Not everyone knows that WordPress offers a native functionality called WordPress Multisite. We use it and have used it often for several solutions.
Let’s take a look below at what WordPress Multisite is, its benefits and frequent use cases.
What is WordPress Multisite?
WordPress Multisite allows you to create a network of two or more sitesalso called network, with a single WordPress installation. This means that by enabling this feature, you can run multiple sites within the same WordPress instance.
The network of sites has the same URL as the site in which it was configured, so in our case it would be Qelie.co.uk. By enabling Multisite you can choose which configuration to use: subdomains o subfolders. So in the first case the links of the sites belonging to the network will be structured as sito1.Qelie.itwhile in the second case we will have Qelie.com/site1.
At the backend, you then see a list of active sites and they can be selected individually to proceed with the usual WordPress configurations. You can add as many sites as you want to the network and then they can also be archived, deleted or temporarily disabled.
With the Multisite network a new user role is added called Super Administrator Who can make changes across the entire network. Each site has as a common base the WordPress installation, but has separate database. In this way, only the Super Administrator has a complete view of the network, while the individual Administrator sees only the data that is related to their own site. In addition to the WordPress installation, if you want, you can make the plugins and theme available to all sites. In this way you can give a graphical basis and functionality to all the sites on the network..
An example of WordPress Multisite is WordPress.com. On WordPress.com you can register to create your own blog, for example, and you have a wordpress.com based domain name so in our case it could be Qelie.wordpress.com.
You might think that this adds complexity to the site or slows it down in some way, but Multisite has a lot of advantages that we’ll go over shortly.
Why use WordPress Multisite
We really like WordPress Multisite, we have been using it for years to create our clients’ sites. Multisite is an excellent solution that saves time and makes management more efficient. Also being a native WordPress feature does not create slowdowns or management or security issues.
Running multiple sites on the same network implies theusing less codesince only one WordPress installation, one theme, and only one copy of each plugin is used. So, for example, two sites in the same network, sharing WordPress, theme and plugin, take up half of server space compared to two separate sites.
Also updating the network is a faster operation, compared to updating multiple WordPress installations. You only need to update WordPress, theme and plugins once, regardless of how many sites are active in the network.
WordPress Multisite: our most common use cases
We’ve seen what WordPress Multisite is and its benefits. Let’s now look at some examples of how it can be used.
The most common case for which we use WordPress Multisite is when we need to manage a multilingual site. In this case we use the multisite with subfolders configuration. Let’s say, for example, that we want both the Italian site is in English, with Italian as the main language, we will then have two sites: Qelie.it and Qelie.it/en. At the activation of each site you can also choose the language. In this way also the backend can be in English.
In this way no plugins are used multilingual the performance is better and you save time in management and updating. Moreover this solution is recommended for SEObecause there is no risk of duplicate content since the domains are separate. In addition, if we want we can give separate access for those who have to deal only with the English part or only with the Italian part. In the case of e-commerce we could also insert and highlight some products for the Italian part while for the English part choose others in order to satisfy the two types of audience.
Company with multiple locations
It may be that a company has multiple offices in different locations. In this case the graphic base of the site will always be the same, but maybe you want to differentiate the services according to the location or the team members, or manage other sections independently.
In this case the recommended configuration is the one for subdomains, so in our case it could be Qelie.it, for the main office, and re.Qelie.it for the Reggio Emilia office.
This configuration allows geolocate and index locally locations and their services more easily. Plus, if you want, you can manage separate blogs without having duplicate content.
Another recent case for which we used a Multisite is an e-commerce intended for multiple companies, also using Woocommerce. The company that requested it wanted several e-commerce one for each company, with the same graphics, but showing different products and with different payment methods.
With the Multisite, it was possible to keep a general graphic line the same for all companies, but keep the orders, users, products offered, payment methods and users who administer the various shops divided up. All with a single installation of WordPress, Woocommerce, the other plugins used and the theme.
WordPress Multisite can also be used for a corporate intranet, because it is easier to manage than a large portal or multiple small sites all separate.
The use of Multisite in this case allows you to be able to add individual sites for each division. In this way one can insert users only onceinitially assign them only access for their sector and then gradually enable other permissions. In addition you can share in the home of each site the latest news that are only inserted in the central site.
Want to enable multisite on your WordPress site?
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