Multiple Sites? One Answer: WordPress Multisite
More is Less
‘What does that mean, Andrew?’
It means, if your organization has a number of separate WordPress sites, they can all be operated through one, solitary installation — as opposed to installing a bevy of WordPress sites over and over again, scrambling to manage them all, and cursing the universe for your misfortune. Again, this allows you to host as many WordPress sites as you like — governing several domains from one install without the migraine of logging in and out and in of this and that website again and again.
The Big Players Like It
Who uses Multisite?
Oh, just a few peeps you might’ve heard of:
Multitude of Benefits
- Access all your sites from one WordPress dashboard
- Only one install of themes and plugins, i.e., less server strain
- Central code, usernames/passwords, and plugins/themes are shared/consistent across all sites
- One-click updates to the WordPress core
- SEO unchanged — as search engines will recognize each site on WordPress Multisite individually
- It’s free and very scalable
To this writer’s chagrin, there are some potential drawbacks to Multisite:
- All users added to your network will be guests on all sites in your network — to avoid this, you’ll need an additional plugin
- If you edit the code of one theme, all your sites will have that theme — again, to avoid this, you’ll need another additional plugin
- Speaking of plugins, many plugins aren’t yet compatible with WordPress Multisite
- Only Network Admin has the autonomy to install new themes/plugins or edit user profiles — not Site Admin, unfortunately
Multifaceted Web Solution
Do you have multiple WordPress websites that are in the same industry, with the same purpose, the same aesthetics, same brand messaging and you’re attempting an organizational narrative of cohesion and consistency?
Then, ‘Yes, Multisite it up.’
If you’re still hesitant, consider the WordPress management tool ManageWP.
‘Wait, what’s ManageWP? Why’d you save it until the end?’
Because I’m managing reader expectations — ManageWP gives you the best of Multisite sans the bits that you had reservations about. With ManageWP, govern as many WordPress sites you want from one dashboard (just like Multisite) — with the welcome benefit of being able to keep the sites separate. This means changes in design/functionality will be contained to the one site you’re actively changing without affecting the whole network. And SEO optimization, traffic monitoring, site backups, and core/theme/plugin updates are all one-click executions. It allows for the same sprawling control of Multisite but without the, ‘but-if-I-change-this-then-all-the-sites-will-change’ woes.
If you decide to choose the Multisite or ManageWP route, it’s all about scalability. And mull over this meta pitch: consider WordPress.com. It hosts billions of pages and millions of blogs — and all that volume rests on one single WordPress installation — an inarguable testament to Multisite’s scalability.
Abundance is good. If your organization is even in a position where you need to efficiently reign in multiple sites, things are going well. Multisite simply provides a singular solution to govern your multiple digital properties.
Web Hosting Providers for WordPress Multisite
Interested in reliable and secure web hosting providers that can host WordPress Multisite installations? Consider Pantheon, Contegix, WordPress VIP, and WPEngine. Was that too many? No worries, we are official partners with all four (plus many more) and can make the right recommendations based on your traffic, technical requirements, and budget.
If you want to see how and why we built Playworks.org on WordPress Multisite, visit Playworks Multisite Review. Is your organization looking for help managing or designing for multiple websites? Contact us at the one and only WDG.