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We're currently running a multisite wordpress install for 4 sites. Running into problems with pretty much every plugin ever made (mostly issues with user account creation etc), I'd really like to switch over to 4 single installs. However, I'm wondering if the server resource usage will be significantly affected.

As far as I see it, the overhead of running the multisite management on top of these blogs outweighs any losses we would see from running them separately, especially when we're only talking about 4 sites. Can anyone offer some more insight here?

Thanks in advance

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Are you running all four sites on the same server? – Azizur Jun 22 '11 at 11:43
Yes, but I figure it would be easier to split the DB if they're on separate sites anyway. As it is, we have a dedicated server for the web site, and another for the DB. – James Bruce Jun 22 '11 at 12:17

You can use one installation for four (or more) singular sites without multi-site. Just point all domains to the same directory with your WordPress installation. In your wp-config.php set the necessary variables and constants depending on the currently requested host:

switch ( $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] )
    case 'example.com':
        $table_prefix   = 'ecom_';
        $table_name     = 'ecom';

    case 'example.net':
        $table_prefix = 'enet_';
        $table_name   = 'enet';
        $table_prefix  = 'wp_';
        $table_name   = 'wp';

You can change any constant or variable in the switch of course.

To make plugin updates easier let all installations share one plugin directory.

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