Consider this: You operate a blogging network. How will you manage it from scratch? Building one is not so easy, and your developer will charge a fortune just to develop one for you.
But, there is a simple solution.
WordPress Multisite! It is a fantastic tool that lets anyone create and manage more than one website with a single Content Management System (CMS). We have already described the complete process of WordPress Multisite installation.
However, there are many multisite themes and plugins available in the market to help you get started with your site network. Let’s learn about them.
WordPress Multisite feature can be used for many reasons. From setting up your blog network - as we have explained already- to manage multiple websites on a single platform - perfect for affiliate marketers.
It was integrated into WordPress in 2010. The purpose behind the WordPress Multisite feature was to help WordPress users manage all their sites with a single dashboard. Before WordPress Multisite, users had to install different instances of the WordPress app to launch a new website.
WordPress Multisite feature was first introduced in WordPress version 3.0
Users can create and manage new websites with WordPress Multisite by pointing the new domain to the subdomain they created with the multisite feature
There are more than a hundred WordPress multisite plugins available in the market WordPress users can use to manage their site instances
WordPress Multisite is hidden by default and would require changing the WP Configuration file to enable it on your CMS platform
WordPress Multisite offers two ways to create directories: With subdomains, and with sub-directories
Adding multisite plugins can enhance the management and control of a WordPress multisite website
Let's discuss each WordPress Multisite plugin in detail. We will try to find out how it can enhance the functionality of your WordPress multisite website projects.
With Multisite Enhancements plugin, you can easily find out which site has a particular plugin active on the whole platform. You can now optimize your super admin dashboard to make it more appealing, easy to understand and to get more information at a glance. Multisite enhancements plugin lets you create links directly for your plugin’s menu. You can also find out which themes and plugins are active on all sites controlled with the Multisite feature. You can even add a favicon to each website through the 'My Sites' menu. Moreover, WordPress multisite plugin also tells about the usage of RAM, version of SQL, and PHP server details in its footer menu.
As a super admin, you would want to make more changes to your Multisite project. It means customizing the website, adding filters, and changing roles of the users - all from a single dashboard. The Multisite Toolbar Additions plugin lets you do that. It is a lightweight plugin for admins who would like to make things easier for themselves.
You can easily install the plugin on your WordPress multisite project, and it will instantly add many useful links to your admin toolbar.
If you want to use an admin toolbar on your single-site project, you can use the Multisite toolbar for that as well.
All user registrations are linked to a single site in a WordPress Multisite project. With WP Multisite user sync plugin, you can connect the same user to other projects of the multisite installation. The plugin offers an individual sync/un-sync option that you can use to move users from one website to the next with ease. Everything is available on a single view, and managing sites is comfortable with the plugin, as shown in the screenshot below. The plugin is available as a freemium. You can use the Pro version to change the user role after syncing or un-syncing.
Next, we have Smush, the fastest image optimization plugin, that you can use to decrease the size of images available on your website. It also optimizes speed and performance. Smush is easy to set up. It supports the following formats JPG, PNG, GIMP, and even the Google based image format.
In a WordPress Multisite network, you can install Smush on your multisite network to add the same setting to all websites hosted on the platform. It can also override module settings so that your site project can work at top speed. Use Smush to process your files, including PNG, JPEG, and GIF, for optimum results.
Once installed on a single network, you will not have to reinstall it on all instances to resize images.
Gutenberg plugin makes website creation easy. When you start setting up new websites using the WordPress multisite plugin, setting them all up is a hectic task. But thanks to Gutenberg's ultimate blocks plugin, you can easily set up the design of your website as per your choice.
Gutenberg plugin offers advanced, powerful blocks that let anyone in your multisite network create any type of site in minutes.
You can also add new functionalities with just a few clicks and add several unique and creative blocks to build and design pages or posts. The best part? You don't even have to write a single line of code.
Building authority for your profile is highly essential in the digital world. But using the same author profile for all websites can being a monotonous feel to it. So, what is the solution? Thankfully there is a plugin called 'Individual Multisite Author' that lets users create multiple authors for their websites. What this plugin does is that it enables you to add a unique bio for each user created on the multisite project. It means when a person visits one website, they will see a different author profile. When they visit another website operated on the same WordPress multisite network, they will see a different website.
Install the plugin on your WordPress multisite and you are good to go. The plugin will automatically replicate one profile across multiple domains making your work easier.
Although Hummingbird is not a multisite plugin, you can use it on multiple sites based on the WordPress multisite framework. Hummingbird is a cache plugin that optimizes your website performance. When you add various websites on a single WordPress instance, you would want to improve their performance as well. What if you can do all that with a single plugin? That's where Hummingbird multisite plugin comes in. It optimizes the performance of all websites in a single go and helps you save time, money, and unnecessary stress.
