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Before we get started with the nuts and bolts of WordPress Multisite, let's take a brief look at some of the basic information about the software. In this movie, we'll take a look at exactly what Multisite is and what it allows you to do in your web site. We'll also be looking at a brief history of Multisite so that you understand exactly where it came from, and then finally we'll take a look at who is using Multisite on the web today. So exactly what does Multisite do? Well, WordPress Multisite allows you to create a network of multiple sites or blogs inside of one single installation of WordPress.
It also enables the user to easily launch new sites with a single click of a button. You can also allow your users to create their own blogs through the sign-up process if you choose to allow that option. Now, let's take a look at exactly what WordPress looks like with Multisite turned off. As you can see, with Multisite turned off WordPress is just a single stand-alone web site or blog. However, with Multisite turned on, you can turn your site into an entire network of blogs or web sites that have their own unique look and feel as well as utilize their own themes and plug-ins.
Now let's take a look at the history of Multisite. You may know WordPress Multisite as WPMU or WordPress MU because it started as a fork of WordPress. WPMU and WordPress existed as separate entities until recently in the WordPress 3.0 release. WPMU was usually a few versions behind in the software. However, in WordPress 3.0, we saw the two sides merge into one, and Multisite was born. So exactly who is using WordPress Multisite today? Let's take a look. Best Buy is actually using WordPress Multisite for their retail blogs.
Each individual store has its own unique WordPress site generated from WordPress Multisite. There you can find things like Store Information, Open Box Items, Clearance Items, News & Announcements, Special Products, and other information, all of this controlled dynamically through a site generated by WordPress. We also have the weblogs at Harvard Law School. This site allows for students in the law school program to come and create their own blog right here at harvard.edu. Reuters also uses Multisite to control its blog form.
Finally, and probably the most popular form of WordPress Multisite is wordpress.com. Each and every time a new user creates a blog at wordpress.com, it is an extension of the wordpress.com multisite installation. As you can imagine, this is one of the biggest WordPress multisite installations in the world. According to wordpress.com, they have over 350,000 bloggers. That's one big multisite. Now that we have a good understanding of exactly what WordPress multisite is, how it works, and who is using it, let's actually take a look at how we can start to use it in our own workflow.
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