Demystifying WordPress Multisite

Multisite serves as an ideal tool for businesses with multiple branches, franchises, or community groups.

A hand with one finger pointing at a glass wall which depicts a network of folders.
Portrait of Anne-Mieke Bovelett, a woman wearing long blonde dreads in a ponytail, big rounded silver rimmed glasses, a black shirt, with a subtle smirk on her face.

Anne-Mieke Bovelett /


WordPress Multisite undeservedly gets a bad rap – people think it’s some overly complicated monster only good for giant websites.

I know it sounds blunt, but that’s a pretty outdated notion. It’s gotten so much easier to use, and smaller projects can also benefit. Let’s ditch the old assumptions and talk about what it can actually do.

Tackling the Myths Head-On

There are several myths, but let’s focus on the most persistent ones.

Myth #1: It’s too complicated

The notion that WordPress Multisite is “too complicated” stems from its earlier days, when setting it up was indeed more challenging. However, the narrative has changed significantly, with the setup process now streamlined, especially on supportive hosting platforms.

Myth #2: It’s only for huge projects

Contrary to the belief that it’s only fit for managing vast networks, Multisite shines even in smaller configurations, offering substantial benefits.

Myth #3: You lose control of design and functionality

Concerns over losing control over site design and functionality are also misplaced. Multisite administrators can enforce global themes and plugin standards, out of the box, ensuring a cohesive and orderly network. Anyone with access to the files on the hosting server can turn a WordPress installation into a Multisite.

In fact, when you use Greyd.Suite in a multisite, you have even more control over design, layout and content. Because we made a clear separation.

Jakob Trost, our CTO has given an extensive webinar about multisite at the invitation of GoDaddy, last year. There you can see it’s not as complicated as you think.


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The Unmatched Benefits of WordPress Multisite

One of the standout features of WordPress Multisite is its centralized management capability. From a single dashboard, administrators can update software, manage plugins, and oversee users across all sites in the network. This consolidation drastically reduces the administrative overhead.

Under the Hood

The efficiency of WordPress Multisite lies in its unique database structure. Rather than isolating each site’s data in separate tables, multisite introduces additional tables to the WordPress database to distinguish between sites. This architecture simplifies the management of users, updates, and themes across the entire network.

Multisite empowers you to grow your WordPress business

Multisite serves as an ideal tool for businesses with multiple branches, franchises, or community groups. The integration with the WordPress Block Editor further enhances it, allowing for the creation and sharing of templates and content blocks network-wide, ensuring consistency while boosting efficiency.

And when you use Greyd.Suite in a multisite setup, you can take this even further. You have the ability manage content both centrally and locally across several multisite networks, across different servers. And all of that with granular user management. You get all the benefits of an enterprise CMS, but without the additional development costs.

Big names using WordPress Multisite

The versatility of WordPress Multisite attracts high-profile users. BBC America utilizes it to manage a diverse content ecosystem across numerous subsites. The New York Times and Reuters also harness multisite’s power for their blogging platforms, benefiting from its flexibility and streamlined content management capabilities.

And then there are impressive multisite projects closer to (our) home, built with Greyd.Suite. A good example is Mrs.Sporty, a continuously growing franchise in the DACH region, with over 60.000 members and over 200 locations, that each needed a website. We’ve recently published a whitepaper about this franchise use case.

Whether you are a smaller or a large agency, with our Suite you always save a substantial number of hours managing your customer projects from within one dashboard. You can whip up new sites in seconds, with only a few mouse clicks, and you can easily create backups, create staging sites, migrate single sites to a different hosting server after you built them (which can be done with a few mouse clicks, by the way). But you can also choose to manage layout and design from your end, and give the customer the safety of being able to add and edit content, without the risk of breaking anything.

Conclusion: WordPress Multisite is worth looking into

For those managing multiple WordPress sites or seeking a flexible solution for projects requiring a blend of uniformity and individuality, WordPress Multisite offers a compelling option. Its reputation as a tool only for large-scale projects is a misconception. With a deeper understanding of its features and benefits, WordPress Multisite could very well become an indispensable part of your web development toolkit.

Portrait of Anne-Mieke Bovelett, a woman wearing long blonde dreads in a ponytail, big rounded silver rimmed glasses, a black shirt, with a subtle smirk on her face.

By Anne-Mieke Bovelett

Besides being an avid accessibility advocate, web designer and public speaker, Anne-Mieke Bovelett is a passionate copywriter. She’s a well-known member of the WordPress community and can regularly be found at WordCamps and meetups all over the world.

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