I am not new to Wordpress, but am very new to the concept of multisite. My initial thought is that it is perfect for my business. We create and manage websites for various clients in a niche market. We had a custom Wordpress theme created that we then customize for our users. Each new user means a new install of wordpress, uploading the theme, adding the plugins, etc.
It seems that with Wordpress multisite, we could quickly add the new site and using the "New Blog Template" plugin quickly get the basic pages, the theme, etc. up and going. We currently have the 'demo' site we use to copy pages over from. We are looking to streamline the creation of these sites as more and more people are wanting them.
I like the idea of one installation for the ease of installation, the speed of set-up, and the ease of maintenance. Not knowing about the details though, I have some reservations about jumping into it. I have done some research, but needed some advice from someone looking directly at my set-up. These are the things I need:
1) they sites need their own domain like nichesite.com (not a subdomain like nichesite.ultimateniche.com or ultimateniche.com/nichesite)
2) the custom theme we have gives them a custom admin page (a tab that shows below the other tabs in the admin section). this allows them to adjust portions of the theme (e.g. colors, fonts, some text, etc.). This was made specifically for us, so I don't know if it will have problem in how this is structured. Would my client's admin page look and act identical to how they have it now?
These are my main concerns. Any other advice on the downsides to multisite would be much appreciated.