WordPress Multisite – A Love Story

This article is written in response to Rob Howard’s call for the death of WP Multi-site.

Sometimes when things get old, they need more care, more maintenance, more love. Just because something is old, frustrating, ornery, and doesn’t solve your immediate needs doesn’t mean it should be killed. This goes for humans as well as software. Like many broken, patched up old people like myself, our once cutting-edge WordPress Multisite still has a LOT to offer.

Rob says that WordPress multisite is no longer useful, which ignores, perhaps, the biggest thing WP Multisite has going for it: It’s still the simplest way for WordPress people to build scalable apps. Period. End of story. Sure there are newer codebases that can do this stuff, but what Rob fails to imagine is a world where people like using WordPress to build web apps The WordPress Way. I love building stuff The WordPress Way – in fact, it’s the only way I know how to build web apps. Rather than learn new tech and new coding languages that provide the exact same end result, why not build it with technology we know and love (WordPress)?

I’ll be the first to agree with Rob that WordPress Multisite is slow and could use a UI and feature rethink. Honestly, I would have preferred the WP world invested the last 3 years rethinking WP Multisite rather than investing those thousands of human-hours rebuilding the entire WP editing experience from the ground up (something nobody within a day’s drive of me ever demanded and something that seems to be a never-ending project). Also, while Rob seems to argue for something akin to WP Multitenancy, those solutions are complex and require knowledge of complex cloud things (kubernetes, containers, etc) – e.g. they do not address the biggest advantage that WP Multisite has over these new solutions: WP Multisite requires very little additional knowledge to set up, manage, and scale!

So, Rob, I’m sorry, but you are wrong, as are all the WP Multisite haters out there. WP Multisite is awesome and needs more love, not less.

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