Mastering WordPress Multiple Sites: Benefits, Setup, and Management

Mastering WordPress Multiple Sites: Benefits, Setup, and Management

WordPress is one of the most popular web content management systems (CMS) available today. It’s easy to use and equipped with numerous features, making it an ideal website creation platform. However, did you know that WordPress can also create multiple sites? Yes, you can easily create multiple sites with different domain names with a few clicks.

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In this article, we will provide an in-depth guide on activating the WordPress Multisite, examining its benefits, extending various security measures to consider when installing the WordPress Multisite, and finally, looking at the best SEO practices to employ while using multiple sites on WordPress.

If you’re looking for hosting for your WordPress websites, HostAdvice can help you choose the Best WordPress Hosting Provider to help you find the right hosting solution for your needs.

 

Key Highlights

  • Conduct keyword research and optimize content for the best keywords to improve search engine rankings
  • Create unique and high-quality content that is engaging to users
  • Structure your site properly to ensure it is easy to navigate and search engine friendly
  • Use SEO plugins and tools like Yoast SEO, Google Analytics, and Search Console
  • Ensure mobile responsiveness and fast loading speeds for improved user experience and search engine visibility

 

Benefits of Using WordPress Multiple Sites

The WordPress Multiple sites, when activated, provide brand owners, freelancers, and bloggers tremendous benefits. Here are the primary benefits of using WordPress Multiple Sites:

1. Cost Savings and Efficiency

Hosting multiple sites on a single WordPress installation or a single hosting account is convenient and can save you money on hosting fees. Multisite is a highly cost-effective option for many individuals looking to manage multiple sites on a centralized dashboard.

For instance, activating the multisite feature on WordPress lets you design your main website and create numerous sub-sites with distinct themes and plugins while using a centralized dashboard to streamline site management and maintenance.

2. Better Website Management and Scalability

A typical WordPress management system has a sole administrator with complete access to the website. However, when you use multisite, each site will have a separate administrator, while the major site will have a centralized or super administrator, with access to every content on the various sub-sites. This gives room to multiple website management from a single location, thus, saving time and effort.

Whether you’re operating an E-commerce store with various sections of merchandise or you have a brand that services a distinct niche, with WordPress multisite, you can easily scale your website as your business expands, compared to using multiple independent websites.

3. Customization and Flexibility

The first and essential benefit of creating unique websites with their domain names, themes, and plugins is offering your audience or visitor a personalized experience. WordPress multisite allows you to enhance the user’s experience by adding new sites that resonate with your target customers in just a few clicks. What’s more interesting is that you select between subdomains and subdirectories for each website version you create.

Customizing the user experience for each website can help you cater to different audiences more effectively. Similar to how Amazon and Google load data that appease users in other countries, you can imbibe the same functionalities for your brand. Whatever country or audience you choose to serve, WordPress allows you to update themes, plugins, and designs that correctly match your target region.

4. Improved SEO Performance

With WordPress multisite, optimizing each site for specific keywords and audiences can boost your search engine rankings. In addition, having multiple sites that address various niches and provide helpful content can offer a viable means to leverage shared domain authority and backlinks. This can increase the traffic that visits your site, boost your click rate, enhance the minutes users spend on your website, and improve the SEO performance for all of your websites.

 

Setting Up WordPress Multiple Sites

Final: Mastering WordPress Multiple Sites: Benefits, Setup, and Management

To set up WordPress multiple sites, various requirements are essential for a successful activation. The first is:

1. Installing WordPress

If you are creating a network of multiple sites from scratch, installing WordPress is the first action point. You can download the software from the official site, and if you’re using a web hosting server, your provider should offer a one-click install process.

To ensure a smooth installation process and that you have the right features, endeavor to download the latest version of WordPress and check for server requirements. Moreover, you must make a backup if you have a pre-installed WordPress site that you’ll be activating multisite on. This site may serve as the centralized hub for your multisite.

  • If you’re developing a new WordPress for multiple sites, you use a subdomain or subdirectory for your network’s web addresses
  • A subdomain is portrayed in this form: https://websiteA.yournetworkname.com
  • A subdirectory is portrayed thus: https://yournetworkname.com/websiteB/
  • Subdirectories create a new directory for each site within your network, making it easy to work with
  • However, if your website is more than 30 days old, your only option is to use subdomains within the multisite

2. Enabling WordPress Multisite

The next step is to enable the WordPress multisite feature. This process can be a little tricky, but it’s very straightforward. However, you first need to ensure that your web hosting plan supports WordPress multisite and, if necessary, adjust your server settings.

