WordPress Multisite: A Complete Guide and Plugin Recommendations

If you’re planning to run a number of WordPress web sites, you is perhaps questioning if there’s a option to handle them from a single dashboard effectively. WordPress multisite will allow you to just do that.

In this information, you’ll be taught what WordPress multisite is, the way it works, and find out how to create one. We’ll additionally cowl the ideas and tips for working it, its execs and cons, and an inventory of the most effective WordPress multisite plugins.

What Is a WordPress Multisite Network? 

Table of Contents

WordPress multisite permits you to create a number of websites as a part of the identical community. It is a extremely centralized expertise in comparison with working a separate WordPress set up for each website you handle.

All web sites on a multisite community run on a single WordPress set up. They additionally share plugins, themes, server configurations, and internet hosting sources.

You can handle a WordPress multisite community by yourself or add approved customers who will do it. As lengthy as your internet hosting helps it, you possibly can create as many websites as you need within the community.

For instance, if you happen to create a running a blog platform utilizing WordPress multisite, customers will be capable to create their very own blogs on the community and publish their posts. That stated, solely you because the community admin will be capable to add, take away, or change the running a blog platform’s primary options.

How a WordPress Multisite Works

The one that creates a WordPress multisite community is the tremendous administrator or community admin. They could make modifications to all of the websites throughout the community. This contains including new plugins and themes and enhancing server settings.

If you need, you’ve gotten the choice to permit different individuals to handle WordPress websites throughout the multisite community. You can assign them the position of web site directors, enabling them to make restricted modifications to the web sites they’re assigned to.

Site admins can publish, edit, or handle weblog posts. However, they will’t handle plugins and themes put in on the community by the tremendous administrator.

We’ll discover how WordPress multisite differs with regard to knowledge, media, themes, plugins, and safety within the following sections.


Upon activating a multisite community, WordPress will create seven new database tables which is able to retailer all the community’s knowledge:

  • wp_blogs
  • wp_blog_versions
  • wp_registration_log
  • wp_signups
  • wp_site
  • wp_sitemeta
  • wp_sitecategories (optionally available)

WordPress will create 11 new database tables to retailer its knowledge when creating a brand new web site throughout the community. This retains the info of every website separate. As a end result, different website directors can’t entry this data.

A numbered prefix will symbolize every web site within the database tables. For instance, for the WordPress website quantity 05, the brand new database tables will seem like the next:

  • wp_5_posts
  • wp_5_postmeta
  • wp_5_comments
  • wp_5_commentmeta
  • wp_5_users
  • wp_5_usermeta
  • wp_5_links
  • wp_5_term_relationships
  • wp_5_term_taxonomy
  • wp_5_terms
  • wp_5_options


After a multisite community is shaped, WordPress will create a brand new listing referred to as “websites” in wp-content/uploads. Whenever a brand new web site is created throughout the community, WordPress will create a brand new listing inside websites for its media recordsdata.

However, primary website media uploads will keep within the unique listing wp-content/uploads.

Themes and Plugins

When it involves themes and plugins, they’re saved the identical means as they might be on a traditional website – in wp-content/themes and wp-content/plugins, respectively.

Only the tremendous administrator can set up new themes and plugins. The tremendous admin can activate each themes and plugins for all the multisite community.

However, there’s an important distinction between plugins and themes when universally activated. Site admins can’t deactivate plugins that have been network-activated. However, they will activate or deactivate a network-activated theme.

If a plugin isn’t activated universally within the community, every website admin has the choice to activate or deactivate it by themselves.

Super directors may also activate a theme for the entire community or a person website solely. This is superb for internet hosting shopper websites that use totally different themes. If a theme isn’t network-activated or assigned to a selected website, the positioning admins received’t be capable to see it.


Upon ending the WordPress multisite set up, the tremendous admin can entry the Network Settings. Various security-related settings might be configured right here, reminiscent of disabling new registrations, disabling new customers, and banning sure electronic mail domains.

How to Create a WordPress Multisite 

Although making a WordPress multisite community entails some technical steps, the method is comparatively easy. All you need to do is entry some recordsdata in your host and copy and paste the proper code into them.

Before you put in WordPress multisite, be sure you have the next conditions:

  • Hosting. To get your WordPress multisite on-line, you will need to buy a plan from a internet hosting supplier. Ensure your internet hosting plan helps multisite and has adequate sources to host all of the WordPress websites you propose to incorporate within the community.
  • Domain identify. You might want to buy not less than one area identify for the principle web site. If you need every web site within the community to have a special area, you’ll have to purchase them individually.
  • WordPress set up. Once you’ve gotten arrange internet hosting and a site identify, set up WordPress. The quickest methodology entails utilizing the 1-click set up methodology that the majority internet hosting suppliers supply by way of the internet hosting management panel.

