Can I connect multiple wordpress root installations to one network?

I'm thinking this question is an offshoot of another topic I started earlier here. I am experimenting with a multisite idea I had, with one caveat. It's the caveat that inspires this question, especially after seeing this post.

Let's say there are multiple users each with their own domain and root install of wordpress. Is there any way to set it up so that they could all be connected to a multisite network and still keep their local installs (and databases) intact? I ask because it would involve integrating another application. If something like this IS possible, it would be awesome!

  • Jeff VanDrimmelen
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    There is a plugin to synchronize users across single site installs:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/wordpress-user-synchronization/

    This could be used to kind of share across.

    Now, the question you are looking for really depends on what is in the database that you want to put in. In theory, yes, you could have all the sites on a single multisite install as long as none of the database tables are the same. You wouldn't want to have multiple user database tables for example. Well, you could, but it would get messy.

    Probably need more info about what the app looks like that you want to make. I'm sure it could be done, but just not sure if it is wise, or if there would be an easier way than trying to hack together a single site install. Do the benefits outweigh the time and complexity of the solution?

  • PC
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    Hello there,

    Greetings and thanks for posting on the forums.

    What you are trying is beyond the basics of WordPress multisite. You can have Multiple networks in one Multisite Install however having separate sites on different install is something which would create a mess.

    You can simply create a WordPress network, and use Domain mapping to map subsites to individual domains.

    As Jeff suggested above, you can use the user sync plugin to sync users across different single sites but there is no out of the box way to add sites hosted on a separate install into a Multisite.

    Cheers, PC

  • HeatherFeuer
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    @Jeff, the app in question is The Next Generation of Genealogy Software (TNG) It is a fantastic web application for genealogy websites. There is a WordPress plugin that integrates TNG with WordPress. You can see it in action at The Larlee Genealogy. I am beginning to find myself the goto person for all things integration and someone rather wistfully suggested how helpful a network of users could be.

    The problem is that the tables ARE identical across installs, which is why it would be easiest to keep each site separate. I just had a thought, though... I don't know how this would affect page load times, but I wonder if each site owner had a local install of the TNG software with its own separate database, then map the domain to WordPress and I could have the integration plugin network-activated.... The biggest issue people seem to have is getting the integration to work and as super admin I could help with that...

    Hmmmmmmmm.... Oh and I will definitely check out that other plugin!! Thanks guys!!

  • Jeff VanDrimmelen
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    Ah yes, I am familiar with TNG. I used it about 5 years ago. It is an amazing software. I think you are on the right path with separate sites and using the integration plugin network wide and activated. I think this could be accomplished. Be neat to see what you come up with if this is released publicly.

  • HeatherFeuer
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    @Jeff, thanks for the input! If you thought it was amazing five years ago, you should see it now! It just keeps getting better and better. The integration plugin syncs logins AND registrations between WP and TNG. There are also a couple of other plugins and widgets for displaying family tree info on the WP side of things.

    I'll update my progress here. For now, I've discovered that a new site would need to already have TNG installed and more or less configured BEFORE being mapped.

  • HeatherFeuer
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    Okay, I have tng installed on the mapped domain, but the integration plugin can't find the path because the plugin is on the primary network domain. I've been searching all morning for a possible solution using either htaccess or php to set the absolute path for each subdomain to the mapped domain's tng directory?

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