The multisite is a WordPress feature. As the name indicates, it is helpful to create multiple websites on the WordPress. We are going to discuss what a multisite is and how to create a WordPress multisite in this article.
What is Multisite (MU)?
The Multisite is a WordPress feature that allows users to create a network of websites on a single WordPress installation. It is otherwise called as the WordPress MU or WordPress µ. This feature is ideal for the ones who want to setup a large network of blogs. The WordPress MU is the multi-user version of WordPress. It is the underlying software that powers the WordPress.com hosted blog networks, universities, and companies running corporate blogging systems behind the firewalls. However, WordPress MU is no longer under active development as a separate product and its features are available with WordPress 3.0.
WordPress MU Features
WordPress MU Plugins and Themes are controlled by a central system administrator. Unlike the single-user version of WordPress, individual WPMU bloggers cannot upload their own WordPress Plugins and Themes in WordPress MU. The users can only select from the ones made available by the system administrator. Individual themes can be made available to all blogs or just to specific ones. Let’s see WordPress Mu host benefits and WordPress Mu user benefits separately.
WordPress Mu Host Benefits
The major WordPress MU host benefits are listed below.
1) Ability to create a hosted “community” of users.
2) Ability to host thousands of users on one site.
3) Opportunity to provide free hosting as an alternative to paid hosting services.
4) Ability to limit sign-up to specific email domains if required.
5) Various options for adding Plugins and administration features.
6) Customization of the administration panels.
7) Ability to add WordPress Themes, increasing user choices.
8) Ability to control WordPress Themes, limiting user choices per site needs.
9) Security precautions and protections in place.
10) Easy addition of comment spam protection through Plugins.
These are the major WordPress MU host benefits. Now let’s see the WordPress Mu user benefits.
WordPress Mu User Benefits
The WordPress MU users are liable to blogging restrictions. They can choose Themes and Plugins set by the administrator. However, there are so many benefits to them with the WordPress MU. Those benefits are listed here.
1) No installation or setup. Enter user name and password and blog.
2) A chance to test drive WordPress at little or no risk.
3) Choose WordPress Themes that have been tested and are ready for use – no fuss, no muss.
4) Part of a community, with potential for community relationships through competition and awareness.
5) Comment spam protection built-in.
How to enable WordPress MU?
We’ve seen the features of both the host and the user with the WordPress Multisite. Now we can see how to enable WordPress MU. First we need to install the WordPress. After that we need to edit the wp-config.php file and add the following lines to it. You can use an FTP client to achieve that.
/* Multisite */
After adding the above text, you can save the wp-config.php file.
Now go to Tools >> Network Setup. You will be directed to a page where you can configure and setup the WordPress Multisite Network.
Enabling Sub-Domains in Multisite by Adding Wildcard Subdomain
Now, you need to create a subdomain with ‘*‘as the subdomain name. If your WordPress is installed at www.example.com then you need to create a subdomain *.example.com. However, this subdomain should point to the same directory where your WordPress is installed. We will see how to create a wildcard subdomain in cPanel. Log in to the cPanel dashboard. Under the Domains section click on Subdomains. Enter * in the subdomain field which is on the coming screen. Make sure that the document root field is pointing to the directory where you have WordPress installed. This is the directory where wp-config.php file resides. Click on the “create” button to add the new subdomain.
WordPress Multisite Network Settings
We can change the Multisite Network Settings. Go to My Sites in WordPress admin bar and click on the Dashboard. This is the dashboard for your Multisite network. You can add or delete sites, install plugins and themes, and manage users here. You can manage the Multisite network settings by going to Settings » Network Settings. This is the page where you can open your website for registration. You can allow users to create accounts and create sites. You can also disable registration if you want to manually add users and sites yourself.
This is how you can set the WordPress Multisite Settings.
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