Multi User Installation - Single or Multiple Databases?


I've been reviewing the benefits (and cons) of a multi-site and was wondering if there is only one database or multiple based on each site created on the network.

I'm thinking about creating a primary sites for a directory where all cities are listed and then if the user goes to that they're taken to relevant info for that city only.

Any suggestions on how to approach this with ease for maintenance, etc.

I'm with GoDaddy and noticed my plan has a 1Gb limit per database, in this case I worry if it's one db that it will get full soon.

thanks for the advice in advance,

  • Mason

    Hiya Al,

    Thanks for posting. Great question.

    By default WordPress Multisite only uses one database. Each sub-site is given it's own set of specific tables (they have matching prefixes by ID). For all but the largest sites this is very effective.

    For networks over about 50,000 sites or so (really depending on how active they are) adding multiple databases can be effective for performance increases. We have a plugin that does this called multi-db:

    This plugin is not for the beginner though. If you need the multi-db plugin you probably also need a server admin.

    Finally, a 1 Gb limit for the database really should be plenty for quite awhile. Again, this will vary depending on active your sub-sites are but as no files or media is stored in the database it generally takes a very long time for a database to get to this size (or something has possibly gone horribly wrong).

    Hope this helps. Let us know if you need anything further!

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