I’ve been doing some development and testing with WordPress 3.* multisite, and I’ve found it has some great uses. I’ve also found a few drawbacks, and things to look out for.
WordPress Multisite with Domain Mapping Chugs
While it’s nice and convenient to be able to deploy a full website on it’s own domain in minutes, and I’ve found some nice ways to use WordPress Multisite with Thesis, it’s a sacrifice. I’ve found the more sites are running, compounded with plugins being used, can cause some sluggish loading even with some standard caching and file minification. The quick access isn’t worth a snappy loading site.
Thesis Skin Development Dream
One of the best uses I’ve found, is development. I build websites with the Thesis Framework, and found a nice Thesis Multisite Hack that saves a ton of time in development. With the way the Thesis custom folder works, designs are very portable. Using the master custom functions method, you have access to all your most used code on any new deployment in the network.
Multiple Location Blogs
Some sites just need more than one blog. Perhaps a client with many geographic locations with all different things going on. Multisite makes this easy, and appropriately separate. There are some unique challenges when integrating with the site as a whole, but nothing a little custom programming can’t get done.
Although I was disappointed with the performance of running multiple domains through the network, it is still fairly new to standard WordPress, and I know the efficiency of the code base is being looked at. I’m sure it will improve.
All in all, multisite is another feature that offers new flexibility and choices for developers, growing the capabilities of WordPress.