What is: Multisite WordPress

Multisite WordPress installations allow you to administer a network of several websites from a single WordPress dashboard. This makes it simple to make adjustments and maintain all of your websites up to date from a single location.

You can set up a private multisite network that only you have access to. You might also allow other users to join your network and establish their own sites, but restrict them from using more advanced WordPress capabilities.

Harvard University, for example, runs a WordPress multisite network called Harvard Blogs that allows anyone with a harvard.edu email address to start a blog. Bloggers can create their own blogs, but only the multisite’s owner, known as the “super admin,” can install plugins or make other site-wide modifications.

What is WordPress Multisite and how does it work?

A multisite network’s users all have access to the same plugins and themes.

However, in a WordPress installation, websites built on a multisite network have independent media upload directories. This implies that each site has its own folder of photographs and other submitted items, and you can’t see images from one site on another in the network.

What Are the Benefits of Using a WordPress Multisite Network?

Multisite networks in WordPress are an excellent alternative for individuals who want to manage multiple websites from a single dashboard. Corporations, schools, universities, news organizations, online companies, and other organizations use multisite networks.

On a single multisite installation, you can even construct your own blogging platform (network of blogs).

WordPress Multisite Installation Hosting

Consider the size of your network and compare the rates and features of the top WordPress hosting providers before starting your multisite installation.

A shared hosting account is a fantastic choice if you simply plan to have a few websites in your network.

If you intend to run a large WordPress multisite network, you should consider VPS hosting, managed WordPress hosting, or a dedicated server for your hosting requirements.

We recommend Bluehost or SiteGround because they both offer a variety of hosting options to suit every budget and are both officially recognized by WordPress.

How to Set Up a WordPress Multisite Network

You’ll need to install WordPress once you’ve chosen a hosting provider.

Connect to your website using an FTP client like FileZilla once your installation is complete.

Then, in your web host’s cPanel, locate and change the wp-config.php file.

Then, immediately before ‘That’s all, stop editing!’, add the following line. ‘Have fun blogging’ is written in the file.

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/* Multisite */
define('WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true);

Log out of your cPanel and save your wp-config.php file. After that, go to your WordPress website and log in. Go to Tools » Network Setup after logging in. This is where your WordPress Multisite Network will be configured.

Choose whether you want network sites to be on their own subdomain (like blog1.example.com and blog2.example.com) or subdirectory (like example.com/blog1 and example.com/blog2) on the network setup screen.

This is significant because after you’ve made a choice, you won’t be able to change it later.

Multisite's subdomain

If you choose subdomains, you’ll need to alter your domain mapping DNS settings. In just a moment, we’ll show you how.

Type a name for your multisite network and an admin address in the network details box. Select the ‘Install’ option.

You’ll see the code you need to add to your wp-config.php and.htaccess files on the next screen. Both files are located in the root directory of your WordPress installation.

Reconnect to your website using an FTP program, then access and edit these files by pasting in the WordPress code.

Setting up a multisite network

The WordPress Multisite Network will appear on your WordPress admin bar the next time you log in once you’ve changed both files.

Admin options for the network

Using Subdomains To Create A Multisite

You’ll need to create a subdomain with an asterisk as the subdomain name if you want to use subdomains for your multisite network’s websites. A wildcard subdomain is what it’s called. If your WordPress installation is www.example.com, for example, you must create the subdomain *.example.com.

To do so, go to your WordPress hosting account’s cPanel dashboard and log in.

We’ll show you how this looks in the Bluehost dashboard in this tutorial. Your dashboard may look different if you’re using a different host or domain registrar.

Scroll down to the Domains area of your Bluehost account dashboard and click Subdomains.

Creating subdomains with wildcards

Fill in the subdomain area with an asterisk (*) and choose your main domain from the drop-down menu on the next page.

Adding a subdomain with a wildcard

After you’ve made your choice, cPanel will automatically detect and display the document root in the area below. To add your new wildcard subdomain, click the Create button.

Setting up the WordPress Multisite Network

After you’ve set up your multisite network, double-check your settings to ensure that your site functions correctly.

This is something you can do from your WordPress dashboard.

Log in to your WordPress website and select Sites from the drop-down menu. Then, on the top left side of your admin page, select Network Admin » Dashboard.

You can manage websites, users, themes, plugins, and settings for your WordPress multisite installation from the fly-out menu.

Dashboard for network administrators

Set default themes, page and post text, welcome emails sent by WordPress to new users, and more under the multisite network admin settings tab.

Keep in mind that any changes you make to the multisite network admin settings will affect all of your multisite network’s sites and users.

Managing WordPress Multisite Network Sites

On the Sites tab, you can also manage all of the individual websites on your WordPress multisite installation. You can add, delete, deactivate, and archive websites in your network using the multisite dashboard.

Adding new sites to your multisite WordPress network

When you deactivate a site on your multisite network, it becomes invisible to your multisite users as well as any website visitors. “This person has opted to cancel their account, and their content is no longer available,” says the notification while trying to access a defunct website.

Websites on your multisite network that have been archived are only visible to the network’s super admin. The notification “This site has been archived or suspended” will appear to anyone trying to access an archived website.

A WordPress multisite network’s super admins can mark a website on the network as spam. This renders the website inaccessible to all users. When you delete a site, it is permanently removed from your network.

We hope you learned the basics of WordPress Multisite and how it works from this article!