How to Configure Domains for WordPress Multisite on Bluehost: Part 1 of 2

wordpress-logo-hoz-rgbI am in the process of migrating all of my websites to Bluehost and after many frustrating hours of hit and miss attempts to get my WordPress Multisite working, I finally found the correct configuration! I am sharing my configuration to perhaps, save you some time.

My configuration may differ from many others. My multisite is not associated with the primary domain of my Bluehost user account, which may be why I couldn’t follow the directions found in support forums. My Bluehost primary domain is isitemgr.com but my multisite domain is photography.io. This post is on carolfoxhenrichs.com, a site that is part of the photography.io network.

The following steps describe the process for setting this up using domains that were not registered through Bluehost and how I finally got it to work.

Adding your multisite domain to Bluehost:

  1. Sign in to cPanel.cpanel
  2. Scroll to the Domains section.
  3. Select Addon Domains.addon
  4. You will see “Step 1: Enter Domain.” There are two options:
    • If you registered your multisite domain through Bluehost, then  it will already be associated with your account.  You should select  Use a domain that is already associated with your account.  Then select the domain to be used for the multisite from the dropdown list. OR
    • If your multisite domain was registered through another entity, (such as GoDaddy, Name.com or any one of several others), then you will select Use a domain that is not already associated with your account.
  5. Follow the instructions shown for Step 2 Verify Ownership making sure to update the nameservers.
  6. Next, you must choose how you would like to assign the domain. Select Addon Domain. The Addon Domain option creates a subdirectory in the public_html directory (in a linux installation) and will still allow you to use a unique url to look like a different website.
  7. For Step 4: Choose Addon Directory and Sub-domain, select Create a new directory and you may type in the name you would like for the directory. I tend to use the name that is pre-populated here as it looks very much like my domain name.
  8. Sub-domain: is pre-populated as well. If you don’t like what is there, feel free to change it.  The subdomain is require by cPanel but you won’t need it for the multisite setup.
  9. Select Assign this domain.assign

If you followed all of the previous steps, the first phase for configuring your domains to work with WordPress multisite on bluehost is now complete.  Allow time for the nameserver settings to propogate or be distributed across the Internet.  Propogation can take up to 48 hours. You can perform a DNS look up, to check the current state of the distribution across name servers from around the world by going to www.whatsmydns.net.

Continue to Part 2

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