WordPress Multisite with capable Addon Domains and SSL

I’ve been trawling google and looking through various articles but seem to have ended up in a massive mess now!

I have had domain myprivatesite.com. The domain is registered with a different company to the hosting. It’s been running (non-multisite) WordPress for a while, with the WordPress install in a sub-dir. I have an SSL cert on the domain (provided by the web host) and then enabled cloudflare for CDN via the hosts cPanel plugin. This has been running great!

Yesterday I decided to bring my company back to life, and decided to make it a multisite to my first site.

I followed the instructions from codex to turn myprivatesite.com into a multi site install, and created a new site for mycompany.com. In cPanel I created an addon domain for mycompany.com and set the document root to the WordPress installation dir used by myprivatesite.com and then added an SSL cert as well. I then tried to use MU Domain Mapping plugin to get the second top level domain working…. and well… it’s all gone to hell! The private site is working ok still but the addon domain is just not going anywhere.

I’m ok with dropping the whole lot and starting over (it was getting to be a mess anyway) so wondering what the recommended way to get this up and running is?


  1. Multiple sites under one WordPress install
  2. Shared and unshared themes and plugins across the various sites
  3. Each site on a top level domain (though I won’t rule out wanting to have a subdomain some time in the future)
  4. SSL on each site

Currently I have SSL certs for each site. Though I’d like to simplify (or at least cut the costs on certs) by either consolidating to a single cert, or using LetsEncrypt certs (if I can get a good process for uploading new certs, given that cPanel doesn’t seem to have a simple plugin yet.

I’m thinking something like:

  1. Backup content from the sites I want still
  2. Drop all content and clean out my web dir
  3. Setup the addon domains in cPanel and the domain registrar and test with a simple index.html
  4. Add SSL and test the index.html again
  5. Add Cloudflare and test*
  6. Install WordPress to a separate folder in the web root and configure as multisite
  7. Add all my sites to the multisite network
  8. Some stuff here!!!
  9. Setup the sites themselves and add content

    • cloudflare is not a requirement, i get it for free, so I figure “why not?!”

It’s steps #6 & #8 that I guess I’m not 100% clear on.

  • how should WordPress be installed here? I’ve read some people have installed WordPress but not actually linked the install to a domain name (?)
  • should I be using domain or path setup?
  • are there separate steps I’ve missed for TLD multisite? Is Domain Mapping plugin actually required? (I’ve read conflicting reports)

Thanks! Hopefully I’ve provided all the info, if not feel free to ask and I’ll do my best!

Read more here: WordPress Multisite with capable Addon Domains and SSL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *