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Complete Guide to Understand WordPress Multisite And Multiple Sites

Many Business Enterprise Websites require more than one website. If a Business has more audience and content, then a more convenient way to manage a website is to divide functions into subsites.
It is used in making the website available in different languages.

WordPress allows Multiple sites And WordPress Multisite for such a dividing of website. This Guide will help you understand

  • What is multiple-sites?
  • What is the multisite network?
  • What is the difference between?
  • Multiple sites and multisite network?
  • When you should use WordPress Multisite?
  • How to create a WordPress Multisite network?

What is a Single Site?

A single site is a basic website that you create with WordPress.org or WordPress.com, Which contains all the functions into a single website.

 

What are Multiple Sites?

Multiple sites are simplified different websites with different dashboards. Completely different websites that link to each other with managing each other’s functions are known as multiple sites

For example, One website for selling products and another website for receiving reports and feedbacks. Which will be linked to each other.

 

What is WordPress Multisite Network?

WordPress Multisite is a popular feature of WordPress, which allows you to publish multiple websites using the single WordPress installation on your server. You can manage several different WordPress websites from a single dashboard.

Let’s Understand Furthermore.

About WordPress Multisite Network

WordPress Multisite allows you to create and run multiple WordPress websites into a single WordPress dashboard. It is better to have single WordPress software installed on your server for all websites rather than having separate WordPress software for websites.

WordPress Multisite Network was known as WPMU – WordPress Multiuser. It was introduced back in 2010 in WordPress 3.0.

It is used in related websites sharing the same users, themes, and plugins.
Large organizations, like universities and colleges, are perfect for a Multisite network. Each department can have its site. Also, a multinational business can have its multilanguage website by creating the website in different languages. It is also used for updating websites with a single click, charging your subscribers to create a website on your Multisite network.

 

How does WordPress multisite work?

Multiple sites use single WordPress and share the core.

All Plugins and Themes are stored in a single directory. But it can be handled individually. For example, It is possible to enable different themes for and plugins for different sites. The network settings of every plugin and theme will affect all other subsites using it.

The sites on the multisite network have their domain and URL. Subsites are recognized as separate websites. They share the same database, but every site has its subset of database tables.

You will be able to administer your multisite network from the dashboard at the Sites tab.

 

Key Features Of WordPress Multisite

With WordPress Multisite Network you can run a network of blogs and websites from a single WordPress installation. It enables you to create a network of subdomains, like http://store.vebely.com, or directories, like http://www.vebely.com/store/. Alternatively, you can also have a separate domain for each website on the Network.

The network has user roles as Super Admin And Admin.

Super Admin can control the entire network. Admin manages a single website only. Super Admin controls the accessibility of users who want to create an account and set up websites.
Super Admin can install new themes and plugins and make them accessible to network sites.
Both the Super Admin and the website admin can control content. While this control extends over the entire network for a Super Admin, the website admin has the right to choose which content from the main domain gets displayed on their respective website. Plugins are also under the control of a Super Admin. However, a website admin can activate and deactivate plugins on their website if required.

Who Should And Shouldn’t Use WordPress Multisite?

WordPress Multisite is not always the right choice. In a Multisite network, all websites share the same database. Because of that, you cannot back up only a single website. All of the websites on a network must belong to the same principal domain.

For example, a university can use WordPress Multisite to build different websites for each department, students, faculty member blogs, and forums. Banks and financial institutions with a national or global network of branches, government offices with multiple departments, digital publications with different content sections, and e-commerce companies can use the Multisite network to their advantage.

However, a service provider couldn’t use Multisite to manage several unrelated client projects. If one of the clients decided to move their website elsewhere, it would be a problem because the website would be sharing its database with others on the network. It is difficult to back up an individual website in this case.

 

Pros And Cons Of WordPress Multisite

Now that we know who should and should not use Multisite Network, It is important to know the pros and cons of Multisite.

PROS

  • The main advantage is the ability to manage multiple websites from a single dashboard. It is useful for managing multiple websites with different teams under one parent domain, such as an e-commerce store with different country-specific sub-sites.
  • Different admin for each sub-website.
  • Reduces the overall load on your web server
  • With a single download, All Plugins and Themes can be installed on a complete network.
  • Updates with a single installation for all of the websites.
  • Less work with WordPress management
  • No adverse impact on SEO ranking

CONS

  • All websites will shut down if a single website shuts down. Because of the same WordPress core.
  • Not all web hosting providers have the tools necessary to support a Multisite network.
  • Not all WordPress plugins & themes support a Multisite network.
  • If the Hosting provider lacks the server requirements, the network will not operate. You can check hosting providers that offer multisite features here.
  • Shared resources may cause performance-related issues
  • Website migration is a bit more complex for multisite networks

 

Conclusion: is a WordPress multisite right for you?

