WordPress Multi Site to replace Multi User!

Big news out of WordPress land today is that as of 3.0, WordPress MU (or Multi User) functionality will now be known as WordPress MS or ‘Multi Site’.

How did we figure this out, well first up a couple of hours ago there was this commit to WordPress Trac by ‘wpmuguru’ adding multi-site settings code and called ms-settings.php:

Multi Site is added to the core

Then, from the WP DEV IRC Channel we picked up on this chat:

[filosofo] ms-users.php?  is the official name going to be "multi-site"?
[rboren] filosofo: That's the working name at least.  MU is being dropped.
[wpmuguru] yep, works for us / more appropriate
[Jane_] we'll all just try really hard not to think of Microsoft or Multiple Sclerosis :)
[rboren] Yeah, we talked about using msite for that reason.
[filosofo] what about the "site" / "blog" terminological distinction?  Is that changing too?
[wpmuguru] could actually go with site-settings, site-functions
[junsuijin] mi=multi-instance
[rboren] We also have the "Network", which is what MU currently calls a site.
[filosofo] currently there's get_site_option(), for example, which covers all "blogs" on mu
[Jane_] yeah, i liked Network in place of site, since it's really a group of sites
[Jane_] (as opposed to a site being a group of blogs, per current UI)


[rboren] Multi-Site is kind of the name we've adopted for the MU functionality, thus the
ms- prefix  for MU files.  If we think of it in terms of the feature name, the ms- prefix works.

Which, would certainly indicate that MS, Multi Site, or multi-site would be the new name for MU.

Needless to say this isn’t of massive import to the majority of WP users and bigger name changes have happened (for example, ‘Themes’ becoming ‘Appearance’) but for those interested in the MU space it’s certainly a significant change.

We’ll let you know if anything new comes to light, but for the moment it’s pretty safe to assume that the new name for WordPress MU is WordPress MS.

25 Responses

  • this is one news byte that only you guys would’ve scooped since you’re webdevs, haha. thanks for sharing! i always wanted to know what the eventual outcome was going to be =)

  • It seems like it would make the most sense to just call it WordPress.
    There really is no difference between one blog versus many, if they are all running out of the same set of code.

  • As someone with Multiple Sclerosis, I found that comment very funny. Now it will be hard to disconnect my hobby from my disease!

  • I am just worried, what will happen with mu-plugins, and as said before, many people rely on the Multi-Site Manager plugin…

    Who has wpms.org :-) ?

  • @Jack — as a plugin developer, who has spent many, many hours and days delving into the depths of WordPress, trust me… it already is a disease. Of the two, MS will probably cause less long-term mental damage. When you start saying of everyday situations, “Why isn’t there a filter hook for this?” you are pretty much terminal.

  • I’m curious about WP/WPMS’s integration — if it’s the same software package, I can see that giving my host fits. They currently ban WPMU on all their shared hosting plans — wonder how they’ll enforce that if it’s the same package.

  • Not that I am one to get into a kerfuffle over some politically correct nonsense, but as a Multiple Sclerosis sufferer the first thing I thought of was WP for MS patient.

    Some might get their knickers in a twist, but personlly all I could think was ‘WooHoo, I can run my planned MS support site on WP-MS!’.

    Maybe rethinking this would be prudent, but personally I could care less. I am not particularly phased by things like this.

  • The merger between WP and WPMU sounds like a logical and exciting move in the right direction. And the new naming scheme seems to make a lot of sense.

    We can only hope that WPMU users are able to easily migrate, including all of our plugins (especially any premium plugins we have invested in).

    I’m interested to see how the line between WP and WPMS users is blurred moving forward.

    I think figuring out how to continually add extra value to our WPMS installs over WP will be key moving forward.


  • James, thank you for pre-registering all variations of “WordPress Multisite” domains. Would you be up to donating those to WordPress so they’re not misused?

  • Where’s the love Matt? You know that someone would purchase as many domains as they could for a very popular product. Why grumble because they are in the hands of someone who actually wants to promote WordPress? If WordPress wanted them, shouldn’t they have bought them before they revealed the new name?

  • Jack, the love is all around. Multi-site was not supposed to be announced yet, and we forgot to register domains around it, but since James was thoughtful enough to pick them up so that’s why I asked about the transfer. It’s against our community policy to have domains with “WordPress” in them, and has been for 4+ years:


  • Matt, THE guy! :D

    Well, first thing you guys should have done just after defining the name was list all domains you thought worthy registering, and second thing was registering them.

    Now it’s gone. You should at least offer to pay the registration bill, who would register a domain to donate it afterwards? If you are not willing to buy the domain from him, let him do whatever he wants with those domains.

    I imagine Blizzard asking for warcraft4.com and starcraft3.com donations, or Microsoft requesting Mike Rowe for a donation… Of course, Automattic is not like them, but well.

    I’d suggest giving up the name, it’s ugly anyway, remembers WordPress MicroSoft (omg don’t let them read this!! :D ) as somebody noted. It’s still time, choose a better name and REGISTER THOSE DAMN DOMAINS!! :P

    How about WordPress Multi, or Multi WordPress? *logging on my registrar* :D

  • Hikari, “multisite” was not decided on as a final name, it’s just what the folks working on the merge started naming all of the functions.

    I’m, of course, happy to pay for any registration fees.

    I haven’t heard anything from James about these comments or the email I sent him, so not sure what’s going on.

  • A genuine question because this piece of news affects a fairly important dev strategy for one of my clients. The big issue with MU has always been the problem with shared servers delivering sites with the potential for growth/bandwidth with multi user sites, and alternatives to this problem are the basis of several fairly well known businesses.

    Does the merge with WP and MU/S mean that some miracle has happened that obviates the server/hosting issue?

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