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This course presents the WordPress Multisite feature, which allows web site designers and administrators to create a network of sites and blogs from a single installation of WordPress. Author Justin Seeley covers installing the network components, configuring their web server/hosting environment, using the Multisite Network Administration panel, managing users, and backing up, migrating, and restoring a multisite installation.
One of the big decisions that you'll have to make during your Multisite installation is whether or not you want to use subdomains or subdirectories when you're creating your new web sites or blogs. Before we talk about which one I prefer personally, let's take a look at what I mean by subdomain or subdirectory. A subdomain refers to a web address that appends something to the beginning of your normal domain. For instance, if my web address is mydomain.com, then an example of a subdomain would be site.mydomain.com. A subdirectory, on the other hand, appends itself to the end of the web address.
Therefore, if you choose subdirectories, your address would be mydomain.com/site as opposed to site.mydomain.com. There are no major advantages or disadvantages to using either of these methods. However, it should be noted that depending on your permalink structure, using subdirectories could create some issues for you. It's for that reason that I prefer to use subdomains. The good news is that Multisite defaults to subdomains. So really you don't have to do anything special during your setup. During this course, I will be using a subdomain install.
But just know that the process is exactly the same as a subdirectory install. You don't have to decide right now though, but just put it in your mind going forward because once we get to the Multisite Network Configuration Screen, you'll need to pick one, either a subdomain or a subdirectory. It should be noted that if you're installing your Multisite network locally on your computer, you will have to choose subdirectories instead of subdomains. That's a restriction of the WordPress software that is simply unavoidable. If you attempt to install Multisite using subdomains locally, your installation will fail. Another important note is that you'll be able to change your installation type once you've completed your network installation.
However, that's somewhat difficult if your site has already launched. So now that we have seen the differences between subdomains and subdirectories, take a look, find out which one fits your needs the best, and choose that one going forward. Stick with it, because as I said, it can be a little bit difficult to change it once your site is live on the web.
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