Leveraging WordPress Multisite for Franchise Businesses: A Step-by-Step Guide

Leveraging WordPress Multisite for Franchise Businesses: A Step-by-Step Guide

Managing a franchise business with multiple locations requires a consistent brand experience across all sites. WordPress Multisite offers an ideal solution, enabling centralized control over multiple sites within a single WordPress installation. This guide provides a step-by-step approach to leveraging WordPress Multisite for franchise businesses.

Why Choose WordPress Multisite for Franchise Businesses?

WordPress Multisite is a powerful feature that allows you to run a network of websites from one WordPress installation. For franchise businesses, this means:

  • Centralized Management: Update plugins, themes, and settings across all sites from a single dashboard.
  • Consistency: Ensure brand consistency by sharing themes and plugins across all franchise sites.
  • Scalability: Easily add new sites to the network as the business expands.

Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up WordPress Multisite

Step 1: Prepare Your Hosting Environment

Ensure your hosting provider supports WordPress Multisite. A Virtual Private Server (VPS) or dedicated server is recommended for handling multiple sites efficiently.

Step 2: Install WordPress

If you haven’t already, install WordPress on your server. Multisite works best on a fresh WordPress installation, but you can also enable it on an existing site.

Step 3: Enable Multisite
  1. Open the wp-config.php file and add this line above the “/* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */” comment: codedefine('WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true);
  2. Save the file and refresh your browser to see a new “Network Setup” option under Tools.
Step 4: Set Up Your Network
  1. Click on “Network Setup” to configure your multisite network.
  2. Choose between subdomains (site1.example.com) or subdirectories (example.com/site1) for your network.
  3. Provide a network title and admin email, then click “Install.”
Step 5: Update Configuration Files
  1. Follow the instructions provided to update your wp-config.php and .htaccess files.
  2. Copy the provided code snippets into the appropriate files and save them.
Step 6: Log in to Your Network Admin Dashboard

Log out and back in to access the network admin dashboard, where you can manage the network settings and individual sites.

Step 7: Add Sites to the Network
  1. In the network dashboard, navigate to “Sites” and click “Add New.”
  2. Enter the site’s address, title, and admin email to create a new site.
  3. Repeat this process to add more sites as needed.
Step 8: Manage Themes and Plugins
  • Themes: Activate a theme network-wide or enable specific themes for individual sites.
  • Plugins: Install plugins at the network level and choose which ones are available to all sites or specific sites.
Step 9: Manage Users

Assign roles to users across the network. Super admins can manage the entire network, while site admins manage individual sites.

Step 10: Implement Branding and Settings

Establish consistent branding by customizing themes and setting default configurations. This ensures a uniform look and feel across all franchise sites.


WordPress Multisite is a powerful tool for franchise businesses, providing a scalable and centralized platform to manage multiple sites. By following this guide, you can set up a Multisite network that maintains brand consistency while enabling each location to thrive.

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