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I have several sites and I build most of my clients' websites on Wordpress. It makes sense for most of the sites I build and if I want to give them the reins it is easy to train a client on.

I know Wordpress 3.0 integrated the MU plugin allowing for multiple websites to be run on one platform. Since I have never tried doing this before, I'm curious about the experience others have with it. What are the pros and cons?

Furthermore, when is it appropriate to do multiple sites on a single installation? Seems like the websites I personally run would be good candidates since only I and occasionally another administrator login to the backend. Some of the websites I run for the clients and they don't login to edit anything themselves, so these also might benefit. However, the ones where I give them access to the backend, is it possible to limit them to only modify and access the pages/posts on their own site?

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1 Answer 1

The biggest pros on an integrated network install are that you don't have to give your clients admin access, just editor, and even if you do give them admin, they can only screw up a very small portion of their site, because you're in control of everything.

But if your client already has their own domain and hosting, why would they want to switch over to you? In that case, you would just want to use a single install, giving yourself an extra admin account to fix problems that may arise.

Mostly the integrated network comes in handy when you want to update things. You don't have to worry about anybody else updating, or even attempting to update things and possibly screwing up their system.


I think it's reasonable to have multiple sites setup on one installation depending on the circumstances. If you've got a client who's just running a small site and doesn't have hosting yet, that's fine. Even if they do have hosting, it would be fine because it's a small site. Though you should probably have a large server with lots of bandwidth, and should make sure you're allowed to resell with your host...

Pretty much if you just want to give them access to only posts and pages (and, I can't remember if settings are included, but I think they are) then make them an editor, not an admin. However, like I said before, if you use a multi site and they're admin of one site, they can't touch or mess with other sites, just their own, and really, they only have the access that you give them through the multisite control panel.

My suggestion for you is that you play around with multisites and see if they're what you want to use. You can give admins of sites as much access as they would have if it was their own full site, or even less than what wordpress.com gives them.

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Thanks for the info. I've decided to install it on one of my sites, then integrate another of my own sites to evaluate the cost versus reward for the effort. Most of my clients I have on a hosting plan on my own VPS already, so the migration is not going to be too difficult. I think the benefits are going to be worth it, as backing up and upgrading every site including its plugins gets to be time intensive with several websites. –  Matthias Dec 6 '10 at 15:54

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