Join Justin Seeley for an in-depth discussion in this video Common use cases for multisite, part of Creating and Managing a Blog Network with WordPress.
There's no question that WordPress Multisite has some pretty cool features, but not everyone needs to create an entire network of sites. So now let's take a look at some of the common use cases for WordPress Multisite so you can determine if it fits into your needs. First of all, we will take a look at the benefits of using WordPress Multisite. Then we will go into ways that you can actually use WordPress Multisite. Next, we'll take a look at who exactly needs WordPress Multisite, followed by who doesn't need WordPress Multisite. So the benefits of WordPress Multisite: Number one, it's a huge timesaver.
WordPress Multisite allows you to easily create sites on the fly with almost a single click. It's fantastic. Second, you install once, you upgrade once. That means you run off one single installation of WordPress and you will only have to update that instance of WordPress each and every time they release a new version of WordPress. It doesn't matter if you're running one site or 50 sites; you only have to upgrade once, and that is going to save you a ton of time. It also allows for a more rich user experience. You can actually allow your users to create their own blog as they sign up to become members of your site, and for crying out loud, let them blog! It's a great way to get them interacting and expand your online community.
It's also a great tool for freelancers because they can easily manage multiple clients. And finally, if you have more than one site, it's just easier on you, and this is actually my favorite part of WordPress Multisite. I have a ton of online presences, and it helps me manage those really easily. I have all of my different sites, which aren't necessarily connected in any way, rolled into one single WordPress Multisite. I can deploy plug-ins, themes, upgrade WordPress, add new users to help me manage content. Whatever it is I want to do, I can do that from this one single install point.
It just makes things so much easier on me. So what are some creative ways that you can use WordPress Multisite? Well, number one is a client management tool. Let's say for instance that you're a small graphic design agency. You have several clients coming to you all the time wanting to have a web site built. It's kind of a pain to go ahead and install a new version of WordPress on each individual one of their domains. Why not have one single installation of WordPress, so that you can manage all of those clients from that one single place? It makes it so much easier on you and in the long run, it's a lot better if you ever have to migrate or move anything from one server to another.
Second would be for blog networks, like online magazines and things like that. Any web site that has multiple divisions like sports, weather, classifieds, et cetera, they can all be rolled into one single installation of WordPress and then controlled individually outside of that. This would be perfect for things like online magazines, newspapers, et cetera. Multisite can also be used as a social networking tool for your users or readers. If you're using the BuddyPress plug- in in your WordPress Installation for instance, you can set it up so that each one of your new users can create their own blog or web site at your domain.
It makes it so much easier to expand your community. You could also use multisite for multifaceted marketplaces. Let's say for instance that you sell several different products: jewelry, hardware, and electronics. In this multifaceted marketplace environment, you can have each one of those in their own individual site with their own look and feel, their own checkout system, everything individualized for each one of them. However, they're all driven from that one single installation. Very powerful! Finally, WordPress Multisite is a great educational tool for teachers and students.
Let's say for instance that you are a web design instructor. You can actually show your class how to create a WordPress Multisite installation and then walk them through creating their own web site or blog based upon that WordPress installation. You could also allow your students to create their own WordPress multisite installations, and then have their friends set up their own web site or blog based on those installations. It's a very powerful tool to teach students and teachers how to utilize the web more effectively. So exactly who needs Multisite? Well, first and foremost, freelance designers and small graphic design agencies.
If you have clients that you need to manage, WrodPress Multisite is the answer for that. Second, professional bloggers and online magazines. I will go ahead and tack newspapers onto this as well. If you're a newspaper or a magazine or a blog that has multiple divisions and you're not using WordPress Multisite, you're really doing yourself a disservice. Also, schools and universities. As I said, it's a great educational tool. It's also a great way to allow students to interact with your school or university. Media companies and podcasting networks.
Let's say for instance that you host multiple podcasts. One could be a radio show, one a TV show, and one just a regular talk show. All of these can be utilizing WordPress Multisite to have their own individual site, their own look and feel, their own RSS feed, but they're all controlled from one single point. Awesome! Finally, people like me who have multiple homes on the web. As I said before, I have lots of web sites and they're not all necessarily related at all, but I have them all wrapped up in that one single installation of WordPress which makes it so much easier on me.
So who doesn't need Multisite? Well, first and foremost, the casual blogger. These are people who have one single web site and just use that to pump out content. You don't need WordPress Multisite if all you're doing is using one single site or domain. Second, small businesses? well, maybe. If you're a small business with a single focus, WordPress Multisite is not for you. However, if you're a small business with several divisions, WordPress Multisite might be for you. It's just something to look at. And finally, THAT client, and you all know exactly who I'm talking about.
This is the person that frustrates you with phone calls at 2 in the morning about something they broke on their web site while they were poking around in the code. This is not the level of control that you want to give someone who is really nosy about poking around the backend of their site. And as we all know, they are going to come right back to you as soon as they break something. Hopefully by now, you have a better understanding of the benefits of using WordPress Multisite, as well as some creative ways that you can use WordPress Multisite in your workflow, and whether or not WordPress Multisite is right for you. If it is, now you're ready to start configuring your hosting environment.
- Optimizing the hosting environment for Multisite
- Enabling the Network feature
- Troubleshooting network configurations
- Creating your first site
- Installing and enabling themes on a per-site basis
- Defining a default theme sitewide
- Controlling access to sites
- Enabling features for site administrators
- Displaying a list of networked sites
- Broadcasting news across all sites
- Gathering and using comments network-wide
- Mapping domains and mapping to certain sites
- Installing and configuring BackupBuddy
- Migrating a stand-alone site into a network