Multisite Domain Mapping woes — is it even possible?

Okay, so I’m attempting to set up a WordPress multisite installation for my family to use, replacing numerous standalone blogs (each on their own domain) with one codebase that I can manage for everyone.

We’re on Dreamhost hosting, and we want to keep the domains for each site that we already have.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem possible, and I guess I’m just looking for confirmation one way or another.

Setting up everything in WordPress is easy enough. I set []) to []) in the manage site settings, ready for domain mapping.

However, here’s where things get tricky: If I point [](’s hosting to [](’s files, I end up with an infinite redirect loop (if I change [](’s address back to the subdirectory, then the main network site loads fine, but the URL is changed to [](

If I park [](’s domain, then it just continually gives a “coming soon on Dreamhost” message, with seemingly no way to point it at the domain.

And finally, if I mirror []) on []), I get an SSL error and the site will not load.

I’m assuming domain mapping is such an “advanced” feature that I’ll not only need nicer (VPS or dedicated) hosting but also a multi-site SSL cert, which seem to cost hundreds of dollars per year.

Has anyone gotten domain mapping for multisite working in a hobbyist-friendly way (i.e., dirt cheap or free)?

  1. This is certainly possible with Multisite. But this is a hosting config issue – so you need to contact Dreamhost about that, as it’s not related to WordPress.

  2. I’m no expert on multisite, but I think you need to set it up to use subdomains ( rather than subdirectories ( Then you get the option to change the url per subsite to your preferred domain. The web server should be directing all the addon domains to the same directory. And of course point your DNS to your server.

    Edited to add that you should update to the most current WP. There was a bug that messed up domain mapping in (I think) 6.4.0 that was patched the next day.

  3. As others have mentioned, it’s a hosting issue. You need your web server to respond to the domains/hostnames. No clue how to do that if you are using a web UI for managing your web server, but as an example, with Nginx, you can have a single “server” (which is really the site) respond via wildcard mapping for the server_name directive:

    `server_name *;`

    Depending on your setup or what you can do with the web UI, maybe you can point different sites to the same root directory (also for Nginx here):

    `root /home/sites/;`


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