WordPress 3.0 is coming out with an interesting feature – Multisite. This allows us to create multiple sites with single WordPress install, each site can has its own plugins, themes and content. This article will show you how to enable multisite in WordPress 3.0 and how to work with it.
Enable Multisite In WordPress 3.0
If you haven’t installed WordPress 3.0, you can download the latest nightly build and install. In this article, I installed WordPress 3.0 on my localhost for testing. After installing, open the
wp-config.php file and add this line into it:
Now, go to Dashboard, under the Tools menu, you’ll see a new menu item: Network.
Click on this item, you’ll see the install page for multisite:
Just enter the Network Title, Admin Email Address and press Install button. WordPress has 2 options for installing: install network using subdomain or sub-directories. Because I’m installing WordPress on localhost, so WordPress automatically detects that and choose sub-directories for me.
After that, WordPress requires you to insert some lines into
Once you complete adding these lines, click on the link Return to Dashboard. You’ll be redirected to the login page, just re-login.
New Menu For Working With MultiSite
When you re-logined to Dashboard, you see a new menu on the left – Super Admin:
In Super Admin menu, you can create new users, sites as well as manage themes, plugins on sub-sites. We’ll see it in details on next sections.
In the normal Dashboard menu, there’s a new item: My Sites. Click on this, you’ll see a list of sites that you’re a member (note that one user can participate in multiple sites).
Create And Manage New Site
Click on the Sites item on the Super Admin menu, a new page appears that allows you to see existing sites and create new site.
To add a new site, enter its address (in this situation, we use sub-directories), title and admin email, then click on Add Site.
Once new site is created, you can visit it via new address (for example:
http://localhost/wp/test). It looks like a normal WordPress blog.
Go back to Sites menu, when you move mouse over a site name, you can see some actions for the site: Edit, Backend, Deactivate, Archive, Spam, Delete and Visit. The Deactivate, Spam, Delete and Visit are clear by theirs name, so I will go in detail for Edit, Backend and Archive.
Click on the Edit link, you’ll go to a super option page for the site (I call it super option, because it looks like an option page, but it needs super admin account to access). In this option page, you can change:
- site info such as path, url, date created, attribute (archive, spam, delete, etc.)
- site options (a big list of options), including site’s description, email settings, post and date format, thumbnail, comment and widget settings, etc. This will overload the site’s options that set inside its own backend Settings page.
- site themes: which themes are available for this site?
- site user: manage users, change users’ role or add new users
- misc site actions: here you can change upload quote
The Backend link allows you to login to the created site. You’ll be redirected to the login page. Remember to use the account you created for this site to login. After logging in, you’ll see a normal Dashboard for the site, here you can add new posts, edit posts, change themes or do whatever you want.
The Archive link will make the site unavailable, but it’s still in the database. When you try to access to the site, you’ll get an error message says that the site is archived or suspended.
The Users item in the Super Admin menu allows us to create and mange users. Click on it, you’ll see a list of users and their sites:
The difference between user manage management in Super Admin menu and normal users management is that the super admin can see all users of all sites in the network here.
If you try to edit user information, you’ll see new option for user role: you can make the user has no role for current site or grant the user super admin privileges for the Network.
It’s important to remember that an user can participate in many sites.
Click on the Themes item of the Super Admin menu, you’ll see all available themes for the network.
Each site on the network can use only themes that are enabled here. Check the themes you want your users can use for their sites. This menu is simple and very clear.
Manage Network Options
To manage network options, click on the Options item of the Super Admin menu:
There’re many options for network:
Operational Settings: The network name and network admin address. The Global Terms is still not meaningful for me, so I leave it Disable (by default).
Dashboard Settings: if you want logged in users are redirected to specified dashboard of some site, just enter the its name in Dashboard Site, otherwise leave it blank to use default dashboard. The Admin Notice Feed is used to display some news on all dashboards, just enter some RSS link here.
Registration Settings: allow/disallow user and site registration. There’s an option to allow site’s admin to add users to his site via Users → Add New menu. You also can ban some special usernames, domain (for site registration) and email.
New Site Settings: you can change the email template when an user register a new site (if he is allowed), and the email template for new user registration. For new site registration, you can also create template for the first post, comment, author, etc.
Upload Settings: mange upload file types and size, upload space for storage.
Menu Settings: if you allow registered site’s admin to have privilege to install plugins, you can enable Plugins menu here.
When you’ve done all of these settings, you can enjoy your network now.
The multisite feature is one of the coolest thing in WordPress 3.0. It makes WordPresss looks a bit like WordPressMU: users can create, control their own sites. The multisite feature is being developed, and I hope in the next official build, it will have more options, more control for super admin as well as sites’ users.