Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Andy Thurai

Related Topics: Agile Computing

Agile Computing: Blog Feed Post

WordPress Multisite: What it is and Why Should You Care

A way of networking a collection of websites under the same WordPress installation

Originally dubbed WordPress MU, WordPress multisite is simply a way of networking a collection of websites under the same WordPress installation. The individual websites in the network are like children websites of the main installation. All share the same hosting account, WordPress themes, and plugin options.  They can have unique URLs or have different subdomain addresses based on the main URL.

Why does any of this matter and why should you care?  WordPress multisite can rock the web when used properly and in the right situation.

Why Use WordPress Multisite?

  • You can easily set up and manage multiple websites within one single hosting account and WordPress installation.
  • Based on access levels, users can manage only one website or every website using the same account.
  • If needed, access to one website can be completely separate and segregated from others.
  • If desired, WordPress themes and plugins can be shared across multiple websites.
  • Updates and upgrades can be rolled out across multiple websites in less time, which significantly reduces overhead and maintenance costs.
  • Customizations are made once and not per installation.

Why You Should be Cautious About Using Multisite?

  • Multisite is not as easy as the standard one-click installation process on a shared hosting accounts.  As much as I love the one-click installation option, you need someone with experience to set up a multisite installation and teach you how to deploy the children websites. Our resident WordPress guru Chris not only helped me see the benefits of multisite, he also taught me about the set up.  I would have struggled figuring it out on my own.
  • You need more robust hosting than the general shared hosting can manage.  While you don’t need a dedicated server, you do need more than a regular shared hosting account.
  • Loading themes and plugins is easy, but not nearly as easy as in a regular WordPress installation.  You load plugins at the root directory and then activate them at the child website level.
  • Not all plugins will work with multisite WordPress installations.  Some of my favorite plugins just don’t work in this environment and I’ve been forced to find alternates.
  • You need to be careful who you give super admin status to and allow to make updates across websites.  On more then one occasion I have found myself modifying the wrong website, because they are all housed on the same server and dashboard.

Would I Recommend Multisite to Clients?

Absolutely.  In the right situation, multisite is a dream come true.  It works great, it is efficient, and it saves money.   That being said, it isn’t right for every client or every WordPress installation.  It is a niche usage that is perfect in the right situation.

What Are Some Real World Applications of Multisite?

Very well know companies are already using multisite and have been for quite a while.  Examples include Adobe, The Wall Street Journal, BGSU, and Best Buy.  With the exception of Best Buy, many of those are blogs.  But they don’t have to be simple blogs, as multisite is more than capable of supporting full blown websites.

A recent example of one of our multisite website design clients is a franchise.  We started with one website for the main parent company and as new locations were created, we used multisite to deploy websites for each location.  We were able to quickly update the header, content, images, and SEO for each new website.  Instead of paying thousands per location website, our savvy client was able to do it for a fraction of the cost.  Each location owner has access to their unique website, while the overall maintenance and updates are easily managed by the parent company – aka our client.

Another design client we have had us create two unique WordPress themes and set them up in a multisite environment for her.  She and her company are going to create websites and host them for their clients.  No this company isn’t a website design firm, but once our client realized how easy this would be, they quickly warmed up to the idea.  This client originally came to me to redesign their own website, but when our conversation took the multisite route; she quickly changed gears and decided to jump on multisite for her clientele.

If you’re considering a redesign and you want to consider multisite as an option for your project, give us a call.  We’ll be happy to discuss the project with you and see if multisite is a good solution.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Rebecca Gill

Founder and President of Web Savvy Marketing, a Michigan based internet marketing firm that specializes in website design, organic SEO, social media marketing, and WordPress consulting.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER gives detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPOalso offers sp...
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Global Network has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The IoT Global Network is a platform where you can connect with industry experts and network across the IoT community to build the successful IoT business of the future.
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
Disruption, Innovation, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Leadership and Management hear these words all day every day... lofty goals but how do we make it real? Add to that, that simply put, people don't like change. But what if we could implement and utilize these enterprise tools in a fast and "Non-Disruptive" way, enabling us to glean insights about our business, identify and reduce exposure, risk and liability, and secure business continuity?