Basics of WordPress Multi-sites
The multisite feature is a feature that allows multiple virtual sites to share a single WordPress installation. This allows the user to run multiple sites on the same WordPress framework and in turn, saves space on the server as all the sites will use the same plugin files. The thing about a setting up and updating a multisite is that it is not any harder than setting up a standard site. The folder structure, base code, and core files stay exactly the same.
A multisite does have its differences, there will be a few extra screens to the admin, for managing the network. These panels will only be accessible by the Super Admin who manages the network. The difference on the admin panel is very limited and easy to navigate.
There are two different to the files and folders in a Multisite network. The wp-config.php file will have some added lines of code that tell WordPress it is to run as a multisite. Your wp-uploads folder will have sub-folders for each website. This is managed by WordPress so you don’t have to worry about it.
Uses for Multisite
- Privately run a network of sites or blogs for an individual or business.
- A network of client sites installed and administered by the developer of the agency.
- A network which people can add their own sites too, either for free or by paying a subscription.
With a multisite, the user can host multiple sites and administer and manage themselves. One of the perks of a multisite is that you only have to update the plugins and WordPress once for all the sites.
When not to use a multisite
- You want to create a single site or blog and don’t plan to create any more in future.
- You’re creating sites for multiple clients but each will be hosted separately, maybe with clients having their own hosting providers.
- Each site you’re creating will need its own separate database (maybe for security reasons).
- Each site will need its own IP address.
- Site administrators will need to install their own themes or plugins.
- You’ll need to move your sites to another server (that this can be done but is more involved than for a standard site, and can be avoided completely if all you need is separate domains).
- Your hosting doesn’t provide the necessary server requirements.
- You don’t have access to the files on your server for editing.
Managing and maintaining your network of sites does need a lot of space as it will store vast amounts of data and receive millions of visits. So it would be a good idea upgrade from a shared server with a cheap hosting plan.