Support » Networking WordPress » trying to determine whether to use multisite or single site…help

  • I’m getting ready to start working on creating chapter pages for a nonprofit charity. Each chapter will have it’s own subdomain and there are about 54 chapters. Each chapter leader will have some permissions so they can write posts, but I want the remainder of the sites to be consistent.

    The primary domain will not be moved to wordpress YET and the webhost gave me an IP address to use for testing the primary domain before making it live on wordpress. The webhost also recommended using wp multisite.

    However, I’m wondering if multisite is really a better option than having a single site for each subdomain. Also, some of the codex documentation () says not to install multisite if you can’t do it to the domain and not to do it to an IP. And I’m wondering if I really even need multisite.

    I want to get started on this but am at a standstill until I can figure out the best way to go. I have a couple of wordpress sites but neither are multisite and I am not experienced with multisite. What do you think?

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  • Sure you can create 54 subdomains in one spoke and hub network:
    Install WordPress and activate multisite in, then begin adding your 54 sites after setting up your wildcard DNS on the server:

    In a few minutes you can create your sites

    Sure each chapter leader/admin can write posts on their own site, add each user to each site manually as an author/editor.

    Each site can have as little or as much look and feel of the main site as you wish – choose one theme with 54 child themes or one theme with a few customizable features. Consistent is easy peasy – network activate plugins and themes. Pushing your brand across 54 sites is easier in a network.

    I would use multisite in a heartbeat given what you describes so far. 54 copies of WordPress on 54 subdomains to admin could be a real headache. There is a lot of work to duplicate 54 setups 54 times.

    The deal breaker may be subscriber management. If the only network users are your chapter admins you’ll be ok, but if you need each chapter to have mutually exclusive lists of dynamic users/subscribers that may be a headache.

    Thanks, David. Is there documentation on how to setup the wildcard DNS on the server? And info on setting up child themes?

    The thing that concerns me is that I can’t take down the current site on the main domain right now to start over in wordpress and I’ve read that it’s difficult to get the multisite working properly if you don’t install it directly to the domain. But installing it directly to the domain would get rid of what’s currently there.

    Currently, there is an online private forum with login credentials for the chapter presidents that is on a google platform. That’s really the only concern I have about that, but I may be able to link to it on the new site? And then hopefully find a plugin on wp that can do the same thing to replace it with. I’d have to convince the national president of that.

    I haven’t setup the subdomains yet because I’m not sure what to do about the whole I-can’t-take-the-current-site-down thing for a clean successful install. If I can link to the google login for the forum, I may be able to convince the national president to let me do it in the middle of the night or something. 🙂

    Regarding the chapter pages, I would have the super admin role and would assign an author role to the chapter president so they can maintain their own subdomain. The national president and myself would be the only ones that would have complete access and then only the chapter presidents would be able to maintain their chapter’s site.

    So…how much of a pain, or how difficult would it be, to create the main page on the temporary IP address for testing, and then changing to the primary domain later?

    Keep in mind, you can install multisite in a subdomain and then user a directory approach to your sub sites: (leave alone) ((install WP Network)

    Change is a pain.
    Try on a test server/domain you can destroy many times over. WordPress import/export has limitations but if you are using a test server to build content, importing content to the new server is easy-peasy. Using a test server to build your plugins and child themes is easy peasy. Importing/exporting users or any other bells and whistles is not so easy.

    Roll out on the live domain when you are comfortable with your testing.

    Thank you again, David! I will take a look at the links you provided tomorrow and then discuss it with the national president. My brain is wore out now and I’m about ready to call it a day. I appreciate your help.

    So I installed wordpress multisite Monday and am just about finished rebuilding/overhauling the website.

    Next is adding the chapter pages so I started reading about the child themes as suggested. I think maybe I should’ve done that before nearly finishing the main site?? It’s not too late to do that is it?

    Then I’d just activate the child theme on the chapter sites as I start building those and it’ll look the same (colors, header img, etc) as the main site, right?

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
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