Content management systems changed the way websites were built and managed. They have enabled non-technical users to easily manage interfaces by taking coding out of the equation to a large extent. WordPress is the most popular name and the market leader in the CMS domain. It has gained acceptance among all types of users mainly because of its user-friendly nature. There are many features which are available out of the box in the CMS while there are some which need to be enabled. One such attribute which people need to activate is multisite. It allows users to run more than one website on a single installation. However, it is essential to know how to use WordPress multisite in order to exploit its true potential. Let’s see when should you use the feature and when should you avoid activating it.
What Is Multisite?
As mentioned before, WordPress multisite lets people build a network of multiple websites on a single installation. The feature is available in the CMS since version 3.0. The origin of the attribute lies in the WordPress MultiUser project which allowed users to build a network of blogs on their interface. The program was discontinued and all its features were made part of the core files of the CMS in the 3.0 version which came out in June 2010.
When Should You Enable WordPress Multisite?
Multisite sounds like a convenient way to manage multiple interfaces. However, it is essential that people know when should they use it. In fact, users must not turn on the attribute unless they have a solid reason for doing so. They can use the feature in the following scenarios:
1. Managing A Network Of Sites Of The Same Organization
This feature can be used for managing a network of interfaces which belongs to the same organization. For instance, an online newspaper with multiple interfaces targeting different locations will benefit from activating multisite. Each website will be handled by a different editorial team but some key personnel like the chief editor or the accounts head will be able to access each interface. This is because a single set of users can be created who are then assigned permissions to the websites they need to access.
2. Developers Hosting Client Sites
Many development companies resell hosting packages to their clients. Whether they build a new interface or convert HTML to WordPress theme, they offer hosting plans to their clients. They purchase a reseller hosting package from a service provider and then manage their client’s interfaces in return of a specified fee. Taking care of numerous websites at the same time can be a complex and time-consuming task. When they use WordPress multisite, they are spared the hassle of doing some routine tasks separate on each interface. For instance, almost every WordPress website uses the Yoast SEO plugin. When the plugin receives an update, the webmaster needs to download it only once and the upgrade will be installed on all the interfaces.
3. Building A Community
The feature can be used to build a network of websites belonging to the same community. Let’s say you want to develop a community of WordPress enthusiasts across the country. You can either set up different sites for each location or ask people in those cities to build their interfaces on your installation. This will enable you to keep watch over all the interfaces while users run the operations of their respective websites.
When You Must Avoid Multisite?
Multisite will not be an ideal option to use in many cases. You must avoid the feature if any of the following conditions match your case.
1. Managing Websites With Different Objectives
In case all the interfaces that you want to add to a single network have been built with different objectives in mind, then the feature is not meant for you. Instead of trying to put all the sites on a single installation, it will be better to create them separately.
2. When Websites Need Separate Databases
The attribute will not be suitable for running interfaces which need to have separate databases. This can be due to security reasons as an owner would not like to expose vital details to others. The webmaster of a multisite installation can access the databases of all the interfaces which is not an ideal situation for a website with critical data.
3. When There Are Only A Few Websites To Manage
Users must refrain from activating the feature if they only have a few interfaces to manage. It makes no sense to build a network on a single installation for handling such low demand. Instead, they can use other solutions like the ManageWP plugin to manage the workflow of their separate websites.
You will now have got a fair idea of when to and not to use this handy WordPress feature. In case, you do not feel confident in handling multiple interfaces, you must outsource the work to WordPress development agencies.