How to Install WordPress MU in 8 Steps

This is a documentation of my first attempt to install WordPress MU. Since others will certainly face this situation I thought it would be helpful to tell my story.

The first steps are very straightforward. It's only until you begin the installation that you'll most likely encounter problems. I should note that I'm coming at this from a background in having installed the single-blog version of WordPress many times before with no problems however in hindsight, my assumptions about WordPress have led to problems installing WordPress MU due to the differences between it and the single-blog version of WordPress which I only later discovered - so don't assume.

Briefly, the differences I encountered related to database design and configuration. Another issue I had was due to my local (WAMP) development environment which produced the following error message right from the start:

"Installing to http://localhost/ is not supported. Please use http://localhost.localdomain/ instead."

I didn't know what http://localhost.localdomain/ was and clicking the link they gave me didn't do anything except hang my computer. After some quick Googling, I discovered that using 127.0.0.1 (instead of 'localhost') remedied my problem. If this doesn't work for you then... you're on your own.

Let's get started...

Step 1: Download WordPress MU

http://mu.wordpress.org/download/

Step 2: Extract all files into desired folder

ex: http://www.yourdomain.com/blogs/

Step 3: Read README.txt

Step 4: Enable mod-rewrite

For Apache on my machine, mod-rewrite is not enabled by default. Instructions for enabling it are well documented online.

Step 5: Create Database (without any tables)

In PHPMyAdmin this task is fairly simple (assuming you're working local or have root access). (Creating a database is one of the things that the installer cannot do for you.)

Step 6: Begin installation

Point your browser to whichever directory you extracted your files to (ex: http://www.yourdomain.com/blogs/). The index.php file will load automatically and either throw more error messages at you or present you with a friendly "Installing WordPress µ" screen. If you have reached the latter, you will need to make some choices and fill in some forms before proceeding. An important choice will be to decide on using sub-domains or sub-directories. This is another topic which has been well documented so I won't go into detail. I chose to use subdirectories so this article may be more applicable if you choose to do the same.

Finish off this first step by entering your DB info and other details and clicking 'submit'.

Step 7: Fail installation and start over

This isn't actually part of the process but I failed here so I want to document it. Basically my install just hung. After I clicked submit, I was presented with some waiting and then a page which said "Wordpress µ" or something and when I refreshed the screen, I see "My Blog" with an 'Error 404 - Not Found' message. Furthermore, my login page is not styled and I never received a login/password which leads me to believe something didn't finish during the install process. My only choice was to delete the files and database and re-try.

deleting files....
deleting database....
extracting files again...

Ok - Round 2...

Fortunately this time my computer did not hang. If your installation was successful, you will see a screen with the message 'Installation Finished! Congratulations! Your WordPress µ site has been configured."

You can also point your browser to the folder into which you extracted your files (ex: http://www.yourdomain.com/blog/) and if you see your blog title + 'Just another weblog' then you're good to go.

Step 8: Log in and make sure everything looks good

Traditionally you would log in to your WordPress Admin control panel via http://www.yourdomain.com/blog/wp-admin/ however when I do this, I get bounced to http://127.0.0.1/wp-admin/ which just shows 'Not Found'. With WPMU you need to go to http://www.yourdomain.com/blog/wp-login.php and enter the username/password which was given to you on the installation completion screen.

If you can successfully log in then you're done! From here you can start posting, try adding new accounts, change your theme, etc. If you encounter any problems I haven't addressed here, please post them and we'll see if we can't find a solution.

BTW, the website I used for this quick tutorial (www.JealousBrother.com) is a site which I built that just launched a couple weeks ago. It's a rivalry based interactive social networking site. We've installed MU and are still figuring on whether to fully integrate it with the site (every new user gets a blog automatically) or just allow new users to 'activate' their blog when they want it.

If anyone has any experience doing this / suggestions / advice / etc. I'm very open to hearing what you've got.

  1. This is a great tutorial. I am surprised no one has crowned you king. The MU forums are scary and full of people sticking their noses at you. Its great to see someone who took some time to show how to install MU and give an idea of re-installing if it fails.

    I am going to try it now. I use a big hoster that says they have Apache enabled so if i have anything extra I’ll let you know.

  2. Hey, I think you should go into step 3 more. I am not really sure about adding the code to the global variables. It seems easy, but I am wondering exactly if it is needed or not for shared hosting.

  3. Lorna says:

    This is the least intimidating of all the WordPress MU installation tutorials I’ve read so far. Thanks for sharing this, I’ll be bookmarking this in case I need to install the MU version.

  4. How to install it for subdomains version , i.e blogs.domain.com

  5. Kevin says:

    Just stumbled across your site.

    I was thinking of opening a number of niche blogs and considering WordPress MU but I have several questions.
    Is WP MU for large numbers of blogs; I mean anything greater than say ten? If you only intend to have, say, four or five up and perhaps delete them on a regular basis (thinking of short term niche marketing)

    On some sites I’ve visited it suggests that WP MU is a hungry beast – anybody care to comment

    Finally a good article – I have it bookmarked just in case I do decide to go WP MU

    Kevin
    Armagh City
    Ireland

  6. Raúl says:

    Hi,

    thank you for this tutorial. I believe that it can be really helpfull for people like me that doesnt have a large knowledge about php, apache, etc.

    Something that seams to be a quite easy can become a HUGE headache.

    Raúl.

