The WordPress Multisite feature can be useful for those of you who are tired of running multiple WordPress websites on multiple dashboards. This is a great feature for anyone who needs to make similar edits or upload content to multiple sites simultaneously.
The multisite feature makes it easy to create and run multiple WordPress websites from the same dashboard without having to do separate installations. Best of all, you also don’t need to create multiple web hosting accounts.
Multisite functionality has been around since the launch of WordPress 3.0, which means you can add this functionality to your WordPress site as long as you have a newer version of WordPress installed. Now, let’s learn more about what it’s like to use WordPress Multisite.
How does WordPress multisite work?
Unlike individual WordPress sites which are linked to different web hosting accounts, the WordPress Multisite feature allows you to create many sites under one web hosting account.
The Multisite feature also allows you to add or customize WordPress themes, plugins, or other configurations using a single super admin dashboard. You can apply all the changes to each subsite in your network without having to open separate accounts.
How do we use WordPress multisite?
WordPress Multisite is a great option for managing a network of sites sharing similar configurations, features, plugins, or custom applications. This feature is very useful in terms of reducing the expense and the time you spend actively investing in your websites.
Instead of creating separate web hosting accounts and installing individual websites one by one, let WordPress Multisite speed things up for you. Whatever your niche or industries, the WordPress Multisite feature can help you massively.
A business with different divisions or a university with more than one campus can reap the benefits of using a multisite WordPress network to create separate websites for each department or all individual stakeholders. However, if your network consists of WordPress sites serving separate purposes, WordPress Multisite may not be suitable.
How to create a WordPress multisite?
To set up WordPress Multisite, you need to either activate it on a new WordPress site or add it to your existing site. Find out how to get started with WordPress Multisite both manually and automatically.
Activating WordPress multisite with an automatic installer
You can install WordPress Multisite using an automatic installer provided by a web hosting company. To activate a multisite website, check the box Activate WordPress Multisite box during installation. You can also choose between subdomains and subdirectories after successfully enabling the Multisite feature.
Manual multisite activation
To manually activate Multisite for a new or existing WordPress account, you will need to insert a certain line of code in the wp-config.
Important: The wp-config file is a basic WordPress file. Any changes to this file can affect your website, so back up your entire site before continuing.
To access the wp-config file, locate the root folder of your WordPress installation through a file manager and open it using a code editor. Then follow the steps below to activate Multisite manually.
- Open the wp-config.php file.
- Find the following line of code.
|/ * That’s it, stop editing! Happy blog. * /|
- Add this line of code immediately above it.
|Define (‘WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE’, true);|
- Save the file.
- Navigate to the WordPress Admin section in your browser.
- Access Network Configuration through the Tools menu located in the sidebar.
- Select the multisite option to start editing.
You can use the steps above to activate Multisite on new or existing WordPress sites. Then start adding your sites to the multisite network. The following steps will show you how to add your sites through the WordPress admin dashboard.
- Click it Sites menu in the left sidebar.
- Click on Add new.
- Fill in the required details like site URL, title, language, and email.
- Click on Add a site.
Features of WordPress Multisite
WordPress Multisite allows you to manage different sites from a single URL. Here are some other important reasons to use WordPress Multisite.
When using Multisite, you will only need to install WordPress once for the hosting site. Once installed, you can add an unlimited number of WordPress sites through a single installation process. All added sites will use the same theme, same plugins, same server setups, and same WordPress dashboard.
Shared themes and plugins
Multisite allows all subsites on the network to use the original site’s themes and plugins, regardless of the number of active sites. This feature allows you to install themes or plugins from the central dashboard and share them with all your subsites. Multisite will also reduce the need for additional server storage or the costs required to purchase multiple themes and plugins for different websites.
Multiple access levels
Each site in the multisite network can have unique access roles and administrators. However, only the super administrator can access the main site and network subsites. A super admin can install themes and plugins as well as share theme changes. On the other hand, the administrators of the sub-sites will not be able to change the theme or modify the plugins.
Shared code and user base
Multisite has a shared code base and configuration for each site in the network, making it easier to maintain and manage websites for developers and administrators. This feature makes it easy to apply updates or fixes to all subsites from one central location.
Likewise, a member of a sub-site with sufficient access rights can access other sub-sites in the network without having to create different accounts. This attribute is used to improve communication and the overall management flow between members and administrators.
Benefits of WordPress Multisite
The main advantage of WordPress Multisite is the ability to host and manage an unlimited number of websites from a single dashboard. For example, if you are managing a country specific website for an eCommerce store, WordPress Multisite will allow you to quickly edit or upload content to subsites in your network.
Using a single dashboard, you can install and activate plugins and themes for all the websites in your network. You can also assign separate administrators to each website in your network, retaining the right to change themes and plugins.
Likewise, WordPress Multisite will eliminate your need to install WordPress separately for each individual site. Instead, it lets you manage the installation process and take care of all updates from one place.
Cons of WordPress Multisite
The main downside to WordPress Multisite is the lack of support you might receive from your web hosting provider. Not all web hosts have the tools to support multisite. If so, you might need to change or upgrade your preferred hosting provider.
Likewise, suppose someone attacks the main website or the main website goes down temporarily. Either way, all network subsites will be affected because they all share the same resource, codebase, database, and hosting provider. So if any part of your website’s security is compromised, chances are the entire network is at risk.
Likewise, a sudden increase in traffic to one site will affect the performance of everyone else within the network. Managing the performance of a multisite requires significant resources and collectively they can become very expensive.
Manage unlimited WordPress sites from a single dashboard
WordPress Multisite is a great feature offered by WordPress. You can control and manage multiple websites from a single dashboard, reducing the need for multiple hosting services and speeding up the setup process.
Limiting your sites to a single network can also reduce the time and effort required to maintain and update your WordPress sites. Managing your websites with Multisite is similar to managing a single WordPress site on multiple fronts.
However, be sure to take the time to understand how WordPress Multisite can open up new opportunities for you in the long run. Also consider whether these opportunities apply to your business before you start.