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The network of websites is a function of WordPress. As the title suggests, it is helpful for creating multiple websites on WordPress. In this article, we will discuss what a network of websites is and how to create a WordPress network of websites.

What is Network of Websites (MU)?

The Network of Websites is a WordPress function that allows users to create a network of websites on a single WordPress installation. It is also known as WordPress MU or WordPress µ. This function is ideal for those who want to set up a large network of blogs. WordPress MU is the multi-user version of WordPress. It is the underlying software that powers the WordPress.com hosted blog networks, universities, and companies operating corporate blogging systems behind the firewalls. However, WordPress MU is not actively developed as a separate product and its features are available with WordPress 3.0.

WordPress MU Features

WordPress MU Plugins and Themes are managed by a central system administrator. Unlike the single-user version of WordPress, individual WPMU bloggers cannot add their own WordPress Plugins and Themes in WordPress MU. The users can only choose from those made available by the system administrator. Individual themes can be made available to all blogs or just to specific ones. Let’s see the benefits for both the WordPress Mu host and the WordPress Mu user separately.

Benefits for WordPress Mu Host

The main benefits for WordPress Mu host are listed below.

1) Ability to create a hosted “community” of users.

2) Ability to host thousands of users on one website.

3) Opportunity to provide free hosting as an alternative to paid hosting services.

4) Ability to limit sign-up to specific email domains if required.

5) Various options for adding Plugins and management features.

6) Customization of the administration panels.

7) Ability to add WordPress Themes, increasing user choices.

8) Ability to control WordPress Themes, limiting user choices per website needs.

9) Security precautions and protections in place.

10) Easy addition of comment spam protection via Plugins.

These are the main benefits for WordPress Mu host. Now let’s see the benefits for WordPress Mu user.

Benefits for WordPress Mu User

The WordPress Mu users are subject to blogging restrictions. They can choose Themes and Plugins set by the administrator. However, there are so many benefits to them with the WordPress Mu. These benefits are listed here.

1) No installation or setup. Enter username and password and blog.

2) An opportunity to test drive WordPress at little to no risk.

3) Choose WordPress Themes that have been tested and are ready to use – no fuss, no muss.

4) Part of a community, with potential for community relationships through competition and awareness.

5) Comment spam protection built-in.

How to enable WordPress Mu?

We have seen the features of both the host and the user with the WordPress Multisite. Now we can see how to enable WordPress Mu. First, we need to install WordPress. After that, we need to edit the wp-config.php file and add the following lines to it. You can use an FTP client to achieve that.

/* Multisite */

define(‘WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE’, true);

After adding the above text, you can save the wp-config.php file.

Now go to Tools >> Network Setup. You will be directed to a page where you can configure and set up the WordPress Multisite Network.

Enabling Sub-Domains in Multisite by Adding Wildcard Subdomain

Now, you need to create a subdomain with ‘*’ as the subdomain name. If your WordPress is installed at www.example.com then you need to create a subdomain *.example.com. However, this subdomain should point to the same directory where your WordPress is installed. We will see how to create a wildcard subdomain in cPanel. Log in to the cPanel dashboard. Under the Domains section click on Subdomains. Enter * in the subdomain field which is on the next screen. Make sure that the document root field is pointing to the directory where you have WordPress installed. This is the directory where wp-config.php file resides. Click on the “create” button to add the new subdomain.

WordPress Multisite Network Settings

We can change the Multisite Network Settings. Go to My Sites in WordPress admin bar and click on the Dashboard. This is the dashboard for your Multisite network. You can add or delete sites, install plugins and themes, and manage users here. You can manage the Multisite network settings by going to Settings » Network Settings. This is the page where you can open your website for registration. You can allow users to create accounts and create sites. You can also disable registration if you want to manually add users and sites yourself.

That is how you can set the WordPress Multisite Settings.

If you need any further assistance, please contact our support department.

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