Could WordPress Multisite Be a Game Changer for You?

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How to Add Sites on Your Multisite Network

Adding a site to your Multisite Network is a two-step process:

  1. Head to My Sites > Network Admin > Sites > Add New
  2. Add a site address, the site title, the email address of the site administrator and click Add New

The new site will be created. You can add as many sites as you want and see the list of sites by clicking on Sites > All Sites.

How to Install and Activate Themes on Your Multisite Network

There are two ways to install and activate themes on your Multisite Network:

  1. You can install themes in the Network Admin to activate for the entire Network; or
  2. You can install them in Network Admin and activate it within a particular site

To activate for the entire Network:

  1. Head to Themes > Add New
  2. Install the theme and click Network Enable

The theme will now be available to all sites in the Network.

To activate for a specific site:

  1. Go to Sites and select the site that you want to enable the theme on
  2. Click Edit > Themes and find the theme you want to activate
  3. Click Enable

When you go to the Themes tab in the site admin screen, you will see the new theme you enabled. The site can now choose to activate that theme.

How to Install and Activate Plugins on Your Multisite Network

To install and activate plugins on your Multisite Network:

  1. Download and install the plugin in the standard way: Plugins > Add New (in the network admin screen)
  2. To activate the plugin for the entire Network, click Network Activate and the plugin will be activated on all sites on the Network

To install and activate plugins on a specific site:

  1. Download and install the plugin in the standard way: Plugins > Add New (in the network admin screen)
  2. Click on Return to Plugin Installer
  3. Then go to the site admin screen for the site you want to activate the plugin on. Head over to Plugins
  4. Locate the plugin you want to activate and click on Activate

Note that you cannot delete or update plugins from the site admin screen.

That’s really all there is to installing WordPress Multisite, enabling features and adding functionality.

Arnaud, a foodie from Bruges, Belgium, is the editor for the Semper Plugins blog. He also manages the translation teams for All in One SEO Pack (over 58 languages!).

9 comments on “Could WordPress Multisite Be a Game Changer for You?
  1. > < a n n o says:

    Hi there

    it sounds really easy, thanks for the clear steps.

    Is a WP multisite installation possible afterwards, if the existing base installation is already on a sub.domain.xy?

    • Arnaud Broes says:

      I believe this is possible.

    • Do yourself a favor and make sure that you make a full backup of your site and your databases before you start changing things on your site, especially if your site is already indexed on the search engines you have to make sure that you don’t change any URLs because that would generate a lot of 404 errors and that’s killing for your rankings.

      404 errors of URLs you aren’t using anymore should be properly redirected to another related blog post or page permanently with a 301 redirect.

      WordPress makes it super easy to manage all your redirections by installing a plugin which you can download for free from the wordpress repository here:

  2. Ron Charest says:

    Thank you for this excellent article. One question: once this multi-site is activated, and other sites are added, is it possible to continue managing a site “locally” from the local site admin screen?

  3. ATRYNA says:

    This article very nice and can help us to manage some of my sites. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Arturo says:

    How do Multisite affect SEO ranking and what’s the best subdomain or subfolder?

    • Search engines such as Google consider sites in subdirectories to be all part of the same site, so is part of and counts towards its SEO. However, sites in subdomains are considered as different sites and do not count towards the SEO of the main site, so is a different site to

  5. sounds all great but I didn’t found the answer to my question. in my case I’ve my website already online for years but a couple weeks ago I found 2 new domains that I want to use but those are not the typical domain names you normally see.

    my main domain is and my new domains are and, I only bought them to make sure those are reserved for me because it looks nice and branded but I don’t know what to do with the new domains and I don’t even know if these domains can be used just as any other domain.

    My problem will be resolved if I knew that I could just point those domains to my main website to a specific page within the wordpress installation or for safety reasons use those domains to point to a folder on the server outside of wordpress.

    Do you have any answers?

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