Now, there are multiple ways you can enable the WordPress multisite feature. One is using a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client, like Filezilla, and the other is utilizing the file manager in your web hosting account. Whichever method you use, all that’s required is to browse the root directory of your WordPress site. It’s usually displayed as public_html. Then, inside the folder, find and open the wp-config.php file.

  • Within the file, search for /* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */. Above it, add the following snippet:

/* Multisite */

define( ‘WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE’, true );

  • Save the changes to your file and log into your WordPress Admin Panel. There, go to Tools and choose the Network Setup option.
  • Create a network name and give super admin rights to yourself or someone on your team.
Note
Note: You won’t see the sub-domain installation notice if you’re newly installing WordPress.
  • Next, enable the multisite network. Two snippets of code will be displayed. You will add one of the codes to your wp-config.php file and the other to your .htaccess file.
  • Go to your file manager or FTP client to locate each file and paste the code. Save the changes to the files and log into WordPress again.
  • There, you have successfully enabled the WordPress multisite feature.

3. Configure Network Settings

Configuring your network settings in WordPress involves setting up the leading site, adding new sites, and managing user roles and permissions. To configure network settings, go to the Network Admin dashboard and select Settings, then Network Settings. Since you created the network title and admin earlier, scroll down to perform the registration and user configuration.

The major configuration settings required to optimize performance and security include registration, new site, upload, and language settings. When completely configuring your network settings, click the Save Changes button below the page.

4. Creating New Sites

After activating the multisite feature and configuring the network settings, there aren’t many changes, as the interface still looks the same. However, you will notice a new module named “Sites.” You can find the list of sites within your network here and click the Add New button to create a new site.

Setting up the new site is quite simple, create the web address and assign an admin to manage the site.

Additionally, you can further configure settings and users for the new site. Click Sites, then All Sites. Afterward, select the Edit option under the site’s name, assign various users, and change their roles if needed. Finally, you can also set themes and plugins to the multisite network. Navigate to the themes menu and relieve from the options provided. The same applies to plugins, but you can only activate them for the entire network, not individual sites.

 

Security Considerations for WordPress Multiple Sites

Securing your website is highly important for admins and super admins on multisite. It doesn’t matter that each admin has a separate website. When there is a glitch or vulnerability in one, it affects every other site. Because you’re dealing with an entire network, they must be highly secured. Here are some primary security considerations for your WordPress multiple sites:

1. Keep WordPress and Plugins Up to Date

A strong and functioning multisite ensures that everything is updated regularly to avoid or mend any security. This is crucial because running outdated software can expose your site and network to various attacks. Since all sites are interconnected, when one is vulnerable, others are exposed.

Some loops will be created without an established workflow that ensures the monitoring and maintenance of your sites. Attackers can easily spot out-of-date, partially set up, and forgotten sites. Hence, keeping your WordPress installation and plugins up to date is crucial.

2. Use Strong Passwords and User Roles

Using strong passwords and user roles is one of the underrated but essential and effective security measures to protect your site from unauthorized access. Interestingly, you can use various logic and methods to create strong passwords. Just make sure they are not weak, as weak passwords can compromise the security of your WordPress multisite.

You may also need to limit access to site collaborators. You can grant them enough access to do the needful within your network here. This provides an avenue for you to safeguard your network from hackers that may hijack sessions.

3. Backing Up Your Sites Regularly

Backing up your network is critical because they allow you to restore and retain data easily should something happen to your network. You stand to lose all your files, catalog, and information if no backup measures are put in place, which can affect your business’s continuity.

However, remember how much space backups can consume if stored on your account. Therefore, it’s best to back up your data to a remote application like Google Drive or Dropbox. This will allow you to keep your account free to support expanding networks.

4. Monitoring Site Activity and Security Logs

Malware and hacks are dangerous the longer they remain on your website. If malware is on your site for longer, it can attack your customer base, redirect visitors, steal your data, compromise your website, or even hijack your site completely. However, if your website is hacked and you quickly discover the threat, it won’t give hackers enough room to cause damage.

