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Introduction to WordPress Multisite


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My presentation "Introduction to WordPress Multisite", from WordCamp Toronto 2012. A very basic introduction to multisite, what it is, what it can do, and references for additional information.

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Introduction to WordPress Multisite

  1. 1. Introduction toWordPress Multisite Craig Taylor Toronto WordPress Group
  2. 2. Intro to WordPress Multisite● What is WordPress Multisite?● Who, Where, Why?● WordPress Multisite Examples● Why Not?● How to set up WordPress Multisite● Domain Mapping● References
  3. 3. What is WordPress Multisite?
  4. 4. From the WordPress Codex: “A multisite network is a collection of sites that all share the same WordPress installation....”
  5. 5. What does that mean?● Sites in a multisite network can share plugins and themes.● Individual sites in network are virtual sites: – dont have their own directories on server – do have separate directories for media – do have separate tables in database
  6. 6. What does that mean for you? If your WordPress installation is at: http://yoursitename.cawith a few keystrokes, you can add additional WordPress sites at: or (but not both....more on that later)
  7. 7. And?● Because there is only one installation of WordPress, you can update the WordPress installation for many sites, all at once.● You can install and update plugins and themes for many sites, all at once.● You get to call yourself Super Admin!● Problems may hit many sites, all at once.
  8. 8. What about WordPress MU?● WordPress “Multi-User” – aka WordPressµ or WPMU – prior to WordPress 3.0 – forked from WordPress code, maintained in parallel, but still separate project – some plugins & themes worked....... – ….. and some didnt
  9. 9. And after WordPress 3.0?● WPMU code merged with WordPress core● Multisite is part of all new WordPress just isnt turned on.● Setting up WordPress Multisite is easier than ever, which is a good thing.....● ….and a bad thing. (But mostly good!)
  10. 10. Who, Where, Why?
  11. 11. Who can use WP Multisite?● Anyone, but.. – get past the WP basics before jumping in – decide what you are going to use it for and whether you really need it – must have server access (FTP, cPanel File Manager, etc.) to modify files – dont practice on a live site!
  12. 12. Where can you install Multisite?● Self-hosted (.org) WordPress installations – confirm server requirements – must have access to modify files – some hosts frown on it or dont allow it● Local installations – sub-folders (
  13. 13. Why install WP Multisite?● Run multiple sites of your own with easier maintenance, upgrades, etc.● Quick website development/testing.● Manage client sites, control access.● Private network (school/teacher blogs).● Hyperlocal sites (regional news, etc.)● Offer a public blog/site hosting service.
  14. 14. WordPress Multisite Examples
  15. 15. WP Multisite Showcase● Spotted by Locals (● The Daily Cougar (● Glen Urquhart School (● Best Buy (local store sites)● Reuters Blogs (● Happy Tables (●
  16. 16. Why Not?
  17. 17. Situations when you might not want Multisite● To categorize posts – use categories!● For special post types (eg. videos) – use custom post types● When you need separate user databases● If users need to include JS, iframes, etc.● If users need to install themes, plugins● Hosting small client sites
  18. 18. How to Set UpWordPress Multisite (sort of)
  19. 19. Wait! Before you start!● Are you sure you need/want multisite?● Easiest to enable on a fresh installation.● Not easy to undo (but it can be done...)● If you MUST enable on an existing site BACK EVERYTHING UP!!● Dont follow my instructions, go to:
  20. 20. Wait, not yet!● Decide on format (hard to change later) – Subdomains ( ● need wildcard subdomains on server (ie. * ● web host must allow, and you must create – Subfolders ( ● wildcard subdomains not required ● only way for local install (no wildcards) ● issues with converting older sites
  21. 21. Allow Multisite● Modify wp-config.php to add define(WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE, true);
  22. 22. Network Setup● Under Tools, there is now a new item:
  23. 23. Creating the Network
  24. 24. Enabling the Network
  25. 25. Network AdminLog out and back in, and:
  26. 26. Network Admin
  27. 27. New Registrations
  28. 28. Domain Mapping Using WordPress MU Domain Mapping plugin can become (any domain you control)
  29. 29. References● WordPress Multisite 101 by Mika Epstein & Andrea Rennick● Wordpress Multisite 110 by Mika Epstein● WP E-Books (Ron & Andrea Rennick)●●● Craig Taylor.... Toronto WordPress Group....