I have a number of small sites that I host for clients and friends, and for the last couple of years I’ve been hosting them on a WordPress multisite, just to keep things like updating simpler. And for a long time it worked really well.
However, as clients got bigger, and their requirements got greater, well, running things on multisite started to get a little, well, sketchy and I’ve come to the conclusion that while you CAN run things like this, maybe there are times when you shouldn’t.
If you want to run a hosting business, I think you should take it seriously. Get a reseller account with a quality host like Crucial Paradigm (affiliate link) and set your clients up each on their own site, with their own cpanel, their own database… and relax a little… because if one site goes down… well, hopefully it’s just the one site…
It also makes backing up easier… which brings me to the genesis of this post…
I use Backup Buddy (yep, that’s an affiliate link too) for my peace of mind. I love it because it makes backing up and migrating sites easy. I wouldn’t develop sites without it quite frankly, but I noticed something disconcerting when I updated it over the weekend.
Backup Buddy has been fine on all my standalone sites… but after this latest update it hasn’t been fine at all on the multisite and this is disconcerting given that there are 15 clients on that installation… if I don’t have backups I feel very vulnerable.
The issue was that once I’d upgraded, I was able to see the Backup Buddy box in the dashboard, I was getting notifications that the cron job was running and doing backups in the background but I had no access to the Control Panel, in fact, if I clicked on the dashboard link I received the following notice
‘You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page.’
I did some googling, and came back without too much useful information. I then went onto the iThemes site and sure enough, the answer is there…Backup Buddy has removed default multisite support, but you have to be a member to see that info… so just in case you’re not currently subscribed, here’s what’s happening.
IMPORTANT: In an upcoming version, Multisite functionality will no longer be enabled by default as it is experimental and should not be used for real world purposes [Link].
It seems that this latest update is the one that removes the multisite functionality by default. I get the reasons behind it, and having gradually come to the realsaition that just because you CAN run multisite as a hosting platform doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
In any case, to resolve the issue I added this line to my wp-config
[php]define( ‘PB_BACKUPBUDDY_MULTISITE_EXPERIMENT’, true );[/php]
This will get me back on track long enough to export each of my sites, one by one, and putting them on their own little patch of the web.
I still think multisite is fantastic, and if you were wanting to run your own blogging community, like the one I started blogging on years ago, well then multisite is a great way to do it… but as for me and my sites, we shall be diverging away from multisite, and growing up and standing on our own two feet…