WordPress Multisite and WooCommerce Multisite: An Overview

An illustration of WooCommerce Multisite, which is built upon WordPress Multisite.

WordPress Multisite is an excellent way to make light work of managing multiple WordPress websites. Similarly, you can effortlessly manage multiple online stores with WooCommerce Multisite.

But, both of them aren’t one-size-fits-all solutions. There are situations where they’re useful and outside that, you may not need them.

Below are more details on WordPress Multisite as well as WooCommerce Multisite including what they are and when to use them.

What is WordPress Multisite?

To understand WordPress Multisite, it’s imperative to know what WordPress is, first. It’s a free program you can install on a web server to create a single, standalone website or blog.

WordPress Multisite is a built-in option that you can install to extend the inherent capabilities of WordPress. It has been around since version 3.0 of WordPress.

With WordPress Multisite you can:

  • Create a network of websites or blogs under the umbrella of one installation of WordPress, including using one database and one web hosting account
  • Manage all sites in the network at one time, rather than as separate websites
  • Create multiple sites using the same domain name
  • Share themes and plugins across all the sites in the network while being able to select different settings for each website
  • Use the WordPress Multisite super administrator user role to manage the network under one account without logging into each site separately
  • Limit a regular admin to just one or more sites in the network, as needed

With a WordPress Multisite network, the original site you had after first installing WordPress becomes your main site. All other websites you create within the network are organised as subsites.

But, that doesn’t mean each sub-site has to have the exact same or similar content as the main site. They can be as unique or similar as you want. That’s just how additional sites or blogs are organised within a WordPress Multisite installation.

For details, check out Create a Network in the WordPress.org handbook.

Subdomains or Subdirectories?

As mentioned earlier, the main site of a WordPress Multisite network uses a single domain.

Each subsite also uses the same domain. But, it’s appended differently depending on whether the subdomain or subdirectories option is chosen at setup.

If the subdirectories setting is selected, subsites have their domains set in this format: your-domain.com/sub-site1, your-domain.com/sub-site2 and so on.

On the other hand, if you choose subdomains, subsites’ URLs will look similar to this format: sub-site1.yourdomain.com, sub-site2.yourdomain.com and so forth.

The WordPress Multisite setup page
The network setup page for WordPress Multisite with an example domain.

Practical Ways to Use WordPress Multisite

If you’re running a business, there are several instances where WordPress Multisite can be beneficial such as in the setups explained below:

  • You need a website for multiple regions or languages where some of the content is slightly different.
  • It’s necessary for you to separate your main website from landing pages, which you want to be able to manage independently.
  • You would like to let users sign up to create their own blog or site on a subscription-basis.
  • Your main site should be separated from your support, ticketing system or documentation pages.
  • You want to create an internal network for your business where each department has its own site, capabilities, settings, content or users.
  • It’s important for you to be able to manage multiple sites at one time. This includes updating all your sites’ themes, plugins and WordPress Multisite version in a few clicks.
  • You want to be able to log in once as an administrator, but have access to all your sites instead of having to log into each one separately, especially for testing purposes.
  • In an ideal situation, you want to create a staging site to test and update content.

These are all common ways that users make use of WordPress Multisite. But, you’re by no means limited to any of them. If you think of other ways to use WordPress Multisite, then by all means go for it.

What is WooCommerce Multisite?

WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin, which is a bit of software that extends the functionality of WordPress. If you wanted to use WooCommerce on a WordPress Multisite, it would then be referred to as a WooCommerce Multisite.

You can use the WooCommerce plugin to create a WooCommerce Multisite network.
WooCommerce is a free eCommerce plugin for WordPress.

You can check out these additional resources for details:

Does WooCommerce Work on WordPress Multisite?

Yes, WooCommerce is compatible with WordPress Multisite. That means you can certainly create a WooCommerce Multisite where each site in the network can be an online store.

It may be important to note that once WooCommerce Multisite is set up, it works on the network-level.

Once you have accessed the plugins page for the network and activated WooCommerce, it’s available across the entire network. Then, you can choose which subsites you want to turn into an online store in one click.

While you can make one, a few or all of your sites an online store within a WooCommerce Multisite setup, each online store is managed independently.

So, if you were hoping to have settings or content synced across all online stores within a WooCommerce Multisite, you will need to find or develop a plugin or WooCommerce extension to achieve this functionality.

Why Use WooCommerce Multisite?

WooCommerce Multisite has similar benefits to WordPress Multisite except you’re able to create a network of online stores.

This means you can create seperate online stores such as for different countries and currencies. If you also want to manage them through one (super) admin account, then WooCommerce Multisite may be the right fit for you.

