The staggering performance of WordPress CMS has motivated individuals and enterprises to choose the software for powering their websites and e-stores. Plus, you might have definitely encountered WordPress fans who’re truly in love with the CMS and have actually crossed the boundary by running multiple websites using the full-featured WordPress platform. Well, these WordPress users have opted for either of the two methods viz: WordPress Multisite or Multiple WordPress installations. If you’re new to WordPress or are confused as to which method will work for you, then continue reading this post as I’ll be highlighting the pros and cons of each approach, thereby helping you in making the right selection.

Let’s start with taking a closer look at WordPress Multisite

WordPress-Multisite

WordPress-Multisite

Well, introduced with WordPress 3.0 and available with all the later versions, Multisite is a feature that allows you to operate multiple websites via a single codebase. In simple words, with just a single WordPress installation, you’ll be able to run multiple virtual websites. For instance, you can install WordPress with 5 unique domains wherein 3 domains would be combined in WordPress Multisite and 2 remaining ones would be running WordPress separately.

WordPress Multisite- The Pros

Requires a single update

With WordPress Multisite, you just require a single update for managing all the WordPress version and plugin upgrades. Additionally, you would have to take a single backup for all the different websites which are sharing the single WP installation. All in all, it becomes easier for you to install a new or update the existing themes, sites and plugins within a single MU installation.

  • Quicker loading of websites

Since WordPress Multisite entails the use of a single WP installation for handling multiple WordPress website processes, you can expect your websites to load faster. Also, fewer server resources and limited bandwidth would be consumed by the dozen of websites that you choose to manage using the WordPress Multisite installation.

  • Managing Users across multiple websites becomes a breeze

WordPress Multisite offers you the convenience of managing multiple users across different websites. For instance, if you’re operating a group of websites which are basically a part of a single business network, then there might be a situations where users may require different roles and privileges while accessing different websites. Here, you can manage the users in a way that you can allow an editor on one site to serve as a contributor on a different one- removing the need for creating two separate users and managing their login credentials.

WordPress Multisite- The Cons

Limited privileges for the individual website administrators

One of the major drawbacks associated with WordPress Multisite is that the individual site admin aren’t allowed to add plugins to their site without the network administrator’s consent. And that’s not all, these site admins are also not permitted to edit the theme files that are available for the WordPress multisite network.

  • A complex admin dashboard

Since WordPress Multisite uses a single database for managing multiple websites, a layer of complexity gets added to the administrator dashboard. This also leads to hassles in taking website backups and migration.

Now, let’s get to know about Multiple WordPress Installations

Unlike WordPress Multisite, the concept of having standalone websites is far more simpler in nature. Here, if you’re interested in setting up multiple WordPress blogs, then you’re supposed to install each one separately with the creation of a single or multiple databases. Moreover, there are renowned third-party services that can help you with managing multiple WordPress installations via a single server.

Multiple WordPress Installations- The Pros

  • Facilitates all WordPress website management tasks that can be executed via a centralized location

Popular WordPress management solution ManageWP allows you to undertake every WordPress website management task that can be thought of from a centralized area. Whether it is bulk adding of new posts and pages, managing and adding users or defining their individual roles, ManageWP enables you to do all this quite effectively.

  • Tailored for beginners and intermediate WordPress users

Taking the example of ManageWP as covered in the above point, well, it has been designed for the beginners and users with limited knowledge about the WordPress CMS. Right from installation to setup, everything can be handled using the cloud-based GUI(Graphical User Interface)- an easy job for newbies.

  • Flexibility to apply updates to selective websites

Unlike the case of WordPress Multisite, using ManageWP offers you the freedom of applying updates only to a crème of websites, excluding the ones for which the client doesn’t require an update. For instance, if one of your clients is comfortable with WordPress version 3.2 and doesn’t intend to update to the version 3.3, you can use ManageWP for updating all the website within your portfolio, except the one(s) belonging to the client under focus.

Multiple WordPress Installations- The Cons

  • Not a best fit for running websites belonging to a specific industry

ManageWP doesn’t serve as the right option for powering WordPress websites which are related to a specific industry/business.

  • It is logistically hard to manage multiple standalone WordPress websites

A lot of time, money and efforts go into setting up multiple WordPress websites via separate WordPress installations. Moreover, you might also be expected to device an entire different strategy for ensuring smooth operation of these websites.

We’re done!

Final Thoughts

While the opinions vary when it comes to choosing the better option between WordPress Multisite and Multiple WordPress installations, here’s hoping my post would route you towards the right direction, helping you achieve your goal of getting numerous WordPress websites up and running instantly.

About the Author: Amanda Cline is a dedicated PHP developer at Xicom Technologies Ltd- A renowned Web Development Outsourcing Services Company. She has also written interesting and informative articles on Custom Software Development, Web Application Development etc.