My company has two divisions and each has its own site and domain name. However, we are a small company and the personnel are the same. Currently, both sites are custom sites (i.e. the front ends are NOT controlled by any CMS or themes). I had installed a CMS in a separate directory so we could add content. Each site had some content that was unique to it, but there was also some content that needs to appear on both sites. We assigned categories to the content such as "Site1", "Site2", or "Shared", to the content entries.
I then hard-coded SQL queries into the custom sites to grab the appropriate content from the CMS's database.
What I'd like to do now is migrate to WordPress and run both sites from a single install using a single database. However, it seems that the techniques I've found for doing that assume that the multiple blogs would all be unique in their content and user base and involve adding a new set of tables in the database with prefixes unique to each blog.
I need to share only content from my "Shared" category between the two sites, and of course, I need to share the same users. But I want each site to have its own theme control, plugins, etc. It would also be great if ALL my categorized content could be controlled from the same Dashboard.
Nutshell version: Is there any way to have two sites with two domain names that share a common WordPress dashboard, all the same users, but each have their own themes, while distributing content to each from the single database using Categories or some other taxonomy as the differentiator.
I have some ideas that could work in a klugey, workaround kind of way, but does anyone know if it is possible to do what I really need?