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Is it possible to have two wordpress installs, one at the main address and one at a subdomain, with a shared user database but totally different/separate content databases?

For example: http://www.maindomain.com and subdomain.maindomain.com

I am trying to build a community website that will allow for admins only to make posts on the main domain but allow for a shared set of users to make posts on the subdomain. I want the content to be totally separate for each install (so content from both databases doesn't show up in a search on either site) but make it easy for users to jump back and forth between the two sites and comment on posts/message one another...etc.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Wordpress Multisite has been designed to handle this kind of situation. That would be ideal choice as both the sites use the same domain.

Checkout Multisite table overview. For multisite, the following tables are global to all sites meaning there will be only one table which will be shared among all sites.

  • wp_blogs

  • wp_blog_versions

  • wp_registration_log

  • wp_signups

  • wp_site

  • wp_sitecategories

  • wp_sitemeta

  • wp_users

  • wp_usermeta

Site Specific Tables

When a new additional site is created, the site-specific tables, similar to the stand-alone tables above, are created. Each set of tables for a site are created with the site ID (blog_id) as part of the table name. These are the tables that would be created for site ID 2 and table_prefix wp_:

  • wp_2_commentmeta

  • wp_2_comments

  • wp_2_links

  • wp_2_options

  • wp_2_postmeta

  • wp_2_posts

  • wp_2_terms

  • wp_2_term_relationships

  • wp_2_term_taxonomy

From the table structure it's apparent that content will be separate for all sites under multisite. They only share common registration, user information etc.

  • Are you sure? A few people have told me that it's not what I'm looking for. Will the content databases be different? Essentially what I'm trying to create is a blog for community leaders to post to at the main domain, and a nearly identical blog for community members to post to at the subdomain. – Satyapriya Jan 7 '14 at 2:04
  • @Satyapriya I have extended my answer. Your comment also arises a few questions. What will be roles of community leaders at the subdomain? What will be roles of members in the main domain? It is a little tough to manage different roles at different Multistie structure as you may have to do that manually. You can also check out this plugin: wordpress.org/plugins/multisite-user-management – sakibmoon Jan 7 '14 at 9:03
  • Also check out this answer:stackoverflow.com/a/13453180/1656977 – sakibmoon Jan 7 '14 at 9:08
  • Thank you for clearing that up. It sounds like it is probably what I'm looking for, but may not work exactly as I'm thinking it should... Users on the main site would be able to comment on posts and send each other messages, and users on the subdomain would be able to comment on posts, message each other, and also make posts. Is this possible with multisite? – Satyapriya Jan 8 '14 at 7:01
  • @Satyapriya I'm not sure about the part sending message to each other. You may have to use a plugin for that. The users on the main site should have Subscriber role to comment on post. The same user should have Author role to make post. You can probably define default role for each of the site when users register. – sakibmoon Jan 8 '14 at 9:34

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