1. Prepare for the Transition

This step applies to customers who wish to flip an current WordPress website into the principle website of a multisite community. If you’re utilizing a contemporary WordPress set up, be happy to skip this step.

First, you need to again up the recordsdata and database of your current WordPress web site. The quickest and easiest option to backup your whole website is to make use of an computerized backup plugin reminiscent of UpdraftPlus. Here’s find out how to manually backup your website utilizing UpdraftPlus:

  • Install and activate UpdraftPlus.
  • Go to Settings -> UpdraftPlus Backups. 
  • Select Backup Now. 

Backup now with UpdraftPlus

Next, assessment the permalink settings of the present WordPress web site and be sure that Pretty Permalinks are appropriately arrange. This signifies that the hyperlinks to your web site’s posts and pages shouldn’t be random characters. To change permalink settings, go to Settings -> Permalinks.

Change the permalink settings

Finally, deactivate all of the plugins in your current website. To do that, go to Plugins and use Bulk actions to Deactivate all of the plugins directly.

2. Allow Multisite within the wp-config.php File

Go to your internet hosting management panel, open the File Manager, and find the wp-config.php file. Back up the unique wp-config.php file in your pc first in case an error happens.

Locate the wp-config.php file

Open the wp-config.php file and paste the next code snippet earlier than the road saying /* That’s all, cease enhancing! Happy publishing. */:

/* Multisite */
outline( ‘WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE’, true );

Add a code to the wp-config.php file to allow multisite

Save the modifications made to the wp-config.php file.

3. Set Up the Multisite Network

The earlier step has enabled Network Setup. To entry it, go to Tools -> Network Setup.

Set up the multisite network

Choose whether or not you wish to use subdomains or subdirectories for the WordPress websites in your community:

  • Subdomains. The web sites will use addresses that seem like “site1.yourdomain.com” and “site2.yourdomain.com”. You might want to change your area mapping DNS settings for this selection.
  • Subdirectories. The web sites will use addresses that seem like “yourdomain.com/site1” and “yourdomain.com/site2”.

Be positive to decide on the best choice since you received’t be capable to change this later. In this tutorial, we’ll choose Subdirectories.

Next, enter the Network Title and Network Admin Email. Click Install.

During the following step of the WordPress multisite set up course of, you’ll be requested so as to add two extra code snippets to the wp-config.php and .htaccess recordsdata. Don’t neglect to again up each recordsdata earlier than making any modifications.

Open the File Manager and find the wp-config.php file. Paste the next code snippet earlier than the road studying /* That’s all, cease enhancing! Happy publishing. */:

outline( 'MULTISITE', true );
outline( 'SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL', false );
outline( 'DOMAIN_CURRENT_SITE', ‘yourwebsite.com' );
outline( 'PATH_CURRENT_SITE', '/' );
outline( 'SITE_ID_CURRENT_SITE', 1 );
outline( 'BLOG_ID_CURRENT_SITE', 1 );

Add a code to the wp-config.php file to define multisite network

Save the modifications.

Next, find the .htaccess file. Replace the present guidelines with the next code:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteRule .* - [E=HTTP_AUTHORIZATION:%{HTTP:Authorization}]
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index.php$ - [L]

# add a trailing slash to /wp-admin
RewriteRule ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?wp-admin$ $1wp-admin/ [R=301,L]

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -f [OR]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -d
RewriteRule ^ - [L]
RewriteRule ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?(wp-(content material|admin|contains).*) $2 [L]
RewriteRule ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?(.*.php)$ $2 [L]
RewriteRule . index.php [L]

Add a rewrite code to the wp-config.php file

Save the modifications.

To entry the WordPress multisite dashboard, you’ll should log in once more.

Tips and Tricks to Manage a WordPress Multisite

This part will go over the administration of WordPress multisite, together with configuring community settings, including new websites, establishing themes and plugins, including or eradicating customers, and assigning roles.

Get to Know WordPress Multisite Configurations and Settings

Upon finishing the WordPress multisite set up, a brand new menu titled My Sites will seem on the principle website’s dashboard. To entry the community admin display, go to My Sites -> Network Admin -> Dashboard.