  7. srinivasanm says:

    Hello,

    I trying to install in my offline server (ang.myblog.com/blog). After successful intallation i got the a “Error 404 not found”.

    Could any one come-across such issues during the installation of WordPress MU.

    Note:
    I followed the instructions of Read me.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Sri

  8. Why not just use b2evolution? It’s multi-blog out of the box and doesn’t create 5 million db tables every time a new blog is created.

    Blogs can be aggregated or stand alone and you can choose sub-directories and sub-domains. You can do tons of things with b2evolution. They have an installer, so no manual editing of the config file and no jacking around with wordpress mu mysteries.

  9. Shane says:

    Hey,

    I’ve been trying to install this locally and I’m having some problems.
    Everything installs fine, but when I go to login using the un and pw given to me by the installer, it doesn’t work. There is no error message, the page just reloads with empty fields.

    Any help on this one would be awesome!

    Thanks

  10. Jon Kingston says:

    If only WordPress.org would put up a tutorial this good! Following theirs led to nothing but dead ends.

    I’m trying to install buddypress. Anyone have any experience with buddy press?

  11. Bob says:

    Your tutorial is better then the readme.txt. Good job. Deffinately would have saved me some time if I had found it before my MU install.

  12. Thegone84 says:

    Still getting some issues with installing on wamp. Says i gotta have localhost.localdomain instead of localhost????

    Than being said, you tutorial is awesome. Nice and simple :)

  13. Andrea_R says:

    http://localhost/ is the default name of your local computer. To change it to localhost.locadomain ( or anything really) you woudl have had to edit your computer’s host file. naturally, on a webserver live on the internet, hooked to a real domain, you don’t get this message. :)

    And to reinstall, the only thing you have to delete is any tables in the database and the .htaccess file (not htaccess.dist).

    For further help, I’ve got a whole blog devoted to WordPressMU.

  14. This article is helpful, thank very much.

  15. dbeloved says:

    @Thegone84 use http://127.0.0.1 to enter into your localhost and you can continue from there.

    I have not finished my installation…

    Let me continue.

  16. Brow says:

    Thanks! the 127.0.0.1 helped big time.

  17. Sajid says:

    i have installed the wordpress-mu successfully.
    but when i m going to login with correct admin username and password it doesn’t make an error but again redirects me to the login page. can anybody help me out of this?

  18. Jay says:

    Thanks for the article, it makes the installation of MU a breeze :)

  19. Normaderm says:

    thank for you guide

  20. Sash says:

    Hello i tried to install wp mu on wamp but i got this error

    Warning!

    Installing to http://localhost/ is not supported. Please use http://localhost.localdomain/ instead.

    any idea how to solve this?

  21. Vlado says:

    Sash, will you, PLEASE, read the article, before asking? I got the same problem and I read the solution here.

    That’s the main reason to drop a line here – Dennis, thanks a lot, mate!

  22. Terry says:

    I’m a newbee and this helped a lot. Hadn’t heard of Apache. Now I know a lot. Thanks.

  23. thanks for this… it was ok, i eventually managed to finish the tutorial up, thanks for everythin!!

  24. Cape Verde says:

    Thank you. Very clear tutorial. I am thinking of installing another WP in my account so the MU is a good option.

  25. foredi gel says:

    I am new to wordpress MU, this tutorial will help me much to understand the process. Thanks again.

    Denis

  26. foredi gel says:

    Interesting. I really want to try to install wordpress Multi user for my school project.

    Denis

  27. Carl says:

    Thanks for sharing this article. it really helps

  28. phillip says:

    I am having a hard time getting wpmu even installed and working. I have followed every tutorial I can find and each of them keep me hanging with a different problem. I have godaddy shared hosting with iis7.

    Right now I have everything installed but now I can’t login. It just keeps refreshing the page with now login errors and a long redirecting variable in my url.

    For example:
    http://globalpremiergroup.eviomarketing.com/wp-login.php?redirect_to=http%3A%2F%2Fglobalpremiergroup.eviomarketing.com%2Fwp-admin%2F&reauth=1

    I’m thinking its not redircting properly from my web.config however any errors in the web.config would give a 500 error, right?

    Any thoughts would be very appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    • admin says:

      @Phillip, WordPress MU has been folded into the standard WordPress install. Re-download it and try it again, it should be much more simple now.

      • phillip says:

        using iis7 and a wordpress install in subdomain i found that i had to add this line of code ( define(‘ADMIN_COOKIE_PATH’, ‘/’); ) to the top of my wp-config.php file to get it to work. personally i think this should be added to the code you are instructed to copy and paste from the wpmu install page.

        **code you are instucted to paste**
        define(‘WP_DEBUG’, false);
        define( ‘MULTISITE’, true );
        define( ‘SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL’, false );
        $base = ‘/example/example/’;
        define( ‘DOMAIN_CURRENT_SITE’, ‘example.com’ );
        define( ‘PATH_CURRENT_SITE’, ‘/example/example/’ );
        define( ‘SITE_ID_CURRENT_SITE’, 1 );
        define( ‘BLOG_ID_CURRENT_SITE’, 1 );

        **code that should also be added**
        define(‘ADMIN_COOKIE_PATH’, ‘/’);

        6 hours and one line of code later…works :)

  29. First time i visit blog. I found very interesting stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! Keep update stuff

  30. Annmarie says:

    Still working on this and running into a problem now with WordPress telling me it “Can’t select database.”

  31. Pingback: Je suis ravie de ma poitrine refaite « 第622个记忆

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