Using Dreamhost WordPress to make a network of sites

Supposedly I can use subdirectories to make a network of different WordPress sites without installing WordPress multiple times.

  1. I see people on the WordPress forums from a few years ago saying Dreamhost causes issues with this feature, supposedly relating to the quick install. Is that still an issue with Dreamhost?

  2. The WP Codex instructions say to enable networking I must edit the wp-config.php file to turn that feature on. How to I find the wpconfig.php? Does it live on my PC, or on Dreamhost? If it does not exist, where do I create it?

  3. Once it is enabled, is it easy to figure out how to create posts and pages on the seperate (sub)sites?

  4. If I need to completely uninstall and reinstall WordPress, what is the best method for doing this?


See this on the Wordpress Codex:

All changes are on the Dreamhost Servers and you’ll find the file you need to alter on your server where you installed Wordpress.

Thanks. That is where I got the information in the first place.

Unfortunately I cannot find ANYTHING on the server. I do not know how to GET to the server to see what is on it.

Hence I cannot get to the wp-config file to edit it.

I have never done any kind of coding, programming, or even DOS before now. So this is all very frustrating when the instructions assume I already know how to do things.

For example, on the page explaining how to build a website on Dreamhost, they will have “To put something up there, you’ll need to use an FTP program to send your page(s) to our server.” and next to it is a link that says “How to do this?” and when you click the link you get

Page has been Deleted.

Or the Dreamhost instructions will assume everyone already knows something so they start their instructions past the starting point.

Example: I have gone to Dreamhosts instructions about moving WordPress to its own directory. They will begin by saying something like “create a subdirectory on your sever.” and then proceed without ever explaining HOW to create a subdirectory.

HOW to do that simple thing apparently appears nowhere on Dreamhost.

I ask in the forum, someone politely explains “you right click and choose create subdirectoryr”, WHERE do you do this, when I went to ftp://onemanz.come and logged in, I see folders, but Right Click does not DO anything at all.

So then I learn from outside sources, I need an FTP program.

Well I installed FileZilla to manage my FTP. I created some subfolders hoping that was all I needed to do to create subdirectories (example I have no idea if that will work, since I have no idea how to then get content in that subdirectory.)

When I use FileZilla, my server appears to show a “logs” folder, a “Maildir” folder, my subdirectories that I created, but N O T H I N G E L S E.
Where are my server folders and files relating to my WordPress install?

FileZilla is configured to automatically show hidden folders, yet, I find no way to get to anything on my server other than logs and Maildir

What people told me would take one day has taken a week. This is getting incredibly frustrating.

Okay, let me try to help with this some.

First question, did you use the one-click installer from Dreamhost’s webpanel to install Wordpress for you or not?

That is the simplest way to have it installed on your site.

Go here:

Click where it says Wordpress and follow the steps to put it where you want it to be. You will want a custom installation, which is the big blue bottom that says Custom Installation on it.

Select your domain in the menu that appears, if you want it on the top level of your site leave the box to the right of your domain empty. Otherwise type the name of the folder you want it installed in on your site.

Regardless of whether you are installing on the top level or in a folder IT MUST BE EMPTY OR THE INSTALL WILL FAIL!

So, if you have a folder like DOMAIN.COM look inside, it should be empty. Or if you want DOMAIN.COM/STUFF that must be empty.

Click install it for me now and it will be.

Once that is done, you will get an email from Dreamhost saying it has been installed and you can then continue with the steps in the Codex AFTER you complete the installation by following the few steps in the email.

After that you should have a Wordpress multisite installation up and running.
Having looked at your domain, you have a WP install on it already.

So, at this point you would open filezilla, login to you server and go to the top level of your site where you will find


right click on that file and select EDIT from the menu choices.

A new window will open showing you the contents of the file.

ONLY add

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

above where it says /* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */

DO NOT put everything on one line. one line for each thing

If you don’t see that, then look for require or include at the beginning of a line and put the same thing above that.

Then save the file and continue as the Codex tells you to do.

Thanks. I very much appreciate the effort. I realize much of this is due to my own ignorance.

  1. yes I did the one click install and did custom install. But, I did not choose to put it in another directory. So I was going to do the instructions about moving WP files, but I cannot find them.

  2. When I go to FileZilla and log into my sight, the top level contains nothing but “logs” and “Maildir” (as well as the subdirectories I made).

Again back to square one. FileZilla shows my top level as a file named …/ and my subfolders along with logs and Maildir are in that file, but there are no server folders, no WP folders, no nothing.

here is a screen cap.

The files for each domain are in the folders shown there. Double click one of those.

However you also must be logged into the correct account, on the Manage Domains page in the panel, find the listing for your domain and look at the user listed is the “web hosting” column, that is the ftp user you MUST use to to find the files for that domain. When you log in you will be in the home directory, and it should list directories (or folders) for each domain that’s hosted by that user.

You would use what LR said, and keep in mind that you need to be in the folder which matches where you installed Wordpress to. Once there, for example,, you would find in that folder, as soon as you open it, the wp-config.php file you are looking for.

That is the problem guys! NONE of those folders are the folder where I installed WordPress.

I installed it on the root of

THERE IS NO FOLDER CALLED and never has been.

The only contents of that top directory at the time I first went in were was “logs” and “maildir”. NOTHING ELSE.

Things I read on line suggest that top folder should have been called, NOT …

Now, when I log in via FileZilla it asks for site, username, password and port. I have been leaving port blank, as I did not know what to put. Could that be why I am not seeing the contents of my actual site root?

