Support » Networking WordPress » Share SOME data between 2 blogs on one install

  • 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?


Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
  • Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Plugin Review Team Rep

    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.

    Yes and no.

    MultiSite can run two (or ten) domain names off one WordPress install, however each ‘site’ will have their own dashboard.

    You can totally have all the same users on both site, and each site has it’s own theme.

    Think of it as running your very own install 🙂

    Are you going to need a way to post between each blog or do you want them to be individual?

    Not without it being a klugey, workaround kind of way. 😉

    Essentially, we have two sites with two different looks that are geared toward two different types of customers. I could set them up as two completely separate WordPress installs (and may end up doing that when all is said and done.) Each site has its own Pages, and its own Theme. Each site has its own Posts (which we call our ‘news’) BUT some of the ‘news’ posts are relevant to and should be displayed on both sites, while other ‘news’ posts should only be displayed on one site or the other. The news that is shared is in a category called “Shared News” or something along those lines.

    What I am trying to avoid is having two sites with two different logins that my personnel will have to deal with AND I’d rather not have to manually enter each “Shared News” post twice…once in each site. (There are also other functionality benefits to having everything in one dashboard — I’m exploring inter-office communication, giving existing clients the ability to login and view their work in progress, etc.).

    It’s starting to look like I’m SOL on this one. I’m going to start experimenting with my klugey workarounds to see if anything even comes close. My biggest problem with the ideas I’m starting to formulate are relating to SEO, so I may post some scenarios here to see what you and others think of the potential solutions as I come up with them.

    Still, if anyone has a REAL solution for me, that would be super-cool.


    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Plugin Review Team Rep

    I’d probably still do MultiSite, personally, with these plugins:

    Broadcast a post/page to other blogs. Whitelist, blacklist, groups and automatic category+tag posting/creation available.

    Allows you to duplicate posts and pages to multiple sub-blogs at once.

    I don’t think it’s too kludgey, personally, since you get your two, separate, sites, but you can post to multiple blogs when needed. The only ‘gotcha’ would be the users. All users would have the ability to be members of both sites.

    This is why forums are great, Ipstenu. I always know I’m going to find someone with knowledge and experience way beyond me.

    It looks like your suggestions should do the trick, so I am going to pursue the activation of MultiSite on my Godaddy account. I’ve found a number of forum posts on that topic here and other tutorials elsewhere. My main concern now is keeping my existing sites running while I experiment with the Multisite.

    It seems I will have to install my WordPress installation at the root of my site, but that is where I currently have my current CMS installed (it’s Joomla, btw). Am I right about this, or can I install WP into a folder within my site root and run it the whole network from there? Another issue is that until I have the new site(s) designed and ready to roll out, I want my domain names to keep pointing at the existing sites. Does that mean I’ll need to buy a couple of throwaway domain names to use for testing purposes, or is there some other way to do this?

    Any advice is welcome.
    Thanks again.

    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Plugin Review Team Rep

    WordPress runs fine out of any folder. Alas, multisite does not :/ unless you like having the folder name in the URLs for all your sites.


    Here is what I’m thinking for my experimentation and testing phase…

    I have collected all the content of each of my two sites into their own folders and updated all links to reflect that change. My domain name for the second site is not a problem, because I have that domain name forwarding to a subfolder anyway. My primary domain name, which is associated with the hosting account, points to the root. Now if I forward that to a subfolder, then I (think) that leaves me with no way to access the WordPress files at my site root (we don’t have a static IP on the host).

    My solution is to keep the primary domain name pointing to the root, but add a default.html page, which supercedes the index.[html|php] page. That default.html page redirects the user immediately to the subfolder containing that old site. All users who type in our therefore go to the old site, but I can still view the new WordPress site by manually typing in and continue my testing. I have used this technique with Joomla before and it worked fine.

    Does this sound reasonable as a short term solution? Can you see any pitfalls?

    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Plugin Review Team Rep

    Y’know, if it works, awesome 🙂 The back of my head says ‘That won’t work…’ but damned if I can remember why!

    OK. It works but it doesn’t. I moved my files around and put my old sites into directories and pointed at the main site with default.html, so when you type “” you are instantly redirected to the old site in its directory. And, by typing “” I can view the front page of the WordPress site…. as long as I have “” as the Site address (URL) in General Settings. And therein lies the rub.

