Managing WordPress for Multiple Domains? WP Multisite Offers the Key to Continuity
If you run a business that requires hosting multiple WordPress sites, you know how much work it can be to manage it all: separate logins to keep track of, updating plugins and security features on each site individually, organizing a multitude of different databases. That, on its own, can be a full-time job. But because you’ve built those sites in WordPress, you’re in luck. With an advanced feature called WordPress Multisite, different domains can be run from within one WP installation and managed from a single dashboard – allowing you to streamline your site management process and effectively positioning everything you need all in one spot.
When you take this approach, you create a WordPress multisite network. That network is made up of all your sites, which now share a single database, as well as all the same plugins and themes.
Who benefits from managing WordPress multiple domains in Multisite?
WordPress Multisite is ideal for many businesses, but certainly not all. Remember: when you use WordPress Multisite for different domains, those domains all now share the same database and, therefore, must belong to the same principal domain.
That means a company like GAP, Inc., for example – which not only has thousands of stores across the world, but also owns the brands Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta – would be a great fit for using a tool like WordPress Multisite. GAP could build different sites for each of its brands, all housed within the same network, and take advantage of many of the other features that come along with that, including the use of WordPress multisite subdomains (i.e. http://oldnavy.gap.com) and the ability to differentiate access to the network between regular website admins and Super Admins (regular admins can only access one website on the network, while Super Admins control accessibility to all sites).
But that also means that a website design firm, as an alternate example, would not be wise to use Multisite to manage multiple unrelated projects. While the firm may use WordPress for multiple sites, and while it may be more efficient for their staff to be able to access and manage all sites in one dashboard, having those unrelated WordPress multiple domains on the same network could wreak a whole bunch of havoc if one of those clients eventually decided to move their website elsewhere. Multisite makes it difficult to back up an individual website on the network, making it hard to separate one site and its data from the rest.
The pros and cons of WordPress Multisite for different domains
So now, the bottom line: Can WordPress multisite host multiple different domains? Yes. But is using WordPress Multisite for different domains right for you and your growing business? You may want to weigh the following pros and cons to help you decide.
- Ability to manage multiple websites from a single dashboard
- Ability to assign a different admin to each website on your network
- Ability to install, activate and update all plugins across the network with a single click
- Ability to assign Super Admins, who can manage privacy settings and decide what options or features each user will have access to
- Ability to utilize subdomains and directories
- If the network goes down, all sites on the network go down with it
- If one website gets hacked, the entire network becomes compromised
- A sudden increase in traffic to one website will affect all others on the network
- Not all WordPress plugins support a Multisite network
- Not all hosting providers can support a Multisite network
Multisite is not a one-size-fits-all tool, but in the right circumstances, the pros far outweigh the cons. If you’re ready to get started with WordPress Multisite, or even if you’re still not sure, reach out to us. We can help.