems encountered while adding new site to WordPress multisite network

When you add new subdomain site in the multisite network, each site will have an automatically assigned unique “blog ID”.  Blog ID ‘1’ is used for the network-enabled WordPress site. The next blog IDs  2, 3, 4 are automatically assigned to new subdomain sites during the addition of new sites in the network.  In your cpanel, we have blog.dir folder inside the wp-content of the WordPress multisite. Inside the blogs.dir folder, we have separate directory for each subdomain site in the name of individual blog ID.

Your cpanel blogs.dir folder does not have sufficient permission to write. This is one problem we may encounter while adding a new subdomain site to the WordPress subdomain-based multisite network. We need to set check permission for blogs.dir folder if you encounter this problem while adding new subdomain site.

WordPress subdomain-based multisite network not working

Even though the blogs.dir permission has been set correctly, we may still we experience problems in the network site creation. Among these problems may be in setting up wildcard subdomain in the hosting control panel or problem with the network configuration steps. We need to recheck all three steps. We will see the problems while setting up the WordPress multisite later. We can easily setup wordpress multisite with

WordPress subdomain-based multisite network Domain Mapping

Now we have created new subdomain sites in the multisite network using single WordPress installation and each having separate WordPress dashboard. But in the concept of multisite, these subdomain WordPress sites are the duplicate site of original domain. We still need in the multisite network the original sites which will be added using domain mapping concept.

We will learn about multisite domain mapping concepts in upcoming posts and also how to upload themes and plugins once in the multisite network and how to enable and configure it in individual sites in the network.

Share your experience of adding new subdomain sites in the multisite network below section.

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Leave a Comment

  • chino hills personal training October 7, 2011, 3:46 PM

    Nice sharing.
    We still need in the multi site network the original sites which will be added using domain mapping concept.

    • Suresh October 8, 2011, 9:13 AM

      Hai chino,

      Yes. Our next post will explain the domain mapping concepts..

  • keith October 22, 2011, 9:51 AM

    i need help in creating an interconnected subdomains. the category city is made as the subdomains.

    • Suresh November 1, 2011, 10:19 AM

      Hai keith,

      To interconnect subdomains for each category city . Just create subdomain based multisite network in main domain and do domain mapping for category city subdomains with multisite network subdomains..


  • Jeremy March 7, 2012, 5:17 AM

    I’ve manage to set up the subdomains properly, dropped all the code where it needs to go, did all the steps on the wp domain mapping, etc.
    When I attempt to attach an image to my post in my first subdomain it says the blogs.dir needs correct permission. When I check the blogs. dir it does not show new folders for the new subdomain I created.
    Any ideas? Suggestions?

  • DHost May 18, 2012, 4:46 PM

    i have implement your technique and i successfully link the sub domain into multi site network. thanks for your article