WordPress Multisite – What is it?

By Purplebox Digital

If you’ve been using WordPress for a while then you’ve probably heard or come across the term WordPress multisite. If you’ve not then it’s probably only a matter of time until you do. So what exactly is WordPress multisite and what does it even mean? Don’t fret we’ve got everything you need to know.

WordPress Multisite

wordpress multisite diagram

The term “WordPress multisite” is a feature within WordPress that allows users to create more than one website on a single WordPress installation. Hence the term multi for multiple and site for website. This feature was first launched a while ago and is currently available on all version of WordPress 3.0 or higher.

Once you have installed WordPress on your server you can make as many websites as you like. In fact WordPress.com run the WordPress plugin from their servers and host other peoples WordPress websites for free. At the time of writing WordPress.com currently host over 37 million websites! As you can see when they say multiple websites they really mean as many as you want.

Why Use WordPress Multisite?

why use multisite

Using the multisite feature can have a lot of benefits and save you a lot of time if you plan on making several websites. So who exactly uses this feature?

Take bob for example, he wants to make a few websites on his hobbies and business but wants them to be completely separate. To save time and money bob could enable to multisite feature in WordPress to host several websites from one server. This means he doesn’t have to buy new hosting for every website. Every website made using WordPress can be given a subdomain name that can easily have a domain name directed to it. This means he can host several websites with different sub domain names with them all having their own domain names.

Another great use of multisite would be if a developer or agency needed to manage and install websites for clients. Instead of using several servers and hosts as described before this would allow the agency to install all of them on one. In addition to this the administrators could easily make any changes to hundreds of websites with the same control panel which makes managing them a lot easier. If you need to update a theme or plugin simply make the changes on one site and the changes will happen on all of them.

As you can see, these are just a few of the reasons why you would need a multisite but there are still hundreds of other reasons. Although there are plenty of reasons why you should be using multisite to you help manage your websites are there any scenarios when it should be avoided?

When Not to Use WordPress Multisite

red multisite diagram

Obviously if you only have one website or are only looking at having one then there’s no need to have it enabled. It doesn’t come with any new amazing features from the standard WordPress editor and it really wouldn’t save you any time. But if you do decide you need it in the future it can always be enabled then.

If you are an agency or developer and your clients websites have their own hosting or specific needs (such as their own IP address or database) you will not be able to use multisite. WordPress multisite only works when all the websites are hosted on the same server. If you are trying to manage ones held on different servers then it won’t be possible.

Although that does sound like a bit of a let-down, sometimes websites held on their own servers with their own databases are required. This is mainly because a website with its own server and database is more secure than a server that is sharing it with however many other websites.

If multisite sounds like it might be beneficial to you then be sure to give it a try. Simply follow the instructions on the multisite installation guide to learn how to activate the feature on your own WordPress. You’ll have to have a read up on what exactly it can do to determine how it can help with your individual goals but there’s plenty of resources available online if you ever get stuck.

Leave It to the Experts

Here at Purplebox Digital WordPress is our speciality. Not only do we make custom tailored WordPress websites to fit any business but they’re also all handmade by our in house team of designers and developers. If you’re looking for a custom made website with the WOW factor then be sure to contact us to see how we can help bring your ideas to life.

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