Are you thinking of setting up WordPress Multisite?
Then you should know the Pros and Cons of WordPress Multisite.
Though managing multiple blogs from the single dashboard is enticing, jumping into it without proper knowledge means unknowing hurdles.
In this post, I will tell you the pros and cons of using WordPress multisite.
What is WordPress Multisite?
WordPress Multisite enables users to run multiple WordPress sites from a single WordPress installation. You can create a network of WordPress sites on one instance of WordPress.
All the sites shared the one WordPress core and installed plugins and themes. However, each site can have functions to have individually selected plugins and different themes, but the files would be located on the same database.
However, if you modify the setting and configuration of the plugin, it will also affect the other sites. The setting of every plugin will cause changes to all the sites in the network.
Each site on the WordPress multisite network will have its domain and URL. They will have separate and different identities for search engines and visitors. While sharing the same database, sites will get their subset of database tables.
A whole new user level will open up, that is, Superadmin, that will have access to all the network sites. Superadmin will be able to manage and maintain the sites from the centralized dashboard.
Few of the WordPress Multisite examples are:
- WordPress.com (millions of blogs on the subdomain)
- BBC America (Different site for Different show)
- OpenView Venture Partners (running the various site with subdomain)
- Courvoisier (multiple regional sites running on the core installation)
- The New York Times (blogs on a different topic)
- Harvard Blogs (teacher-student generated blogs)
As you can see, many significant corporates and media organizations are using WordPress Multisite. But is it a good fit for your business?
Let’s see the pros and cons of WordPress Multisite, so you can have complete information about it to make the right decision.
Pros of WordPress Multisite
#1 Centralised Dashboard
One of the advantages of using WordPress Multisite is getting a single dashboard from where you can manage all your sites.
I know users who have 10, 12, and even 20 blogs. They are managing various web properties and many sites.
It gets difficult and also unsecure to open each site and maintain it from a separate dashboard. You have to remember so many passwords first of all.
With one dashboard, site administrators can conveniently and quickly manage the themes and plugins. Make any changes to the core installation, and it will apply to the other sites within the network.
It will also be easy for the team (writers, SEO, and marketers) to manage all the sites from one platform.
#2 Save Server Space
In WordPress multisite, all the subsites shared the theme and plugins. So you don’t have to install and activate the plugins for each site.
The administrator can install and configure the plugin once. It saves storage as there is no need to download the plugins five times for five sites. A single installation will work for all the sites.
You will save the space, and eventually, money on hosting.
#3 Save Time
With WordPress multisite, just update the core theme, plugins, and WordPress, and the changes will be applied to all the subsites on the network.
Updating themes and plugins are a time taking the task, yet it is critical for security purposes.
WordPress multisite fastens the task of updating the themes and plugins of many sites.
#4 Brand Identity
If you are running a branded blog network, it would be essential for you that all the sites complement the brand identity.
Although you can do this without WordPress multisite, it helps make the brand image more consistent.
The marketers will have control over all the brand sites; then, they can make changes quickly to architecture, design, and structure and form a more aligned blog network.
#5 Quick Backups
Instead of making backups of several databases, there will be only one database with various sub-databases and subdirectories.
Moreover, the data will also be less as all the sites are running on one WordPress, and one copy of plugins and themes.
Overall, the backup of a single database is quick to make in comparison to multiple databases separately.
#6 Single Account
With a single account, a user can get access to all the subsites. It helps the site managers, as they don’t have to have separate accounts for every site.
By signing in to a single account, a person will have access to all the sites.
Cons of WordPress Multisite
- Centralized Platform
- Security Problems
- Problem Sharing
- Shared Users
- Theme and Plugins Compatibility
- Modified Plugins
#1 Centralized Platform
Centralized platforms are also a disadvantage.
A person or user with access to the subsites will not install or uninstall any theme or plugins. He can only make controlled changes.
The super admin has such control and power over the network, and only they can install and uninstall plugins.
#2 Security Problems
If one of your sites gets vulnerable to the hacking attack, the chances are that other sites will be at risk too.
Having WordPress multisite is like keeping all the eggs in one basket. If one egg is ruined, the other can catch the infection.
What if a user’s account gets hijacked? Then, that user will have access to all the other sites. A malfunctioning plugin will affect the whole network.
#3 Problem Sharing
Similar to security problems, resource sharing is another thing.
If one site in the network gets more traffic and consumes more resources, it will also affect the other sites.
However, this is a light issue and can be solved by taking a better WordPress hosting.
#4 Shared Users
Each user will have access to all the sites. It is one of the major security concerns of WordPress multisite.
There are many ways this problem can be solved. The roles and capabilities of the user can be modified, and site administrators can add or remove permissions a user account has.
Still, an account that has access to the other site of the network is alarming.
#5 Theme and Plugins Compatibility
Not all the plugins are compatible with the Multisite network.
You will have to check the plugins before installing them if they are compatible with multisite or not. Some plugins can create errors, and often disrupt the multisite network functions.
The same is with WordPress themes.
You will have to look for the themes that are supporting WordPress multisite before installing them. The custom made theme will need changes to become compatible with multisite.
Additional tasks with additional expenses.
#6 Modified Plugins
The subsites within the multisite network use the same plugin. You cannot modify or do some edit to the plugins for a particular site.
The changes will be applied to all the other sites. To keep a customized version of any theme and plugin will be tough, as other sites are also using the core.
When do you need WordPress Multisite?
Well, you know the Pros and Cons of WordPress Multisite now. However, it mostly depends on the sites you have.
You need WordPress multisite if you:
#1 Running Similar Subsites
If all of the sites that you are running come under one umbrella, then the WordPress multisite could be a lot useful.
For example, all the blogs run by the New York Times, or all the blogs on the subdomain of WordPress.com.
Sites following the same design, architecture, structure, and have the same functionality (but sites are on different topics or niche), can take full advantage of multisite as such sites will have the same plugins, and themes.
WordPress multisite will reduce the storage cost of hosting, save time, and provide a simple way to maintain all the sites.
#2 Have an in-house team
When you have an in-house team of writers/SEO/marketers, you can trust them enough to access the site.
If you have a team that is helping you manage your blogs, WordPress multisite will streamline the work.
#3 One Dashboard to Work on
Having a single dashboard to manage all the subsites and blogs will allow the team members to work efficiently.
When all the sites are on their dashboard, they can monitor them more. It would not be easy to ignore the sites, and the writers will keep all the sites active.
Also, it will be easier for the team members to switch between the sites to make changes.
So if your organization wants to take advantage of the centralized platform, WordPress Multisite is for you.
WordPress Multisite Hosting
Web hosting plays a crucial role in setting up the WordPress Multisite Hosting.
Not all web hosting companies provide support for the multisite for WordPress. First of all, shared hosting is out of the question if you want WordPress Multisite.
You will have to calculate the amount of resources all the sites are consuming. It means total bandwidth, storage, and peak concurrent visitors. You have to check the various analytics and data related to your current hosting and traffic.
After that, you have to get the WordPress hosting plan that is suitable for you.
At ServerGuy, we offer scalable WordPress hosting, so you can quickly upgrade the plans if your traffic rises suddenly. We have SSD servers that guarantee the fast loading of the site, frontend as well as backend.
If you are thinking of using WordPress multisite, make sure you take a backup of each blog beforehand.
Ask your hosting provider if they support it, and if not, contact us for an excellent hosting experience.
Also, if you have any questions or doubts, leave it in the comment box.