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My Main Purposes

  • To centralise all of my WordPress sites (different domains - different clients) in one place controlled by the main dashboard. Be able to choose which site is in need of a theme, plugins, or core file updates.
  • Saving loads of time by not updating and maintaining each site one by one.
  • Only one core WordPress file update affecting the rest.

Questions

  1. Can I create a Network within the MultiSite (WP v3.7.1 to-date) configuration but NOT based upon subdirectories or sub-domain basis as each site has its own theme, plugin, and domain name: Site1.com, Site2.com, Site3.com for example?

  2. The main site will not be under "root" directory but dwell within /subfolder instead, if the question#1 above is achievable, all the rest of the sites will be within /subfolder/wp-contents/theme << each theme per site in different folders, is it possible?

  3. Is this the good solution in terms of a security issue as it seems all the sites are under one roof?

  4. Each client, each site, each domain has their own login screen and could be able to claim their rights over their site only, what if they do have multiple users who need a log-in, will it mess up with another client site including my own main site as well?

  5. Don't quite see the whole picture how InfiniteWP plugin could help me either to minimise the WP core installation or centralise all the sites in one place?

Any recommendations in order to achieve all of my main purposes are welcome as it's quite a chaotic to update one by one and wasting hosting space by installing the core file on each site.

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asking for recommendation is mostly off topic. You are more likely to get meaningful answers if you show what you have tried and ask how to fix what doesn't work for you. –  Mark Kaplun Nov 10 '13 at 12:47
    
@MarkKaplun Thanks. Which site of Stack Exchange is more appropriate where I should move my question to? –  Modular Nov 10 '13 at 19:09
    
This is mostly the right place but IMO you need to change your question into something like "How do I...." or "Why dosen't X work". Not a mandatory format but IMO it helps to focus the answers on practical solutions instead of opinion sharing. –  Mark Kaplun Nov 12 '13 at 5:40

2 Answers 2

If the real question is: can you manage multiple domain names from a single WordPress multisite network, then the answer is yes. But you've over-specified your restrictions such that the question is no longer answerable.

A WordPress multisite network - either as a subdomain (site1.example.com) or subdirectory (example.com/site1) install will allow you to manage core, Themes, Plugins and users, across the network and per-site. The Domain Mapping Plugin will allow those sites to be accessed as e.g. site1.com, regardless of network type (subdomain or subdirectory).

But, taking your points one-by-one:

  1. Can I create a Network within the MultiSite (WP v3.7.1 to-date) configuration but NOT based upon subdirectories or sub-domain basis as each site has its own theme, plugin, and domain name: Site1.com, Site2.com, Site3.com for example?

A WordPress multisite network, whether installed as subdomain or subdirectory, combined with domain mapping, accomplishes this.

  1. The main site will not be under "root" directory but dwell within /subfolder instead, if the question#1 above is achievable, all the rest of the sites will be within /subfolder/wp-contents/theme << each theme per site in different folders, is it possible?

You cannot put "sites" inside of wp-content. That's not what wp-content is for.

  1. Is this the good solution in terms of a security issue as it seems all the sites are under one roof?

This is a subjective question, the answer for which depends entirely upon your specific needs. But multisite network installs do facilitate site maintenance/update.

  1. Each client, each site, each domain has their own login screen and could be able to claim their rights over their site only, what if they do have multiple users who need a log-in, will it mess up with another client site including my own main site as well?

With domain mapping, users would login via site1.com/wp-admin. With a multisite network, you can manager users across the network, and can add users to one or many network sites.

  1. Don't quite see the whole picture how InfiniteWP plugin could help me either to minimise the WP core installation or centralise all the sites in one place?

No opinion on InfiniteWP, and Plugin recommendations are off-topic.

Required Reading

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Thanks a lot. I've already changed the question title for the sake of other people who stumble upon the same problem as mine. Referring to your answer on "You cannot put "sites" inside of wp-content. That's not what wp-content is for." Then where should I place the sites then which they can share the same core files? link Still solving how to configure the other sites reside within the main site sharing the core files but pointing to different domains without mapping plugin. –  Modular Nov 12 '13 at 7:03
    
"Then where should I place the sites then which they can share the same core files?" - you simply create a network, and then use multisite network administration to create sites. That's what a multisite network is, after all: a network of sites that all use the same core/Plugin/Theme files. –  Chip Bennett Nov 12 '13 at 12:48
    
I did that on some of my client projects but now want to apply this concept, the network, to my business in order to centralising (keep all of my client websites under one roof) for more convenient. Not sure whether it is a good idea or not as all different clients equal different themes but might sharing some plugins. Should I keep them separate as they are now (on multiple install)? –  Modular Nov 12 '13 at 16:07
    
Please read the Codex links. Themes can be enabled network-wide or per-site. Network sites only have access to Themes for which you enable access. –  Chip Bennett Nov 12 '13 at 16:16
    
Some says I should keep them separate as they are now and use some plugin to manage them but also some says strongly recommend to move them from separate multiple installs to one single core install (network). What's your verdict and why? –  Modular Nov 12 '13 at 16:23

you can achieve 1-4 with existing plugins, not sure if domain mapping does all of that but the infrastructure for all that is mostly available.

IIRC it is the long term goal to have this kind of functionality to be part of wordpress core.

my experience with hosting wordpress sites in a similar settings is that unless you got only a specific niche clients, having only one wordpress install is a challenge as upgrades can break plugins and themes, and with having one core you lose the ability to downgrade a problematic site.

A better solution might be to have a smart apache/nginx configuration and write some bash scripts that will automate your maintenance.

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Agreed on an upgrade can break plugins and themes as I have had such an experience so far. I might keep them separate like they are now and use some plugin to control them all with the main dashboard. –  Modular Nov 10 '13 at 19:12

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