What is WordPress Multisite? And When to Use it? (Use Cases)

What is WordPress Multisite? And When to Use it? (Use Cases). If you’re somewhat familiar with WordPress, you must have heard of the Multisite option. It’s the best option for companies or organizations having multiple sites. So should you adopt it? Are you looking for what WordPress Multisite is and how to use it? Then you’re in the right place. Today in this article, you will learn about WordPress Multisite and its various features with use cases.

Okay, without further ado, let’s get into the content.

What is WordPress Multisite?

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First of all, WP Multisite is a popular feature of WordPress that allows you to manage multiple websites ( including their themes, plugins, etc.) from a single dashboard. Also, it helps if you have multiple blogs or other sites focused on a different niche but are in the same industry ( Micro Blogs).

Secondly, WordPress introduced Multisite in version 3.0, replacing WPMU, a feature that allows you to set up a network of blogs. Now Multisite offers more than that, like hosting different sites on a single WordPress installation. Additionally, it provides a seamless experience for the users while using multiple sites. To understand the working of the WordPress Multisite, here is an example.

How does it work?

Let’s say you’re a business operating in different locations in the country. Then using WordPress multisite, you can create separate sub-domains for each of them like – (https://cityX.business.com). You can also create multiple directories (https://business.com/jeans/) for each product or niche.

Traditionally, you need to create multiple sites focusing on each location or product. And it is hard to manage them all. But now, using the multisite feature, you link all the websites. A customer visits your main website and then moves to the sub-domains (location-based e-store) focused on local services.

What is Super Admin?

Another thing about WordPress multisite is the super admin role. Well, an ordinary WordPress site has the following roles Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor, and Subscriber. In multisite, you get an additional position called Super Admin.

Each website or sub-domain will be managed by the administrator, whereas Super Admin, like the CEO, manages every website. He has access to all the sub-sites and is responsible for installing new plugins and themes. This way, you employ others to manage each subsite and control them.

When to use WordPress Multisite?

Above all, Multisite is just like any other WordPress feature that is only put to ultimate use when used rightly. Here are some scenarios when you should adopt WordPress multisite installations –

  • Your business needs multiple websites with similar functionalities, server configurations, and core themes. 
  • You manage a network of organizations or business units like different departments, sub or branch offices, etc. Each with its distinct features and audience. 
  • Your business itself offers site-building or blogging services to others. 
  • Need complete control over the branding and contents of the subsites in a network. 
  • Need for mergers between related sites or companies. For example, the Matrimony website and event planning sites can use a multisite feature to promote the business by a single brand. 
  • You plan to set up multilingual or location-based business sites that operate independently.

Reasons to not use WordPress Multisite:

Like other features, multisite installation is not a choice for everyone. Here are some reasons and scenarios when adopting a multisite feature takes more than the return –

  • If you feel you will migrate shortly, don’t choose a multisite installation.  
  • If you don’t have enough experience in WordPress or Website management in general, then it’s better to avoid WordPress multisite or employ website managers.  
  • If you want users of one site to access the other, multisite users of sub-sites can access the entire network. It is not possible to create separate system users for SFTP uploads. 
  • If the needs of sites differ, it is not good to create multisite. Multisite depends on the super admin in the case of plugins or themes. And some plugins may not work with the multisite installation. 
  • Don’t use the multisite installation as a replacement for the categories of your sites. WordPress has different features to organize your blogs, articles, and content under separate categories. 
  • Can’t afford the hosting cost or take respective security measures.

Still confused? Check out our article, which makes an in depth comparison between, Multisite and Single sites.

Examples and Use Cases of WordPress Multisite :

1) Internal Sites

The multisite feature of WordPress is best to use in organizations where all the subsites use the same theme or plugin and branding. For example, university websites have separate subdomains for each department or company with internal sites for its departments or employees. 

BBC America 

BBC America is a famous cable and satellite TV channel in the United States of America. It uses the WordPress multisite feature to air some popular shows on the Internet. Each show has mini-sites with a child theme where all the shows or site networks operate under a single main framework (the parent theme).

The University of British Columbia Blogs

It is the oldest University of British Columbia, founded in 1908 and shortly known as UBC. It has more than 58,000 students and two campuses. UBC adopts the multisite feature in the following way –

The professors create multiple sites for their respective courses and regularly invite experts and contributors (including students and staff) to build portfolios for the subject. Students and viewers visit the UBC main website and then redirect to a particular course. Individual professors can add new students or advisors to the community while the university administration manages the whole network of blogs.

2) Online Community or Forum:

An Online Community or group of users can use multisite to create a forum or niche websites. These websites can share the user’s experience in a particular niche. And many organizations use the multisite feature for this purpose, such as Reddit, GitHub, Quora, etc.

Spotted by Locals

Spotted by Locals is an online community that covers more than 82 cities and still growing. Here the super admin creates a sub-directory for each of the cities. The locals of each region share their experiences through articles, suggestions, and advice to travellers.