Practical Ways to Use WooCommerce Multisite

Outside of having multiple online stores for each currency you want to sell in, there may be other ways you may find WooCommerce Multisite useful including the examples below:

  • Create an online mall similar to Amazon with stores that carry different types of products, but are connected to help customers search and find items faster.
  • You could build a WooCommerce Multisite network where users can sign up on the main site to create their own online store to sell items similar to Etsy.
  • If you want to sell different products to distinctly separate audiences, WooCommerce Multisite may be worth considering.
  • Your business may encompass several different brands and you may want to have separate online stores for each of them. For example, if you’re a film studio that wants to sell merchandise for the various films you have created while giving customers a uniquely branded store, then WooCommerce Multisite could be a great option for that.
  • You have so many products and separating them into categories just isn’t enough for your particular needs.
  • You’re a developer and want to create a WooCommerce Multisite so you can manage your clients’ online stores in one place.

These are only some of the ways WooCommerce Multisite may be useful. You’re certainly not limited to these suggestions.

Please note: Each sub-store in a WooCommerce Multisite network would all share the same database. This may pose a security risk. Be sure to take appropriate security precautions if you do decide that WooCommerce Multisite is the right fit for your needs.

For more, check out WooCommerce vs Shopify: When and How to Choose Between Them.

How to Install WordPress Multisite and WooCommerce Multisite

Now that you’re more familiar with WordPress Multisite and WooCommerce Multisite, and you decided it’s what you need, it’s time to install them.

While it’s beyond the scope of this article, feel free to check out our guide: How to Set Up and Update WooCommerce WordPress Multisite Networks.

Here are some more resources for you to peruse:

Other Helpful Tips and Resources

If you have more questions than answers or you want to get to the next step quickly, there are several things you can do:

  • Check out the comments below as many questions have already been answered.
  • If you want to get your project up and running as quickly as possible, hire verified, expert WooCommerce developers.
  • Feel free to peruse this article at your leisure as there are tonnes of resources linked within.
  • Bookmark this page so you can come back to it when you need help quickly.

Beyond that, here are some additional resources you can check out:

In Summary

A WordPress Multisite or WooCommerce Multisite network may not be for everyone. But, when you need it, it’s incredibly beneficial since it can increase your workflow’s efficiency. Ultimately, it can save you tonnes of time.

If you have any questions or you would like help from certified WooCommerce experts to set up your own WooCommerce Multisite network, feel free to contact us.

Do you want to create a WordPress Multisite or WooCommerce Multisite network? Are you unsure of whether you should build one or do you have unanswered questions? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

57 thoughts on “WordPress Multisite and WooCommerce Multisite: An Overview”

  1. Hi there and congrats for the useful post. I am building a WooCommerce multisite because I think it would be a better approach for my case instead of using a multivendor plugin (Single vendors don’t have to pay any commission to me as the superadmin and I need vendors to be independent in choosing payment methods, shipping zones, etc.).

    My questions are: how many WooCommerce subsites can I have in the network? And, can I show in the main site home page a list of all vendors stores and a random list of products from different stores?

    Thank you in advance

    1. Hi Ivan,

      WordPress Multisite doesn’t limit the number of subsites you’re allowed to create. That being said, you are limited by the resources in your hosting plan.

      For example, with shared hosting, you could maybe have a few simple subsites at most. But with a VPS, dedicated server or cloud hosting, you could definitely create tons of subsites without issue. I won’t quote an exact number because it really depends on your hosting. Another significant factor is if your main site and subsites are well-coded.

      Yes, you can show a vendor list and random products list on the home page, but this would require some plugins or custom development. You would need to use a plugin (or two) to sync products and users globally, then another plugin or a widget that will display the lists.

      Best wishes,


  2. Usually these kind of articles promote various paid services, paid software or other crap. Very informative, really answered several questions i had in mind (for example whether woo commerce works in the WP multisite config AND support different currencies and languages). Thank you !

    1. Hi there,

      That would require a plugin. By default, WordPress Multisite has separate carts for each subsite and doesn’t have a global cart.



  3. Hello. I think of multisite. I want to use one shopping cart by connecting several different stores to one dashboard. For example, site a is clothing b site cosmetics c site wants to sell goods. The site for reference is Gap. (https://www.gap.com/)
    What’s the best plugin or method?

    1. Jenni McKinnon

      Hey John,

      Great question. To accomplish this, you would need a plugin that will sync user and eCommerce data across the entire Multisite network. The best plugin/extension for the job is entirely subjective because it depends on your specific needs. That being said, you can check these out and see if they would work for you:

      If you’re still unsure and could use some help with coming up with and implementing a solution that’s best-suited for your specific needs, feel free to contact us.


      Jenni McKinnon

  4. Hello Jeni, your article is really useful. I’m looking for that kind of solution. But I’m afraid about database security and also the size of the database in a cloud. what advice would you give me to calm me down?

