Multisite in the wild

Multisite in the wild

How many multisite installs are out there, anyway? In a recent forum post unrelated to multisite but using those numbers for comparison, Jane gave some numbers:

We can't really get very accurate stats, because we only know about *installs* that phone home, not number of users on each one who might need the multisite menus. We know of about 60,000+ multisite installations, half of which have more than two sites. The average is 58.7 sites per multisite install (that gets us into the 3.5 million sites mark, times however many users per site). Then, 31 installs have more than 10k sites. Edublogs, for example, has over a million sites. Universities like CUNY have thousands/tens of thousands of users per install.

And a bit later:

Better stat courtesy of @nacin:

"Chop off the 31 sites > 10,000 sites, chop off the 30,000 sites <= 2 sites. 96.3979 average for the remaining 30,000 networks."

I actually talked to Nacin about these numbers back in July at WordCamp Montreal, so these stats are not surprising to me. Seems a little low though - what do you think?

  • VizFact
    Posted at 17:11h, 13 December Reply

    Hey thanks for stopping by my blog earlier. I recommend not using WordPress multi-site because if an update goes wrong, like that Rotten WordPress 3.3 and my TLD blog, then all child sites and downline sites are affected.

    However, I do think WP multi-site is good in the hands of responsible admin. And…be sure to have a separate update testing blog/site if you do put all your eggs in one basket and decide to roll with WP multi-site.

    And use the testing site because I am an idiot!

    • andrea
      Posted at 18:30h, 13 December Reply

      😀 Yes, for larger multisite installs, we recommend a testing environment. 🙂 Or you have some emergency fixes on your hands.

  • Ünsal Korkmaz
    Posted at 17:15h, 13 December Reply

    Why is it surprise? wordpress multisite have poor support.. even there is no tutorial how to use multiserver for media uploads.. or even no support for multiserver upload system tbh..

    why should people build big networks with wordpress?

    • andrea
      Posted at 18:31h, 13 December Reply does and they seem to be able to offload media just fine. There’s already the info out there to host the entire wp-content folder somewhere else.

      • Ünsal Korkmaz
        Posted at 23:22h, 18 December Reply

        can you give just 1 example article that explains using multi server for multisite blog uploads? Thanks a lot

        • Sokratesagogo
          Posted at 06:56h, 06 January Reply

          I’m sorry if this doesn’t answer your question, but I have a few bookmarks that *may* be relevant 🙂

          1) Appendix 8 “Cloud hosting” in the O”Reilly book “Head First WordPress” by Jeff Siarto, and

          2) Amazon cloud formation templates (Highly Available Web Server with Multi-AZ Amazon RDS Instance) at


          • Ünsal Korkmaz
            Posted at 18:51h, 26 January

            Lets say 1 server have 1000gb space. I want to have 5000gb media upload space for multi blogs with using 5 servers on same WordPress MultiSite. This is not about Highly Available Web Server imo..

  • Shane
    Posted at 22:28h, 13 December Reply

    I think a lot of people use multiple separate installs when they want multiple blogs. WordPress doesn’t explicitly promote the use of multisite within itself, so most users would be unaware. A lot of people use “automatic installers” for WP (such as Fantastico etc) which also creates separate installs for each blog.

    (side note: the green text in the comment box is really painful to read.)

  • Richard
    Posted at 06:30h, 18 August Reply

    I have run a WP multisite for a long time (since I started using WP many years ago).
    I have my main blog and my seperate chess blog and a a demo test site (very useful) and a few other sites.
    It is useful I feel to run a few sites though in no way do I use this feature to its full capabilities-I muddle on by with it in general.

    I am interested in the first post who says that any problems affect child-themes. This affects me presently as I am trying to run BuddyPress/bbPress forums on my WordPress theme (I mean my own theme anIMass that is in WP theme directory). Running BuddyPress with my theme has been a nightmare! My latest attempt I created a child theme but this has crashed (lost all theme formatting) on latest BuddyPress plugin update (I get little/no help from BuddyPress forum to help fix this either). With this in mind my child theme has presently one plugin installed (seen from admin page) yet my Network plugin status shows I have over 60 plugins activated! How does that work? Why is this?

    Any help/thoughts gratefully received-thanks & best wishes

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