WordPress Multisite on Amazon Linux

Updated 28-Jun-2024

This assumes a current configuration of: - Amazon Linux (6.x RHEL series) - Apache 2.4 - PHP 5.6 + Opcache - Oracle MySQL 5.7 Installation up to this point is encompassed by: - OpenVPN on Amazon Linux EC2, basic configuration and securing an EC2 instance - Amazon Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP, installing and configuring

Install WordPress from Subversion

This is the standard quick install. It is advised to do the most recent stable version, and not the main branch, which can break (more) things. First, install subversion:

yum -y install svn

For Debian:

apt-get install -y subversion

Visit Installing WordPress with Subversion, and look for a command line that looks like the following.

svn co https://core.svn.wordpress.org/tags/5.0.2 .

The final number will change over time. Currently the options for GIT are a bit malnourished.

Create Database and User

Log into mysql

sudo mysql -u root -p

Create database


Create user and grant access to the database (change username and password as appropriate).

CREATE USER 'user'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';
GRANT ALL on database.* to 'user'@'localhost';
flush privileges;

Create wp-config.php

First, copy the sample file into a config file

cp /var/www/html/wp-config-sample.php /var/www/html/wp-config.php

Next edit the four parts of the file:

nano /var/www/classic/wp-config.php

Change these: - Database Name - User Name - Password - Table prefix Also add the following at the end

/** to set update method, rather than changing file access */

Save and restart /index.php


WordPress Multisite has advantages (and some disadvantages). The process to change a single site into multisite has several steps. - Disable all plugins - edit wp-config.php to include the following

sudo nano /var/www/html/wp-config.php

Add the following:

/* Multisite */
define( 'WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true );

Note that this will then allow you to take the next steps. - Administration > Tools > Network Setup - Configure for subdomains - Once completed, copy the text for .htaccess into httpd.conf (usually this redirection is safe for single site domains as well.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
# add a trailing slash to /wp-admin
RewriteRule ^wp-admin$ wp-admin/ [R=301,L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -f [OR]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -d
RewriteRule ^ - [L]
RewriteRule ^(wp-(content|admin|includes).*) $1 [L]
RewriteRule ^(.*\.php)$ $1 [L]
RewriteRule . index.php [L]
  • Comment out the above item entered into wp-config.php, and instead replace with:
define('MULTISITE', true);
define('SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL', true);
define('DOMAIN_CURRENT_SITE', 'host.domain.com');
define('PATH_CURRENT_SITE', '/');
define('SITE_ID_CURRENT_SITE', 1);
define('BLOG_ID_CURRENT_SITE', 1);
define( 'SUNRISE', 'on' );

Note: It is very important to place this where it indicates, just before stop editing below - copy the sunrise.php file to /wp-content/. - restart Apache - Install and enable WordPress MU Domain Mapping - change the settings in > Network Admin > Settings > Domain Mapping to 2,5 (the opposite of the default) - Add domains to the mapping as desired - Set redirections and site defaults to their desired domain name

Reset Filesystem Security Script

Filesystem security can get wonky especially with WordPress plugin and theme updates and manual file copying and editing. There are two things to do: - Make a script that backs up essential configuration files - Make a script that resets all the security in the file paths This is an example of the second:

chown -R username:apache /var/www
find /var/www/html -type d -exec chmod 2775 {} \;
find /var/www/html -type d -exec chmod g+s {} \;
find /var/www/html -type f -exec chmod 0664 {} \;
chown username:username /var/www/html/.b*
chmod 700 /var/www/html/.b*
chown username:username /var/www/html/.profile
chown username:username /var/www/html/.ssh
chmod 1700 /var/www/html/.ssh
chmod 600 /var/www/html/.ssh/authorized_keys
echo ' ';
echo '***************************************************';
echo 'changed ownership and security on wordpress install';
echo '***************************************************';
echo ' ';

PHP Session Handling

WordPress does not use PHP Sessions, and plugins need not, therefore: - Eradicate plugins which use @session_start(); which includes (as per latest scan): - wp-affiliate-platform, - wp-spamshield, - woocommerce-amazon-s3-storage, and - php-compatibility-checker (which is only needed for testing, in any case)

cd /var/www/html
grep -r 'session_start'

Caching Configuration in WordPress

W3 Total Cache

General Settings - Page Cache, Disk: Enhanced - Minify (disabled) - Database Cache, Disk - Object Cache (disabled) - Browser Cache (disabled, we do this manually in httpd.conf) - CDN (disabled) - Use single network configuration file - Purge Policy: Posts page, Post page Page Cache - Cache posts, SSL, Don't cache logged in - Prime page cache, 900, 10 - Preload post cache upon publish - Sitemaps regular expression [a-z0-9_\-]*sitemaps\/[a-z0-9_\-]*\.(xml|xsl|html?)(\.gz)? - Rejected Cookies:

  • Never Cache the Following Pages
  • Note: must include any changes to permalinks and the pages above Database Cache
  • Don't cache for logged in
  • Ignore Query Stems


  • Optimize HTML, Keep HTML Comments
  • Optimize Javascript, aggregate inline JS
  • Optimize CSS, Remove Google Fonts
  • Save aggregated as static files = uncheck

Further Security and Performance Optimization

Exotic Performance Tuning

Testing Tools

Code Cleanup

A good part of speed issues is the actual site code (php/js/css/html) and when it comes to WordPress, especially WordPress plugins, there are a lot of potential conflicts. Blocking JS and CSS is a big part of the problem, as well as removing all the default crap that is not needed (such as various webfonts). - Clean up nonblocking Javascript and CSS - Too many CSS files and embedded CSS in HTML, and too many JS files - Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages - Cache-aware websites