3) Localised User Experience

Next possible use case is for organizations that provide services or operate in a different part of the world can use WordPress Multisite Installation. It helps enhance customer service efforts and understand customer needs. Some of the top sites that use the multisite installation for localized user experience are as follows –


Cheapflights.com is a website that offers flights, hotels, and vacation packages for travellers at cheap rates. This multisite installation provides travel tips and news around the world on local terms.  For example, if you are accessing the site from the UK, then you will visit uk.cheapflights.com. It displays flights and travel recommendations based on the preferences and rates of the users from the UK.


Courvoisier is a global brand used all around the world. With various regional websites or subsites, it provide the best customer service. All these websites work independently but exist under one roof. The parent site acts as a landing page and has dynamic page features. 

4) Blog Networks

No matter how we use it now, WordPress multisite primarily focuses on Blog networks used by online publications. An entity creates multiple blogs relating to the same topics or different ones using a multisite installation. Sometimes they also let others or users create their blogs. 

 For example, WordPress lets its users create many blogs using their WordPress accounts. All these free blog sites have sub-domains like – example. wordpress.com. They invite users, writers, and others to contribute to particular topics. Most online news agencies and financial websites adopt multisite installations to offer services in multiple areas like tech, domestic, sports, etc.

The New York Times Blogs

New York Times is one of America’s oldest newspapers, founded in 1851. It has moved to an online publication by creating NYT Blogs. NYT blogs have more than 60 blogs in its network, which cover various topics and areas, including culture, health, and international and region based news.


You don’t need to be a large scale publication to use multisite best example for this is Bostlnno. It is also a digital news agency owned by streetwise Media. It covers the various news relating to Tech, Education, Lifestyle, and Partners involving the city of Boston.

5) Sub- Sites with different Access Privileges

Well, the Multisite is the best option for the differentiation of users. A corporate entity uses WordPress’s multisite feature to restrict users’ roles and permissions from a single place. This authorization method makes the managing process simple and transparent.

John Carroll University

John Carroll University is one of the oldest universities, founded in 1886, and uses the differentiation method peculiarly. This university which has more than 44,000 Alumni, runs a network of subsites with different levels of access for staff, students, and teachers.

6) Affiliated to Main Site

Creating multiple small or individual subsites as affiliate sites for the parent site is another way of using the multisite installation feature. It is similar to blog networks, but there is a slight difference. The subsites form a part of the parent site in the Affiliation method. In the case of a blog network, subsites don’t act as support and are independent of the contents of the main website.

It gives creative freedom to the users or admins of the subsites while maintaining control over them. Universities and educational institutions widely use these types of Multisite. 


It is a blogging service by Incsub, where teachers and professors from various universities and schools host their websites in their respective areas and teach students and others. They can manage their sites, add new students, create live class sections, and more. Edublogs has hosted more than 3.3 million blogs since 2005.

Harvard Blogs

Founded in 1636, Harvard University is one of the top private schools in the United States. Harvard University allows its users to build their blog sites as Harvard affiliates. Anyone with the email address at harvard.edu, radcliffe.edu, or hbs.edu can sign up for this free 900+ blogging community. 

Many other universities let the students and teachers create different subsites like communities, lab sites, research groups, Conference sites, etc. 

7) Personal Sites or blogs (Niche sites)

Though large organizations often use multisite features, it is not limited to companies. Do you have a personal blog covering different areas and different micro audiences? Then you can adopt a multisite feature. However, before adopting a multisite installation, ensure it doesn’t contradict the above points and requirements. 

A Way to Garden

A Way to Garden is a blog by Margaret Rach, one of the most successful gardening blogs. She used the WordPress multisite to share her thoughts and knowledge about Gardening and related pets, pesticides, etc. She uses sub-directories for different sections like how to blogs, podcasts, and e-stores

WP SAML Security Plugin for SSO

Deploy WP Cloud SSO. In summary, it is a WordPress hardening tool, that limits login attempts to your WordPress site.

Thank you for reading What is WordPress Multisite? And When to Use it? (Use Cases). We will conclude.

What is WordPress Multisite? And When to Use it? (Use Cases) Conclusion

I hope you got a clear understanding of WordPress Multisite and the different ways to use them in your business. While designing a WordPress multisite, you should consider the following questions – 

  • Who are your clients or users? 
  • How do they access your site? Is it okay for them to access your other sites or clients’ sites? 
  • Will the audience for a particular niche remain for the long term? What to do if they no longer have any audience for a subsite?

Now, do you plan to create a Multisite using your WordPress? Here is a step-by-step guide to creating your Multisite website by yourself. If you have any more questions or thoughts, please share them in the comment section below.

Avatar for Bala V M
Bala V M

I am a self-motivated Article writer who wishes to share my knowledge with others on Linux, WordPress and Windows security. I have been working in Technical Server Niche for the past two years.

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