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config New vagrant box Mar 29, 2014
.gitignore Minor edits based on QA-ing the May 7, 2013 Updated the License in advance of official HS open source launch Mar 28, 2014 Updated readme with new instructions Mar 28, 2014

Project Status Update

This project was started early in 2013 and the associated internal project was never completed and shipped. Consequently it is not under active development or being updated. Pull requests for updates will be reviewed and accepted where appropriate.

Vagrant and Wordpress Multi Site


HootSuite needed a Vagrant box that was configured to host Wordpress Multisite complete with custom domain mapping. At the outset of the project our requirements were:

  • Vagrant box tuned for Wordpress Multi Site Development
  • Build tools contained on the Vagrant Box that easily work with multiple themes
  • Ability to map domains with high degree of flexibility

This project solves a niche issue for us in a very particular way and there are many things required to make this 100% stable and usable for any project required to do after this starting point.


How to access the Database on the Vagrant Box

During the following steps accessing the database is required. The Vagrant box includes MySQL but not phpMyAdmin. Use Sequel Pro to connect to the database using these settings:

  • MySql Host:
  • Username: root
  • Password: leave this blank
  • Database: wordpress
  • Port: don't edit this
  • SSH Host:
  • SSH User: vagrant
  • SSH Password: vagrant
  • SSH Port: 2222

This Vagrant box by default includes a database called Wordpress. These instructions will always use and reference the Wordpress DB however others can be added and used as required.

Editing Local Hosts File

Vagrant needs an IP in order to initialize a server but we want to map subdomains to mirror our production environment. For this example, use as the parent installation path and create, etc. For development .local top level domains will be used.

Prior to installing Wordpress edit your local /etc/hosts/ file to include these lines: wordpress.mydomain.local site1.mydomain.local site1.wordpress.mydomain.local
  • The IP listed is taken from the Vagrantfile
  • Lines 2 and 3 are required for Wordpress to set up and then domain map domains when they are added
  • Lines 2 and 3 can be repeated to add more sites (site2, site3 etc)
  • mydomain.local can be replaced with project specific URL's

Shared Folders

This Vagrant Box has two folders that are shared between your local machine.

Local Path Vagrant Path
/ /vagrant/
/www/ /ebs1/www/

Getting Started


  • Clone the repository: git clone projectName
  • Navigate to the Vagrant folder cd projectName/config/vagrant/
  • Download the Vagrant Box and vagrant up to initialize the virtual machine
  • Load http://wordpress.mydomain.local to test if everything is working, if not visit Vagrant Docs to troubleshoot.

Install Wordpress MultiSite

  • Remove index.php in the Vagrant /www/ folder (it's there to confirm installation went properly)
  • Install Wordpress in the www folder
  • Configure Wordpress for multisite
    • when prompted select sub domain set up instead of sub directories
    • After creating the network there will be a red error at the top of the page (Warning, Wildcard DNS may not be configured correctly! ) Ignore this, as it is handled with local edits to /etc/hosts/ and domain mapping.
  • Install Wordpress MU Domain Mapping and configure it. Note: Follow steps 1-3. This plugin has unusual configuration options, read the configuration notes!

Add a Domain

  • Ensure that the A records for the intended domain have been added to /etc/hosts
  • Menu: My Sites > Network Admin > Plugins - Network Enable Wordpress MultiSite Domain Mapping Plugin
  • Menu: My Sites > Network Admin > Settings > Domain Mapping - Leave inputs blank and deselect everything except for 2. Permanent redirect and click Save
  • Menu: My Sites > Network Admin > Sites > Create New Site Create your new site. Use the same site that you mapped in /etc/hosts (eg site1.wordpress.mydomain.local - we will remap this shortly)
  • Get the ID of this site:
    • Menu: My Site > Network admin > Sites
    • Get the Site ID either by hovering over the Domain title or installing the Show Site ID Columns Plugin
    • The first site created should be id=2
  • Menu: My Sites > Network Admin > Settings > Domains - Under "New Domain" add:
    • Site ID = ID in the above step (eg 2)
    • Domain = New requested domain (site1.mydomain.local)
    • Primary: Leave this checked
  • Visit http://site1.mydomain.local in the browser
  • You're up and running! Enjoy a cold beverage!


The Vagrant box includes Grunt.js preinstalled and is ready to use without installing it on your local machine. Alternatively you can install and configure Grunt on your own machine.

Installing Grunt

  • SSH into the Vagrant Box vagrant ssh (while in config/vagrant)
  • Navigate to the directory containing all the configuration files (cd /vagrant/config/grunt)
  • Install all of the plugins by running npm install.

This will install:

The Gruntfile

You can customize your Gruntfile how you want. These are the included tasks.

First, replace our theme name with yours:

theme: `/ebs1/www/wp-content/themes/hootsuite`


This Gruntfile presumes that you have a main css file (css/less/styles.less) that @imports all other ones for your project and compiles them to css/styles.less. If this isn't the case you'll need to edit the Gruntfile to reflect this.

The following commands are available:

  • grunt less:development - builds the CSS but does not compress it
  • grunt less:production - builds and compresses the CSS with yuicompress
  • grunt watch:less - Watches all less files and runs grunt less:development when any file is saved

Any files that are not built from css/less/styles.less will have to have additional tasks written for them. (eg css/less/ie.less)


This Gruntfile works for multiple themes. For many projects, paths can be written directly into the Uglify tasks however for this project the Gruntfile looks for and parses a theme specific file (js/dev/config.json) and imports that into any tasks that require it. The syntax for the js/dev/config.json file is:

    "files": [

The following tasks are available to this list of files:

  • grunt watches LESS and JS and runs grunt less:development, grunt uglify and grunt jshint when files are saved
  • grunt jshint Runs JSHint on js/dev/scripts.js
  • grunt uglify Runs Uglify on all files specified in js/dev/config.json and builds to js/scripts.min.js
  • grunt watch:js Runs Uglify and JSHint whenever js/dev/scripts.js is saved with


  • Joe Ying - PHP Developer
  • Jeff Waterfall - Front End / Wordpress Developer
  • Steve Mynett - Front End / Wordpress Developer