Access the network admin screen from the dashboard

To entry the community settings display because the tremendous admin, go to Settings -> Network Settings.

Registration Settings

These settings modify guidelines associated to consumer registrations.

Configure the registration settings

  • Allow new registrations. You can enable individuals to register as customers in your community and create their very own websites.
  • Registration notification. Receive electronic mail notifications at any time when customers create accounts and web sites.
  • Add New Users. Allow website admins so as to add new customers to their website.
  • Banned Names. Enter phrases that aren’t allowed as web site names, separated by areas.
  • Limited Email Registrations. Enter domains that you simply’d wish to restrict from registering web sites.
  • Banned Email Domains. Enter domains that you simply wish to prohibit from registering web sites.

New Website Settings

This set of settings permits you to customise the welcome electronic mail message for brand new customers and the “default” or “instance” first posts on new websites.

Configure the new site settings

Upload Settings

These settings modify guidelines associated to file uploads on the multisite community.

Configure the upload settings

  • Site add area. To restrict the whole dimension of all recordsdata uploaded to at least one web site, choose and enter a worth in MB.
  • Upload file varieties. Enter the file extensions which can be allowed to be uploaded on the community. Separate every file extension by areas.
  • Max add file dimension. Enter the utmost dimension of every file add in KB.

Language Settings

Here, you possibly can select the default language for all of the websites in your community.

Menu Settings

If you choose Enable administration menus, web site admins could have the choice to activate and deactivate plugins on their very own website.

Keep in thoughts that they nonetheless received’t be capable to add new plugins – solely you, because the tremendous admin, can do that.

Add a New Website 

To add new websites because the tremendous admin:

  • From the community dashboard, go to the Sites display -> Add New.
  • Fill within the required fields.

Add a new site to the multisite network

  • Click Add Site.

Set Up Themes and Plugins

In this part, you’ll discover ways to arrange plugins and themes on WordPress multisite.

Setting up a Theme

The theme set up course of is just like how you’ll do it on a regular WordPress website. However, solely the tremendous admin can set up new themes on the community. Here’s find out how to do it:

  • From the multisite dashboard, go to Themes -> Add New.
  • Choose a theme and Install it.
  • Return to the Themes primary web page.
  • Underneath the theme identify, you will notice the choice to Network Enable it. This choice will activate the theme on all of the websites in your community.

Activate a theme on all the sites in the multisite network

Alternatively, right here’s find out how to allow a theme for a selected website solely:

  • From the community dashboard, navigate to the Sites hyperlink.
  • Find the web site to which you wish to apply the theme and click on Edit beneath its identify.

Enable a theme on a specific site only

  • Select the Themes tab.
  • Find the theme you wish to apply and click on Enable.

Click on the enable link

Enabling a theme on a specific web site will let the positioning admin select to activate it. Any theme that isn’t enabled received’t present up as an choice to the positioning admin.

Setting up a Plugin

Installing a plugin on a multisite community is just like doing it on a regular WordPress website, as properly. Follow these steps to do it:

  • Go to Plugins -> Add New from the community dashboard.
  • Choose a plugin and Install it.
  • Return to the Plugins primary web page.
  • Underneath the plugin identify, you will notice the choice to Network Activate it. This choice will activate the plugin on all of the websites in your community.

Install a plugin on a multisite network

If you select to not community allow a plugin, the positioning admins shall be free to determine whether or not they wish to activate the plugin on their website or not.

Add or Remove Users and Assign Roles

As the Super Admin or Network Administrator

To manually add a brand new consumer:

  • From the community dashboard, go to Users -> Add New.
  • Enter the Username and Email of the brand new consumer.

Manually add a new user

  • Select Add User.

To enable customers to register on their very own:

  • Go to Settings -> Network Settings.
  • Under Registration Settings, discover the Allow new registrations configuration.
  • Depending in your choice, select User accounts could also be registered, or Both websites and consumer accounts might be registered.
  • Click Save Changes.

Select user accounts may be registered

To enable website directors so as to add new customers to their web sites:

  • Go to Settings -> Network Settings.
  • Under Registration Settings, discover the Add New Users.
  • Select Allow website directors so as to add new customers by way of the “Users → Add New” web page.

Enable option to allow site admins to add new users to their site via the users to add new page

  • Click Save Changes.

To assign a brand new position to a consumer:

  • Go to Sites to open the positioning settings display.
  • Find the web site you wish to assign a consumer to and click on Edit.
  • Switch to the Users tab.
  • Find the consumer you need and verify the field earlier than their username.
  • Select a brand new position for the chosen consumer from the second drop-down menu. In this instance, we’ll assign the Administrator position to User instance.

