WordPress Multisite Subdomains on Inmotion VPS

Aug 19, 2016

We recently ran across the need to setup a WordPress multisite network on an Inmotion VPS.  This network needed to use a sub-domain configuration, which is typically pretty easy to setup.   We installed WordPress and enabled multisite in the usual manor.  We configured the network to use sub-domains.

multi-site-setup

Once the WordPress network was set up, a wildcard sub-domain needed to be configured on the hosting account.   This was a WHM/cPanel configuration and typically it is very simple process to go into cPanel and add a wildcard subdomain.  You do this by entering an asterisk (*) in the sub-domain field.  Unfortunatel, after doing this and then returning to WordPress to set up the first network website, we discovered that the configuration did not work properly.  Navigating to the new site on the WordPress multisite network gave us a 500 internal server error.  We decided to check in with Inmotion VPS hosting support figuring that they surely encountered this and had a quick fix.  What we heard from them was “we do not offer support for WordPress Multisite configurations” followed by some crickets chirping.  We had to solve this one on our own.

The solution actually turned out to be pretty simple.   We discovered that upon setting up the wildcard sub-domain in cPanel, there is also a new document root folder setup at the same time and sub-domains are pointed to this new document root.   All we had to do was log into cPanel, click on subdomains and change the document root folder to our main website’s root folder.

wildcard-subdomain

Now it depends on your configuration and what your main web root folder is (www, htdocs, public_html are all common).  In our case we changed the document root folder to public_html and viola!  Problem solved.   Our WordPress multisite network was working with sub-domains and everyone was happy 🙂

Cheers!

-JD