How to Use Yet Another Multi Site Manager

A few day ago I was asked to explain how to use the Yet Another Multi Site Manager plugin for WordPress Multi Site. Usually abbreviated to YAMM, the Yet Another Multi Site Plugin allows one WordPress Multi Site installation to be used by two or more domain names. It uses one domain name as the primary domain for the installation and maps the other domain names onto that primary installation such that multiple sites can be registered as subdirectories of any of the mapped domains. For example, if you have two domains, domain-one.tld and domain-two.tld, then you could register sites of site-one.domain-one.tld and site-two.domain-two.tld without the bother of setting up multiple addon domains using your server control panel.

Of course, the biggest benefit of using one WordPress installation for multiple domain names is space saving – no need to install multiple WordPress blogs when one installation will let you create millions of subdomain sites of multiple domain names.

A useful little plugin with one big weakness: there are no instructions for it. No body, anywhere, has written any real documentation for the plugin. That is, until today.

There is an official site for the plugin but the instructions are incomplete. They will help you to install it but not to use it; hence the question asked by Amit in a comment to the JournalXtra guide to Activating WordPress 3 Multi site.

So for all the Amits loose on the web, looking for a guide to YAMM, I hope this little YAMM installation and set-up guide helps restore a bit of sanity to your web life. Enjoy!

Let’s Learn to Use YAMM

We will make five assumptions:

  1. You have a main domain called domain-one.tld
  2. You have a second domain called domain-two.tld
  3. You want to install WordPress Multi Site at domain-one.tld
  4. You want to use your WordPress Multi Site installed at domain-one.tld for both domain-two.tld and domain-one.tld
  5. You want to allow subdomain site registrations at either (or both) domain-one.tld and domain-two.tld

And we will set three prerequisite conditions

  1. The only domain that has WordPress installed on it is domain-one.tld
  2. Domain-two.com does not have its name servers set – they must not point to the server that hosts domain-one.tld
  3. Domain-two.com should have its registry details set to the registrar’s default settings

Now we can proceed to use Yet Another Multi Site Manager.

Installation and Setup of Yet Another Multi Site Mapping Plugin
  1. Go to Plugins>Add New
  2. Search for YAMM and install the plugin created by Joe Jacobs
  3. If you use the WordPress MU Domain Mapping Plugin:
    1. use your server’s file manager or FTP manager to move dm-sunshine.php from

      to

      then rename “dm-sunshine.php” to “sunshine.php”
  4. If you do not use the WordPress MU Domain Mapping Plugin:
    1. move sunshine.php from

      to
  5. Edit /wp-config.php to add

    to the bottom of it
  6. Next, login to the WordPress admin panel of domain-one.tld
  7. Go to Plugins then Network Activate “Yet Another Multi Site Manager”
  8. Go to Super Admin>Yet Another Multi Site Manager
  9. Add domain-two.tld
  10. Do not change the Signup Slug i.e leave it at “signup”
  11. Go to Super Admin>Options and enable site registrations
Setup the DNS of Domain-Two.TLD

This is the bit that enables YAMM to map your secondary domain onto your WordPress installation at your primary domain. This requires you to change your secondary domain’s registered DNS settings:

  1. Login to the management panel for your secondary domain (domain-two.tld). This is provided by your domain registrar e.g 123-reg.co.uk
  2. Note the DNS, A-NAME and CNAME details of domain-two.tld
  3. Ensure domain-two.tld has its name servers pointed to your registrar (i.e. not your host of domain-one.tld, or anywhere else)
  4. Delete any current A-NAME records for domain-two.tld (except the “@” record)
  5. Locate the IP address of the server of domain-one.tld. Use websiteoutlook if it is not listed in your host control panel (e.g. cPanel)
  6. Use your domain registrar management panel to create an A-NAME record for domain-two.tld for the following addresses:
    1. www
    2. *

There might be another way to do this with CNAME records or extra A-NAME records to add. If you know a better way, then please leave a comment to explain it to the rest of us.

I haven’t yet figured out how to ensure all calls to secondary domains are forwarded to the primary domain without the use of NS records. I’ll update this post once I know how to do it.

Register a Site At Domain-Two.TLD

From now on, whenever you point your browser to domain-one.tld/signup you will be able to create subdomain sites at either domain-one.tld or domain-two.tld

The Yet Another Multi Site Manager plugin is limited to mapping multiple domains to the primary domain of one Multi Site installation. It does not enable the mapping of domain names to mask a subdomain sites. For example:

You can create sites.domain-one.tld and sites.domain-other.tld but you cannot use YAMM to create replace site.domain-one.tld with domain-other.tld.

You must use a plugin such as WordPress MU Domain Mapping to map a domain name onto a subdomain site of a primary domain. For example:

WordPress MU Domain Mapping will allow you to create a subdomain site of site.domain-one.tld and map domain-two.tld to it such that whenever a browser is pointed to domain-two.tld it re-routes to site.domain-one.tld and the browser displays the site as domain-two.tld. Hope that makes sense, leave me a message if it doesn’t and I’ll clarify it.

Comments

  1. Sjors says

    Where can I find the DNS, A-NAME and CNAME details of domain-two.tld on my domain registrar? I’m using namecheap but I can’t find it anywhere.

    • says

      I don’t use namecheap so I can’t really answer. The best place to ask is namecheap. If you’re really struggling, use the contact form at the top right of this page and I’ll email you back asking for your namecheap login details so I can have a look at it for you.

  2. Sjors says

    Also when I go to maindomain.com/signup the pays displays blank. While my allow new registrations is set on ‘both sites an user accounts can be registered’

    • says

      Check the YAMS Manager backend for the signup page location; it might have been relocated. Other than that I don’t know the answer to this question. I suspect it’s a plugin compatibility issue or an .htaccess rewrite rule that’s preventing the maindomain.com/signup page from displaying. If you have a rewrite rule plugin installed or the Theme My Login plugin (or similar) then try disabling them while you check for your signup page.

  3. Richard says

    Hi, Thanks for the info on YAMM.
    I wonder if you can advise me on something related? I want to create a main HUB website/blog and then use the WordPress multisite/user feature to build a load of child mini-sites that relate to a mini-niche of the main site. (Hope you follow.) I need each of my child mini-sites to have its own domain so I guess I need to use YAMM for the time being, well, until WP adds this feature. The thing is, what worries me and what I’d like your advice on if possible is, will this above process be harmful to SEO for the child minsites? I ask because I know google doesn’t like people using sub-domains as different websites and they recently changed their algorithum to reflect this because many spam sites were floating around using sub-domains.
    Its rather an important issue because I need all of my child mini-sites domains to be considered as top-level domains in their own right and to get the same chance of rankings as they would if they were a website on its own.

    Also, thinking about this a little more, the same would be said for any web developer who’s using the child multisite feature to host their clients website/blog too. The last thing any client would want, or any developer for that matter, is for their site to be penalised by Google before they’ve even began adding content because its actually a sub-domain and not a top-level domain.

    I hope I’ve explained it all properly and your able to advise me, sorry its such a long comment. :-)

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