    1. Jenni McKinnon

      Hello there,

      I’m glad you found the article useful! 🙂

      Nice question! WordPress Multisite is designed to be able to run multiple subsites (including the main site) in one database. The database is segmented to accommodate the extra sites. Out of the box, Multisite will run like any other typical single WordPress installation in terms of resources. That means that once you add content, plugins and whatever else you need, it will use roughly the same resources as if you put everything on a single installation. So, if you keep up with regular maintenance and updates, you have solid hosting, your site’s coded well and you have optimized your site for speed, you won’t run into any weird issues on that front.

      Think of Multisite as a car that you’re buying new. If you decide you want 4 doors and a couple extra seats, the car is still going to perform about the same as if you didn’t get those extra seats. Now, if you packed the car with people and tonnes of cargo, whether you have those extra seats or not, you’ll burn pretty much the same amount of gas because those extra seats really aren’t going to weigh down the car enough for you to see a negative impact on your gas budget.

      Let me know if you have any more questions.


      Jenni McKinnon

  5. Definitely one of the best multi site 101 posts I’ve read all week!

    I have two quick question about woo commerce and multi site I hope you guys could answer. I run a large scale multi-author blog and I would like to know if there is a way to display products from my store (different domain) on my blog?

    Also, just to clarify, a user logged into my blog would automatically be logged into my e-commerce site if they visited it, correct? Sorry for the rookie questions and I wish you guys all the best! 🙂

    1. Jenni McKinnon

      Hey Jake,

      Aww, thanks. I’m glad to hear this article was useful to you!

      Oh, good question. So, if you have WooCommerce installed on your Multisite and your authors have access to your site, you can set the user permissions as needed. You can set it so they can view products and purchase them without giving them managerial or admin access.

      If you have an eCommerce store on a different domain, you could set up a feed of the products on the site where you want them to appear that would redirect to your site (at the different domain name) where they can browse and check out.

      If you want them to be able to log in once and access the sites on the entire network, you’ll need a WordPress plugin or WooCommerce extension that will sync users and other relevant data across your entire Multisite network.

      I hope this helps answer your question. If you’d like to discuss your specific needs and would like a solution tailored to your specific needs, feel free to contact us and request a quote.


      Jenni McKinnon

  6. You said, “Each subsite also uses the same domain. But, it’s appended differently depending on whether the subdomain or subdirectories option is chosen at setup.

    If the subdirectories setting is selected, subsites have their domains set in this format: your-domain.com/sub-site1, your-domain.com/sub-site2 and so on.

    On the other hand, if you choose subdomains, subsites’ URLs will look similar to this format: sub-site1.yourdomain.com, sub-site2.yourdomain.com and so forth.”

    This is simply not true, has not been true for years. Each subsite can in fact HAVE THEIR OWN DOMAIN NAME.

    1. Jenni McKinnon


      Yes, that’s certainly possible, but not by default. This article describes the default settings without customizations, plugins or niche hosting settings.


      Jenni McKinnon

  7. I would like to create a multi site situation but I would like for all of the funds to go into one account. How would this be possible .

    1. Jenni McKinnon

      Hey Simone,

      Great question! If the Multisite network including all applicable subsites are run by you, then you could set up a WooCommerce store (or other relevant eCommerce plugin that fits your specific needs) and set the payment details for each Subsite to be the same account. If you’re running a Multisite network with different users who control each subsite independently, then you’ll need an eCommerce plugin that can handle this situation. They’re called multi-vendor plugins/extensions. Or, you could restrict user access to relevant sections of the site that have to do with payment details. It depends on your specific setup, but a plugin like User Role Editor is typically a good solution for that.

      If you’d like to discuss your specific needs and would like a solution tailored to your specific needs, feel free to contact us and request a quote.


      Jenni McKinnon

  8. Great article, thank you! I do have a question, when you do a multi setup with woocommerce, you can share products with the other sites, is it also possible that you have other prices as wel, or if your main site is b2c and you want another to be b2b? they have different prices etc.

    Thank you, keep up the good work.

    1. Jenni McKinnon

      Hi Robert,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

      For that kind of setup, you would need some custom work done. That way, you could sync the products, but then have the prices adjusted as needed.

      We can certainly help with that. If you’d like to chat with us some more about a solution, feel free to get in touch with us.

      Best wishes,

      Jenni McKinnon

  9. Hi Jenni and Shadi,

    Thanks for an in-depth article on WooCommerce Multisite. It is really insightful for anybody planning to run a multisite network.

