IMPORTANT NOTE: This article refers to WP Ultimo version 2.x. If you are using version 1.x, see this article.
One of the most powerful features of a premium network is the ability to offer our clients a chance of attaching a top-level domain to their sites. After all, which looks more professional: joesbikeshop.yournetwork.com or joesbikeshop.com? That’s why WP Ultimo offers that feature baked-in, without the need to use third-party plugins.
What’s domain mapping?
How to setup domain mapping on your WP Ultimo Network
During WP Ultimo installation, the wizard will automatically copy and install the sunrise.php to the designated folder. The wizard won't allow you to proceed until this step is completed.
This means that once the WP Ultimo installation wizard has completed setting up your network, you can start mapping the custom domain right away.
Note that domain mapping in WP Ultimo is not mandatory. You have an option to use WordPress Multisite native domain mapping function or any other domain mapping solution.
Right below this option, you can also see the option Force Admin Redirect. This option allows you to control if your customers will be able to access their admin dashboard both on their custom domain and subdomain or only on one of them.
If you select Force redirect to mapped domain, your customers will only be able to access their admin dashboard on their custom domains.
The option Force redirect to network domain will do exactly the opposite - your customers will only be allowed to access their dashboards on their subdomain, even if trying to sign in on their custom domains.
And the option Allow access to the admin by both mapped domain domain and network domain allows them to access their admin dashboards both on the subdomain and the custom domain.
There are two ways to map a custom domain. The first is by mapping the domain name from your network admin dashboard as the super admin and the second is through the subsite admin dashboard under the account page.
Making sure the domain DNS settings are properly configured
To correctly map the domain, you need to add an A RECORD on your DNS configuration pointing to that IP address. DNS management varies greatly between different domain registrars, but there’s plenty of tutorials online covering that if you search for “ Creating A Record on XXXX” where XXXX is your domain registrar (ex.: " Creating A Record on GoDaddy”).
If you find yourself having trouble getting this to work, contact your domain registrar support and they will be able to help you with this part.
If you plan to allow your clients to map their own domains, they will have to do the work on this part themselves. Point them towards their registrar support system if they find themselves unable to create the A Record.
Mapping custom domain name as Super Admin
Under this page, you can click on the Add Domain button on top and this will bring up a modal window where you can set and fill in the custom domain name, the subsite you wish to apply the custom domain name to, and decide whether you want to set it as the primary domain name or not (note that you can map multiple domain names to one subsite).
If you click on the domain name, you will be able to see some options inside it. Lets take a quick look at them:
Stage: This is the stage that the domain is at. When you first add the domain, it will probably be on the Checking DNS stage. The process will check for the DNS entries and confirm they are correct. Then, the domain will be put at the Checking SSL stage. WP Ultimo will check if the domain has SSL or not and will categorize your domain as Ready or Ready (without SSL).
Site: The subdomain that is associated with this domain. The mapped domain will show the content of this specific site.
Active: You can toggle this option on or off to activate or deactivate the domain.
Is Primary Domain?: Your customers can have more than one mapped domain for each site. Use this option to select if this is the primary domain for the specific site.
Is Secure?: Even though WP Ultimo checks if the domain has a SSL certificate or not before enabling it, you can manually select to load the domain with or without a SSL certificate. Note that if the website does not have a SSL certificate and you try to force load it with SSL, it may give you errors.
Mapping custom domain name as Subsite user
About Domain Syncing
You will need to activate this integration on WP Ultimo settings under the Integration tab.
Note that if your hosting provider is not one of those providers mentioned above, you will need to manually sync or add the domain name to your hosting account.