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WordPress multisite

The WordPress multisite feature enables a single WordPress instance with a single database to host more than one site, and for each of those sites to be mapped to a unique domain. The sites on a WordPress multisite are referred to collectively as a network.

Multisites can be visually identified by the presence of an icon with three houses in the upper left-hand corner of the WordPress Admin dashboard, along with the label “My Sites“.

Multisite on WPVIP

A WordPress multisite (also known as a WordPress network) allows multiple sites to be created and run from a single installation of WordPress Core files.

On the WPVIP Platform, the code for all of the sites on a network (i.e. plugins and themes) is stored in a single GitHub repository. Even if a developer is only working on a single network site, they need access to the entire GitHub repository for the application. For this reason, WordPress multisite might not be suitable if sites on a network are supported by multiple developer teams and there is a need for the teams to have restricted access to specific files or directories in the repository.

Users with access to the VIP Dashboard can view a list of Network Sites that exist on a multisite environment. The Network Sites panel also provides tools for launching network sites and updating a site’s Site Address URL (domain).

WordPress multisite makes it possible to:

  • Manage user account creation and access per site or at the network level.
    All sites on the network share the wp_users table in the database, but users can be assigned unique roles (or none at all) on a per-site basis.
  • Maintain a shared resource of plugins and themes that can be accessed per site or at the network level.
    Code is deployed to an environment from a branch of an application’s wpcomvip GitHub repository. Themes and plugins added to a GitHub repository that deploys to a multisite environment can be activated on multiple sites. This enables theme and plugin updates and maintenance to be performed only once for the entire network, instead of once per site.
  • Support multiple language translations for a site on a single WordPress install.
    Plugins such as MultilingualPress (authored by Syde, one of WPVIP’s Featured Partners) leverage multisite network capabilities to create a separate site for each language translation.

For assistance with converting an existing WordPress single site to a WordPress multisite, contact VIP Support.

Last updated: March 12, 2024

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