WordPress is a content management powerhouse and well-known for convenient functionality, great theme offerings and great plugins. Now there’s one more reason to like WordPress – the Multisite option, known as WordPress Multisite.
WordPress Multisite has been around since the early development stages of 3.0. Multisite is a feature that enables you to manage a network of websites from one place. This network can extend from one or two sites to millions. For example, Edublogs, an education blog, manages content for 3 million sites using Multisite. WordPress itself hosts close to 37 million sites using this feature. That’s impressive!
Multisite is very useful, and probably necessary, for those who need to make similar edits or upload content onto several sites of a network at once. If you are a web developer or a digital content marketer, here’s several excellent reasons why you should use WordPress Multisite:
#1 WordPress Multisite = one install, many sites
When you use Multisite, you can create as many sites as you like under one URL. All these sites will use the same theme, plugins and have access from a single hosting account. The domain names for the subsites will be based on the original URL.
Our client MRI Software, a global software company needed web content for their offices located around the world. They have one website design, different country-specific URLs, but similar content. Hosting multiple sites using different accounts would be confusing and time-consuming. So, we built MRI a solution using Multisite for their main website which enabled them to publish content on different country sites at the same time!
#2 Single installation
If you host several sites with different accounts, you will have to install WordPress for each site separately. If you have a thousand different sites, do you really want to install WordPress a thousand times? Obviously not. With Multisite, you only need to install WordPress once for the hosting site. One time install, and you can host a million sites if you want.
#3 WordPress Multisite offers multiple access levels for easy management
On regular WordPress, you have a single administrator role with full management access to the website. When you use Multisite, each site will have its own administrator, but the main site will have a “super administrator” who has access to all the content on subsites as well. The administrators on the subsites will not have access to other sites in the network or the hosting URL. In addition, there is also a “network administrator,” who can manage content on a network-wide basis. Only the super administrator or someone who has been granted access by the super administrator can gain network-wide access. This may sound like too much micromanagement for those with small sites, however, for a massive network of sites, like Edublog or the University of Maine Online, these features are huge time savers.
#4 Share themes and plugins
If you need to change the theme for the original site and along with the subsites, you can do it all at once with the share feature. Multisite allows the hosting account to share themes and plugins with all other sites in the network, making the task so much easier. Plugins can easily be installed by site administrators or the network administrator to be shared by all. Here are some very useful plugins that wordpress web developers and content managers can use with Multisite:
WordPress Blog Replicator: As the name suggests, this plugin will make it easy for an admin to clone the configuration of one site (pages, content and extensions included) and copy it to a whole network of sites.
MU Domain Mapping: Enables admins to map domain names unique to each site in the network.
Autoblog: Use this to post any amount of content to several sites at once. Also, enables users to automate posting to RSS feeds.
Multi-Domains: Generate an unlimited number of URLs for the main site for visitors to choose from, or to create new sites
#5 WordPress Multisite is affordable
Having a single hosting account for hundreds or thousands of sites is not only convenient, it’s affordable, especially for business sites that generate traffic internationally. For example, our client MRI Software, designed their main website with several country sites by purchasing a single master theme and sharing it with the numerous sub-sites. Multisite is a highly cost-effective option.
#6 WordPress Multisite has a shared code and user base
The code and configuration for the sites are shared, so developers do not have to worry about coding different sites individually if there are updates or other similar alterations that need to be made network wide. The user base is similarly shared. The username and password for an account on one site can be used for all the other sites in the network as well. This eliminates the confusion when users have to create different accounts for each site. If one user is logged onto one site, he or she will be logged onto all other sites in the network as well.
#7 Streamlined updates
WordPress updates Multisite in a timely manner. All new updates can be installed onto the main site and then streamlined across all of the subsites. For web developers, this means not having to stay up all night to individually install important updates to thousands of subsites.
Multisite really is a great solution for managing many different sites under a single URL and it continues to be improved with new updates. We have helped many of our clients to move several of their existing sites over to WordPress Multisite. If you’d like to know more about the benefits of WordPress Multisite and whether it’s right for you then please do get in touch with us to discuss further.
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