Learn more about WordPress Multisite and its benefits, features with this handy guide.
WordPress Multisite supports a WordPress enterprise. It allows online entrepreneurs and their clients to add maximum number of sites required in one Content Management System installation. The practice makes management of websites easy and economical instead of multiple installations. Understand the three available models intently. It will help you determine which one suits your needs. The combination of the two or three options can also work for you.
One – Hosting Client Websites You Build
You develop the site. Then, you host it on your Multisite installation. Develop personalised themes and plugins using WordPress Theme Frameworks.
If you’ve been creating WordPress sites for clients for a long time now, you’ll have noticed that a majority of users run WordPress installation with reseller hosting and that:
- Most of them at no time accessed their hosting admin screens. Developers did it for them.
- Clients did not update content or made changes in website configuration.
- Developers update each website every instance the CMS was updated. The providers also created the theme frameworks.
- Developers/Designers transferred clients’ email accounts to Gmail when problems arose.
If existing business models were not as efficient, you can only improve the platform by transferring to Multisite for hosting client websites. The process can be difficult and lengthy. Using WordPress Multisite makes life easier for both parties. Only one set of themes and plugins are necessary. Managing updates is one area which is more effective. It limits the number of themes and plugins for maintenance.
Two – Allowing Users to Create and Modify Websites
Provide a page where users can set up websites. Provide them with options to change content and appearance. Said option gives website owners more control. It also reduces the themes and plugins hosted on the network.
Users can modify websites through these two techniques:
- Through the Customer – Include advanced customer integration. Allow users to upload logos, add content to headers/footers, and adjust colors as well as layouts. The approach does not require installation of a new theme.
- Through Child Themes – Install parent themes on the network. It controls many aspects of design. With child themes, you can add fonts, custom colors, or layouts. You do not need to use the WordPress Customizer in achieving the same results. Provide users with a menu of themes to choose from. Users have less control but ensures consistency of websites on your network.
The major upside of using the Customizer is it gives users an easy way of building and configuring websites. The user sees the exact changes. Limited alternatives indicate you can guarantee design quality for all websites within that network. The disadvantage is clients may not favor an identikit website. Customizers suit markets where clients have minimal budgets and technical skills like freelance writers.
Three – Allowing Users to Create Websites and Activate Themes/Plugins
Users can select themes and plugins for activation on their sites. Additional ones come available for free. Users have more control. However, it is not totally appropriate for inexperienced users. The third option provides customers an experience like installing WordPress with web hosting firms. However, the user does not experience performing installation and taking care of hosting. The developer can pick themes and plugins users can access. Otherwise, offer themes and plugins for free or highly-priced premium plans.
The bottom line is each model ensures users various levels of control. The first provides control over configuration. Let the user add content. The second ensures more control. The third guarantees maximum control compared to creating WordPress installation from the start. Fees will be different.
Option #1 = Most Expensive
Option #2 = Less Expensive
Option #3 = Cheapest
Deciding on the Best Option
How do you go about the entire process?
Here are your considerations.
- The extent of preferred contact with clients. Your role could be someone who will help build web presence. Otherwise, perform tasks as service provider even if there is slight interaction with customers. Either way, a support system is crucial, so clients can contact you for technical or administrative assistance 24/7. Support systems can come in the form of email, phone, and chat. It could be at the front or back end, or both.
- You need a definite target market. Choose an audience that you understand. Formulate a strategy that will meet its preferences and requirements. You can concentrate on marketing after achieving this goal.
- Determine the size of your market. A hands-off technique will be more appropriate if research indicates the need to fill a niche for that marketplace. This tactic allows you to handle more clients.
Focus on Development Skills
The first option (Hosting Client Websites You Build) seems more advisable if you possess experience in developing customised sites. Avoid offering third-party plugins and themes. You do not give clients value by charging them for installation. Nowadays, the trend favors developers capable of developing custom-made websites. For example, the primary benefit for enterprises offering access to codes is convenience. In this case, the second and third models seem most applicable.
Selling Skills Count
It is necessary to sell more. With a hands-off strategy, it is not possible to charge high fees. You need more customers by charging less. Attaining this goal requires selling to more people. Website owners can hire experts or implement the task personally. At any rate, the objective is to get as many customers instead of servicing clients. You must develop current relationships. It is an effective way of contributing to the growth of clients’ businesses.
Plugins are the Key to Success
Aside from the Multisite installation, several plugins can make it easier for users to launch and sustain a successful hosting enterprise. Some plugins are free while others come available for a fee. These tools support the Multisite-based type of hosting. Some of these recommended plugins built on the Multisite platform are the following:
Domain Mapping suits clients who need exclusive domains. The developer can map the domain (for building a site) or guide users in the process (for those who want to create the site). The plugin’s premium version facilitates domain registration as well as payments direct from the website. This option helps you earn money. The free version does not contain this feature but still allows domain-mapping.
Pro Sites makes running a network less difficult. Clients can change or build their own websites. This plugin sets various charging levels. It charges for tiered plans that integrate a variety of themes and plugins. At the same time, you can charge for individual options. You can define memory use or upload some files as premium incentives. Combine this with a free plan for basic features to come up with an impressive business model.
Ultimate Branding helps users to transform their hosting into professional and efficient services. The plugin enables branding of login screens along with multiple aspects of admin screens. You may also add branding to certain features of the front end. It sets Multisite WordPress installation apart from other kinds of installation. The plugin makes customers feel that they are getting unique value for money spent.
Importance of Support Systems
Regardless of your choice, it becomes necessary to communicate effectively with users and clients. The Support System plugin provides an interface for receiving, managing, and responding promptly to support tickets. Users who have already logged in can raise tickets from the website’s admin area.
Otherwise, this is also possible in a page created from the network’s main site. You may use this plugin to add Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to your website. These will answer common queries, so users no longer wait to raise tickets. The system comes in handy for clients who require answers as well as receiving content.
Performance and Strength
Plugins explained in the previous paragraphs are ideal for establishing a Multisite hosting solution. However, these tools also require support from plugins designed for performance and security.
- Snapshot Pro for backups
- Hummingbird for performance
- SmartCrawl for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Defender for security
See to it the above-mentioned plugins are installed in your websites. Each plugin should perform well without the risks of downtime or security breaches. The Hub plugin puts all these tools together. It allows monitoring of networks from one location.
WordPress Multisite – A Perfect Solution for the Web Host
To recap, WordPress Multisite represents the seamless solution for reseller hosting. Multisite will guide you in making money from other hosting sites minus the hassles. Multisite offers a simplified approach in hosting management. The platform guarantees the following:
- Perform fast and efficiently
- Maximise profits
- Make life easier for customers
- Ensure loyalty among current clients
- Spread word of mouth about the business
Using the correct plugins, Multisite provides users with all elements of a robust and remarkable website.