In this post you’ll find how to add a new site with a new domain name to your existing WordPress network (aka multi-site installation).

What you want:

  • Add a new site to your WordPress network – your new site has its own domain name.

What you need:

  • A working WP Multisite installation. If you didn’t set up a network yet, follow all instructions on setting up a network of WP sites here: WordPress Codex: create a nework.
  • The WP MU Domain Mapping plugin.
  • A new domain name, obviously. Check your installation to see if root of your new domain is the root of our WordPress install (same directory). You only need one directory for all domains / websites in your network.

Step 1: add a new site

Go to My Sites > Network Admin > Dashboard > Sites and Click on Add New. Here you’ll have to write something (anything: a dummy text) in the “Site Address” field – this will be reverted in Step 3.

Add new site to WP network

Step 2: domain mapping

Go to My Sites > Network Admin > Dashboard > Settings > Domains. If your new site is your first “sub-site” in the network, ID will be 2, and so on.

Add new domain mapping

Why check primary? If you want this domain to be the reference for eventual “mirrors” – in this case if primary is checked my-other-alias.social-media-banking.com will all redirect to social-media-banking.com. Better to avoid duplicate content.

Step 3: real domain name instead of subdomain

Now go back to My Sites > Network Admin > Dashboard > Sites and edit your site. You can now change the domain field to match the real domain name of your site.

Update domain name to match mapping

Voilà, you’re done! Note that you can swap step 1 and step 2 if you want.

Links:

Here are the two most useful article referring to adding new domains to WP Network and mapping them to domain names:
How to map domains to sites within WordPress multisite
WordPress Multisite Beyond Basics: Essentials and Domain Mapping

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Need to back up your WP MU (MultiUser aka Multisite) files and databases? Check out the following comparison of WordPress backup plugins:
Free multi-site compatible backup plugins for WordPress.