You can install a WordPress Multisite from Installatron (installing WordPress as you would for a standalone, and simply checking the box near the end that reads “Enable Mutli-Site”) or you can convert to a single WP instance to a multisite.
Note: If you’re converting your existing site to a Multisite network, you won’t be given the option to select subdomains or subdirectories. If your site has been in existence for more than a month, you’ll be forced to use subdomains.
Once you have a multisite, you will want to let users have their own sites in the network! While you can manually create sites (Network Admin > Sites > Add New), it is usually easier to let users create their own sites.
Enable Users to Create Sites
To enable user registration, the main setting you need to change is found at Network Admin > Settings > Network Settings > Registration Settings. There are four options to choose from:
Registration is disabled: Only network admins or site admins can create new users. Only network admins can create new sites.
User accounts may be registered: People can create a user account on your network but they can’t create a new site (similar to user registration on a standalone site).
Logged in users may register new sites: Only people with accounts who are logged in can create a site. Use this if you don’t want anyone to create their own user accounts and sites, but just want to restrict site creation to users you set up. This is useful for a closed system such as a network of sites for a community group or business.
Both sites and user accounts can be registered: People can create a site and a user account at the same time (or can create a site using their existing user account).
Where Users Can Register a Site
Once a user logs in, they are able to create an account at the multisite URL + “/wp-signup.php”. (e.g. http://example.com/wp-signup.php).
This link isn’t intuitive to users, so you will probably want to add some form of navigation to this signup page.
You can do this in one or more of a few ways:
- Add the link to your main navigation menu
- Add a call to action button taking users to the page
- Add a link to your footer or sidebar
- Add plenty of links in the text on your home page (and other relevant pages)
- Use a widget for signup
Other Registration Settings
Registration notification : keep this checked if you want to be notified every time someone sets up a new site or user account. As your network grows you may find it a nuisance to be getting emails all the time, but this can be helpful when you’re first starting out.
Add new users : If your network is a public one, or you want to give your site admins freedom to add their own users, you should check this. But if you want more control over the creation of user accounts, leave it unchecked.
Banned names : WordPress adds some banned blog names for you by default but you can add your own. These will equate to the slug for each new site. If you want to add more, type them in here with a space between each. You may want to include any slugs for pages you’ve already created on your site.
Limited email registrations : If your network is for an organization where everyone has the same domain for their email, you can use this to stop anyone without a relevant email address setting up a site. Type in the domain name without the @. So if your domain name is example.com, typing example.com here will limit site registrations just to people whose email address takes the form email@example.com .
Banned email domains : Use this to list those email domains you don’t want to receive registrations from. This means that if you added example.com here, no-one with an email address in the form firstname.lastname@example.org would be allowed to create a site or user account. This can be useful if you spot lots of spammy signups coming from one domain name.
This guide was made thanks to info from How To Simply Set Up WordPress Multisite User Registration. The WPMUDev site also has a comprehensive guide on multisites called The Ultimate Guide to WordPress Multisite.
If you’re looking for yet more information, check out A Complete Guide To WordPress Multisite.