I just came across the easiest instructions on how to convert a single installation of WordPress into Multisite! I tried this a couple years ago, and the PHP instructions never stuck in my designer brain. This time however, I followed it and can’t believe how easy it is. Part of the reason it’s easier is probably due to the wonderful changes happening to WordPress this year, but still… it was super simple and I’m going to write everything down here before I forget.
This is probably best to do with a clean install of WordPress, but the process I’m going to record here was done with an updated 3.8 version with a couple themes already installed. My site was empty of content though, so I wasn’t in danger of losing any information. Ok, now for the steps!
First you need to locate your wp-config.php file in the root folder of where WordPress is installed. Download and save a backup copy of that.
Next open the wp-config file in your favorite text editor, on line 83, or right above the comment “That’s all, stop editing, happy blogging” enter the following code
Make sure to type that in not just copy and paste. Save the file and upload to your server.
Now log into your WordPress site, or if you’re already logged in refresh. You will see “Network Settings” Listed under “Tools”
Go to Tools>Network Settings and choose if you want Sub-domains or Directories. This is a very important option. Keep in mind that some Hosts might not allow Sub-Domains, or might require extra configuration. You also have to keep SEO in mind though. Sub-domains sometimes get treated as completely separate websites while Sub-Directories might help or hinder your root site SEO. It all depends on the strategy behind your network of sites.
Click the Install Button.
Now you should see a page entitle “Enabling the Network” Backup the .htaccess and wp-config.php file as instructed
Copy and paste the supplied code to the wp-config file just above the “That’s all…” comment again. Save and upload this file.
Copy and paste the supplied code for the .htaccess file. You will replace the code that is there. I put mine inside the #Begin WordPress and #End WordPress comments that were already there. Save and upload this file to the server.
Log out and log back in.