WP Multisite (previously known as Multi-user (MU)) means a network of WordPress sites. This is a core feature that enables you to create and execute many sites, from a single installation of WP. Once you are there anybody can sign up and have their site or blog. This is possible because WP installation is Multisite enabled. Prior to WP 3.0, one had to download the MU as a separate package to enable this feature. But now this MU is a part of WP core that has made the implementation easier. Unlike running a single site from a single WP install, Multisite allows you to run any number of WordPress sites from the same install. While doing so, to keep one site different from another, it assigns a Unique Blog ID to each site newly created. And all that is common to a normal WP site like plugins, themes etc gets shared among the other sites on a Multisite network.
-> You can manage any number of individual sites just from a single dashboard that resembles this:
-> The individual sites admins have the freedom to manage all their sites subjected to limitations
-> The plugins and themes have to be installed only once and then activated across the complete network. The same thing holds good for updating. This not only makes efficient use of server space but also translates into better management.
-> The users can create their own blogs on your network and manage them. And if you want to keep it private you can always restrict access to users.
-> You can monetize the network just by offering hosting services to others. This may be difficult if you are on shared hosting. These blogs will have their own tables inside the database. Also they do not have their own directories on your server, however when it comes to media uploads inside the network, they have their own directories.
-> Not all the plugins work on a multisite. Before you install them you have to check if the plugins are multisite compatible.
-> The individual sites cannot delete or add plugins and themes. If they are on the network, they can be deactivated or activated.
-> If your server or site is experiencing downtime then this will surely affect all the sites on the network.
-> If there is a spike in traffic to any one site on the network will affect the speed of all the other sites on the network.
-> Not all of the hosting plans support multisite. For a multi site the hosting needs will increase. Shared hosting may be sufficient if you are planning on a few sites that are more in the nature of test websites. You will find that you need to upgrade your hosting needs if you are planning to add a large number of sites and especially the high traffic sites.
1)First, Download and Install XAMPP and Start the Services
2)Now, Let’s Install the Latest Version of WordPress
3)Now, Setup the WordPress Network
-> navigate to “http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp.html”
-> I downloaded the installer package that is an executable which you can just double click immediately after downloading.
-> I allowed all the defaults during the setup. I allowed the software to enter the firewall, and then let everything install to the default folder on my system
-> After the installation you will be prompted to launch the Control Panel. Launch it. This just creates an icon in the system tray.
-> Right click the icon on the tray for the XAMPP control panel and start MySQL and Apache.
-> Now visit “http://localhost/phpmyadmin”
-> Now click on the database tab across the top
-> Below the create database box, type the name for your WP database ( make a note of it) and click on create button.
-> You can add a new user for the database or you can just use the root
-> Now visit http://localhost/security/xamppsecurity.php to set a password for the root user
-> Now right click the icon in the tray for xampp control panel and stop, and then start, MySQL after changing the root password
-> First get the latest installation package from WordPress.org
-> Extract the files to your system
-> Rename wp-config-sample.php to wp-config.php
-> Now modify the wp-config.php file in a text editor and enter the database username and password and database name. The user will be root unless you created a new user and the password will be whatever you have changed the root user’s to be above. Read below to know where to add the database information.
-> In the wp-config.php file below the line which says “define’(WP_DEBUG’, false);” and above the line that says “That's all, stop editing” place the following
Line to activate WP Network capabilities.
-> Visit the folder where you have installed XAMPP to. And if you left everything at the defaults then look for c:\xampp. There will be a folder called htdocs. Empty that folder and move the WP files into it.
-> Now finish the WP installation by going to http://localhost in the web browser.
After following the above steps we are at a point where we have WP working on a local system using XAMPP. We have turned on the capability to have a WP Multisite by just modifying the WP config file. At this point let us setup the network, by adding some additional lines to the wp-config.php and .htaccess files.
-> Now you have to login to your WP dashboard. This, will be prompted after the installation.
-> Select tools -> network setup
-> Give a title to the network and then verify the network admin email address
-> now select the install button
-> Here you will be presented with 2 code blocks. The code in the top box is must be placed in the WP config file. Copy the lines and paste them over the ““
” line in the wp-config.php.
-> Then copy the lines from the 2nd box and paste them in the .htaccess file that is found in the htdocs folder. You must overwrite all the lines there which were created by WP.
-> Logout and then log in to your WP dashboard
Now, at last, the WP Multisite is setup on your local host. In the network dashboard, one can activate network the plugins and themes thus making them available on other sites on the network. And one can also edit/create sites from within the dashboard.