Will Parent / Child themes scale with multiple users on multisite?

Hi

(This Is NOT a WPMUdev specific Support Question - Sorry I forgot to tick the box before submitting)

I am looking to set up a multisite network, where people can register for a website - like even edublogs - well like that concept anyway.

Due to the nature of my users specific needs (I will be aiming towards a niche target). There will be some custom post formats, and maybe custom post types, fields and/or custom templates. Each theme would have the same functionality in the back end, but I wanted to give the users different theme styles to choose from.

On the surface, a parent / child theme setup would appear to be perfect for this. I can put the functionality in the parent, and just have the different theme looks using child themes.

But, will it scale?

I know that the WordPress code can scale to many concurrent users, but will a parent theme? I am concerned that If I used the parent/child theme setup, then every site will be drawing off the one parent theme, and I don't know if a parent theme can handle it. Lets say that I had 5,000 sites in the network. If I had multiple child themes then they may be serving say 1,000 sites from each child. But, the one parent would be serving up all 5,000 websites to all the visitors.

Sorry, I know this is not specifically about WPMUdev themes, but there are a lot of very knowledgeable multisite and theme people on here. Anyway, I haven't even created / commissioned a theme yet, so maybe it will be a WPMUdev theme question :slight_smile:

Thanks,

Paul

  • PC
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    Heya Paul,

    Greetings and welcome to the forums and being a part of the family !

    I would summarize what you have asked here. All you wanna ask is that when your multisite network grows, will the parent/child themes scale up alongside.

    And as per my understanding and experience, Yes it will.

    Load on wordpress is created via database queries and visits on the site and not how you have customized it. You just have to ensure, that you customize it the right way.

    Lets say that I had 5,000 sites in the network. If I had multiple child themes then they may be serving say 1,000 sites from each child. But, the one parent would be serving up all 5,000 websites to all the visitors.

    Performance and Scalability for a WordPress installation depends on the server configuration which has nothing to do with the customization of your install. So you always choose a host which provides you a good server configuration. I personally use HostGator (email me if you need a coupon for a discount goobindia (at) gmail (dot) com) and a couple of more too.

    Hope that helps !

    Cheers
    PC

  • ardhill
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    Thanks for that PC

    Your explanation makes sense.

    I am building the multisite on my local machine, and will move it to my current shared host for a few beta testers to play with when I get it all together, But I am intending to move it to a quality VPS when I make it open to public, maybe something like wpengine.com who say they are dedicated to WordPress hosting.

    I have used HostGator for single wp sites in the past and really didn't like it as a WP platform. I found them a bit slow and had too many time out errors. I did reported problems that I had to their support - who were very nice, but couldn't find anything wrong. I also them details from a web site monitoring service that kept giving me several warnings a week about my site not being available - i.e. it just timed out when their bot visited to check any unusual activity etc. In the end, I the moved to a different shared host, whom I am much happier with.

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