After reading through the multisite documentation and ipstenu really helpful posts on the matter, I still can't decide if I need a multisite install or several instances.
My case is as follows:
I work at a research center which is internally organized in several separate groups. Each group has its own list of projects, news, etc and would like to have an easily updateable site of its own.
The center already has a WordPress blog online on which I do admin tasks, so a possible approach would be to multisite this existing install and append group sites to the main instance.
The new sites would have to:
- Be easily created from scratch. I would need to have a template site that I would copy everytime I'd need to create a new group site, then an appointed member of the group would fill the site with content. I think this template/copy stuff is possible through plugins.
- The base style would probably have to be adapted to the particular needs of each group, but not that much. Probably this could be solved via child themes.
- I don't need any fancy information replication feature; if some group refers to another group stuff in some way, the matter would be solved with a link to the other group's post, period.
My worries right now are:
- Backups: the backup becomes a monolytic block. If you restore the database, the restore applies to all the sites. Is that right? Also, you have no way to separate the backups for individual sites?
- Availability: If the main site goes down for maintenance or something horrible happens to my server, all the sites in the network go down, right?
- Resource consumption: A multisite install seems to be more "economic" at resource level (i.e. server memory use) than having multiple instances. Is that right?
Any observations/comments would be greatly appreciated.