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Before we get started with actually mapping a domain inside of WordPress Multisite, we have to do a little behind-the-scenes magic in our cPanel. So I've logged into my cPanel installation here, and you can access that usually by going to yourdomain.com/cPanel or if your host gave you a proprietary URL, you can access that that way as well. Once you're logged into your cPanel, you'll need to scroll down to the Domain section, because there are two things you need to be aware of. You need to know whether or not you need to use an add-on versus a parked domain inside of your cPanel, and there are a couple of different reasons why you would use one versus the other.
So let's take a look at those now. The first thing I'll talk about is Parked Domains. Usually, inside of a cPanel, you can park a domain and that domain is actually going to point to the root folder of your installation. However, if you are utilizing WordPress inside of something other than your root directory as I'm doing, you cannot use Parked Domains in order to map a domain inside of WordPress Multisite. So what you'll have to do is use an add-on domain for that. If your WordPress installation does live inside of the Root directory, however, you can use a parked domain, because all you have to do here is type in the domain name and hit Add Domain.
It will automatically point you to the correct document root. So for instance here, if I have a domain like mydomain.com, and then I hit Add Domain, it would automatically add it to this list, the domain root would be here, and that should refer to the root directory of my domain where my WordPress installation is. If your WordPress files live anywhere outside of the directory listed here, you need to remove that parked domain, and go do an add-on domain, and in most cases, you're going to be able to use the parked domain.
But in my case, I'm using a domain that's not the primary domain. Therefore, it lives in its own directory, outside of the domain root. So I need to go and use an add-on domain. Let's go take a look at how to do that. I'll click Home, I'll find the Domain section in my cPanel, and I'll choose Addon Domain. This sections is pretty simple. I type in the address of the domain I want to register. The subdomain and the FTP username are already generated for me dynamically. So is the Document Root, however the Document Root needs to point to the root of your WordPress installation.
So in this case, my WordPress installation lives in public_html/the domain name of my WordPress install. So I need to change this to the root domain that I've been working with. It should pop up in a little search box like this, and I can just click it, and it's applied. This is the most important part of this whole process, making sure the document root points to the domain root. Then you'll set up your password for FTP access.
Once you type that in, go ahead and hit Add Domain. Once you've done that, it tells you the add-on domain, whatever the domain name was, has been created, and it's now currently pointing to that document root. So now you can go back to your cPanel home. Once you've returned back to the cPanel, you're finished with adding on your domain or parking it. This means everything is ready to go, and you can go on with the next step, which should be configuring your DNS settings.
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