Assign a new role to a user

  • Confirm the brand new position by clicking Change.

As a Site Admin

To manually add a brand new or current consumer:

  • First, be sure that the tremendous admin has enabled the choice for website admins so as to add new customers.
  • Log in to the positioning admin screens and go to Users -> Add New.
  • You’ll have the choice to Add Existing User or Add New User. If the consumer you wish to add is already a member of the community, fill within the fields beneath the previous part. Otherwise, go for the latter.
  • Choose the Role for the consumer from the drop-down menu.
  • Finalize by clicking Add Existing User or Add New User.

Manually add a new user as a site admin

Remove a User

To take away a consumer, observe these steps:

  • Go to Users -> All Users.
  • Hover the cursor over the consumer you wish to take away and click on Delete.

Delete a user on the multisite network

  • Choose whether or not you wish to Delete All Content created by the consumer or Attribute All Content to a different consumer.
  • Click Confirm Deletion.

Pros and Cons of WordPress Multisite and Who It Is Best For

Read this part to search out out whether or not WordPress multisite goes to be a very good match on your undertaking.

When to Use a WordPress Multisite

Here are some execs of utilizing WordPress multisite:

  • Centralized multisite dashboard. Having a centralized system makes website creation and  administration simpler and extra time-efficient. For instance, plugins and themes solely should be put in as soon as and might be network-activated.
  • Controlled freedom for customers and website directors. Site admins have some freedom to run their web sites. The tremendous admin can determine how a lot management they wish to train over the websites within the community.
  • Quick upkeep. The tremendous admin can immediately carry out upkeep duties like knowledge backups and software program updates for a number of websites.
  • Consistent model identification. Having a number of websites in the identical community will make it simpler to ascertain and keep constant branding.

Here are some examples of how customers use WordPress multisite:

  • Blogging platforms
  • Personal websites
  • University, faculty, or enterprise websites with a number of divisions
  • eCommerce web sites promoting varied merchandise
  • Any large web site that advantages from being damaged up into smaller sections

When Not to Use a WordPress Multisite

Here are some cons of utilizing WordPress multisite:

  • Theme and plugin incompatibility. Some plugins and themes could not help WordPress multisite. Read the plugin or theme’s description fastidiously earlier than putting in it.
  • Hosting incompatibility. Basic internet hosting plans are incompatible with WordPress multisite. Consider upgrading your internet hosting to satisfy its wants and guarantee the most effective efficiency.
  • Problem sharing. If a web site in a multisite community encounters a problem, it’s more likely to have an effect on different websites within the community as properly. For instance, if one website is experiencing excessive site visitors, it would negatively impression the efficiency of the opposite websites as properly.
  • Security dangers. Unfortunately, a centralized system can imply greater safety dangers. If one website is compromised, the opposite websites shall be at risk of being breached too.

Therefore, WordPress multisite just isn’t beneficial for:

  • Users with restricted internet hosting sources
  • Websites that prioritize efficiency and safety
  • Managing a number of websites that use totally different internet hosting servers – a administration software like ManageWP is a greater slot in such situations

Best Plugins for WordPress Multisite

This part will discover a number of the greatest plugins to reinforce WordPress multisite.

1. Elementor

Elementor: Build intuitively with our drag and drop editor

Elementor Stats:

  • Downloads: 5,000,000+
  • Rating: 4.7/5
  • Notable Features: Multiple design options, 100+ pre-designed templates and blocks, 40+ free widgets
  • Best Suited For: Users who wish to design their web site with out coding
  • Price: $0-999/12 months

Elementor is a drag-and-drop web page builder for WordPress that helps multisite. With lots of of premade design components, it offers a good way to construct handsome web sites with out enhancing their code.

All you need to do is set up and activate the plugin and create a brand new web page utilizing the editor. However, earlier than you do, be sure your theme helps Elementor.

Elementor Pro, beginning at $49/12 months, contains superior options, reminiscent of 300+ professional templates, movement results, and premium buyer help. That stated, you have to a separate license key for every website on the community.

2. User Switching

Plugin: User Switching

User Switching Stats:

  • Downloads: 200,000+
  • Rating: 4.9/5
  • Notable Features: Full password safety, strictly for tremendous admins, cookie authentication system utilization
  • Best Suited For: Test environments
  • Price: Free

User Switching lets tremendous admins of WordPress multisite networks shortly change between totally different consumer accounts with out manually logging in.

