WordPress multisite setup are popular among WordPress freelancers and development agencies especially for hosting brochure types of sites for their clients. These sites are similar in nature and consist of about 5 or 6 pages providing information about a particular company. Common pages are the home, about, contact, product or service description and maybe a blog.
What makes multisites popular is that you can install plugins and themes, or theme frameworks once, and use them across multiple sites. This greatly cuts down on the time to update and install various plugins that would normally be done on a site by site basis on a single WordPress site.
The plugins described below will work equally well on single WordPress installations, but this article will focus on the multisite aspects of them.
There are 5 multisite plugins every multisite network owner/administrator should have installed.
- Snapshot Pro $10: Snapshot Pro is a backup and restore plugin that is multisite compatible. Compatibility for multisite is extremely important as many backup plugins are not multisite compatible. You will save yourself a lot of heartache and grief if you have snapshot pro watching over and backing up your entire multisite network and a regular basis. If you multisite network crashes and burns, and that does happen, you can be backup and running quickly with Snapshot Pro.
- Ultimate Branding $10: Ultimate Branding allows you to brand the admin screen and login. You can create a network wide brand giving all the admin areas and login the same look, deliver a message, and remove core dashboard widgets you deem unnecessary like the WordPress news widget. You can deliver the consistent look and message to keep your company in the minds of your customers while delivering unique and helpful content like support contact and info in your clients admin area.
- Support System $10: Support System allows you to offer a centralized area for your clients to receive support and create support tickets that can be tracked and managed. Fact is; if you are not providing excellent support, your clients will go somewhere else. Support system allows you to provide a full-featured FAQ and reliable ticketing system for your users.
- Multisite Content Copier $10: Multisite Content Copier is a handy tool especially if your sites have a lot of the same pages (Home, About, Contact, Services), because you can quickly copy content from an existing site to the new one. Pages, posts, custom post types, users and plugins can all be copied to new and existing sites.
- Domain Mapping $10: Your clients will most likely want to your their own domain name for their website. WordPress Multisite out of the box allows only for sub domains such as somesite.yourdomain.com. Obviously your clients will not be happy about this. Domain Mapping is a plugin that lets you map as many domains as you need to each site, so if your clients have multiple domains it’s not a problem. You also have the option to resell domain names through eNom, right in your multisite network, with Domain Mapping, to your clients, if you want to add an additional revenue stream to your books.
I hope these tips help you with your multisite adventure.