How To Install and Configure WordPress Multisite


WordPress covers the largest market share in the internet world. It even allows for you to have more than one WordPress website. Yes, it does get a bit messy to manage all of them separately. The ever helping WordPress community, after its 3.0 version, introduced β€œWordPress Multisite” to make it easier for users to manage multiple websites.
This feature is mostly used with large websites having multiple sub-domains, internal blogs, networking sites, etc. You can create and give sub-accounts to the external users and they can run their websites using your domain. This is time-saving and provides ease in managing all your WordPress sites.

Installing and Configuring WordPress Multisite

To help and make it easier for you, we will be covering a how to guide on using WordPress Multisite, from installation, hosting to setting up WordPress multisite.

So, here we go!

To start off, you first have to opt for a hosting provider. I would be choosing a Managed WordPress hostingΒ provider, Cloudways, as it provides the 1-click install of WordPress Multisite and makes it easier to manage the website. It is easy to sign-up and start using it.
After you have got your hosting account up and running, then start with the steps mentioned below.

Step 1: Login To Your Hosting

Login to your Cloudways account.

Cloudways Login - WordPress multisite

Click on β€œManage Server”.

Manage Server - WordPress multisite

Step 2: Installing WordPress Multisite

Select β€œAdd App”.

Add App Cloudways

Hover on WordPress icon and select β€œWordPress Multisite”.

Cloudways Multisite

Click on Add New Application. It will take few minutes to install WordPress Multisite on your server.

Add Application Cloudways

Once created. Go to β€œApplication Management”.

From β€œMy Applications” select your newly created WordPress Multisite.

Select WordPress Multisite

Below β€œMy Application”, you’ll see your application credentials.

WordPress Multisite Access Details

Β Step 3: Setting Up a WordPress Multisite Admin Panel

Open your WordPress Admin Panel and navigate to β€œTools > Network Setup”. It will ask you to β€œDeactivate all plugins”.

WordPress Plugins Deactivate Warning

Navigate to β€œPlugins > Installed Plugins” and select all plugins and Deactivate all of them.

Deactivate WordPress Plugins

Once all plugins are deactivated. Navigate to β€œTools > Network Setup” and fill your details.

Configure WordPress Multisite

Now, there are two ways to access WordPress Multisite.

  1. Sub-domains: It will create subdomains from your WordPress Multisite.
    Example: You have a domain β€œ”. It will create other WordPress installations like β€œ”, β€œ” and so on.
  2. Sub-directories: It will install WordPress sites in different directories under the same folder.
    Example: You have a folder, named as β€œ/WordPress/”. It will create another WordPress installations like β€œ/WordPress/site1/”, β€œ/WordPress/site2” and so on.

In our example, we’ll be using β€œSub-directories”.

After successful installation, you’ll see the below message. Edit β€œwp-config.php” and β€œ.htaccess” as instructed in the image below.

Configuring .htaccess and wp-config

Congratulations! You’ve successfully setup WordPress Multisite. Now, we will see how to use the WordPress Multisite feature.

How to Use WordPress Multisite Feature

Logout and Login to your β€œWordPress Admin Panel” again and navigate to β€œMy Sites > Network Admin > Sites”.

Multisite All Sites

You’ll see your newly created website. Like the image below:

WordPress Multisite Admin

Β Step 4: Create a WordPress Site Under Multisite Admin Panel

Navigate to β€œSites > Add New” and fill details as shown in the image below.

New Site Directory

Navigate to β€œSites > All Sites”. You’ll see your newly created WordPress website. Hover on it and click on β€œVisit”.

Visiting Site 1

Congratulations! Your first website is now created successfully.

Site 1

You can install as many WordPress websites as you want. Just Navigate to β€œSites > Add New” and follow the onscreen instructions.

Step 5: Installing New Theme β€œSailing”

You can install any theme you want. But we’ll be using β€œSailing” – A Complete Hotel Management WordPress Theme.

Theme Features:

  • Complete Hotel Booking System
  • Room Management
  • Bookings Management
  • Customer Management
  • Coupon Management
  • Pricing Plans Management
  • Extra Packages Management
  • Block Special Date Management
  • Reports
  • Multilingual Ready
  • Multi-Currencies
  • 4 Payment Gateways (Offline Payment,, PayPal, Stripe)
  • WooCommerce Integrated and much more.

Step 6: Uploading Theme Files

For uploading theme files, we’ll be using β€œFileZilla” as our FTP client. Go back to your β€œCloudways Console” and navigate to β€œServer Management”. You’ll see your FTP details here.

Cloudways FTP Details

Copy one by one and paste them in your FileZilla client as shown in the image below:

FileZilla Login

After connecting, go back to your β€œCloudways Console” and Navigate to β€œApplication Management”. Choose your WordPress Multisite besides β€œMy Application” tab. You’ll see your β€œApplication Folder Name” there like the image below.

WordPress Multisite Folder Name

Now, go back to your β€œFileZilla” and navigate to β€œ/applications/[FolderName]/public_html/wp_content/themes”, and upload β€œSailing” theme folder there.

Upload WordPress Theme

Step 7: Setting Up Theme for Network

After successful upload, go back to your β€œWordPress Multisite Admin Panel”. Navigate to β€œThemes > Installed Themes”. You’ll see your newly uploaded β€œSailing” theme there. Click on β€œNetwork Enable” and it will be available throughout your network.

Enable Sailing - hotel wordpress theme

From your WordPress Admin Panel, navigate to β€œMy Sites > Network Admin > Sites”.

Multisite All Sites

Hover on your β€œsite1” and Click on β€œDashboard”.

Site 1 Dashboard

Navigate to β€œAppearance > Themes > Activate Sailing Theme”.

Activate Sailing

Just above themes, you’ll see a notice asking you to install dependent plugins for sailing to work with all features of the theme. Install all plugins by clicking on β€œBegin Installing Plugins”.

Install Plugins Warning

Follow the steps below to install all plugins at once.

Install Sailing Dependencies

Now, activate all Plugins:

Activate Plugins

You’re done with installing the theme. Now, follow the onscreen instructions to configure plugins, for e.g., WooCommerce, etc.

Step 8: Dummy Data To Test Theme

After that, let’s import some dummy data to test how well the theme works. Navigate to β€œTools > Demo Importer”.

Sailing Demo Data

Choose any of the shown demo data. It will take few moments to install. After successful installation, open your website.

Congratulations! You have successfully created β€œWordPress Multisite” and installed β€œSailing” theme on it. Now, open your WordPress Admin Panel and configure all settings according to your own requirements.
If you have any queries or issues in setting up WordPress Multisite using Sailing theme on Cloudways Managed Cloud Hosting, then feel free to let me know via the comments section below and I would be glad to help you with it.


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