Activating the User Switching plugin will modify the Users web page within the WordPress admin dashboard. A new hyperlink Switch To will seem alongside every username. Clicking it would let the tremendous admin immediately change to the chosen consumer account.

This free plugin is superb for customers working in a check surroundings or those that want having management over their consumer accounts.

3. Multisite Enhancements

Multiesite Enhancements by Frank Bultge

Multisite Enhancements Stats:

  • Downloads: 100+
  • Rating: 4.4/5
  • Notable Features: Blog and consumer ID in community view, energetic plugins and themes data in community view, “Add New” hyperlink below the Plugins menu within the community dashboard
  • Best Suited For: Any WordPress multisite tremendous admin on the lookout for extra environment friendly administration options
  • Price: Free

Multisite Enhancements is a plugin that provides extra priceless options to the community admin screens. Its goal is to make managing a multisite community simpler.

Once you’ve gotten put in and activated this free plugin, go to your community admin screens. Then, to alter the default settings, navigate to Settings -> Multisite Enhancements.

4. Yoast SEO

Download Yoast SEO for everyone

Yoast search engine optimisation Stats:

  • Downloads: 5,000,000+
  • Rating: 4.8/5
  • Notable Features: Automated technical search engine optimisation enhancements, Google search outcomes preview, search engine optimisation evaluation software
  • Best Suited For: Any web site that desires to rank greater on search engine outcomes pages
  • Price: $0-89/12 months

Yoast SEO is the preferred plugin for optimizing WordPress web sites’ search engine efficiency.

Once put in and activated, Yoast search engine optimisation will routinely enhance the technical search engine optimisation of the web site. When writing a brand new put up, you will notice the Yoast search engine optimisation evaluation software. This software analyzes the search engine optimisation efficiency of your writing and gives options to enhance it in real-time.

Remember that you should utilize one Yoast search engine optimisation license for a number of websites on the identical WordPress set up that makes use of subdirectories. If your WordPress community makes use of subdomains as an alternative, you’ll should get a separate license for each website.

While the free model of Yoast search engine optimisation has the important options, the premium model, which prices $89/12 months, provides superior performance reminiscent of inside linking options, social sharing previews, and synonym and associated keyphrase options.

5. Smush

Smush: The most popular image optimization plugin for WordPress

Smush Stats:

  • Downloads: 1,000,000+
  • Rating: 4.8/5
  • Notable Features: Image lazy loading, lossless picture compression, bulk optimization
  • Best Suited For: Websites with numerous pictures
  • Price: $0-5/month

Good picture optimization is vital for any web site – in any other case, its efficiency could undergo. Smush is likely one of the hottest picture optimization plugins for WordPress.

Once activated, Smush will detect all the photographs in your web site and routinely optimize them with out sacrificing high quality. A new Smush menu on the admin dashboard will allow you to change its settings.

This freemium plugin totally helps WordPress multisite. Users can optimize all pictures on the community or arrange optimization settings for particular person websites.

If you improve to Smush Pro for $5/month, you’ll unlock options reminiscent of 10 GB Smush CDN, 2x higher compression, WebP conversion, and 24/7 help.

6. Wordfence Security

Wordfence: Securing your WordPress investment

Wordfence Security Stats:

  • Downloads: 4,000,000+
  • Rating: 4.7/5
  • Notable Features: Web software firewall, safety scanner, login safety
  • Best Suited For: Any web site that values safety
  • Price: $0-99/12 months

Wordfence Security lets customers add important safety towards safety threats.

Its core options embrace the firewall, which blocks malicious site visitors, the safety scanner, which checks the web site recordsdata and database for abnormalities, and two-factor authentication, which protects web sites towards brute pressure assaults.

Wordfence Security totally helps WordPress multisite. Once network-activated, the plugin can scan the entire community for malware with a single click on.

If you improve to the premium model of Wordfence Security for $99/12 months, you’ll get superior options, together with real-time IP blocklist, premium help, nation blocking, and extra frequent safety scans.


WordPress multisite is a strong function that lets customers create and handle a number of web sites utilizing a single WordPress set up.

In this tutorial, you’ve gotten discovered how WordPress multisite works, find out how to create one, and a number of suggestions and tips for working it. We have additionally defined its execs and cons and listed the most effective plugins you need to use to get probably the most out of WordPress multisite.

We hope this tutorial helps you begin your personal WordPress multisite. Best of luck!