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WordPress Multisite: What it Is and Why You Need it

How many WordPress websites do you have?

Two?

Three?

Ten?

If you have more than a couple of sites running on WordPress, you’ll benefit from using Multisite.

WordPress Multisite is a tool that allows you to manage multiple websites from a single dashboard.

This way, you can eliminate the number of times you need to log into your individual websites just to make changes.

As a result, you only need to remember one username and password for all of the websites you connect to Multisite.

What features does Multisite offer?

What features does Multisite offer?

The main benefit Multisite offers is convenience and ease when editing multiple WordPress websites.

Multisite launched when there weren’t many options for managing multiple websites other than logging into each separate site.

Even if you don’t mind logging into your individual WordPress installations, Multisite has several features that you’ll find useful.

  • Manage all your websites from one dash. One dashboard allows you to manage your entire network of WordPress websites. You can manage everything, including themes, plugins, settings, and more.
  • Apply global permissions. If there are any permissions you want to apply globally to your entire network of WordPress sites, you can make that change quickly inside Multisite.
  • Add users to your Multisite. Just like you can add users to each WordPress installation, you can add users to your Multisite network. The difference is, you only need to add each person to your Multisite once for them to access all the sites you want them to access. Once added, you can control what each user can access through granular permissions.
  • Granular user permissions. You can set permissions for each user to give them access only to the sites and features you want. For instance, you can prevent certain users from accessing settings and downloading plugins.
  • Better organization for webmasters. If your webmaster works on more than one of your WordPress developers, Multisite will help them manage your websites from one central location. This can drastically reduce the amount of time they spend switching between installations, which can cut your service costs down.

Who uses WordPress Multisite?

WordPress.com is the most well-known example of a website running Multisite. However, it’s also used by universities to tie multiple blogs together and real estate companies use Multisite to provide blogs to their real estate agents.

Multisite is ideal for anyone who needs to run and manage multiple WordPress blogs.

How to install and use WordPress Multisite

How to install and use WordPress Multisite

Multisite is already a built-in WordPress feature, but you won’t see it until you add a line of code to your configuration file for your main WordPress installation.

First, choose the main website you want to use to set up Multisite. It doesn’t really matter which site you choose since all of your sites will soon be connected.

Find your wp-config file and add the following code on the line directly before ‘That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging.’

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/* Multisite */

define(‘WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE’, true);

Once you add this code, save your file and log into your WordPress installation and go to:

Tools > Network Setup

You will be taken through the setup process, which is outlined in detail on WPBeginner.com

Multisite hosting options

Depending on how many blogs you’re going to run and the content of those blogs, you’ll need to carefully consider hosting options. If you’re just running some hobby blogs, shared hosting is probably perfectly acceptable. However, if you’re running high-traffic blogs or ecommerce stores, you’ll want to look into dedicated servers and possibly cloud hosting.

1. Shared hosting for Multisite installations

If you only have a few websites, you should be okay using a shared hosting account. Chances are, you won’t need the extensive specs that come with a dedicated server or cloud hosting account.

With a shared hosting account, you’re going to share the entire server with many other accounts. This means all of the server’s resources are shared, which works well as long as each website only places a light load on the server.

Although most shared hosting accounts advertise “unlimited” disk space and bandwidth, there are actually limits. It’s unlimited as long as you don’t use more than you fair share.

When a website uses too many resources, it can cause other sites to go down. If your over-use of resources causes other sites to become inaccessible, that can get your shared hosting account terminated.

If you’re running an important website or an ecommerce store, shared hosting isn’t worth the risk. However, you do have three other options: dedicated, managed, and cloud hosting.

2. Dedicated or managed hosting

When you’re going to use Multisite for a large number of WordPress websites, you’re better off with dedicated or managed hosting. This is how you’ll get more resources, customized specs, and you won’t have to worry about your site (or anyone else’s site) crashing because of overused resources.

Dedicated hosting is cheaper than managed, but you’ll need to maintain your dedicated server. If you aren’t a server manager, you’ll need to hire someone to do it for you.

On the other hand, managed hosting will provide you with a dedicated server and the company will manage it for you. This is the ideal solution if you’re going to get your own server.

3. Cloud hosting for Multisite installations

If you plan on building out WordPress websites for ecommerce, you’ll want a cloud hosting account. Cloud hosting provides resources that scale with your needs on-demand without forcing you to pay for all the resources you’ll ever need up front.

Cloud hosting is the best way to get the resources you need to run multiple ecommerce websites without worrying about your site going down because your traffic has exceeded your bandwidth allotment.

On a standard hosting account, many businesses struggle to manage the influx of traffic during holiday sales and flash sales throughout the year. A cloud hosting account will scale up resources as the traffic arrives, and bill you only for the additional resources you used during that time.

Need help running Multisite? We’ve got you covered

Need help running Multisite

Are you overwhelmed just thinking about installing Multisite and connecting all of your blogs? Contact us and we’ll set you up with a seamless installation that integrates all the blogs in your WordPress network. We’ll also double down on security to make sure your WordPress network is secure.

At Website.design, we work hard to make sure our clients get exactly what they need, whether it’s a brand-new website, edits to an existing site, a full ecommerce buildout, or a Multisite installation.

Reach out to us today and tell us about your project. We’d love to work with you!

Ryan Nead
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