    According to the Codex chapter on installing a Network:

    You cannot create a network in the following cases:
    “WordPress address (URL)” is different from “Site address (URL)”.

    If I change the Site address (URL) to match the WordPress address (URL), it becomes “”. The result of this is that even if I type “” in the browser, I still end up being redirected to my old site. And changing the WordPress address (URL) to match the Site address (URL) (with the /index.php appended to it) breaks everything…it tries to redirect me to a directory called index.php, even when I try to access the wp-admin.

    So it looks like using my default.html technique works fine for testing a single WordPress install, but unless there is some workaround, I won’t be able to test a Network install unless I do it on a completely different hosting account.

    Any suggestions?

    Actually, I just realized that I COULD do it from a subdirectory…I would just give up the ability to use sub-domains instead of sub-folders. Still, this may be a solution to test everything until I’m ready to roll it out.

    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Plugin Review Team Rep

    Just know this: Moving WP MultiSite from a subfolder is a pain in the a**. There are a lot of database places to check.


    However, I’ve been stymied by a problem I see a lot of forum chatter on. I installed everything and enabled Network and went through all the steps to modify config.php and .htaccess. Then I created a second site. When I navigate to the second site, the content is visible, but the page cannot find the style sheet. Also, my attempts to go to wp-admin for that site produce a 404 error.

    I’ve seen this issue for Godaddy accounts on these forums and elsewhere, but there doesn’t really seem to be a definitive solution. Many, yourself included, have indicated that the problem is with the .htaccess file. Interesting that when I remove the .htaccess file, I cannot even see the content of the second site, but when I re-create the .htaccess file with the code generated by the Network Tool, I DO see the page content but no stylesheet. Seems strange that it would partially work like that.

    In any case, I’m going to delete everything and try again from scratch one more time. I already know from my reading that GoDaddy support may be less than helpful. I’m hoping I just missed something in my first attempt.

    I’ll keep you posted.

    Yes, it’s the htaccess file. It’s not reading it all *correctly*.

    Given that the permalinks do not work on the sub-sites, and those are also controlled by the htaccess file…. all signs point to server mojo.

    The reason there’s no “definitive” answer is because most people asking to no have access to the server to fix it, nor understand how they could.

    I just did my start from scratch re-install with exactly the same result.

    Andrea, does it matter that I have not messed with permalink settings and it still doesn’t work? I made of point of not changing any settings in WordPress before enabling Network and adding the second site, so It isn’t using ‘pretty’ permalinks at all.

    I saw your conversation here:

    I don’t think there is a big lag time for .htaccess changes to take effect — as I mentioned earlier, removing the content from .htaccess and saving immediately makes site 2 completely unaccessible and reinserting the code and saving immediately returns me to the first scenario.

    In any case, you’re saying the problem lies entirely at GoDaddy’s doorstep. OK. I’ll call them, though I won’t hold out much hope for a solution (if others’ experiences are any indication.)

    OK. The GoDaddy rep politely explained that all he could do was verify that mod_rewrite was working, but that’s it. for the rest I’m on my own.

    So here are some specifics…maybe, just maybe, someone will see something I’ve missed.

    My WordPress install is at
    My second site is at

    here is my wp_config code, generated by the Network tool and inserted into wp-config above /* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */:

    define( 'MULTISITE', true );
    define( 'SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL', false );
    $base = '/wv/';
    define( 'DOMAIN_CURRENT_SITE', '' );
    define( 'PATH_CURRENT_SITE', '/wv/' );
    define( 'SITE_ID_CURRENT_SITE', 1 );
    define( 'BLOG_ID_CURRENT_SITE', 1 );

    And here is the .htaccess code generated by the Network tool:

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteBase /wv/
    RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
    # uploaded files
    RewriteRule ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?files/(.+) wp-includes/ms-files.php?file=$2 [L]
    # add a trailing slash to /wp-admin
    RewriteRule ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?wp-admin$ $1wp-admin/ [R=301,L]
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -f [OR]
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -d
    RewriteRule ^ - [L]
    RewriteRule  ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?(wp-(content|admin|includes).*) $2 [L]
    RewriteRule  ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?(.*\.php)$ $2 [L]
    RewriteRule . index.php [L]

    If there’s nothing wrong here, and GoDaddy support can do nothing, then I don’t know what to do short of getting a new hosting account, in which case, I want to find one where multisite is known and guaranteed to work the way it is supposed to.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
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