WordPress introduced their multi-site feature back in 2010 in WordPress 3.0. It replaced the older WordPress multi-site system.
Once the feature is activated on your website, multiple websites can be created from the same WordPress installation. However, every website has distinct directories for media uploads and they share plugins and themes.
The same database is used for all websites while different tables are created for each website.
In this article, I would like to share how you can setup WordPress multisite setup along with its benefits.
What is multisite?
With the help of WordPress multisite, you can run any number of sites according to your choice, just by installing WordPress once on your server. WordPress.com hosts 37 million sites approximately. Though you won’t be able to host a million websites at standard WordPress, but you can run multiple sites.
The most important feature about multisite is that the WordPress installation is similar to standard installation: it has the same folder structure, the same core files, and the same code base. In short, installing and updating multisite is exactly the same as any WordPress site. All of your network’s themes and plugins are stored just once, no matter how many sites you use them on, that is, the space size will be a lot less if you use multisite.
But there are some differences in the following areas:
1. The admin screens plus the way you use them
2. The files in your WordPress installation and the database tables.
Table of Contents
Creating a Site
Sites can be created manually or can be installed using a plugin that lets users create their own site. Let’s see how to create a WordPress site.
- Go to the network admin screen by clicking on my sites followed by the network admin in the admin menu.
- Then go to sites and click on add new.
- Type the site address, the site title and the email id of the site administrator. A screenshot is attached below:
And, you’re done. The new site is created in the above simple steps. With the help of a plugin, a new site can be created from the front end of your main site.
Enabling WordPress Multisite Network Feature
With WordPress installation, the multisite network is built in. Just install your WordPress site and you can easily access multisite network. The multisite feature can also be active on any current site. Before enabling multisite network just make sure that you have created a full backup of your WordPress site.
For multisite to be enabled you need to access your site with help of an FTP client or cPanel file manager. The just open wp-config.php file for editing.
Add the line mentioned below to your wp-config.php file just before the
/* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */ line
After saving just upload your wp-config.php file back on to the server.
With these simple steps, the multisite network will be activated on your WordPress.
This is how a multisite network will look like.
Pros of using a Multisite Network
- Being the network admin, multiple sites can be easily handled with help of a single dashboard only.
- Admins with own capabilities can be arranged.
- With just one download, you can install plugins and themes on multiple sites.
- Managing updates become a lot easier. All you need to do is update your WordPress, plugins, or themes with a single installation.
Cons of Using a Multisite Network
- When your site is down then all your sites will go down automatically as it has a shared network.
- If you are a beginner, managing server resources will be very difficult in the case of unexpected traffic.
- If your site is hacked, then automatically all your sites will be hacked.
- Not all WordPress Plugins are supported sometimes.
A short recap of all the steps mentioned above in the article:
- Add define (‘WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE’, true );
to your wp-config.php file
2 Open network setup page
- Click on subdomain or sub-directory structure
- Then you will be prompted to enter your network name along with your admin email
- With the given code just update your wp-config.php file
- Update your .htaccess file with provided code.
- Login to your site.
This was the complete setup of how to install WordPress multisite network. Though with my personal experience I would like to tell you that I have installed multisite network ample number of times and did not experience any problems so far.
Also, if you every get stuck in WordPress then the best thing to do is retrace your steps and start again.
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