Is Multi-DB really decommissioned?


According to the plugin page, Multi-DB is decommissioned? Is this correct?

Multi-DB is a decommissioned plugin but remains available to partition your database and help maximise how WordPress Multisite content is managed on your server.




    I just noticed this as well... hmm... this is kind of a big deal... would certainly appreciate further info on this change and what to expect in near and long terms for current projects using Multi-DB... is there perhaps an extended blog post for this issue?

    imho, its important for the WP Multisite community at-large for there to exist at least one supported solution for database sharding...
    this is kinda sad =(

  • Jude

    Hey @WPMS.CLUB and @johnnymestizo

    I was a bit sad to see it go too. Anyhoo here is the gist.

    1) Your existing sites are still supported
    2) New single plugin purchases of Multi DB will be discontinued
    3) New feature requests will stop
    4) Security patches will be released as and when needed
    5) The plugin will still work and excellently at that
    6) Our full membership (elite) users like both of you can still download fresh copies whenever needed.

    This is because

    1) Hardly anyone ever used the plugin
    2) The ones we observed did not need sharding. It was just one unnecessary layer of complexity to their sites.

    That said I fully agree that we as a community need a good sharding solution. Thanks for the link to JJJ's plugin, will take a look at it when I find some time

    Hope that helps


    thanks @Jude ...that totally helps!

    ...and also intending to be constructive, some further thoughts (I'd love to see response from @johnnymestizo too, don't mean to take the thread...):

    1) Hardly anyone ever used the plugin
    2) The ones we observed did not need sharding. It was just one unnecessary layer of complexity to their sites.

    this makes sense, and I'm sure it was (on a per-project basis) an unprofitable terror to support as well... (though for a long time the state of the documentation was perhaps unnecessarily muddying the waters for novice users).

    However, at the heart of this issue I grok:

    What happens to the overall WPMUDEV value proposition if there is no known way for a non-coder or shoe-stringer (with a need for a reputable, commercially supported solution like Multi-DB) to scale a multisite websites/wp-as-a-service model beyond a few hundred sites with out needing to personally traverse the issues involved with such hard-core custom development work (eg. even finding the *right* person for the job)?

    I'd warrant that its conceptually very important to be able to see/report that there is a known and supported pathway to assume rampant success and its attendant need to scale... projects generally get funded based on confidence of non-specialists that the approach can produce the goal - its all about the assurance =)

    Just some thoughts... perhaps y'all can find a way to transform it from 'Decommissioned' into an 'Enterprise' grade product only available with full membership and perhaps even with an extra fee of some sort (personally, I feel that a nominal 'Enterprise Level Product' support fee would be understandable for those who really, actually do need such a solution).

    In other words/tl;dr... it doesn't need to be actually immediately accessible to most users, however, it does need to exist as a potentiality - in many ways it seems like the 'dotdotdot' of a large multisite project... unless one is aware of, and confident in, alternative approaches the Multi-DB project is needed in order to imagine a *clear* path off 'into the sunset' of growing success (hope you'll excuse the poetics... =)

    Kind Regards, Max


      cheers @johnnymestizo - you make excellent points =)

      I figured that it was worth throwing out a left-field possibility and cat pictures make most things better... hope you find LudicrousDB to be interesting... also, it does seem to me that, based upon @Jude's words above (eg. security updates and on-going support for existing customers) Multi-DB is possibly still the best solution out there short of something pretty well customized - at least for now...

      Cheers, Max

  • john

    Hi Guys.

    I have to say that this is probably a 'big issue' for a 'submerged' group of web-developers like myself.

    I have spent a good number of years on a learning curve concerning several of my projects that are potentially dependent on this plugin.

    I took elite membership, and elected to primarily use wpmu dev plugin's, as a long term commitment to the only organisation (known to me) to seriously cater to the design needs of people like myself.

    I am part-way through multi-loading this plug, so probably fall into the group:-

    2) The ones we observed did not need sharding. It was just one unnecessary layer of complexity to their sites.

    I do not see it as an unnecessary layer of complexity! Indeed, I see it as a very technically challenging necessity, since I work from the 'Boy Scout' position of always being prepared!

    My sites potentially have an intrinsic value by virtue of having this plugin present, which is best understood from the view of the 'Real Estate' perspective, combined with a 'three hundred and sixty degree' product suitability and fitness for purpose marketing aspiration' mind set!