    Also taking this a little further, one useful resource that will come handy for anybody having multiple WooCommerce stores is a reporting tool that will help analyze all the multiple stores in a single place. One such tool is Putler – https://www.putler.com/

    It provides multistore analytics for WooCommerce along with useful marketing features like customer segmentation, forecasting, goal tracking, filtering and a lot more. Using Putler, a store owner can not only see a consolidated view of all his multiple stores, he can choose to see reports from each store individually as well. Hope your readers find this tool useful.

    Again great article!

    -Andrea 🙂

  10. Wow! Many thanks, @Jenni and Shadi for an in-depth article on the Multisite Woocommerce subject and challenges. This article and the follow-up replies have answered many of my questions as I was about to deinstall Multisite to the regular installation for lack of support in this regard. Again, thank you.

    My approach was to have Amazon’s type of many different domains, subdomains, and subfolders, yet have ONE MAJOR DISPLAY STORE to display all the products and services, manage in one place but this, however, becomes one of my challenges (how to manage the stores in one place) including the fear of having too many plugins in the network installation to meet the needs of other subdomains.

    However, I would like to know since the different subdomains may need different plugins to function will this be a disadvantage for the network approach whereby about 30 or so plugins are installed?
    2. There is a plugin to sync users’ accounts across multiple websites but I would like to know if there is a plugin or solution to sync all users’ purchase or item records on one users’ account page? Basically to have clients’ details in one place.

    Thanks for your attention. I’m looking forward to your reply.

    1. Jenni McKinnon

      Hey Phil,

      Thanks for your kind message and questions! I’m glad you found this article and the comments helpful! That’s great to hear… or read haha.

      By default, Multisite treats each subsite and the main site separately so you could install totally different plugins for each subsite, even if they have different subdomains. But, you can also use a plugin or custom code a solution to sync products, orders, inventory, the cart and other similar elements so they’re all available across the Multisite network.

      We currently have a series of articles in the works that covers all these topics with syncing Multisite so you have good timing. We’ll be publishing every two weeks and the next one is coming in the following week. You should be able to find a good solution with those

      But, if you don’t want to sync plugins, you don’t have to at all, though, you can still sync other elements as needed.

      Yes! If you search for a plugin to sync orders for WooCommerce Multisite, that’s the solution you’re looking for for this question (about syncing purchase records). Yes to also being able to sync user accounts across the network. You can use a plugin for that or custom code it for your specific needs.

      You absolutely can have a WooCommerce Multisite network with the main site and then have subdomains being under different subdomains. If you wanted the subdomains to display as different top-level domains that are different from your main site’s domain, you just need to do what’s called domain mapping. I’m not sure if you asked or were just mentioning your set up, but wanted to make sure I was thorough in answering your questions. 🙂

      Let me know if you’re wondering about anything else.



  11. Hi Jenni,

    Thank you for this useful topic here

    my solution is: a wordpress multisite for multi vendors but every vendor has his own subdomain

    and we need to show his products on the main website and he still has his control over it ( hopefully from his own subdomain website )

    could it be possible?

    and if so

    can we split the payment processor as he can use his own payment processor from his own subdomain website for the products he sells from his subdomain, and the products that been sold from the main website to be processed through the main site payment processor

    is it all possible?

    1. Jenni McKinnon

      Hey De lesseps,

      Great questions! In short, yes to both.

      You can choose to sync products across the network with a plugin. There are also WooCommerce product table plugins where you can display a list of products where ever you want. Maybe something like this plugin since you can choose to filter products by vendor: https://wordpress.org/plugins/woo-product-tables/

      If you can’t find a product catalog or table plugin that would work, then you’ll likely need a custom coded solution. Feel free to get in touch with us if you’d like our help with this.

      By default, Multisite treats each sub site as separate. This means you can install different payment processors or plugins independently on each site. If the user has the appropriate user access, they could choose to install the payment processor they want. Alternatively, you could choose for them, but it can still be different from the main site’s payment processor.

      I hope that helps. Feel free to let me know if you have anymore questions! 🙂



  12. Hello, I want to setup woocommerce multisite network but I am confused about the database. Is it having same database?
    Moreover, when we add different sites in network and if I want to customize anything on woocommerce of one of the site, so is it possible?

    1. Hey Amruta,

      Thanks for your lovely question!

      Yes, when you enable Multisite for WordPress, the single site’s database gets adjusted so that each site shares the same database; it’s just sectioned off for each subsite.

      This does not have an affect on performance by default. All your sites in the network will run as smoothly as if they ran on single installs. It’s just a matter of keeping up with performance optimisation, as needed and as you grow.

      For your other question: Yes, that’s absolutely possible and by default, to boot! Every site in a WordPress (WooCommerce) Multisite network will be treated independently. You can customize each site to the hilt if you want.

      Should you actually want to synchronise parts of the network across sites, you’ll need plugins or custom code for it.