WordPress Multisite is a very powerful tool. If you’re creating more than one site, It can save disk space and make you more efficient.

There are lots of uses for WordPress Multisite: you can use it for your sites, to host client sites or community sites, for the sites in a business. Considering all WordPress multisite pros and cons, we can say that multisite is a good fit for,

  • functionalities are not highly different but distinct from each other
  • if you do not need separate user audiences, and having shared users will cause no security concerns
  • If you want to have site admins to work for their separate dashboards
  • In the future, website scaling is the main goal and you want to add more features to the site

Technical Information About WordPress Multisite Network

 

Multisite Domain Mapping

You can create additional websites on your Multisite network as subdomains or subdirectories of the admin website by default. it looks like,

subsite.network.com
or like this:
network.com/subsite

But you will be required to make a unique domain name for each website. You can use this feature within the Multisite network to map additional websites to show as domain.com. Using domain mapping, this is what you will see:

subsite.network.com = domain.com
or:
network.com/subsite = domain.com

Before WordPress 4.5, you had to use a domain mapping plugin to map the additional websites. However, in version 4.5+, domain mapping is a native feature.

 

Multisite Hosting And SSL

SSL is also known as the “Secure Sockets Layer”. It enables the transportation of data over the internet securely. The data remains undecipherable to malicious users, bots, and hackers.

However, some hosting providers offer free SSL certification for the main domain only. You might need to buy it separately for each subdomain.

If one of the websites on your multisite network lacks SSL certification, it will compromise the security of all the other websites. You have to ensure that all websites on your WordPress Multisite network have SSL certificates.

 

More Efficient Code

Using a single WordPress installation for multiple websites means less code. For all sites on the network, Only one core of WordPress files there’s only one set of core WordPress files and only one copy of each theme and plugin.

This means the network is saving all the space of repeating the core of WordPress, themes, and plugins for every site. It can save you money on hosting and timekeeping that code up to date.

 

Monetization

A multisite network is a great way to monetize WordPress Website.

By using your base site to let users have their own subsite on your website, you can make that free or you can charge. After that, you can offer plans to blog owners, ranging from free to premium, with levels in between.

The network admin can provide support to users and owners and to communicate with them via notifications and updates, and build a community of users.

 

FTP Access

You will need FTP access. You will need to activate pretty permalinks. In other words, your URLs should look not like http://example.com/?p=2345, but like http://example.com/my-page.

 

How Multisite Stores Media

All uploaded media to the base site is stored inside wp-uploads folder of your main site. It does not create a special folder for uploads for the super admin’s site. But When media is uploaded to individual sites, the UI interface works in the normal way, But the files are stored Differently.

A new folder is created in the wp-content/uploads directory, called “sites”. which contains all the sub-site uploads.

Each time something is uploaded into the subsite, it is stored in the equivalent folder of that site. WordPress creates a new folder in that “sites” folder, with a name equivalent to the ID of the site. The base site has ID 01, so the first new site you create in your network will have the ID of 02. This means that WordPress will create a new folder at wp-content/uploads/sites/02. All of the uploads for that site will be stored in that folder, in the same year and month based structure as is used in a standard site.

 

Hosting Provider

Your web hosting service provider should be capable enough to handle multiple domains in a single web hosting plan. Although you could use shared hosting for a couple of websites with low traffic, you should use VPS hosting or a dedicated server, owing to the nature of the WordPress Multisite network.

 

How Multisite Stores Data

WordPress Multisite Network Stores Data in the given format.

When you install wordpress multisite, it creates some tables in database which are,


wp_blogs
wp_blog_versions
wp_registration_log
wp_signups
wp_site
wp_sitemeta
wp_sitecategories (optional)

 

wp_users and wp_usermeta store data for the network, because users are not stored in a single site. While creating a new site, WordPress creates 11 more tables in the database which are,

wp_vebely_posts
wp_vebely_postmeta
wp_vebely_comments
wp_vebely_commentmeta
wp_vebely_users
wp_vebely_usermeta
wp_vebely_links
wp_vebely_term_relationships
wp_vebely_term_taxonomy
wp_vebely_terms
wp_vebely_options

(These are given a prefix that corresponds to the site ID. So for site vebely, the following tables will be created:)

If you activate a plugin that creates extra database tables on a site, it’ll use the same prefix and create tables for each site where it’s activated.

You can start the guide from the menu bar on the left side, From Introduction to End.

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