Pantheon Community

Thoughts on running a multisite on Pantheon?

I’m looking for anyone who has implemented WP Multisite on Pantheon to hear about their experience.

To be clear: My intention is not for this thread to become a debate on whether or not you should choose to run Multisite. There are plenty of other discussions out there about the pros and cons.

I used it years ago, and have a good use case recently where my company needs a few small websites on sub-domains, where I am thinking about one WP core instance. I haven’t even researched to see if Pantheon lets you do subdomains vs subdirectories.

I am really just looking for any “Gotchas” that are limitations of the platform that I would prefer not to be surprised with after heading down this road.

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The biggest platform related “gotcha” is that you cannot use a custom upstream with a WordPress Multisite. This may change the way that you deploy from your own local environments to Pantheon’s dev environment.

By default, the expectation is that the Network will be in subdomain mode. That said, we have requested that Pantheon change the nginx configuration to allow subfolders as a result of our somewhat unique circumstances relating to single-sign on configuration.


@dashifen, thanks for the response. That is good to know.

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@lukesdyer I’m currently researching multisite and trying flesh out the features and capabilities. I’m coordinating some talks with our engineers, do you have any questions you would like me to take to them?

Are you planning to use e-commerce on these sites?

In the mean time here is the multisite consideration page if you haven’t seen it yet:

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@JohnRichardsII, I need to have several micro-sites, for a lack of better term, that support our main corporate website. These microsites will be on subdomains of the primary corporate site, but not part of the main site’s infrastructure. I am trying to decide if I need to purchase multiple ‘Sites’ in my pantheon plan, or if it makes sense to house them under one Site.

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@lukesdyer after my discussion I think the key takeaway is that multisite works well when you have a simple use case that you want to replicate at scale. It sounds like your micro-sites are probably a good fit.

However the more complexity and variation you have between them the more multisite will create headaches.

One other commonality is that multisite is often a good fit when you need to enforce some level of governance and standardization on code, content, and/or brand. Then its limitations instead act as reinforcements to your own mission objectives.

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