Community Talk: How do you use WordPress Multisite?


I started using Multisite back when it was called WordPress Multiuser or WordPressμ. I used it mainly to run development websites for myself. Each time I had a new client or a new theme to build out, I would start up a new blog and instantly have quite a jumpstart on the development process. Granted, there are lots of other ways to improve the development process, but that was one thing that really helped me.

Now, with WordPress Multisite I use it to run a small, but growing network of blogs. I have set up clients with Multisite, showing them how to map domains to each blog to make running a network of company sites easier. I’ve even helped a friend or two set it up in order to manage their personal blogs more easily.

Your turn. When did you start using Multisite? Back during the μ days, or recently? What did you find was the most difficult part about getting started?

How do you use Multisite? What Plugins, or techniques, have you found useful? Do you have any interesting implementations worth checking out?

12 thoughts on “Community Talk: How do you use WordPress Multisite?

  1. Even without domain mapping, it’s really handy to use the subfolder format for magazine-based sites, where you want each section (category) to be separate in the admin area. especially if you don’t want sports editors being able to access the style section. 😉

    I actually run a free blog network for homeschoolers, as its intended use, and a small persoan blog network for my own blog plus family members.

    The extremely popular Pioneer Woman is a network setup as well.

  2. I don’t know much about multisite at all… and just wondered why people don’t just show author archives for different “blogs” within a site. I guess a short bullet list of things it’s useful for would be cool. Here’s what I think there is based on the post and comments above.

    -Separated admin area for each site. << That's neat.
    -Domain mapping rather than
    -Is each subdomain fully themable? So it could be used as a demo type space? So I can run, say… Genesis and Hybrid in two different areas?

    What else am I missing (I'm sure a lot…)?

    • Each site functions as an independent blog – so yes, you can have *drastically* different themes on each blog. or all the same one. Or the same parent theme with a hundred different child themes.

      many theme shops are using it now to showcase their theme demos and to even provide signup areas for users to try before they buy.

      remember, you’re running your own personal version of wordpress.COM.

      you can lock down the privacy on each blog so clients can look at demos of their theme in progress without seeing each other’s site, and you don’t have to install WP 30 times.

      Check out the link on my name for a whole pile more. 😉

  3. Even if you never intend to host another site, either for yourself or a client, having Multisite enabled allows you an easy way to test things on a separate site before turning them loose on your live site.

  4. I haven’t used it yet, but am looking into using it for my clients. Not being a developer (but still capable of setting up wp sites and tweaking the code a bit), I am trying to understand how to use WP Multisite capability for my clients that have multiple sites. Being in Quebec, many clients have bilingual sites, some of them also have several activities.

    Let’s say for a client that is organizing yearly events in different cities, but around the same topics, however different programs (artists, conferences, …), and we want to build one blog for each city using the same template and general layout, what are the benefits of using WP MU and how should I use it to save time and be more efficient?

    I’d appreciate your help!

  5. I’ve got three WP installs going on at the same time, each in its own subdomain folder. I should probably look at using multisite.

      • Hi,

        I know how to enable it; it’s the next bit that’s doing my head in!

        Can’t find any tutorials explaining how the whole thing works … how to set up a new site/update plugins/which folder do plugins get installed to, etc, etc.

        An overview of everything you do once you have enabled Multisite. I have yet to find anything that is clear about this 🙁

  6. I like the idea of multisite for creating clients’ websites (built on WP) without having to install another WP in a diff folder – my concern is… how much work is it to export JUST the client’s site from the multisite when it comes time to install it on their own server?

    It’s already an involved process to export/install/import everything properly… it seems like there would be a lot more involved in just getting one of the sub installs out… anyone know of a good tutorial?

  7. I just started using Multisite today. I am having issues creating new sites. It creates some of them, like “” but not others (for example, “”). I removed the banned signup words, so I don’t know what is preventing any site I create from working. All it shows is a “Problem loading page” error (in Firefox) for certain domains I try to make. Do you know why this is happening?

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