When you create a multisite network, WordPress starts you out with a single home
site in the root of the installation folder. For example, if you install a multisite network
at http://prosetech.com, the first site is at http://prosetech.com. This is exactly the
same as when you create a standalone site. When you create additional sites, however,
WordPress places them in subfolders. So if you add a site named teamseven,
WordPress creates it at http://prosetech.com/teamseven. (You might think that it
makes more sense to write TeamSeven rather than teamseven, but to WordPress
it’s all the same. No matter what capitalization you use, WordPress shows the site
name in lowercase letters when you manage it in the dashboard.)
NOTE If you’re using subfolders (not subdomains) to arrange your multisite network, you’ll find one quirk
in WordPress’s naming system. When you view a post or page on your home site, WordPress adds /blog to the
address. For example, WordPress puts a post that would ordinarily be found at http://prosetech.com/2014/06/
peanut-butter-prices-spike at http://prosetech.com/blog/2014/06/peanut-butter-prices-spike. This slightly
awkward system makes sure that WordPress can’t confuse your home site blog with another site in the network,
because it doesn’t allow any other site to use the name blog.
When you finish creating your multisite network, you find yourself at the dashboard
of your home site. But if you attempt to augment your site’s features, you’ll find a new
restriction. Even though you can activate an existing plug-in or theme, WordPress
won’t let you install new ones. On a fresh WordPress install, you’ll probably get just
a single theme (Twenty Fourteen) and two basic plug-ins (the essential Akismet
spam-catcher, and the pointless Hello Dolly example).
If you haven’t already guessed, your home site has these new and slightly unwelcome
limitations because it’s now part of your multisite network. These rules can
be frustrating, but they have sound logic behind them. First, the theme limitations
guarantee that your sites share a consistent look. Second, the theme and plug-in
restrictions act as safeguards that prevent inexperienced users from uploading
spam-filled extensions, which could compromise your entire network.
That said, you’ll probably want to tweak these restrictions to make them better suit
your site. For example, you may want the sites on your network to use a different
standard theme, or you may want to allow site creators to choose from a small group
of approved themes. You might also have trusted plug-ins that you want to run on
everyone’s site. You’ll learn how to make these changes shortly. But first, you need
to understand how to add new sites to your network.