WordPress Multisite Explained
Multisite is a WordPress feature that allows users to create a network of sites in a single WordPress installation, learn more in this guide
In this article, we will have a guide talking about Multisite, a WordPress feature that allows users to create a network of websites in a single WordPress installation. Available since version 3.0 of WordPress, Multisite is a continuation of the WPMU or WordPress Multiuser project.
One of the most misunderstood features in WordPress is WordPress-Multisites. Site owners are drawn to it because it promises to make managing multiple WordPress sites much easier. They often don’t realize that this benefit comes at a cost in terms of flexibility until it’s too late. Multisite can be extremely helpful in certain use cases, while it can lead to administrative complexity in others. Multisite, it is essential to know what it is and why it was developed. To decide later whether or not to use WordPress Multisite, keep reading this guide.
What is WordPress Multisite?
WordPress Multisite is a version of WordPress that allows you to run multiple sites off a single installation of WordPress. It allows running a network of sites under a single WordPress dashboard.
You can manage everything, including the number of sites, features, themes, and user roles. It is possible to manage hundreds, thousands, and even millions of sites this way. The best example of WordPress Multisite is WordPress.com, one of the largest WordPress networks on the Internet.
WordPress Multisite started as a fork of WordPress designed to enable site owners to manage multiple blog sites under a single network easily. The project was eventually added to WordPress Core during the WordPress 3.0 release. This means that any current version of WordPress you use today can convert to a Multisite installation.
Use it If:
WordPress Multisite is best used to create a network of sites with similar functionality. Ideally, this similar functionality has been added through plugins, custom applications, or specific server configurations. It also works best when using a limited number of themes selected specifically for the network.
If your network consists of widely different WordPress sites in terms of plugins, themes, and customization, then there are better fits for you than Multisite.
WordPress.com is, by far, the largest example of a Multisite network. Other site owners who have had success with Multisite typically have a common motif that ties their network of sites together and lends itself to similar functionality and themes. Universities are one example.
Many of them use Multisites to provide their staff with a way of posting internal blogs. Real estate companies are another great example. They use WordPress Multisites as an easy way to create and provide their real estate agents with a basic website network. The designs of these sites are the same; only the content is different from realtor to a realtor.
Don’t Use If:
WordPress Multisites emerged at a time when there just weren’t a lot of good options for managing multiple and very different WordPress sites. Fortunately, there are a lot of great options available today to help address this need. So if you find yourself in a position where you are managing many different WordPress sites, you should look into management plugins like Jetpack and ManageWP.
These let you run distinct WordPress instances and centrally manage them through an intuitive dashboard. Typically, you can use them to monitor your sites’ current status and apply global updates across all your sites. You can also perform other general maintenance functions, such as backups.
WordPress Multisite Best Practices
So if you find that you are an excellent candidate for Multisites (i.e., you need to offer similar WordPress websites to a large number of users), there are a couple of best practices you should follow to ensure success.
First and foremost, we recommend that you work with a WordPress consultant who is an expert on scaling WordPress Multisites. If the Multisites network grows, you need to keep an eye out for the number of server resources your site uses and the upkeep of your database. It’s manageable as long as you are proactive, and it helps to work with an expert who can guide you through growing your Multisites.
For WordPress Multisite, it is also essential to use an excellent hosting provider. Especially ones that already support the various features of Multisite. At Pressable, for example, we host some large Multisite networks and develop technology and procedures. This is to ensure that our Multisite deployments run smoothly and efficiently.
A hosting provider with a great track record in hosting Multisites deployments will dramatically increase the likelihood of continued success for your projects.
We hope this informative guide makes it easier to determine if WordPress Multisite is right for you. Please feel free to add a comment or contact us if we can help answer any other questions you may have.