WordPress multi-user on PLESK (howto)

I’ve recently been tasked with setting up a WordPress Multi-User (WordPress Mu) instance running on a PLESK based web-server. For the most part this is fairly straightforward, however WordPress Multi-User likes to let users setup blogs as subdomains of the main site, for example, the blog for “RoadRunner” would be viewed by visiting

roadrunner.example.com

This presents a problem for PLESK as it manages Virtual Hosting (vhosts) very carefully and it will treat this as an entirely separate domain. The way to solve it involves 2 techniques: setting up a wildcard DNS entry and adding in a special configuration file to the PLESK domain. Here’s how to do it:

Wildcard DNS entry

  • go to your PLESK control panel
  • select your domain
  • click on the DNS settings icon
  • PLESK DNS Settings

    PLESK DNS Settings

  • Now create a new wildcard entry with the following details:
    Record Type: CNAME
    Domain name: *  (the rest of the domain is written outside the textbox eg. .example.com)
    Canonical name: example.com
  • Click OK
  • When you make a change to the DNS, PLESK won’t actually apply it until you hit the UPDATE button, this is sometimes obscured off to screen right

VHOST config
The next part involves having root access to the web server. If you control the whole PLESK domain, this is possible, however you may have to make a technical request if you don’t

  • using Terminal, logon to the server with SSH (eg ssh root@example.com) enter your password and you should be presented with a command prompt
  • cd to the correct folder for your domain (usually /var/www/vhosts/example.com/)
  • cd into the conf folder
  • create a new file, using vi
    vi vhost.conf
  • press i to go into insert mode and enter the following line:
    ServerAlias *.example.com
    (where example.com is your domain)
  • hit ESC and then tap :wq! to save the file and quit
    You may also be able to create this file using your favourite web editor – mine is Coda from Panic software – and FTPing it up into the conf folder one level up from the root of the web site, however you will still need to be able to restart the PLESK instance to get it to read the new file.
  • in the command prompt, type the following command:
    /usr/local/psa/admin/sbin/websrvmng -a -v
    this will restart PLESK

That’s it. You should find that you can now create blogs and view them in their dedicated subdomains.Православни икони

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