Which plugin combination for multisite network?

I am going to rebuild my sites from scratch as a new multisite installation so I can share user profiles, logins, and certain content across the group of sites. The initial sites will all be my own business sites (www.edsvcs.com, http://www.edfocus.com, http://www.genedacademy.com), with a combination of public content and private content available only to registered users/members. My intent is to also create additional private sites for certain clients with access limited to their employees and me (but not the public or other clients).

I am fully confident WPMUDEV is the right partner ... but there seems to be some overlap in your plugins so I am not clear on which plugins to use. Pro Sites seems to have it all, but then I see messages in the community about installing Pro Sites along with Domain Mapping and Multi Domains ... do I use them all together or is that redundant?

A couple relevant questions:
1 - I think the subdomain configuration makes most sense. Most of my sites will have clean domain names mapped (www.edsvcs.com, http://www.edfocus.com, http://www.genedacademy.com) but client sites likely will not and will just use the designated subdomain (e.g. client.edsvcs.com or otherclient.edfocus.com). Is there any reason to prefer subdomain or subfolder?
2 - I have been very happy with performance of my host (SiteGround) in combination with CloudFlare Pro but it isn't clear how this works with a MU install. I see several articles in the forums about over the past several years but seem to favor different approaches. Are you aware of a best practice guide or reference configuration that reflects current state of WPMU, CF, and your plugins?
3 - I saw notice of your pending hosting services. The price I saw is too steep for me, but do you offer consulting and installation/configuration services to get me setup properly on my current host (SiteGround)? I'm not married to that host but have been happy with them and their pricing is good. I won't use BlueHost or HostGator ... bad experience with both. I plan to continue my WPMUDEV subscription and it's not clear how much of this types of support that includes.

  • Rupok

    Hi Steven,

    You have a nice plan. I believe our plugins will be enough to achieve your target. Let me explain one by one.

    a combination of public content and private content available only to registered users/members

    You can protect your site content for members with our Membership 2 Pro plugin. You will get full usage guide of this plugin here: https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/membership/#product-usage

    My intent is to also create additional private sites for certain clients with access limited to their employees and me

    You can protect all pages/content of your site for registered users of those sites with Membership 2 Pro. But if you want a simpler solution, you can check this blog post: https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/how-to-make-a-site-private-in-wordpress-multisite/

    Pro Sites seems to have it all, but then I see messages in the community about installing Pro Sites along with Domain Mapping and Multi Domains ... do I use them all together or is that redundant?

    With Pro Sites, you can create a network of sites with premium services like WordPress.com or Edublogs.org that include paid upgrades, extra storage etc. But for protecting your content, I think Membership 2 Pro will be a better option.

    And if you are planning to map different domains to your subsites, then Domain Mapping is the best solution IMHO.

    I think the subdomain configuration makes most sense. Most of my sites will have clean domain names mapped but client sites likely will not and will just use the designated subdomain

    Well, this is a very critical question and can't be answered directly. Both are good depending on your network architecture and content. I think, you can go with any format you want as you will be using mapped domains at the end of the day. But with Domain Mapping, you can force your clients to use mapped domains instead of using your subsite URL. When mapping a domain, you can set redirection. If you set "Mapped" domain to be used, then if the go to your subsite URL, they will be automatically forwarded to mapped domain.

    I see several articles in the forums about over the past several years but seem to favor different approaches. Are you aware of a best practice guide or reference configuration that reflects current state of WPMU, CF, and your plugins?

    Well, Cloudflare is a CDN and it's a layer between your visitors and your server. So it should not conflict with any of our plugins generally. Regarding best practice, I've found an official guide from them: https://support.cloudflare.com/hc/en-us/articles/200169356-How-do-I-use-WordPress-Multi-Site-WPMU-With-CloudFlare-
    However, if you go with subdomain setup, then you will need to create a subdomain entry in Cloudflare entry every time you create a subdomain in your network as you said you will be using Cloudflare Pro. If you use Cloudflare Enterprise solution, then you will be able to add wildcard subdomain entry.

    The price I saw is too steep for me, but do you offer consulting and installation/configuration services to get me setup properly on my current host (SiteGround)?

    Well, our hosting service will come with lots of amazing automated features which you will get for free with your hosting plan. If you had to hire a full time person for doing those, the cost would be higher I believe.

    However, you can ask anything related to WordPress in our forums, and we will try our level best to help you in resolving those issues. But I'm afraid, we aren't able to do any custom job like installing/configuring your site. We will guide you regarding the solution.

    And if you are stuck with any of our plugins, and if the issue is on our end, we will do whatever necessary to make that work for you, that's guaranteed.

    Please let us know if you have any confusion. We will be glad to help further.

    Have a nice day. Cheers!
    Rupok

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