Hence you must monitor your site activity and logs. This will help you detect breaches and other potential issues that may affect the security of your WordPress Multisite.

 

WordPress Multiple Sites and SEO Best Practices

As with any website, SEO is a crucial factor to consider when creating multiple sites in WordPress. Here are some SEO best practices to help ensure that your sites perform well in search engine rankings:

1. Keyword Research Research and Optimization

Depending on which audience you’re targeting and the location, it’s important that you conduct keyword research to identify the best keywords for each site. Search engines are particular about the keywords you use because when a query is sent into the search box, your keyword when appropriately optimized, is crawled, and your site is displayed among other sites ranking for such keywords.

You can use various tools to derive organic keywords for your website, such as Semrush, Ahrefs, People Also Ask, Buzzsumo, Answer the Public, and more. Optimizing content with target keywords includes using them in page titles, meta descriptions, headings, and the body of your content.

2. Creating Unique and High-Quality Content

Creating unique, high-quality content can improve user engagement and boost search engine rankings. Knowing what your audience or customer wants and servicing it through various content and mediums will draw traffic to your site, improve your website and social media statistics, and invariably enhance your rankings on search engines.

Remember, you are operating multiple sites, and there are so many avenues for you to create compelling content across all sites and backlink them to enhance user engagement. Other means of creating exciting content include:

  • Using multimedia
  • Adding relevant internal and external links to your content
  • Using descriptive headings and subheadings to ensure flow and readability

3. Proper Site Structure and Organization

Proper site structure and organization can improve user experience and search engine visibility. A crowded and disorganized homepage or landing page is the perfect turn-off for users. Your site must be well organized if you’re looking to drive traffic and optimize for SEO.

You can organize your site by using categories and tags, creating clear and concise menus, a dropdown sub-menu for other services, and ensuring your site is easy to navigate.

4. Using SEO Plugins and Tools

WordPress is a content management system that provides users with various plugins and tools that can help take your website and content game to the next level when utilized correctly. By using SEO plugins and tools, you can easily optimize your sites for search engines. Some plugins and tools that can help boost your site for search engine optimization include Yoast SEO, Google Analytics, and Google Search Console. Selecting and using the best depends on your website needs.

5. Ensuring Mobile Responsiveness and Fast Loading Speeds

While developing your website, you must take note of its mobile responsiveness and loading speed. Most users access the internet and send queries through their smartphones. If your website is not mobile responsive and has a slower loading speed (higher than 3 seconds), it will affect your rankings on search engines. Mobile responsiveness and fast loading speeds are significant for user experience, determining your search engine rankings.

To ensure that your sites are mobile-friendly and load quickly, it’s important that you optimize your images (use images of less than 5 MB), use a responsive theme, and minimize the use of plugins.

 

Conclusion

Multisite is a hidden treasure. It’s not one of the most talked-about WordPress platform features; most users won’t need it. But, conversely, Multisite can be a game changer if you need to manage multiple sites effectively. Say goodbye to hours of repetitive work and hello to a complex network of interconnected WordPress installations. It’s a kind of hidden superpower. But, as with any superpower, use it wisely!

Now that you know everything, dive right into creating and managing multiple sites with WordPress!

 

Next Steps: What Now?

 

Further Reading – Useful Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use different themes and plugins for each website on WordPress Multisite?

You can use different themes and plugins for each website on WordPress Multisite. However, you’ll need to activate them separately for each website.

Is WordPress Multisite good for SEO?

Yes, WordPress Multisite can be good for SEO as it allows you to manage multiple websites from a single installation, which can streamline your SEO efforts and improve your overall search engine rankings.

Is it possible to migrate a single WordPress site to WordPress Multisite?

It is possible to migrate a single WordPress site to WordPress Multisite using plugins or manual methods. However, it’s important to note that the process can be complex and may require technical knowledge.

Can I use WordPress Multisite for subdomains?

Yes, WordPress Multisite can be used for subdomains, which can help to keep your websites organized and easily accessible.

How many sites can you have on WordPress multisite?

You can run as many sites on WordPress Multisite, all from a single database. So, for example, if you have five separate WordPress websites, you can run them all from a single WordPress installation rather than installing WordPress five times and managing them individually.

Does Elementor work on Multisite?

Yes. For Elementor Pro, however, you must activate a license key for each site. In addition, you must accept automatic updates through the main site when working with a multisite installation.

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