Before we begin, let us examine what it means to have a WordPress multisite. It is a way to install and manage multiple WordPress sites from one WordPress installation. It allows you to administer multiple sites using one username and password. Of course you can also assign different admins or users to manage different sites on your multisite network.
WHO NEEDS IT?
Sure it sounds nice to be able to able to work with WordPress multisite but it is not for everyone. So who needs it exactly? What kind of scenario would make WordPress multisite the most appropriate means of administration?
- A network of blogs running on different sub domains
- An organization with various departments and branches
- A school where students can create blogs on the school server.
Before you begin the installation of multisite WordPress, you should determine the domain structure you would want to use. There are two of them.
Subdomains – www.site1.yourdomain.com
Sub directories – www.yourdomain.com/site1
If you are going with the subdomain option, then you would want to make use of wildcard subdomain configuration on your cpanel. If you are going with subdirectories, then the process is a bit simpler; all you are to do is enable permalinks on your main site or what we would call the root site.
SETTING UP WILDCARDS
This option is suitable for those who want to Setup WordPress Multisite Network on a subdomain structure. Without much ado, login to your cpanel and when you are in your dashboard, scroll to the domain section and click on subdomains.
On the next screen, enter the asterisk sign (*) in the subdomain field and from the drop down menu to your left, select your domain. Cpanel will detect the domain root and all you need to d o in order to create your wildcard subdomain is to click ‘create’.
ENABLE WORDPRESS MULTISITE NETWORK FEATURE
The WordPress multisite feature is actually built in to every WordPress installation and all you are to do is activate it and set it up. So the first thing you are to do is to install WordPress aw you normally would on your domain.
It is also possible to enable multisite on a WordPress site which already exists although you should create a full backup of your site before doing that.
To set up multisite, go to your site’s folder from the file manager in your cpanel and open the wp-config.php file for editing. You are to add the following to the line just before the line where you have /* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */ .
/* Multisite */
define( ‘WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE’, true );
Save and upload your file back and your site now supports WordPress multisite.
SETTING UP NETWORK
The next thing you are to do after this is to set up your network so you begin your multisite administration.
NB: All plugins are to be disabled before this process begins. Failure to disable plugins may result in severely unexpected and unstable behaviour.
Okay now that is done, go to tools >> network setup
This part is fairly simple; you are to let WordPress know what kind of structure you are setting up. When you have selected that, you will give a name to your network and then make sure your admin email is entered correctly. Once these are all sorted, you click on ‘Install’ and let the process finish up.
The next screen, you are going to see some instructions you are to copy and paste in your wp-config.php and .htaccess file.
CONFIGURING NETWORK SETTINGS
Now that we are at this stage, you are going to want to go to your network dashboard so you can over see the creation of new sites, and do some other administrative things.
First off, go to ‘my sites’ on your dashboard and a fly out will appear, click on Network admin >> dashboard.
There are a few things to take note of on your admin dashboard, one of such is that you will find that it is really simple to create new users and add new sites.
ADDING NEW SITES
We have successfully set up our network and now it is time to add new sites to it. The first thing to do is to got to click on sites from your network admin dashboard.
After you have selected ‘Add New’, you are taken to a new window where you can enter the details of the site like so
Once that is done, you are good to go and you can add as many sites as you need on your network.
There are lots of advantages to creating a multisite WordPress network.
- You can conveniently look at multiple sites from an admin point of view with one dashboard.
- You can install plugins and themes on multiple sites with just one download.
- Updates are easier to handle as updating once takes care of all the sites which are using said themes and plugins within the network.
- You can have different users with capabilities to handle the different sites.
Well we expect there will be a couple of cons to this as well.
- If one of your sites is hacked, then all the sites on the network are hacked as well.
- There are plugins which do not do well when used on multisite networks.
- Since all your sites share resources, there may be unexpected traffic which could cause your sites to go down and this can be stressful on the admin.
The idea of multisite is great for anybody who needs this kind of service. They are much more convenient and they make site administration relatively seamless. We trust this has been informative and the next time you find yourself in a situation where you need to handle multiple WordPress sites, you can apply the multisite option.
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