Like a number of other genea-bloggers, I have more than one blog site. In my case, I want the Gazette to be separate from the bookstore and my family stories to be separate from both. On a hosted platform such as WordPress.com or Blogger, this isn’t all that difficult to do. You log in once and easily move between your blogs. When you’re on a self-hosted system, having separate blogs can be a challenge. Fortunately, WordPress offers a multi-site option. I say option, because it’s available in the basic WordPress package. It’s a matter of changing a couple of settings and voilà – you now have a multi-site version.
Like anything else, WordPress multi-site has its pros and cons. On the plus side, it saves space. There’s only one set of WordPress files and only one database. Your themes and plugins are installed once and shared by each site. Yes, each site can still have its own look and feel, but now you’re only backing up one database and performing updates once. I’ll only have to log in once, then I can move from one site to another quickly and easily. On the flip side, not every plugin or theme will work in the multi-site environment. Even worse, you may not find that out until you install it and everything crashes.
I’m using multi-site in the sub-folder mode – meaning all my sites have the same http://moultriecreek.us address followed by their own folder/section (such as https://moultriecreek.us/books and https://moultriecreek.us/gazette). This is the easiest way to set up a multi-site installation. Giving each site its own URL is the toughest. That doesn’t mean I won’t have a few challenges. The biggest one is the move itself. First of all, I can’t have two https://moultriecreek.us/gazette sites running at the same time. So, I’ve set up a temporary site with a selected number of posts, pages, etc. to get the themes and plugins checked out. Once everything’s ready, I’ll use the WordPress export/import tools to move the content.
This will also be a good time to do a bit of redecorating. My current themes are quite old and don’t take advantage of all the whistles and bells WordPress now offers. This part could take more effort than actually moving the data. Why? I’ll have to adjust image sizes and post excerpts to fit within the new design. There’s usually a hiccup or two in these situations so please pardon the dust as the Moultrie Creek blogs get spiffed up a bit.