How to Install Subdomain Version of WPMU on GoDaddy

If you’re having problems installing WPMU on a GoDaddy Shared server, don’t worry, so is everyone else, as I’m sure you’ve found out through your own research.

If you’re installing WordPress MU on the main site of your shared server, follow the WPMU guide over here.

That should work for you.

Now if you are trying to install WPMU on a domain on your server that’s aliased to your main domain, this is where it gets tricky.

You still have to follow the guide I just linked to above, so complete those steps first.

After all of the different things I tried, I felt like it was never gonna happen.

I thought I almost had it when I got the subdomains to work without a 403 or 500 error, except that it showed the home page of my main site on the server, instead of the site WMPU was installed on.

I just couldn’t figure it out and I was about to give up until GoDaddy gave me a hint in one of their support emails.

Basically they told me it was not possible to use Wildcards properly on aliased domains.

“Unfortunately this type of DNS setting will not function for an aliased domain name. We are unable to assist you with custom DNS settings in the account. We apologize for any inconvenience regarding this issue.”

Of course they were wrong, as usual, but I never thought anything about the problem being that the domain was aliased so I searched Google for “wildcard on aliased domain in godaddy” which led me to this post at Webmaster World.

If you scroll down to the bottom of the page you’ll find the exact code you need to place in the root of your MAIN SITE htaccess. Not the site that has WPMU on it, but the main site, so it will be your root .htaccess file. If one doesn’t exist, just create one using notepad and name it .htaccess. Do not add .txt or anything to the end, just .htaccess. The .htaccess file extension will be invisible on your computer unless you set your PC to “show all files”.

The code looks like this

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^(www.)?([a-z0-9-]+).wpmudomain.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{SCRIPT_FILENAME} !^/wpmudomainfolder [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /wpmudomain/$1 [L]

Once you have this in your .htaccess file, the subdomains should be working perfectly.

You’ll also notice that the favicon on your subdomains will be showing the favicon from your main site. You can fix this just by uploading your own favicon to the root of the WPMU site.

I hope this has saved you the nearly four weeks it took me to figure out.