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Installing AccessAlly on a Multisite

AccessAlly is compatible with WordPress multisite installations. On this page you’ll find instructions for installing AccessAlly on a multisite and how to make sure everything is configured properly.

When to use a WordPress multisite?

What is a WordPress multisite? It’s one WordPress installation that allows you to manage a network of different websites like domains and subdomains, all from the same dashboard.

Why choose to use a multisite? Depending on which website host you’re using, you may want to reduce the number of different WordPress installations that you have to remain on a more affordable hosting plan.

(Please note that both WPEngine and Kinsta do not allow a multisite installation on their Starter plans, but you can purchase an additional site for an extra $20/month from WPEngine or go on the 2-site Pro plan with Kinsta.)

Alternatively, you might find that managing just one WordPress installation is easier for you and your team. There are fewer things to manage: one user for all the sites, only one set of plugins to keep to date, etc.

Some people prefer to keep their WordPress installations completely separate to be able to move sites separately or make changes in a more isolated manner, and that’s also a valid strategy for choosing not to use Multisites.

If you’ve decided that a multisite is right for you, keep reading to learn how to set it up with AccessAlly.

Turning a WordPress site into a Multisite

Depending on which website host you’re using, turning a regular WordPress site into a multisite might be as easy as flipping a switch or asking your host’s support to do it for you. Or you could make some coding changes, if you’re comfortable with that method.

Turning a WPEngine site into a multisite

Follow these instructions for turning your WPEngine site into a multisite.

Screenshot of multisite settings in WPEngine

  • Log in to the User Portal
  • Click the unique environment name to convert
  • Select Utilities
  • Under Multisite, select Convert to Multisite
  • Select your multisite type and click Convert Environment

You will want to choose the “Subdomain network” option.

Manually Turning a Site into a Multisite

Using FTP or your website host’s cPanel, locate the wp-config.php file and open it to edit it.

Then add the following line just before ‘That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging’ in the file.

/* Multisite */
define(‘WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE’, true);

Once you hit save, and log back into your WordPress dashboard you’ll navigate to: Tools -> Network Setup.

That’s where you’ll select the “Subdomain network” option for your multisite.

Configuring Your Multisite

Setting up a new site for your subdomain

Now that your site is set up as a multisite, you’ll want to create a new site with your members area subdomain.

Screenshot of Sites area

Enter the subdomain that you’ll be using for your members only area.

Screenshot of adding a new subdomain to a multisite install

To make sure that your new subdomain works properly, you’ll need to follow the steps to setting the DNS settings through your domain registrar.

Install AccessAlly at the Network Level

For WordPress multisite you need to upload new plugins at the Network level.

Screenshot of network plugins sidebar

Upload the file as you would any other plugin file.

Screenshot of upload plugin screen

Don’t activate it immediately at the network level. Instead, navigate to the specific new site that you created, and activate it there.

Activate AccessAlly at the Subdomain Site Level

Navigate to the Plugins page for your subdomain on the multisite and activate AccessAlly there specifically.

Screenshot of individual activation plugin area

Now follow the rest of the steps for activating the plugin. From here on out, everything will work the same as it would on a single WordPress installation!

Updated on June 30, 2020

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