WordPress Multisite is a feature included in WordPress that allows you to create a network of WordPress sites that all share the same WordPress Installation (Same
Each site can be managed from a single login and share plugins and themes. Each site is actually a virtual site in the sense that they do not have their own directories on your server, although they do have separate directories for media uploads within the shared installation, and they do have separate tables in the database.
There has been terminology changes with the release of WordPress Multisite. Here’s a quick overview of key terminology changes:
- WordPress MU -> WordPress Multisite (also known as “MultiSite”, “MS”, etc). This now refers to WordPress with Multisite enabled
- Blog -> Site (a blog that a user can signup for)
- Site -> Network (a group of blogs are tied together, usually supported by the main blog where registrations are accepted. A Multisite install only has one Network unless you are using a special plugin that allows more than one network)
- Site Admin -> Super Admin (the super admin user has access to everything across the entire Network)
- Network Admin dashboard (a key change with the release of WordPress 3.1 the Super Admin area has been relocated into a separate dashboard area accessible by clicking on the “Network Admin” link in the WordPress admin bar.
- Site Admin Dashboard (the normal WordPress admin area that your regular users see and where you access all standard WordPress functionality)
The Network Admin Dashboard
The “Network Admin” dashboard is a separate dashboard area for all Network Management on a WordPress Multisite install; this is where you access your Super Admin area. The “Network Admin” link is only viewable and accessible to users who have been granted Super Admin privileges for the Network.
You access the “Network Admin” link via the My Sites dropdown menu on your WordPress admin bar.
Once in the Network Admin dashboard you can quickly change back to the “Site Admin” Dashboard, by clicking on the dashboard link to any of your sites under My Sites.
The Network Admin Dashboard
Benefits of using WordPress Multisite
Enabling WordPress Multisite lets you run a network of unlimited sites on one installation. Hosting several sites on the same installation using WordPress Multisite, instead of installing new site each time means all the sites run off one install on the same network.
The benefits of this include:
- You only need to update one install when new versions of WordPress Multisite, plugins or themes are released
- You can manage all the sites in one place; easily managing, controlling and accessing all sites and users on the one install
- It’s familiar to many of your users as its admin panel is fairly similar to the standard WordPress admin panel
- Each user can have more than one site (or none) and easily navigate to each of their sites from within their dashboard