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Okay, now I have got my WordPress Multisite installation finished and theoretically everything is configured correctly. However, I know that in some cases you may run across some errors. So let's take a look at some of the more common errors and how you can fix them. First of all, you might get an error message telling you that the network cannot be enabled. This occurs when the Site URL is different from the Home URL inside of WordPress. In order to fix that, simply go into your Settings, choose General, and make sure that the Home URL field and the Site URL field are identical. If they're not, change them to be identical.
If your Site URL is a localhost, you will notice that you are only able to use subdirectories. So unfortunately if you are trying to use subdomains on a localhost install of WordPress Multisite, it's not going to work. You will have to switch this install type over to a subdirectory install. If your Site URL is an IP address, you are only able to use subdirectories. Therefore if you are using a web server for development purposes and it only has an IP address versus a domain, you are not going to be able to use the subdomain install. You will have to revert to subdirectories.
If you have WordPress installed inside of a folder versus the root directory, you will only be able to use subdirectories as well. Therefore, if you have your WordPress installation set up at mydomain.com/something, you'll only be able to use subdirectory installs for that WordPress Multisite installation. If your install happens to be more than 30 days old, you will only be able to use the subdomain installation process. Therefore, if you are trying to use subdirectories and you installed WordPress like two months ago, you are not going to be able to do that.
You are only going to be able to utilize the subdomain installation method. Finally, and this is the one that I have run across most often, you've incorrectly configured your wildcard domains. Let me show you exactly what I mean by this. If I go back into my WordPress Multisite installation and I go to create a new site, I'll go up to My Sites > Network Admin and I'll choose Sites. Inside of the Sites area, I'll simply hit Add New and I'll fill in this information really quickly.
When I click Add Site, theoretically I've just added a new site to my dashboard. However, if I go into Edit Site and then click on the link to that site, you are going to notice that I get a 404 page. This can be very frustrating and this is something that took me a long time to figure out exactly what was going on. So exactly what was going on? Well, let me jump into my cPanel and I'll show you. Once I'm inside of my cPanel, I'll simply scroll down and find my subdomains.
When I find my subdomains you're going to notice that the subdomain I created earlier is exactly like it should be, except for one small detail. That's right here in the Document Root. You will notice the document root points to my public HTML folder. It doesn't actually point to the folder where my domain is housed. If I need to change this, which I do, I click this little Edit icon, and now instead of public_html, I simply append a slash and then my domain name. Now I'll hit Change.
It updates my Document Root and I'll hit OK. Now if I jump back over into WordPress, I'll go and Add a New site. Once I click Add Site, I'll then go to All Sites. You will notice here there is my new testing2. If I open this up to visit the site, everything works flawlessly just as it should. So when you are creating your wildcard subdomains inside of your cPanel, be sure to change that Document Root of your subdomain.
That way, it points the right location and you can easily create sites here inside of your WordPress installation. Hopefully this has given you a better idea on how to troubleshoot some of those nasty little errors that you might get when you are installing the WordPress Multisite feature. If you need any extra help with errors that might be kicked back to you during the installation process, visit the WordPress Codex at codex.wordpress.org.
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