Install Multiple WordPress Installations Using a Single Database

Sometimes more than one WordPress installation is necessary on a single site and WPMU(WordPress’s multi-site solution) would be overkill, or sometimes a hosting provider limits the number of available databases per account, or maybe you just want to keep things more organized rather than have a bunch of databases scattered everywhere.

In any case, you’ll want to install multiple instances of WordPress, each one using the same database. Luckily, this is quite simple to do, but you must install WordPress manually in order for it to work properly. A majority of the one click installations (most common is Fantastico) do not allow you to specify the prefix to use and this is absolutely necessary to be met with success.  I have read a lot of code heavy ways to do this, but if you are testing out different blogs, only hosting a few, or trying to show a client a blog from your main site, then the solution is really simple.  All you need to do is modify your wp-config.php file, and find the line (roughly around line 52) that show the default database prefix as the wp_ prefix – and change it to something different.

So, I am assuming that you are already familiar with how to install WordPress.  To set up separate WordPress blogs, you should first create a new directory on your web server for the new files.  If I was going to create a separate fitness blog on my site, I would call the directory fitness.  The overall URL string would look like:

The second thing I would do is to FTP all of the most recent WordPress files to this new directory.  Now, I would open the config.php file in this new directory, and here is where I would change the databse default wp_ line of code to match my new blog.  For example – I might install wordpress for this site with a database prefix of wpbrad_, and then I might install another version on my server for a fitness site as wpfitness_ 

So for this example, I would change the default wp_ line of code to say wpfitness_, and then also add the database  name, database hostname, username and password like normal.

Lastly, just go out to the new blog directory and run the admin like usual (not a real URL).

When it comes time to install another blog using the same database, be sure to repeat the steps being certain to replace the wp_ prefix with something unique for the installation. That’s really all there is to it!

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