What is WordPress Multisite?

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WordPress is so much more than meets the eye. Behind its user-friendly UI and massive ecosystem of plugins and themes lie some incredibly powerful features. Features that, while thoroughly documented, aren’t necessarily common knowledge. Among the biggest of these hidden gems is WordPress multisite.

What WordPress Multisite Is: The Basics

WordPress multisite is a collection of websites that all share the same WordPress installation.

What is WordPress multisite, you ask? At its most basic, multisite is a collection of websites that all share the same WordPress installation. The core files, themes, plugins and database are shared among each website in what’s collectively referred to as a “network.”

A WordPress multisite network can be comprised of any number of websites. Whether you need two or two hundred, it’s possible – so long as you have enough horsepower from your web host. And, since you’re only using a single installation, keeping core, themes and plugins updated can be done in just one place.

And that’s just scratching the surface of what WordPress multisite can do. Today, we’ll take you on a tour of a WordPress multisite setup, how it works and how to know if it’s the right fit for your project.

When to Use WordPress Multisite

Before we dive into what WordPress multisite is from a more technical standpoint and how to set it up, let’s make sure we know what it’s used for. When is, and when isn’t, WordPress multisite a good solution?

Let’s look at some common scenarios that will help you determine if WordPress multisite is right for your project.

Multisite Is Great for Related Websites

A WordPress multisite network is best utilized when all websites within it are related in some way.

First and foremost, a WordPress multisite network is best utilized when all of the websites within it are related in some way. This allows for centralized management, thus avoiding the task of having to go from site-to-site to perform routine software updates, etc.

Some of the more common usage scenarios include:

Schools

Schools are a great use case for WordPress multisite. Think of an institution that wants to provide faculty and students with their own individual websites.

In this situation, the school’s IT department can provision an individual site and storage space for each person. They might also add specific site meta, which enables for grouping sites together based on custom criteria.

For example, faculty users may have access to certain things that students don’t and vice-versa. While the multisite network is open to all of these people, there are any number of ways to customize for different needs.

Member-Based Organizations

Likewise, a multisite network could power a member-based organization as well. Anyone from leadership to rank-and-file members could

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This article was written by Eric Karkovack and originally published on WPShout.

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