This may sound funny coming from someone who has written tutorials on setting up multisite and presented on the topic too, but: WordPress Multisite is not simple enough for users. Just anyone can’t enable it and run it, as well as administer it correctly. For those users who gravitate toward WordPress’ simplicity, multisite doesn’t really follow suit.
And that’s a good thing.
Every time I have given my presentation Understanding WordPress Multisite, someone has pointed out that the process of enabling multisite isn’t very simple. To be fair, while it’s not a 5 minute setup like WordPress is notorious for, I would argue that it’s not complicated.
Most users shouldn’t be using multisite. Most users should be blogging, not setting up a network of sites that they have to be responsible for.
But it’s no WordPress installation. It’s a little tougher, particularly the first time around. Enabling multisite involved editing the
wp-config.php file and
.htaccess files, which most WordPress users know nothing about.
Most users shouldn’t be using multisite. Most users should be blogging, not setting up a network of sites that they have to be responsible for. Running a network brings with it increased responsibility. WordPress security, backups, and proper administration become much more important. The effects of mishandling these things on a network-wide scale are much worse than with a vanilla WordPress site.
Enabling multisite could be easier to do, and it may in fact end up getting easier over time. Everything gets easier over time—it’s the way of things.
In a way, I hope enabling multisite doesn’t get much easier. Only those willing to take the extra time to read and pay attention to instructions should be able to run WordPress multisite. And for most users, that’s just not them.