Pro Sites plugin is for blog managers who would like to give their users more liberty in site management. With the plugin, users can easily create their sites - including the signup, registration process, and pricing options. The plugin can manage as many websites as you have on your network. An excellent example of a multisite network will be a University blog for students enrolled in it. Each blog will work in its personal space, and you, as the super admin, can oversee them all.
Pro Sites lets you offer multiple options that a website hosting company offers.
Now replicating posts from one website to the other has become more accessible. Thanks to the Multisite content copier plugin, you can easily copy posts, pages, users, and plugins with the click of a button. It is a WPMU plugin, and you can buy their membership to get this plugin for free. Although SEOs around the world despise copied content, if you have similar information about your company that you would want to promote through different websites, then this plugin will be ideal for you.
Cloning your multisite is now as easy as baking pie. The multisite clone duplicator plugin lets you quickly clone the data from one site to another one in a matter of seconds. You don't even have to dabble with code since it takes care of all that. It also effortlessly copies of data, files, roles, and even users.
With the clone duplicator, you can set your pattern of duplicating the data. It will also identify which website is cloneable and which one isn't.
Wish to create a custom role for your WordPress user? With the User Role Editor plugin, this wish can come true. When a user registers himself/herself on your WordPress multisite platform, they will be tagged as a subscriber by default. The user role editor plugin lets you create a custom role for them so that they can do the tasks assigned to them. The user role editor also lets you create custom roles specific to a single website on your multisite blog. It is helpful if you receive contributions from multiple authors.
By default, you only have one super admin account on a site network. But with user switching plugin, you can switch between super admin and a regular user of a blog within seconds. User switching plugin also gives you complete control over user role management. This means you can now make another user a super admin as well. User switching is instantaneous, and it will allow you to perform operations seamlessly.
When you use user switching, the authorized user will be logged out, and they can then log back in with a different user account.
Now that we have discussed the best WordPress multisite plugins let's discuss some of the most elegant WordPress multisite themes that you can use to set up your multisite blog network.
Here is what makes a typical theme different from a multisite theme. A multisite theme shares similar core files as that of a regular theme. It means an update of the theme on a single website will affect the themes on all sites. It saves you time in installing updates on multiple multisite blogs.
Now that we are settled about what themes are for multisite projects let's take a look at some of them.
Mesmerize responsive theme comes with numerous features to take your multisite network to the growth stage. It is a premium theme and offers homepage variations according to your site needs. You can customize the layout of your blog according to your requirements with this multipurpose theme. It also offers drag and drop page editing options, content blocks, and sections that fit your website.
One Page Express is another great theme that you can use for your WordPress multisite project. It is easy to create and comes with a page builder option that can replicate the same changes to all websites at once. It also has a pre-designed home page with over 30 ready to use content sections. You can use it for multiple customization options, including video background, slideshow background, header content types, and more. If you are looking for a one-pager website theme, then this one's for you.
The Specular multisite theme is perfect for multisite projects. It features stunning visuals and comes with nine different site designs. You also get a page builder with Specular multisite theme that lets you design the homepage of your website as per your will. You can also add multimedia slides, video background, side with control, CSS3 animations to your website with Specular theme. All users of the multisite network will be able to customize the theme according to their needs with a wide variety of personalization options it offers.
Multisite themes are not just for business or blogging, and you may want to use one for an ecommerce platform with multilingual stores. The Crane multisite website theme is just for that purpose. It features unique drag and drop page builder options with which you can edit your sites easily. It features a dozen layouts with multiple header options. Moreover, you will get access to shortcodes to add elements to your site or network.
If you are looking for a unique theme that offers new functionalities, then this premium WordPress theme is for you. With this multisite theme, you can easily add new vibrant layouts to your website and enhance its beauty. The theme has complete support of CSS3, customization options, page builder, and a few shortcodes to customize your site freely. You also get personalization options that offer advanced header and customized sidebars.
You get 10 layout options with JOYN WordPress theme. With this theme you can easily add a new layout to each of your multisite project. Whether you have a blog network or an affiliate project, the JOYN WordPress themes are perfect for handling all of them. You also get some page builder options that let you add blocks to your site pages.
JOYN is compatible with BuddyPress and WooCommerce.
A simple WordPress multisite theme that you can install on your website within minutes. It offers a range of features, new color options, shortcodes, SEO compatibility, and much more. You can design the menus according to your needs and add custom CSS3 animations to your site with point and click options. The theme also supports parallax motion to give your audience a ‘wow’ experience. It is compatible with WooCommerce.
And that's all you need to know about the best WordPress Multisite Plugins and Premium Themes. Now get started with your multisite project by choosing a theme of your choice and build a network of websites. Make sure to select the theme and plugin according to your budget. We have listed themes of varying prices so that you can easily decide which one will serve you best.
If you get stuck along the way, you can always get help from The WP Help team. The WPHelp is a WordPress maintenance company that lets you solve your WordPress related issues within a matter of minutes remotely.