how to set up WordPress Multisite

If you’ve never heard of it before, you may be asking yourself: What is WordPress Multisite? To put it simply, Multisite is a type of WordPress installation that enables you to manage multiple sites at once. It’s a fantastic solution if you’re looking to save time and streamline your work.

The best part is that Multisite enables you to carry out all your regular WordPress tasks from a single dashboard. That means you won’t need to remember multiple logins or switch back and forth between accounts to schedule new content.

In this article, we’ll answer the question What is WordPress Multisite? Then we’ll show you how it compares to five of the top WordPress management tools available, and help you decide which option is best for you. Let’s get started!

What is WordPress Multisite (and how can it help you)?

What Is WordPress Multisite: Setting up a Multisite network.

What is WordPress Multisite? It’s a powerful tool for managing multiple WordPress websites from a single dashboard.

As we mentioned earlier, WordPress Multisite is a type of installation that enables you to create and manage multiple sites. This is done from a centralized dashboard that contains all the features you’re used to seeing, such as plugin management, content creation, and so on.

There are many benefits to using Multisite, including:

  • Easier site management. If you have more than one WordPress site, you’ll save time by managing them from the same place.
  • Fast learning curve. The Multisite dashboard is basically the same as your default WordPress back end, with a handful of new options thrown in. That means you should feel right at home using it.
  • Ability to restrict access to specific features. Multisite enables you to restrict user access to certain features, such as installing new plugins and themes. That can make it a viable option for managing client websites.

Overall, Multisite is a fantastic option if you’re planning to build or already working on multiple websites that you’d rather keep under a single umbrella, so to speak, so that they can stay connected with your main brand or company. Using this tool, you can manage all your WordPress sites easily, and identify them using either subdomains or subdirectories:

Picking a URL structure for your Multisite network.

After setting up Multisite, you can quickly access any of your connected websites using the WordPress dashboard, which looks very familiar aside from which tabs you have access to:

Your Multisite dashboard.

Plus, as the network administrator, you have full control over any plugins and themes that your linked sites can use. Unless you’ve enabled them first, they won’t be available on sites that are a part of your network:

An example of theme management in Multisite.

Keep in mind that to create new pages and posts, you’ll still have to access each of your sites individually. However, Multisite can save you some time by providing you with one-click entry to any website in your network.

How Multisite compares to other WordPress management tools

Now that we’ve answered the question What is WordPress Multisite?, it’s time to put this tool to the test. Let’s see how five top alternatives compare against each other and Multisite:

  1. ManageWP: This is one of the most polished WordPress management tools around. If you’re looking for an alternative to Multisite with a few more features, this may be the right choice.
  2. InfiniteWP: You’ll find that this is quite a powerful WordPress management tool. If you’re looking for an alternative to Multisite that focuses on security – and you don’t mind a somewhat steep learning curve – InfiniteWP may be perfect for you.
  3. MainWP: This is the service that matches Multisite most closely in terms of features and functionality. If you’re a big fan of Multisite, but you feel that it lacks in features, this plugin is one to check out.
  4. iThemes Sync: Fourth on our list, iThemes Sync is a WordPress management tool that looks very slick, but offers fairly limited functionality. This wouldn’t make it our first choice (particularly if you’re on a budget).
  5. Jetpack Manage: Last but not least, Jetpack Manage takes a unique approach to WordPress site management. If you used WordPress.com before making the jump to its self-hosted big brother, Jetpack Manage should make you feel right at home.

As you can see, there are plenty of alternatives to Multisite, and they each have their pros and cons. If you need to manage multiple WordPress sites, we recommend that you give each a look before making a decision.

Is Multisite right for you?

A Multisite dashboard.

Multisite is an excellent tool for managing unlimited WordPress websites easily.

At this point, you’re probably wondering if Multisite is the right fit for you. Fortunately, we’re here to help you answer that question.

Logically, you won’t get much out of the feature unless you manage multiple WordPress websites, so if you only have one or two under your belt, you’re probably better off running them individually.

It’s important to know that, unlike similar WordPress management tools, Multisite doesn’t enable you to handle every aspect of running a WordPress site for your linked properties, such as creating new posts and pages. While the feature is lacking when it comes to content management, however, it still enables you to access any of your sites with a single click, stay on top of updates, and even micromanage which plugins and themes your network can use. This makes Multisite ideal if you want to ensure your sites are working properly while leaving content mostly up to your contributors.

Where Multisite really shines is helping you manage a network of more than, say, five sites. With numbers like that, handling updates, plugins, themes, authors and all that stuff can become challenging if you’re doing it on your own. Multisite makes it a lot easier.

Plus, if you’re a fan of the WordPress dashboard, you’ll feel right at home with a Multisite network. It might not offer all the bells and whistles of other tools in this field, but it does the job well and it won’t cost you anything to set it up.

Conclusion

What is WordPress Multisite? It’s a tool that can make your life easier by cutting down on time spent switching between installations, so each of them can get enough attention. After all, managing multiple WordPress websites is all about organization.

In this article, we’ve given you an introduction to WordPress Multisite. We looked at what it is and how it can help you, then briefly discussed some of its alternatives (such as ManageWP and Jetpack Manage). Finally, we talked about whether WordPress Multisite is right for you.

At this point, you should be fully up to speed on things. That being said, do you have any questions about WordPress Multisite and what it can do? Ask away in the comments section below!