      Let us know if you have anymore questions. 🙂

      If you’d like to know how we can help with this, feel free to get in touch.

      Best wishes,


  13. THanks,

    Really nice blog article, but I have a question regarding Woocommerce,

    I’ve a premium WP/Woommerce Theme that was built up from the ground up with a drag&drop features.

    & I wonder if I can make a platform like Shopify or Bigcommerce where our clients choose the Theme desired then by few steps they fill in their domain names or subdomain name & after payment successful they will have their E-commerce ready for use.

    Is it possible to do with this Multisite option to do & integrate the process to be automated?

    Thanks a lot

    1. Hey Abdullah,

      Thanks for your excellent question! To answer it: yes, this is absolutely possible with (WooCommerce) Multisite.

      By default, Multisite treats each site as its own thing and you can enable site registrations in the settings in a couple clicks. This also means that the admin of each site can have its own (custom) theme and plugins. You can choose to give them access or you can disable access so you only have the ability to choose and change plugins and themes.

      Beyond that, you’ll either need plugins that automate the other elements you want to include. Either that, or you can custom code a solution.

      If it helps any, WordPress.com and Edublogs.org both have a similar set up so this is absolutely possible.

      Let us know if you have any questions and feel free to get in touch for more detail on how we can help.

      Best wishes,


  14. Alexandru Rebica

    Hello. So I want to make multiple woocommerce site for 10 of my companies, basically we sale the same product but on different areas, but the company is not same in every area. So I want to make a single website with mutiple stores that can install individually the payment module and auto-invoicing module. How I can do this ?

    1. Hey Alexandru,

      Thanks for your great question!

      Yes, this is absolutely possible. You can install WordPress Multisite and migrate all your sites into one network so it’s easier to manage. You can also include WooCommerce or another eCommerce plugin to add the other functionality you need. But, keep in mind that you’ll need an invoicing plugin and a payment processing plugin as well, at least with most eCommerce plugins.

      Beyond that, by default, each subsite in a WordPress and WooCommerce Multisite setup gets treated as a separate site so they can work independently.

      Another thing to consider is SEO. If your sites’ content are all very similar other than for regional targeting, you’ll need to consider how the duplicate content will affect SERP. The good news is, this is quickly solvable with some SEO-know-how so it shouldn’t stop you.

      Let us know if you have anymore questions and you can feel free to reach out to us if you’d like.

      Best of luck (not that you need it 😉 ),


  15. Hi Jenny,
    thx for the great article. We are currently running a main site (wordpress blog) on the main domain, and a separate wordpress/woocommerce installation for the eshop on a subdomain. We are currently looking to bring them together for easier management and users having just one account etc., e.g. having just one WP installation running both the blog and the shop – blog on main domain, shop on subdirectory (or subdomain).
    What would be your recommendation for our situation – install wordpress and woocom just once in the main directory and just setup the store to show up under the subdirectory url (how’s that to be setup?) or to go the multisite route and have a multisite wp installation in the main directory and a subsite incl woocom in the shop subfolder?
    thank you

    1. Hey Peter,

      Thanks for your question!

      The best thing to do first, is figure out if you even need Multisite. If I understand you correctly, you just need one blog on your main site and one store with a subdomain so you can jus go with a single installation of WordPress with WooCommerce.

      On the other hand, if you’re looking to have different shops depending on the region, physical store locations/zones, or you want to manage multiple shops, sites, or blogs under one roof, then WooCommerce Multisite is the way to go. There are other examples in this article that you can feel free to draw upon as well.

      You can choose to have your store under a subdirectory if you wish, but it’s completely up to you. SEO-wise, it will make no difference to search engines (according to Google) so it comes down to user experience and what you prefer.

      A store under a subdirectory can sometimes offer a more cohesive look for your brand. But, if you need your shop to seem like it stands alone with its own branding, variations or something like that, then a subdomain is a great choice. You can certainly ask for customer opinions or ask colleagues which domain looks cleaner to them and go with that. At the end of the day, it’s not something you need to agonize over.

      Let me know if you have any more questions 🙂



  16. Hi Jenni,
    I’ve set up a multisite because I plan to have multiple stores selling faith based products, and need for the cart and shipping to be separate in each one yet keep it all under the brand of one domain with a faith based name. I also plan to do basically the same thing with patriotic products (another domain with a patriotic brand) It is my understanding I can do all of this under one WordPress install so I can manage it all. My plan was to have links on my main page for each of the two separate brands to get to the various stores. I had originally chosen the sub directory method. Should I have chosen the sub domain method since there are two separate domains? I ask because when a customer goes to one of the patriotic stores I do not want the faith based domain name to be part of the url. It seems like it would be confusing.

