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I have seen similar questions but none with a definitive answer. I host dozens of WP sites on a cloud server (all latest version) however this causes a lot of unnecessary backup activity. I am not a fan of multisite. Really I am just looking to simplify by keeping a core set of files in a central location that can be read by all domains. The preference would be to extend this by allowing versions.

Core > 3.2.1

Core > 3.2.2

then point a domain to the prefered version of central files. This would allow me to backup only uploads, theme and database files.

Wondering if there is some documentation out there on this subject without having to do any heavy modifications?

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6  
What is it about multisite that you don't like? I use it for this exact reason. –  user1337 May 29 '12 at 16:01
    
I have to say, it sounds like you are making a really crappy version of multisite... Going to these lengths not to use multisite seems superstitious... Would definitely like to know what it is about multisite that you don't like to warrant this idea instead. –  Jake Apr 4 '13 at 1:18
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2 Answers

Sharing single set of core files without multisite is a setup technique that kind of make sense, yet kind of very under explored - exactly because multisite exists.

The latest iteration of it (that I know of) has been suggested by Mark Jaquith to be:

sites
  |__ ms.dev
  | |__ content
  | |__ index.php
  | |__ wp => ../../wordpress/stable
  | |__ wp-config.php
  |__ one.dev
  | |__ content
  | |__ index.php
  | |__ wp => ../../wordpress/stable
  | |__ wp-config.php
  |__ two.dev
  | |__ content
  | |__ index.php
  | |__ wp => ../../wordpress/stable
  | |__ wp-config.php
wordpress
  |__ 3.5.2
  |__ 3.6
  |__ stable => 3.6
  |__ wp-config.php

Note that symlinks are used to "fake" core files still being present in every site. Trying to load JS resources from different domain is problematic because of browsers' security measures. With subdirectory layout it should be trivial to exclude them from backups, etc.

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I think you find Mark Jaquith's WP skeleton along with a symlinked 'wp' folder should do the trick, though plugins that attempt to include core files (rare but they exist) may fail, depending on how your server is configured.

https://github.com/markjaquith/WordPress-Skeleton

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbolic_link

OR

Use the skeleton and exclude that folder from backups.

PS- You’d handle versions by just repointing the symlink to a different common WP version.

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