How to best setup a network of networks?

define( 'WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true );

https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-multi-network/

Here are the two contenders though I think there are even others. My set up is:

Multisite 4.0 installed, subdomain path. Needs are:

(1) Super Admin able to manage full scope of organization including MAINSITE.com

(10) Local Admins in charge of their own subsite.MAINSITE.com (mapped to a localdomain.com if using ‘WPmultisite’ functionality. If I go with ‘multi-network’ it seems I can use a NEWdomain.com without mapping but I lose Super Admin control (or do I? not sure if it’s there and I don’t see it or what)

Either way each Local Admin site needs to run Directory plugin https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/wordpress-directory and https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/pro-sites Each ‘Directory’ to be located on LocalDomain.com and each ‘ProSite’ to be located at childSites.LocalDomain.com (or domain mapped if desired).

So what it the current best strategy? I think it really depends on how database stores each site. Seems WPmultisite uses both wp_site and wp_blog tables but Multi-network uses only wp_blog table.

Do either ProSite or Directory plugins need to see wp_site? What interaction does Super Admin have with sites created with multi-network? (or more specifically, does Super Admin not play well with sites stored only in wp_blogs table?)

Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

  • aristath

    Hello there @Joe, I hope you're well today!

    I'm afraid we are not that familiar with the multi-networks plugin... Won't a simple multisite installation do what you need?
    If not, then perhaps you could post this question to the multi-network support forums on https://wordpress.org/support/plugin/wp-multi-network
    If anyone can help you with its database structure it's the guys that actually build it!
    That being said, I don't believe you'll have any issues using Pro-Sites with it (though I have not tested it myself I remember there was another member that was doing this) but domain-mapping will not work as expected.

    Cheers,
    Ari.

  • aristath

    Hello again!

    Seems like multisite is designed for a Parent/Child set not Grand/Parent/Child. Has anyone used multisite in such a way?

    Not that I am aware of...
    If you want to allow your users to create networks where they will be able to have users create sites then I would guess that this is a necessity for you...
    But could you please tell us what it is that you ultimately want to achieve? Perhaps there's another way to do what you want...

    Cheers,
    Ari.

  • Joe

    Hey Ari, sorry for delay in my RE but I continue to do more testing. Maybe you could break out a few thoughts for me. Seems to me the overall WPMUdev approach assumes a parent/child setup. (is this sort of like root-global/local)?

    If I use WP multi-network plugin, what happens to file structure? Or does it not change but the database calls are approached differently, giving individuality to each new network created under the main multisite install?

    I think multi-network might work but would feel much better using a multi-network plugin developed by WPMUdev for compatibility assurance. Do you guys have your own version of multi-network? And if not, what combination of plugins would grant me the ability to create unique networks off of my main multisite install?

    Ultimately yes, there is more to my needs but the main one is to create individual networks. Think about it like this I need:

    CorporateSite/LocalNetwork/UserSites

    Working backwards, the activity of the user essentially stops at the local network they want to join(and create their site on).

    Issue I have is, WPMU architecture is designed so that this user activity takes place at Mainsite (parent), but for me, this would be my corp site if I follow WPMU schema.

    I need 1-2-3. when users want a 3(create their own site), they register at 2. 1 is really only to hold WPdirectory.

    If I don't use multi-network, I get 1-2. when users want 3 they register at 1. But they don't even know what 1 is. Confusing.

    Sorry if things still unclear, I think my questions will benefit from some overall understanding of how things are structured.

    Thanks!!

  • Michelle Shull

    Hi Joe, let's try to tackle your questions one by one.

    Seems to me the overall WPMUdev approach assumes a parent/child setup. (is this sort of like root-global/local)?

    This is true, most of our plugins are designed for a single WP install or a single network, we don't typically design for a multi-network environment.

    If I use WP multi-network plugin, what happens to file structure? Or does it not change but the database calls are approached differently, giving individuality to each new network created under the main multisite install?

    I'm not actually sure, having not used it. Are you able to view your database to see how tables have been created since you installed Network of Networks?

    I think multi-network might work but would feel much better using a multi-network plugin developed by WPMUdev for compatibility assurance. Do you guys have your own version of multi-network?

    Sadly, no, we don't currently offer a multi-domain plugin.

    And if not, what combination of plugins would grant me the ability to create unique networks off of my main multisite install?

    I know of only two plugins that do this, WP Multi Network https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-multi-network/ and this one: https://wordpress.org/plugins/networks-for-wordpress/

    I need 1-2-3. when users want a 3(create their own site), they register at 2. 1 is really only to hold WPdirectory.

    If I don't use multi-network, I get 1-2. when users want 3 they register at 1. But they don't even know what 1 is. Confusing.

    With a single network, yes, users (usually) sign up at #1 to either get a #2, or access to #1 and all the #2s. I'm assuming, for a multinetwork, then, that signing up at #2 should get the user their own #3 and access to all the other #3s under their #2, but not access to the other #2s created under #1.

    That felt a bit like I was talking in circles, was a clear enough there?

    Thanks, Joe! Hope you're having a great weekend!

  • Dev4

    I have done some work with multinetworks and there are some advantages. But there is also an added layer of complexity which can complicate things.

    You might consider just using a number of multisite installations.
    In other words your 1 is by itself, and your 2 and 3 levels are all individual multistite installations.

    I would advise you to play with both ideas to wee which way will work best for what you are doing.

    Create a multinetwork install, seet up a few networks and add plug ins etc.
    Then try the same with a few multisite installs...

    Actually working with these is going to be a great way to see how they act and what they do.

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