Can I have: 1 main site, 1 main community, several subsites, individual url's, and all in one d

Okay, let me see if I can explain what I want to do.

I would like to have one main website/blog with a main/general theme and only one (buddypress) community section.

I would like this main website to have several niche (related) websites linked off of it.

Users would/could be members of the main site/blog and have access to all other sites/blogs with that one login/password.

I want to mange this all in one dashboard without having to login and out of multiple websites/dashboards.

I want the ability to have a different header and sidebar for each of the niche websites.

It would be nice if the niche websites could have their own independent urls, but that's not completely necessary. I would be okay with, etc. so long as each site could have it's own independent header and sidebar.

Does that make sense? Is there a theme that would be better suited to this? I'd like to keep things as simple as possible....if at all possible.

I'm looking for something along the lines of (but not quite)


  • Mason
    • DEV MAN’s Sidekick

    Hiya Ruth,

    Everything you're looking for is definitely doable and one of the primary reasons that WPMU DEV exists!

    You'll need to have a WordPress Multi-site + BuddyPress install with domain mapping to start with.

    You can have your BuddyPress exist on a separate site from your main site if you wish through defines in your wp-config as stated here:

    If you're unfamiliar with the Multi-site and BuddyPress install processes I'd definitely recommend reading through a few of our available manuals on those topics:

    Also, the domain mapping plugin can be downloaded (and instructions are linked on this same page) here:

    You may also be interested in using our 'New Blog Templates' plugin which would allow you to create new sites that copy settings, themes, etc from a default site which you create. This would give each site the same look which you can then further customize for each site individually:

    Hope this information helps ya get started! Let us know if you need anything further as you progress through this!

  • Ruth |
    • Recruit

    Additional questions related to above -

    Can I have member blogs underneath the sub sites?

    For Example:

    Blog A (Main blog) Say something like Art and Design

    Sub Blog A, B, C, D (beneath blog A) (Sub blogs - like painting, drawing, etc.)

    Then - Individual member blogs beneath the sub blogs - Joe's paintings, etc.

    And then- Only one buddypress community for the entire network?

    How about if the main blog is sort of an umbrella or LLC of several unrelated niche communities?

    Does it make more sense to do just do several different installs/sites then for each niche? Or is there a way to make it all one network?

    Am I making this too complicated? I'm just trying to make things easier on myself from a management standpoint.

  • Mason
    • DEV MAN’s Sidekick

    Hiya Ruth,

    Well, my personal opinion (ie you can throw this out if ya like ;D) is to keep things as simple as possible. With a multi-level structure like what you're picturing it may be difficult for folks to find the right spot to signup or create their first blog. Additionally, it may be difficult to display this hierarchy from within WordPress.

    However, if you do want this structure, I'd say you're definitely looking at more than one install and a rather complex bit of development to then allow users to be synced across multiple installs for the community bits.

    An easier method might be to create 'groups' within BuddyPress that are specific to something like 'Art and Design'. From within that you could have a group blog using the group blog plugin:
    And additionally offer folks their own individual blogs. Their blog wouldn't have to be categorized necessarily as it could be linked to by their profile. This way, their blog can reflect who they are as individuals (and they might be part of more than one group). But they can also post content to their group blog that is relative to that topic.

    Does that help at all?

    Happy to talk through this with ya a bit more. Let us know what your thoughts are!


  • Ruth |
    • Recruit

    Thanks so much for the response. I think I see what you are saying.

    A little more background might be helpful.

    I currently have 2 niche blogs/sites with buddypress just recently added.

    I'd like to add more niche sites, build more communities, potentially offer user blogs to basically have the community generate the content - without the hassle of multiple accounts/dashboards on my end.

    It seems like I should just keep each individual niche site with it's own buddypress community. However, I can't see keeping up with several individual niche sites. Does that make sense?

    Two more questions:

    Is there a way to pull blog posts from buddypress group blogs to the front page of a blog/site?

    Can you have the above option and NOT offer users the option on having their own blog?

    It seems to have buddypress group blogs you need to have multisite enabled. Can that be enabled for group blogs but not let users create their own blogs?

    My sites are and if that helps at all.

    Currently I contribute all content to both. My problem is - I can't develop new sites and create all the content.

    From my other posts - that you've so kindly answered - you can see that I'm trying to find the best work around/option. I'm just not sure what that is yet. :slight_smile:

    Any ideas or solutions?

    Thanks so much for your patience and time. Like many, I'm self taught in all this - so I'm sure I'm making it way more difficult than I have to. :slight_smile:

  • Mason
    • DEV MAN’s Sidekick

    Hiya Ruth,

    I don't have an install with the group blogs plugin for BuddyPress at the moment. I know several members here use it, so it may be something someone else can provide you with better insight for.

    Regardless, I'd recommend checking out our Post Indexer plugin:
    This plugin takes all posts from your network and puts them in a nice table in your database. From there, you can then show posts across your network on the front page (or any page) of your site.

    Also, I'm not 100% that it'll pull the posts created by the group blog plugin. Again, that would be something that someone else would have to answer (or you could test yourself :smiley:).

    As to individual blogs, you may want to set it up so that only admins can create groups and group blogs. That way, individuals won't be creating sites at all.

    I wish I could be more helpful here, but as you're a learn-as-ya-go-along person, I'd say your best bet is to dive right in with a development install or two. Make mistakes. Delete the whole thing. Start over. As you have specific questions along the way, we'll be here to keep ya going.


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