Adding a new site to WordPress Multisite and Gsuite

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Ok assuming you have the following stack of providers:

  1. Namecheap for registration of your domain name of new.com
  2. Digital Ocean for running your droplet with the WordPress installation at host.com
  3. Digital Ocean for the DNS service for host.com

Then this is how you configure things to work with SSL and everything else loaded:

  1. Go to Namecheap and point new.com DNS to ns1.digitalocean.com and ns2.digitalocean.com
  2. At Digital Ocean, find the Network section and add the domain new.com and make the A record point to the droplet running host.com
  3. Now in host.com/wp-admin, you need to add a New Site and give it the url https://new.com this will configure the web server properly
  4. At this point you should have non-SSL access to your site and you should be able to browse to http://new.com and see something

Ok so now what to do, this is pretty unintuitive, you need ssh access to the droplet, so `ssh root@host.com` and then run:

  1. `certbot` is the system that connects to let’s encrypt it will detect that you have this site, if there are multiples, it will ask you about both new.com and www.new.com
  2. It will ask you if you want to always use SSL which you do.

Once this is done, it automatically gives you a free SSL certificate and will renew that certificate every month or so.

Now the next step is getting mail working. Assuming that you are using gsuite, this is pretty simple:

  1. The big trick is that you go to gsuite.com and make sure you say add “Add-on” domain and not a domain alias. A domain alias is for those cases where you change the name of your company and you want everyone to go from rich@old.com to rich@new.com
  2. In this case, if you just want to add a few names and control them so add-on is appropriate. So the steps are to then verify you controls the domain. Some have direct oauth, but if not, then the easiest way is to add a new TXT record with a GUID that google will give you.
  3. Then you have to wait up to seven days for the record to propagate. This has been as fast as five minutes and as long as 12 hours for me.
  4. Once this is done, then you can go back to Digital Ocean and then choose add MX record, there is actually a button to add Google MX records because it is so common.
  5. At this point you are routing mail too, but it will take time for the records to propagate. Use https://Mxlookup.com to see when this happens

Borking WordPress.com is one problem. I did this when I skipped the certbot step and then wordpress.com is completely confused to fix this:

  1. Deactivate Jetpack at the network levels and uninstall
  2. reinstall at the network level and enable all network level things

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