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What is a multisite network in WordPress, and why should you use one?

William Bacchus
William Bacchus

Published: January 14, 2023

Last updated: January 10, 2023

Table of Contents

What is a WordPress multisite network?

A multisite network is one of the best and most convenient ways to manage multiple websites from one place. In just a few simple steps, you can change your WordPress installation from a single website to a multisite network, allowing you to expand your brand online. There are almost 40 million WordPress sites using a multisite network, which shows what a great feature it can be for you and your project. If you’re reading this thinking how confusing it must be to set up and maintain your own multisite network, then don’t worry as this blog will cover everything you need to know about multisite networks, and how they can benefit you.

What is a multisite network?

A WordPress multisite network is a feature that allows you to manage a group of websites under one dashboard. It can as many websites as you like, providing that your hosting can support it. Instead of buying and managing separate hosting, domains and other addons, a multisite network gives you the ability to keep an eye on all your sites from the same place (as well as save you money!).

Whilst a multisite network can be installed by anyone, it may be suited more to the larger business, that have extra time towards maintenance and upkeep that comes with a multisite network. Examples include:

  • Businesses with separate divisions needing their own space
  • Websites that want country-specific sites (in another language, for example)
  • Schools and universities looking to create a vast, online space (Harvard University use a multisite network to give their students the ability to run blogs!)
  • And countless more ways you could utilize a multisite network…
Multisite networks are a great option for schools and universities

How can I install a multisite network to my WordPress website?

One of the great things about WordPress multisite networks is that they are built into the WordPress installation you (likely) already own. You just need to enable it and then start adding sites. For a detailed guide to create a multisite network and add websites to it, click here.

Why should I install a multisite network?

A WordPress multisite network is a great tool to help enhance your website for a plethora of reasons. We’ve narrowed them down to the top 5 reasons why you may considering installing a WordPress multisite network:

1 – Create many, many sites.

It may seem like an obvious one, but using a multisite gives you the ability to create as many WordPress sub-sites as you like under a single domain name. Another great thing is that you have the choose to network activate (activate in bulk) a theme or plugin. Alternatively, you also have the option to activate themes and plugins in individual sites. The sub-site domain names will also have the same base URL, making it easy for users to identify sites under your brand.

2 – One time installation

For those hosting a large amount of websites on a single server, it would be a hassle to install WordPress (as well as all your themes, plugins, and extensions) every time you create a site. Worry no more, as WordPress only needs to be installed the one time, and then you are free to add as many sites as you wish. Your plugins and themes will also carry over to each site, meaning you don’t have to worry about them either.

3 – Varying access levels

On any normal WordPress website, you have one admin that will have complete administrative access to the website. On a multisite, each individual site can have it’s own administrator with a ‘super admin’ overseeing the entire site. This admin also has fully admin access within every sub-site. Whilst this may be deemed unnecessary for smaller sites, larger websites may find this incredibly handy.

4 – Grow your business internationally

If you’re looking to expand your business beyond your country, have a look at country-specific sub-sites. This is a great way to target SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and reach audiences in different countries. If you’re looking to target countries where you have the most visitors, try using tools such as Google Analytics to work out where your highest demographic is. Then, add country-specific key words to the relevant site such as ‘The UK’s best online store’ to help optimize your SEO even more!

For example, The Elite Web Co., have websites dedicated to different countries throughout the world. Why not check out our UK and Canadian websites, or click here to find your own countries website.

Multisite networks are great for large companies

5 – They aren’t expensive

Contrary to popular opinion, running a multisite doesn’t break the bank. It’s no more expensive than running one WordPress site. The only catch is the type of hosting you choose to use. If you only have a couple of sub-sites, and won’t need anymore in the future, you’ll get away with using Shared Web Hosting. However, if you start to notice a drop in performance within your hosting platform, it is highly likely because of an increase in CPU and/or RAM usage – meaning it may be time for you to upgrade your hosting package. If this applies to you, or if you have a larger website, it will be worth investing in VPS hosting, Dedicated Hosting, or even Web Hosting Plus. Depending on your plan, you’ll also have the ability to scale your resources. This is great if you’re unsure on how many sites you will create as you will be able to change your resources as you create more sub-sites.

If you’re looking at hosting, why not go with The Elite Web Co. They have the most competitive rates when it comes to hosting. Furthermore, you can purchase a domain, security and an SSL certificate to go with your new multisite network!

To Conclude…

Multisite networks can be a powerful ally in helping you to expand your online reach. They are a great tool if you know how to operate WordPress and can assist in taking your online brand to new heights!

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William Bacchus
William Bacchus
Will joined the Elite team in 2021. He has a background in content writing as well as a keen interest in media journalism. His interests include taijutsu and a immense passion for film and television. He aims to inform as many people as he possibly can about the vast and often confusing nature of web design!

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