All other folders you see were created by me AFTER Wordpress had been installed. I created the sub-domains on the Manage Domain section of Dreamhost, while trying to figure out how to make subdirectories. (, et al)

I created the subdirectories once I was in FileZilla (beer, malt, guitar, meal)

None of them have anything to do with the WordPress install.

The subdirectory toolshed I made hoping to move WordPress there, but the WordPress files simply cannot be located.

As I have tried to explain all along, I am unable to see any files that were supposed to be in the root of my server, except “logs” and “maildir” which were there when I first accessed the ftp setup.

Sorry for the confusion, but it is confusing. I keep reading on line, and from people like you that I should just see the files in the top level, but nothing is there, except the two folders mentioned, and the subfolders I made after the site was up with WordPress installed through the quick install.

There is nothing on my site yet, just test stuff from an online wordpress course.

I can easily wipe the whole thing out and start over with a fresh install of Word Press. But I do not know how to do that even.

Okay, try this:

Using your normal web browser, mine is FireFox,

type into your browser

enter your username and id when it is asked for

That should give you a listing of the files on your server. I’d like to see the screenshot of that if we could?

The same result.

I see only “logs”, “maildir”, and those same subfolders I created.

I had tried to use this ftp originally, but other than seeing the contents of folders, I was unable to DO anything. That is why I had to get an FTP program like FileZilla.

For example there was no right click available (it has the generic firefox right click menu, nothing like “create subdirectory” etc.)

Here is a screen shot of what I get when I go to

This is sounding more and more like there is an issue either with my account or my install.

Okay, that tells me you never created the domain properly in the Dreamhost webpanel. If you had, then you would see a folder appearing there. As it isn’t, you need to create one here:

If you did, please make really sure that it is set up properly compared to your other domains. This is the only thing that I can think of as being what’s going on here.

Thanks. I do not know how it is not set up correctly. It looks correct to me.

Here are some screen shots. User settings, and domain settings.

Is there an issue with the user settings for my ftp user?
FINALLY getting somewhere, in an earlier thread about finding where to make subdirectories, someone pointed out I had more than one user created.

I had installed WordPress under the original username, not the name I have been trying to operate with!

See, I told you this was due to my ignorance.

I would like to remain somewhat anonymous on my site. I am well known in certain circles for my moniker tspnyc, relating to my guitar player identity. That is my Dreamhost forum ID etc as well.

But when I saw that all WordPress posts would be attributed to tspnyc, I created another user called one man.

Is there any way for me to change the main admin privileges to the user named one man?

I am happy to do a full reinstall of WordPress if that is what it takes. I have done virtually nothing on my site yet that matters.

Well, let’s step back a second :slight_smile:

If you want to install one instance of WP and have it run multiple sites, we can do that. If you want to have x separate WP installs, we can do that too. Just depends what you want and how comfortable you are with. You already know how to get in via FTP, so you’re ahead of the game for a lot of things.

If you want to use WP Multisite, then you would install WordPress in your main domain, whatever you want to be the ‘start’ of it all (best if you use for that). Our one-click will work great for this.

Then you follow the ‘create a network’ directions TeraS linked to.

The only tricky part is that you would need to manually point your subdomains. You can use these directions - - or you should be able to mirror the subdomain on top of your real domain.

thanks. before I proceed, could you take a look at this query I posted separately. Thanks. It is relating to my confusion about user names on dreamhost and It might make the most sense to uninstall and start from scratch.

Replied. Having all those separate posts actually confuses the issue more from my end, since I’m not sure where you are with all this anymore…

Great thanks. Saw your other reply. Wasn’t sure if I should have kept it all in one thread because the topics are not always directly related. And then I posted THIS in the wrong thread anyway!

But here is a follow up. It appears all the sub-domains and sub-directories exist under the ftp account ftp4omz. Ftp User tspnyc does not see them and they are not IN the folder, that was installed by tspnyc.

Does it make sense to delete all the sub-folders (domains and directories) from ftp4omz and recreate them inside the folder?

the sub-domains were accidents anyway, created when I was trying to make sub-directories such as

Also, another question for you: WordPress Codex says I need to decide, do I want to make my multi-site setup using sub-domains or sub-directories, and I cannot go back and change that choice.

But they do not offer advice or reasons as to which one to go with or why.

I was going with directories, simply because I find the addresses of more sensible and aesthetic than

Do you know what if any advantages, complications or other reasons one might want to use sub-domains or sub-directories when setting up the sub-sites?

Delete whatever you’ve done thus far and start over; WP installations, databases, the lot.

Your goal is to use sub-directories, so use sub-directories.

Great. Thanks. Will do. But Before I DO, questions:

To delete WordPress I just delete the files inside the folder on my FTP program? Or do I need to go through some sort of “uninstall”?

Or should I also delete the folder called as well?

And once it is gone, I just go run the quick install from Dreamhost.

And then I should follow the Multisite steps provided to me in this forum, before I make subdirectories?

And when I make subdirectories, do I make them INSIDE The folder, or do I make them in the root of the ftp directory?


If you used One-Click to install initially then revisit the One-Click location in Panel and use it to remove all files. Give it 10 minutes and log in to both FTP accounts you muddled up and make sure everything involving WP is removed. You only need to keep the directory in the user’s space who is going to be controlling and administering the domain (e.g. onemanz). Databases can be logged into and cleared via phpMyAdmin or deleted via the MySQL link in Panel.

Thanks again for all the help!

I am about to press the button to Create Network and follow the prompts in WP. However, I am suppose to confirm the following before I do this:

Note: Please make sure the Apache mod_rewrite module is installed as it will be used at the end of this installation.

If mod_rewrite is disabled, ask your administrator to enable that module, or look at the Apache documentation or elsewhere for help setting it up.