    Can you even add a separate domain using the sub directory method? Or should I change it now before I start to build everything up?

    Perhaps I’m missing something or overthinking it. I just really want to start out right.

    Also for clarification. I thought that all plug-ins had to be installed on the main site and would be available to each site to turn off or on. While reading all the comments and your answers I got the impression each site can have its own plugins installed. I wonder because several of my stores will be connected to their own print on demand supplier plug-in. It would be nice if the main site did not have to have so many plugins installed. It has been my understanding that plugins can slow a site down.

    I so appreciate your thoughts and advice.

    1. Hey Deborah,

      Thanks so much for your great questions! I’ll dig right into the answers for you:

      By default, Multisite sets every site in the network as separate. BUT! They’re all connected. This means that with a few tweaks, you can get the set up you’re after here.

      When plugins are network activated, it means that the super admin has approved those plugins for use throughout the network. From there, the super admin can pick and choose which sites get which plugins enabled from that list of approved plugins. It just means that admins of the subsites can’t install plugins themselves. When you network activate a plugin, it also means you only have to install it once and you’ll still be able to use it across your network without having to install it multiple times.

      So, that means you don’t have to overload your database with too many plugins. Install it once and you’re good to go.

      If you log into your super admin dashboard, you can go to Settings > Network Settings. Then, scroll down to the Menu Settings section and check the Plugins box next to “Enable administration menus”. Then, click Save Changes at the bottom of the page. This will let the subsites in the network show a “Plugins” menu item in their respective admin dashboards. From there, the plugins can be added and activated for the individual sites in the network by the subsite admins.

      For the subdomain part, it sounds like while the two brands are connected (the faith-based and patriotic-based product lines), you need them to run independently and you want visitors to see they’re separate store networks. In this case, yes, you’re right. Having different domain names for each of the networks is the way to go.

      If you have two separate networks set up, then it’s easy peasy lemon squeezy because each network can be set up with its own domain. But, it sounds like both product lines are under the same network. In this case, you can either create separate networks for them or you can install a domain mapping plugin. This will let you set a domain for whatever subsites, pages, posts and whatever else you choose while letting the rest of the network go by the original domain name.

      I hope this helps clarify things. Sorry about the confusion in my other comment replies. Let me know if you have any questions.

      Best wishes,


  17. Hey Jenni, this is a very informative article but I think you missed to talk a bit more about SEO.

    One of my client is afraid of using multisite because of duplicate content that might impact the SEO.

    He needs to show products based on the user location (in the same country but not the same city, based on user choice when first visit). Those products will have sometimes the same content (picture, text, price) and sometimes not. My idea is to create a woocommerce multisite.

    What do you think about it ? Would the SEO be lowered or does Google understand that it’s not duplicate and it’s coming from another entity ?

    I wish you a great day Jenni !

  18. Hello Jenni
    Informative article, I’ve setup multivendor ecommerce store where each user can signup get subdomain and backend access and choose his desired frontend theme and manage his store (backend is PHP Laravel, frontend is CSS, html )
    but want to add more themes layouts and more functions.

    Should I migrate the platform to be WP/Woo based, or can do any integration to keep the backend simple to manage from the user perspective?
    Dose the platform is secure and capable to handle 10K stores with millions of products?
    What about cost of development ?

    Appreciate your support and advice

    1. Hey Zaid,

      Thanks for your great questions!

      To answer your question about the back end and making it user friendly, I would say it mainly depends on your target audience. Are they experienced in managing eCommerce stores or are they beginners? I would choose the platform that can fit your users’ needs best and what would be user-friendly for them.

      In terms of WordPress and WooCommerce, and what they can handle, it all depends on your set up. Technically, both can handle any size site. The trick is in choosing reliable web hosting that’s sufficient as well as plugins and themes that are well-coded and can handle the volume.

      In terms of developments costs, it can vary depending on your specific set up and the customizations you need. For general guides, check out Is WooCommerce Free? What it Costs to Build an Online Store and Hiring Trusted WordPress Developers Saves You Money: Why and How.

      Best wishes,


  19. Hello, Thank you for the article, I’m new with mulitsites wordpress, i have some of question and hope to advised me about it:
    I tried to create STORE to sell Stores with pakages( ervery pakage have price and features)
    1- How i can customize the dashboard based on store pakage price?Like i need to hide some of active theme from stores and hide plugins tab from menu items

    2/ How i can create the store with differnet domain not subdomain from my store name?

    thank you

    1. Hey Enas,

      Great questions!

      To answer your first question, the easiest way to do this would be to use a plugin specifically designed for this purpose. It should have features built-in for you to hide the options that aren’t a part of the user’s chosen plan.

      Currently, your only options are WP Ultimo or to create your own custom plugin.

