WordPress Multisite vs Single Site – What’s the Difference?

WordPress Multisite vs Single Site – What’s the Difference? (Pros and Cons). You might have experienced the need to manage multiple sites from a single dashboard if you are managing multiple websites for your businesses. There is a solution to this problem, a multisite installation in WordPress. A single WordPress installation allows you to create and manage a number of individual websites, all from a single admin interface. A good example of a multisite is WordPress.com itself.

Managing your website more effectively requires understanding the principle of WordPress multisite and WordPress single site. Both methods allow you to manage your own business or client’s sites separately.

Follow this article to compare WordPress multisite vs single site with their advantages and disadvantages.

What is WordPress Single Site?

WordPress Multisite vs Single Site - What's the Difference?

WordPress is simply installed on a dedicated domain name. With this feature, owners can manage only one site with a single theme activated. In case you don’t want to share your user database with other sites, a single site might be the best option for you. Single site will also reduces the pressure on the server considerably and brings your hosting expenses down.

Pros of WordPress Single Site

  • Since WordPress single sites are independent, most plugins can run efficiently on them.
  • This allows the administrator to add any themes or plugins, as well as edit user profiles on individual sites.
  • If your server is hacked or down, you need to fix the problems as soon as possible on every individual site.

Cons of WordPress Single Site

Even though the single site offers us many advantages, it also has some noticeable drawbacks.

  • A single site administrator may find it difficult to activate a new theme or plugins for testing purposes. As only the Super Admin has the ability to do this. Additionally, if you do it without testing it elsewhere, it may cause harm to the existing site.
  • You won’t be able to manage each of your websites separately if you are able to expand your online business exponentially. You will need to spend a lot of time and effort on it.
  • You will need to log in to multiple websites in order to manage products, posts, users and a variety of individual features on each website.

Let’s take a look at the new method for creating and running multiple WordPress sites on your server from a single admin panel.

What is WordPress Multisite?

Using WordPress Multisite functionality, you can build many websites, manage thousands of subsites, and boost your digital business. This means all sites can be managed from a single dashboard and you can manage the whole network as a Super Admin. It would be better to install WordPress once instead of installing it multiple times.

WordPress Multisite offers a variety of useful features. Each network site has its own content on posts, pages and uploaded media.

A subdomain, like http://subdomains.example.com, or a directory, like http://example.com/subdomains/, can also be created. Each website on the network can also have its own domain. It is much easier to replicate the functionality of multiple websites.

Pros of WordPress Multisite

  • You can use it for free and it is super scalable since you can use it to operate as many WordPress blogs as you would like.
  • Your server will be less burdened since you will only have to install your plugins and themes once.
  • Sharing is easy – the central code of all sites is shared, which means you don’t need to update each site separately.
  • The user base can be shared; hence usernames and passwords can be used consistently across all sites if necessary.
  • Due to the plugins being shared across all sites, each site can have similar internal and external features by enabling only the required plugins on each site.
  • It is easy to swap designs across sites since themes are shared (even though each site has its own)
  • The ability to share features between multiple websites makes WordPress Multisite ideal for developers creating websites.
  • Keep all your sites up to date with WordPress core updates, themes, and plugins.
  • WordPress Multisite does not affect SEO because search engines recognize each site individually.
  • Using a single SQL database allows all sites’ data to be stored in a single backup without having to back up each one separately.
  • You can allow third party users to create accounts and blogs on your network.
  • With a regular website admin user account, you can only manage one site on a network. But Super Admin, lets you rapidly access all sites at once and allows you to manage them from one place only. In addition to supervising the accessibility of subscribers and contributors, you can also allow them to write and publish blogs on their own.
  • Additionally, you can create websites and 0nline shops tailored to specific languages, currencies and regions.

Cons of WordPress Multisite

As with every positive, there are some negatives as well and WordPress Multisite is no exception. Take a look at some of the disadvantages of WordPress Multisite before you decide whether it’s right for your business.

  • The same security problems that affect one website of the network can affect other sites as well. As all sites in the network share the same database, even a large amount of traffic on one site can affect the speed of other sites as well.
  • It is a pro to install new themes and plugins once, but it can also be a con. All sites of the network are updated when a theme or plugin is updated. A web designer may find it difficult to switch between versions of a site.
  • Since plugin creators primarily focus on WordPress single sites, there are a limited number of plugins available for WordPress multisite. Therefore, installing plugins that do not support WordPress Multisite will cause conflicts between your sites. Due to this, most business owners prefer Single site installations over multisite installations.
  • In order to maintain customized versions of the plugins and themes for specific subsites, it is often difficult to do so.

When not to use WordPress Multisite?

There is not much overlap between the sites in a multisite. You should not use a multisite if you only want to share data and users between sites. With a plugin that switches between themes, you can make your web pages look different if that is all you need. It is easy to use plugins to restrict capabilities, link URLs, or switch users and menus if it is only to have varying access levels for different users.

Listed below are some common reasons when multisite isn’t right for you

  • If you want to stick to 1 or 2 websites and you do not need multiple sites and subsites.
  • If you are not a developer and are not familiar with WordPress, PHP, and its core components.
  • When you are running multiple sites and your server’s resources, space and Cpanels is not a concern.
  • When you do not have a large team of developers and coders to troubleshoot and rectify hacking issues.
  • There are multiple websites, and some have a lot of visitors, while some are just starting out. Because of the huge amount of traffic on one website in your network, the secondary website will be slowed down due to the shared server space and database.
  • Multisite should also be skipped if the site admins don’t wish to share server space or databases, or if they want to add themes and plugins freely. As well, if they want to change hosting providers, that would be the case.

When to use a Multisite?

Consider WordPress.com, for example. Millions of web pages and billions of blogs are hosted every month on a single WordPress installation. This is what demonstrates the scalability of Multisite.

WordPress Multisite networks are great if you want to share users, plugins, and themes across several related websites.

Multisite networks are perfect for large organizations, such as universities and colleges. Where the whole network can be managed by a team, while each department has an independent site or subsite.

The Multisite network can be used by multinational corporations to power different marketing sites in different parts of the world. In order to handle local language, each regional site can be translated into their local languages using plugins like WPML or Weglot.

Moreover, if you feel that your business sites are only going to grow in number, and managing them all becomes overwhelming, you should consider WordPress Multisite.

WP Cloud SSO plugin for WordPress Multisite

WPCloud SSO benefits

1.WordPress Single Sign On.

2. Protect Your Website with auto redirect to IdP.

3. Attribute Mapping.

4. Auto Redirect SSO.

5. WordPress Role Mapping.

6. Apply it in WordPress  multiple Environments Support and Migration (Dev, Staging, Prod).

7. WordPress Multisite SSO.

8. Profile Picture.

Thank you for reading WordPress Multisite vs Single Site – What’s the Difference? Let’s conclude.

WordPress Multisite vs Single Site - What's the Difference? Conclusion

In the previous sections, you have learned about the different functions of both WordPress multisite and WordPress single sites. With multisite, you are able to create a network of independent Web sites, which can be used for commercial purposes, and you can manage these sites efficiently and quickly. The single site, on the other hand, slows down your ability to control multiple sites at once if you are doing so simultaneously.

Based on your business demands, our article can help you select the right solution. WordPress multisite is an excellent solution if you operate multiple websites that share the same purpose or design principles in the same industry.

Avatar for Hitesh Jethva
Hitesh Jethva

I am a fan of open source technology and have more than 10 years of experience working with Linux and Open Source technologies. I am one of the Linux technical writers for Cloud Infrastructure Services.

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