Create a New Site on Your WordPress Network

It's as Easy as a Few Clicks

So, you've set up a WordPress network and you're ready to start adding new sites. Without a network, you'd have to install a separate database and code folder for each site. Hard. With a network, each new site is (almost) as easy as a few clicks. Let's have a look.

Have a WordPress "Network"

Spot check: This whole article is about setting up a new WordPress site on a "WordPress network". If you haven't already installed a WordPress site and configured it as a WordPress network, go do that first.

If you don't make a network first, none of this will make sense. You can't create new sites like this on a default WordPress install.

The Easy Part: Create the New Site

Creating the new site is very easy. Log in as usual, and, on the top bar, click:

My Sites -> Network Admin
This will take you to the network dashboard (you're in "network mode").

It's a very simple screen. Almost the first link is:

Create a New Site
Click it.

The next screen is titled "Add New Site". You have three boxes:

  • Site Address
  • Site Title
  • Admin Email

"Site Title" and "Admin Email" are easy enough.

The "Site Title" will appear as the title on your new site.

The "Admin Email" links the site to a user, so someone can actually log in and run the site. You can enter an email for an existing user, or else enter a new email address that isn't already on this site.

A new email will make WordPress create a new user, and send login instructions to that user.

"Site Address": Where's My New Site?

The tricky part is "Site Address". Let's say your current site is (as always) ​

example.com
. You probably want to make a new site with an entirely different domain name. For instance:
pineapplesrule.com

But WordPress doesn't seem to let you do that. The

Site Address
box already includes the "main" site's domain address. What's going on here?
Site Address
can't be a new domain name. Instead, you enter a new path within your current site.

For instance, you could type in:

pineapples
Then, your new site would be at:
http://example.com/pineapples/

I know, I know, you wanted it at:

pineapplesrule.com
If it doesn't seem like a separate site, this whole "network" thing is useless, right? Don't worry. We'll get there.

(Note: this is a "path", not a directory. If you FTP in and browse the files for this website, you won't find

pineapples
anywhere.)

Manage Your New Site

After you click:

Add Site
the site is made. You get a short, anti-climactic message at the top that gives you a couple administration links for the new site. As far as WordPress is concerned, your new site is ready to go.

It's already live. You can see the new site at (in our case):

http://example.com/pineapples/

Also, if you go to:

My Sites
on the top bar, your new site is now on this menu.

Point Your New Domain to Your New WordPress Site

You've got to admit, that's pretty impressive. You just spun up a whole new WordPress site in a couple minutes.

It can have its own theme, plugins, users, the works. (If you haven't already done so, you'll want to read about activating themes and plugins on individual sites.)

The new site is not very exciting if it doesn't have a separate domain. Fortunately, there's a solution: the WordPress MU Domain Mapping plugin.