What is Multisite? How to Create WordPress Multisite Network

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Exploring WordPress Multisite Networks

WordPress Multisite is an advanced feature that enables the administration of multiple websites through a single dashboard in WordPress. This functionality simplifies the process of applying updates and modifications across several websites simultaneously.

Individuals can establish a private multisite network, restricting access solely to themselves, or they can invite additional users to create their own sites within the network. These users can be granted limited capabilities, preventing them from utilizing certain advanced WordPress functions.

Take Harvard University’s Harvard Blogs as an illustration. This multisite network permits individuals with a harvard.edu email to launch their personal blogs. While these bloggers have the autonomy to post on their respective sites, only the network’s ‘super admin’ has the authority to install plugins or implement changes that affect the entire network.

Shared resources such as plugins and themes are a hallmark of multisite networks. However, each site maintains its own distinct media library within the WordPress file system, ensuring that media files are not accessible across the different sites in the network.

Advantages of Using a WordPress Multisite Network

For entities such as businesses, educational institutions, media companies, and online ventures, WordPress multisite networks offer a streamlined approach to managing multiple websites. This setup is also ideal for creating a network of blogs on a single WordPress installation.

Selecting the Right Hosting for Multisite Networks

Prior to setting up a multisite network, it’s crucial to evaluate the network’s size and to scrutinize the offerings and costs of leading WordPress hosting services.

For smaller networks, a shared hosting plan may suffice. However, for expansive multisite networks, options such as VPS hosting, managed WordPress hosting, or even a dedicated server might be more appropriate. Hosting solutions like Bluehost and SiteGround are recommended for their range of plans designed to cater to various hosting requirements, and both are officially endorsed by WordPress.

Initiating a Multisite Network on WordPress

After selecting a hosting provider and installing WordPress, you’ll need to access your site with an FTP client, such as FileZilla. Within your hosting cPanel, locate and edit the wp-config.php file. Insert the following line before the ‘That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging’ section in the file:

/* Multisite */
define('WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true);