    I guess what I am saying is that to say:- 2) "The ones we observed did not need sharding. It was just one unnecessary layer of complexity to their sites", is judgemental and possibly an unfounded analysis of the true needs for this plug.

    Perhaps; much like the human body's appendix;, there is still a potentially latent role for this plugin, that argues against unnecessary surgery.

    Maybe, those 'silent' ones of us who have downloaded the plugin should have been canvassed for an opinion (market research versus arbitrary judgement)!

    The 'silent ones' are probably left 'feeling very let down' as I am?

    If I am part of such a group; and not just a lone victim; then there may be a need for 'rescue' technical advice, such that perhaps one or more of your readers might be kind enough to 'touch on' by way of alternative voluntary support?

    Perhaps a 'working party' which I would be happy to coordinate!

    Thank you for letting me voice my opinion.

    Kind Regards,

    John voce.

  • Jude

    Thanks for the thoughts John. Im sorry if my comments came across as judgemental, I was just trying to explain what the data we had showed us. Maybe not the best possible choice of words.

    Of course we understand we have valuable members who have genuine use cases for it. We are committed to supporting that. Nothing much changes for you as Elite member. You can still get support and can download it at will.

    New members wont be able to purchase it as a single product and no major new features will be added to the plugin. The plugin it self is pretty solid. Last fix was a year ago and improvement was 2 years ago. So unless WP radically changes the way it uses MySQL this is unlikely to change.

    As for your suggestions on the way forward, I am keeping this open for other thoughts from members like yourself before getting the powers that be to look in.


  • Braydan Willrath

    I'd just like to chime in on this one. I was a bit shocked to see such a valuable resource marked as "Decommissioned" and I think that will scare away potential users (like me) because "decommissioned" doesn't automatically say "We're still patching this for security, but we're just not adding features"

    I would much prefer this to be a "Enterprise" add-on, and I'd be happy to pay extra. And I think you should remove the tag "Decommissioned"

    I'm building an Open Source project called Wordpress On Elastic Beanstalk ( and I've got several clients paid multisites running copy's of WPonEB, and I had every intention of implementing MultiDB once some of them grow large enough and/or I had time to play with it. So would really like to see it kept alive.

    Also, I'm keen to see where you got the "Data" from, as I'd imagine anybody the majority of people using MultiDB may not have "WPMUDev Dashboard" installed, I know I don't since there is no write permission to the site, you can't update any plugins from it etc, so there isn't any point.

    I agree with all the reasons you WPMUDev made it "Decommissioned"
    But I also agree with the comments above about why it should stay.

    I really can't see any need to "Add Features" to a plugin like this, and I totally understand not allowing people to purchase this plugin alone.

    So my vote goes to calling it "Enterprise" and maybe even charging extra for it.

    Just my opinion.

  • Jude

    Hey @Braydan Willrath

    Thanks for sharing those thoughts, I agree with many ideas you shared here. Its just that in the 4 months we've had this open, just 4 people voiced their thoughts. Don't get me wrong they are highly valued and esteemed members ( Johnny, Max, John and yourself ) but 4 is just too low a number for me to take this up with my boss. We need a LOT more traction before my team get interested in the proposals discussed.

    Thanks for chipping in though.


    • Ben


      Just my 2 cents. Not everybody is getting paid to be on the its bad to assume interest is based on the forums. I'm only on here if there is a problem. People have an expectation that everything is fine and stable with the advertised WPMUDEV Guarantee.

      WPMU dev has the email addresses of every person using the plugin...a direct message would be a much better gage of interest....right? Perhaps even offer an incentive for participating in a poll to get real feedback from the majority of users, just my 2 cents.

  • Jude

    Hey @Braydan Willrath

    Thanks for sharing those thoughts, I agree with many ideas you shared here. Its just that in the 4 months we've had this open, just 4 people voiced their thoughts. Don't get me wrong they are highly valued and esteemed members ( Johnny, Max, John and yourself ) but 4 is just too low a number for me to take this up with my boss. We need a LOT more traction before my team get interested in the proposals discussed.

    Thanks for chipping in though.


  • Braydan Willrath

    Hi Jude,

    Well considering all of us only found out about the "Decommissioned" because we actually looked at that specific plugin, I'd say the rest of your avid users like us don't even know its gone yet.

    How about sending out a email to anybody who has downloaded it. I feel that anybody who has "WPMUDev Dashboard" active and the plugin installed is not exactly accurate data or numbers.