      The Pro Sites plugin is discontinued but did what you need pretty well. It’s available for free on GitHub, but it’s no longer supported. But if you’re a developer, you could fork that plugin and customize it to your needs while also making sure to maintain it on an ongoing basis afterwards.

      If you’re not keen on touching code, you can also reach out to us and we can take care of it all for you.

      To answer your second question, you can use WordPress’ built-in Domain Mapping feature if you’re using WordPress version 4.5 or later. The process would revolve around updating the address to the domain name of your choice in the subsite’s settings. Then, you would update your DNS and nameserver settings with your domain registrar. Most WordPress hosting companies also have features to somewhat automate this process for you so you should check with your host and see what options are available.

      You could also use a plugin like Domain Mapping System if you want to map domains to specific pages or posts, for example.

      Let me know if you have any more questions. If you’re not keen on taking care of this yourself, feel free to get in touch with us and we can take care of it for you.

      Best wishes,


  20. Hello Jenni,

    Thanks for the very insightful article.
    Quick question, is it possible to have a woocommerce multisite with different URLs?
    The reason i ask is that we currently have several websites with different URLs and we are looking to bring all under one woocommerce instance.

    Would appreciate your feedback.

    Many Thanks


    1. Hey Marvin,

      I’m glad you found the article helpful.

      Yes, you can set Multisite to use different domain names. Since version 4.5 of WordPress, the Domain Mapping feature is built in. In the site settings, you can set the address you want to use for whatever subsite. Then, you just need to attach the domains you want to use through your DNS and nameserver settings of your domain registrar.

      Most hosting companies will support this feature as well so be sure to check there. They may have settings that somewhat automates this process for you.

      If you want to get fancy by mapping specific pages or posts, you can use a plugin like Domain Mapping System.

      Let me know if you have any more questions.



  21. Hi Jenni, your article was very helpful in understanding the steps to take when we created our first multisite.
    To create a WaaS service we have also adopted WP Ultimo.

    Now we are left with a problem which unfortunately seems particularly complex.

    When a customer decides to register for example on a sub-site that has an ecommerce or another service but had previously registered on another sub-site or on the main site, an error message appears:

    “An account is already registered with your email address. Please choose another one.”

    We found a plugin called “Network Subsite User Registration” accessible here https://it.wordpress.org/plugins/network-subsite-user-registration/ but unfortunately it didn’t solve the problem as we hoped.

    Do you have a way to ensure that every single sub-site can manage the subscriptions of its customers to its own sub-site without this limitation?

    Sharing the same database, this limitation is particularly blocking and also creates privacy problems since the users of all the other sub-sites are also visible on the main site, therefore it is necessary to distinguish them to avoid accidentally contacting them during any marketing actions.

    Thanks in advance for your reply.

    1. Hey Matteo,

      Thanks for your excellent question. Ah yes, tricky, but not impossible.

      Yes, you’re correct that Multisite uses the same user table by default. What happens when a user registers is they’re signed up for the main site in the network, not individual sites.

      From what I gather, you want Multisite to let users register on just one subsite (or specific ones), then have the admin of that subsite manage those users with no other subsite admins in the network having access.

      Quicker options I can think of for you to try out are:

      1. The Network Subsite User Registration (NSUR) plugin (or similar ones like it): https://wordpress.org/plugins/network-subsite-user-registration/
      2. A membership plugin or similar that’s built with Multisite in mind so users can register for specific subsites
      3. A user sync plugin that lets you also unsync users from the network where you can pick and choose to which sites users should be added

      We have previously published an article on user sync plugins. I remember at least one of the plugins mentioned has an option to unsync users from the network to sync them on specific subsites.

      Other than that, you could try a custom-coded solution. If you want to chat with us to see how we can help, feel free to give us a shout.

      Best of luck,


    1. Hi Michael,

      Yes, absolutely! Just be sure to back up your entire WooCommerce site beforehand. Then, you can set up Multisite as you normally would.

      Just keep in mind that you need to disable all plugins temporarily in the process so that means your online store won’t be operational while you do that. But, if you schedule the Multisite set up, you set a custom maintenance page with details while it happens and give your customers notice, it should help.

      The other option would be to set up Multisite in a local or staging environment, then pushing your changes live. This would see minimal, if any, delays in the front end.

      Let me know if you have any more questions.

      Best wishes,


  22. I have a question regarding upgrading multisite themes. I’m working on a multisite network and will be designing themes for the network sites to utilise. How can I keep those themes up to date if things change?

    1. Jenni McKinnon

      Hey Andy,

      Thanks for your question – it’s a great one.

      It depends on how you added the theme to your Multisite network. If you submitted it to WordPress.org, then you can follow the process there to update your theme. Then, the updates will appear in your super admin dashboard. From there, you would update the theme as you would with most others.

