Getting Started with WordPress Multisite

WordPress Multisite allows you to run multiple sites off your main site. It’s a powerful tool and one that not everyone knows about. If it sounds like something you could be interested in, read on to find out what you need to know about WordPress Multisite to get started.

What is WordPress Multisite?

WordPress Multisite is a mode in WordPress which allows you to create a hub of networked websites all built on a single installation. Once upon a time, this package was a separate entity known as WordPress MU or multiuser, but it has since been merged with the regular WordPress as a feature which can be turned on if required.

Who should use WordPress Multisite?

WordPress is a great tool. Simple websites, such as those for small businesses which require only a few pages and a contact form, a portfolio site showcasing work, or a blog can be handled as one site. Even if someone is running a few different websites, it is still better to run these as single instances.

So when should it be used?

Some great examples of the use of WordPress Multisite include:

WordPress.com

The most popular blogging site offers a hosted package where anyone can quickly start their own blog. Every new blog is simply managed through WordPress Multisite.

University Websites

With many categories, lots of content and lots of different mini-sections within the site for each school or subject, a university website running WordPress Multisite can be a great way to manage and network all of the different academic departments.

Blogging Networks

If a site has many bloggers all based around one subject, WordPress multisite can be a great way to do this. Each site will have its own URL, but there can be a central hub around which to manage the sites, promoting each one when a new post goes up on the central page.

What’s the Difference Between WordPress and WordPress Multisite?

There are a few key differences between the two versions of WordPress.

The ‘Super Administrator’ Role

The Super Administrator has access to all of the sites in the network and can manage these, whereas an administrator can only do their own site. This is all managed through the network admin dashboard only available to Super Administrators.

Plugins and Themes

With WordPress Multisite, themes and plugins are installed, activated and enabled in the network admin for use across the sites. Alternatively, single sites in the network wanting plugins and themes can be activated individually.

How do you install WordPress Multisite?

Before you begin you need to be sure that your web server can deal with a WordPress multisite as it is a much bigger load than a usual install.

WordPress have given very clear documentation on how to create a network. You need to add a code snippet to wp-config.php. This enables the network setup dialogue. After this, simply follow the onscreen instruction which will walk you through the process.

If you’re planning to set up a WordPress Multisite but are not too sure about it, get in touch to see if we can help.

Author Gyles Seward

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