    Something simple like "We're decomissioning MultiDB" and ask them to give their thoughts on a special post (like this one) or maybe reply via email. That way you'd actually get a true and accurate picture about your members thoughts.

  • Braydan Willrath

    It seems to me you've built a Tesla Rodster, and you've currently got it advertised in family friendly car yard where familys go to buy their new car, and you're wondering why its not selling very well.

    So you've decided to discontinue it.

    The world needs this plugin, and you guys have already done an excellent job, so we just think rather then stop making/selling your epic car all together, perhaps you should just switch it to a more suited car yard aimed and marketed to the people who have a practical use for it and actually want, need, and can afford it.


      @Braydan Willrath nicely put =)

      I agree that most folks who know about Multi-DB (and even the concept of db sharding generally) are unaware of current project status... its easy to take a good plugin for granted - I agree that actively seeking comment/feedback would be a great idea.

      At the least, and even now that a few months have gone by, it'd be great to see a concerted, proactive effort to notify community of current status via an top-of-the-fold article in the email newsletter and featured at the blog.

      All that said... really, I think its a false test.

      Most of the users who may eventually need this currently likely have no idea that they will even have the need, let alone what possible solutions there may be...

      ...and the tragedy that I see is that ultimately this 'decommisioning' is at direct odds with the core value proposition of WPMUDEV: that even intelligent, motivated people w/o special technical skills can build a successful online business (w/ many possible models) leveraging WordPress Multisite and Premium WPMUDEV plugins/themes.

      If a network grows, a business is likely growing as well...
      when the network starts choking itself to death at a few thousand sites then the business starts choking as well... and even if the business owner is a tech or hires a tech at this point, it is highly desirable - and sometimes required - to have a commercially (read reliably) supported software product...

      I feel like WPMUDEV should be solving this situation on behalf of community rather than removing one of the most accessible options.

      How many small business owners can you imagine are going to be setting themselves up with HyperDB/LudicrousDB/etc ?

      WPMUDEV, please reconsider making Multi-DB the cornerstone of a small set of 'Enterprise'/'Institutional' tools, especially as this seems to fit well with WPMUDEV's parent company IncSub also having a business unit serving academic institutions.

      Very Kind Regards, Max

  • john

    Hi Everyone.

    Re: my above comment, I would just like to say that I agree with all that has been said by all. As a life long; part-time; classic car restorer I identify with the car analogy.

    There are many open aspect vintage and classic vehicles parked up, because their owners moved onto something instantly more shiny ( many of which are now too weathered to be economically restore-able)!

    They would have been better off, if they had been handed over to a 'preservation guardian'!!!!

    I think this is what will happen to this once cherished plugin!

    This is a crucial 'turn in the road' for the future of Wordpress!

    What say you?

    Deed the plugin to me as shareware!!!!!

    What say you?


  • Jude

    Hi guys,

    Thanks for all the comments, feedback and love. We have decided to open source the plugin and make it available to the community here.

    We welcome contributions and PRs from anybody in the community. Your contributions will be accepted ( after a tiny quality review) and much appreciated.

    Feel free to open new issues here and I'll respond as soon as I can. Of course members can open tickets in the support forums as usual too.

    Special thanks to @Michael Bissett , Tim, Bjorn, and Aaron without whom this would not be possible.

    Steward of the Shards


  • John Taylor

    I have been using multi DB on an install for a few years now, I am now moving that install then I noticed the de commissioned and no longer supported status here.

    I am now looking at other solutions however as people have written in this thread, there are few and am not sure that hyper db is what one would need, a bit over the top for most.

    I also find it a shame as this was "the" solution I found when looking to scale a network and one of the main reasons I signed up for WPMU dev.

    Where there is a will, there is a way :slight_smile:

    Thanks all for this thread and some leads in other directions and I am really happy to see the plugin now on Github, just wanted to let WPMU know there are some folks here who do love this plugin.

    Thank you.


      Chris should you ever need to you can stop using Multi-DB without much trouble (the level of pia is roughly equal to number of databases you're dealing with) - basically you should be comfortable exporting/importing data between databases as thats mostly what you need to do: put all the data in one database (and remove the Multi-DB files) ...

      Then you'll have a monolithic database and will perhaps want to look into LudicrousDB so as to seek after some sanity =)

      Cheers, Max

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