      If you created your own and installed it by uploading it, you can follow the same process. Make the changes you want, the we recommend thoroughly testing your theme in a local environment or in a staging site. Once you’re confident it works, you can upload the updated theme. If it doesn’t automatically replace the old version, you can select the updated theme in the settings and delete the old version. If you go this route, you’d be manually updated the theme for your network.

      Let me know if you have any more questions.

      Happy building,


  23. Great article. I really believe I better understand the capabilities and limitations of Multisite WP. But, one thing I’m not clear on: are their specific requirements to make a WordPress plugin or theme compatible with Multisite mode? Are their specific requirements for the structure, code, hooks and filters for coding plugins/ themes for compatibility?

    Thanks again for a great job!



    1. Hey Steve,

      Excellent question!

      Yes, there are certain considerations for Multisite when you’re building a plugin that’s compatible for it. Sometimes, it depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.

      You can find all the details in the WordPress Developer Handbook and here’s a reference list you can refer to for specifics.

      If you have any more questions, feel free to let me know.



  24. Jenni,

    How does the different paid WooCommerce subscriptions work with Multisite installation? Do you just have to pay for each subscription once and then the subscription is shared between each subsite?

    1. Hey Joe,

      Thanks for your question, it’s a great one.

      It depends on the plugin you use. Typically, if a plugin is built with WooCommerce and Multisite in mind, then you can network activate it. It can then be used on each subsite within the network. But, subscriptions won’t sync automatically between sites unless the plugin supports that option.

      For details and plugins that have such capabilities, check out:

      How to Build a WooCommerce Subscriptions Multisite Network

      If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.



  25. Hi there and thanks for a good article. I’m in the process of moving my blog to a new domain and adding a Woocommerce shop to sell products, on one WP install. But the new site that I’ve had up for a while for testing seems rather slow in performance compared to my old site (simple blog without Woo).
    I’ve used Multisite in the past and found it quite nice to work with, but haven’t felt the need for it anymore with the new WP management tools in cPanel. But now I wonder, would I get any performance benefits if I use multisite? I’m thinking that the blog will be on the main domain and the shop will simply be on a subsite under /shop on the same domain. Or doesn’t it make any difference, since they share the same database and Woocommerce will still be installed (but not activated) on the blog?
    (and yes I have a cache plugin but I don’t think it makes a difference in page speed)

    1. Jenni McKinnon

      Hi there Susanne, and thanks for reaching out!

      It’s great to hear you’re expanding your site with a WooCommerce shop. Performance issues can indeed be frustrating, especially when you’re adding new features and functionalities. Let’s break down your situation:

      1. Performance Comparison: It’s not completely uncommon for a site with WooCommerce to feel slower than a simple blog. Due to the additional functionalities it brings, such as product pages, cart operations, and checkout processes, the extra queries may slow down your site a bit. However, it shouldn’t be too significant. If you’re adding a lot of products with videos, for example, this could get resource-intensive.

      2. Multisite Consideration: Moving to a Multisite setup can offer some organizational benefits, especially if you plan to run multiple sites under one installation. However, in terms of performance, since both sites (blog and shop) would share the same database and resources, you might not see a significant performance boost just from switching to Multisite. The main performance hit comes from WooCommerce itself and the additional queries it makes to the database. WooCommerce can scale well with thousands of products if its optimized efficiently.

      3. Caching and Optimization: You mentioned using a cache plugin, which is great. But for a WooCommerce site, you might need more specialized caching and optimization strategies:

      Object Caching: Implementing object caching with solutions like Redis or Memcached can help reduce the load on your database.
      Database Optimization: Regularly optimize your database tables and consider using plugins like WP-Optimize.
      Hosting: Ensure your hosting environment is robust enough to handle WooCommerce. Sometimes, upgrading to a better hosting plan or a WooCommerce-specific hosting provider can make a significant difference.

      4. Separate Domains vs. Subdirectories: Hosting your blog and shop as separate subsites (e.g., yourdomain.com and yourdomain.com/shop) within a single Multisite network could help with management and scaling but won’t necessarily improve performance. The shared database and server resources are the limiting factors here.

      5. Performance Tools: Utilize performance monitoring tools like New Relic or Query Monitor to pinpoint the exact bottlenecks. Sometimes, third-party plugins or themes can cause unexpected slowdowns.

      In summary, while moving to a Multisite setup has its benefits, it may not address the core performance issues you’re experiencing with WooCommerce. Focus on optimizing your current setup through caching, database optimization, and potentially upgrading your hosting environment.

      Best of luck with your site migration and new shop! Feel free to reach out if you have any more questions or request a quote if you’d like us to help you out.

      Thanks for your question,


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