I need to know if Wordpress can handle multiple sites. And between these sites, it should share some content types while restricting others. If the answer is yes, then I need to know:

  1. does it do it out of the box
  2. what plugins will i need
  3. do i need to build my own plugins
  4. do i need to modify the core code (and hence, break forwards upgrade/compatibility)

So here's what I need:

I need to create several websites for one company that has multiple offices around the world. Each website will have their own domain name like http://toronto.website.com, http://newyork.website.com, http://dubai.website.com etc.. These sites will all be in English. I will only have 1 set of html css files that all these websites will use. The difference between all these sites will be content. Some content-types will be shared between these sites, while others will not.

For simplicity sake, there are 2 content-types:

Page - A page is your traditional wordpress page or post. They will be used to create Home Page, About Us, History, Contact Us, Terms of Service etc... Pages ARE NOT SHARED between the different websites. So if http://toronto.website.com has a History page, that doesn't mean http://newyork.website.com must have a history page...and even if they do, it can be completely different content.

Projects - A project will have fields like title, description, author, film director, camera man, location etc... Projects ARE SHARED between different sites. So a person on the http://toronto.website.com website can see the same set of project information as http://newyork.website.com.

So to re-iterate, my biggest concern is the ability to share project content-types between sites while not sharing page content-types.

  • If you tagged multisite, maybe you already know of WordPress Multisite existence... And I'd suggest you don't even mention modify the core, the more folks know, the less this is even a possible concept...
    – brasofilo
    Commented May 9, 2012 at 20:39
  • thanks do you know if wordpress multisite can be selective of which content types to share between the sites? Commented May 9, 2012 at 22:36
  • No, sorry, although I linked to a search string that may give some hints, I haven't entered into the matter itself...
    – brasofilo
    Commented May 9, 2012 at 23:00

1 Answer 1


That's a pretty lengthy question, so I try to be brief and still hit all your points. If nothing else, maybe someone else can improve on what I suggest.

Does it do it out of the box? No

It does however have the ability to do the things you've asked "out of the box", it's called the WordPress API (if you're going to be hosting several website around the world I suggest you or someone on your team take the time to learn this. Hacking the core files is a short term solution at best, in my experiences you'll end up with one hack after another to fix the newest incompatibility issues caused by WordPress updates, or you'll neglect to update the core so your many sites don't break. Neither is acceptable since it will cause security issues, slower sites, and a HUGE HEADACHE for whoever has to sort it out).

What plugins will I need? Depends...

There's more than one way to do what you've asked. For that reason it's impossible for me to answer that. Some try too had to not use plug-ins while others turn to plugins for everything. My suggestion is to weigh the specific purpose of the plugin. If it can be achieved fairly easy with your knowledge of WordPress then do it yourself. If it's something that will take a lot of time, and there is an existing plugin that's been developed I'd use a plug-in. It doesn't make sense to waste time re-inventing something that someone or a group of developers have contributed time, troubleshooting and worked out the kinks. That's one of the benefits of WordPress and Open Source, you can simply download/install a pllugin if it meets your needs which allows us to build sites quicker and in turn charge less to the clients if so inclined.

do I need to build my own plugins?

See previous answer

do I need to modify the core code? Nein, Non, Iya, Nope

As I've mentioned this will never be a good solution.

2 content-types This can be achieve using the WordPress core functions. Have a look at custom post types, taxonomies, tags, and Categories.

Once you've decided which way you're going to go, you can use a common functions.php file for the sites. Maybe even a common theme for them if the layout will be similar. You can use the same theme files and adjust the CSS to keep from repetitive coding.


As for using the same post (what I'd use for Projects since they're better suited), I haven't actually needed to do this for anyone yet, so I just make a suggestion. This might be one of the cases I spoke of which a plugin will benefit you. You could use the RSS import feature built into WordPress to display the posts on multiple websites. Have a look at this one, it's been downloaded almost 100,000 times and was last updated on 2012-4-24 (a good thing to check when using plugins): RSS Import

That should give you a good start. Once you've narrowed down your options and have better direction you can always post questions here for quality advice. Good Luck,

  • thank you this is a very good answer! For sharing project content types, I need to be able to perform keyword and range searches. So an RSS feed doesn't quite get me all the way there. Can you recommend some plugins I can look at that might be a good starting point to help me set up a search API that knows to ignore relevant page content types while including all project content-types while on given site? Commented May 9, 2012 at 23:46

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