Introduction

In the eCommerce industry, WooCommerce has always been one of the most popular names. Established in 2011, the platform has come a very long way to its position right now with more than 2,500,000 live sites as of November 2020 – which accounts for 27% of the total eCommerce sites on the whole Internet.

With such a huge amount of users, WooCommerce always focuses on bringing the optimized solutions for various types of businesses. That’s why the WooCommerce multisite feature is provided – a perfect solution for eCommerce merchants who wish to scale their business.

Internet Usage Distribution
Internet Usage Distribution

WooCommerce multi-store is suitable for store owners who want to divide their large-scale businesses into multiple stores to serve specific customer requirements. Moreover, the multi-store function has no limitation on any kind of store, which can strengthen merchants’ businesses naturally and efficiently.

In this article, we’re going to give you the full visualization of why and how to create a WooCommerce multi-store to benefit your eCommerce business.

What is eCommerce Multisite?

WordPress Multisite

WordPress Multisite is a feature allowing users to create many other subsites in order to serve certain purposes. These subsites are connected with a common “network” that shares the same file system and database. They are usually different versions of the same domain. There are two types of subsites for clients to choose from: subdomain and subdirectory.

Although they’re just the same domain, subdomains or subdirectories can give you different appearances. This is an example of a subdirectory domain: domain.com/subsite.

In case you go with subdomains, this is how it looks: subsite.domain.com.

Is WooCommerce compatible with WordPress Multisite?

There’s an usual misconception that a single-site plugin works on a multi-site system as well. In fact, WooCommerce is multisite compatible. This means if WooCommerce is activated on a site, it will also be available to all other subsites. However, these stores are different individuals as each site will be independent of the others. For example, if you make changes to the products or orders from a site, this will not affect the others.

However, it’s still possible if you want to have your settings, options or functions synced across all online stores in WooCommerce multisite. In that case, you will need a plugin to make it functional.

How you can benefit from WooCommerce Multisite

Bringing more sales and customers is the goal that any eCommerce merchants would pursue. WooCommerce Multisite is created to serve that purpose.

Here’s some of the highlighted features to help you get the idea of how WooCommerce Multisite is a good option:

  • WooCommerce Multisite can save merchants a lot of time. It enables you to set up multiple stores with a single installation. You will be able to manage multiple sites at once, including extensions, themes, design and more. Multisite erases the complexity of managing many stores, and also allows you to customize your stores freely. They are controlled by site administrators and their custom changes can be shared by all.
  • With WooCommerce multisite, you can sell many forms of product separately to audiences. If you have many types of products in different categories, it’ll be reasonable to have WooCommerce Multisite to help you.
  • WooCommerce Multisite allows multiple access levels – a plus point for easy management. When a site is created, there’ll be an administrator who can access everything on the subsite. The main site will have a super administrator, who is authorized to have access to all sites. If you are having a big network of websites, you will realize how convenient this feature is.

How to setup WooCommerce Multisite

Installing WooCommerce Multisite is very simple. In only 3 steps, you can make your multi-store functional using a little technical knowledge. Firstly, you’ll need to enable WordPress multisite. But before that, make sure you have set up a WordPress website. If you don’t know how to install WordPress, check out this article.

Once you have your own WordPress site, making it a multisite is just a piece of cake. All you have to do is follow these steps below to get yourself a decent WordPress Multisite.

Step 1: Set up WordPress Multisite

First and foremost, you’ll need to backup your WordPress site. This is very important if you don’t want to lose any data and settings that you had before.

To enable Multisite function, connect to your site with a FTP client or cPanel file manager, and open the wp-config.php file for editing.

The following code should be added right before the line code: /* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */

/* WordPress Multisite enable command */

define( ‘WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE’, true );

WooCommece Multisite Enable Command

After this, click save and upload to your wp-config.php file so it can be updated from WordPress server. Once your code command is updated, WordPress Multisite is ready to use.

Step 2: Set Up Your WordPress Multisite Network

Now that you have successfully enabled the Multisite Network feature on your WordPress site, it is time to set up your network.

To make it work, you will need to deactivate all plugins on your site.

Select Plugins » Installed Plugins page and select all plugins. You need to select Deactivate from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu and then click on the Apply button.

Install WooCommerce Multisite Plugin
Install WooCommerce Multisite Plugin

Step 3: Install WooCommerce

You obviously cannot have a WooCommerce multisite if you haven’t installed WooCommerce. In this step, you’ll be guided to install WooCommerce, make sure that you’ve added your websites to your WordPress network.

  • Go to: Plugins > Add New.
  • Search for WooCommerce.
  • Click Install Now.
  • Click Activate Now and you’re ready for the WooCommerce Wizard.

Install WooCommerce
Install WooCommerce

Although multisite functions in the same network, each site is independent from each other. So you can configure your WooCommerce site differently depending on your purposes.

Step 4: Configure WooCommerce settings

Go to Create a Network of WordPress Sites, from the WordPress sidebar menu, select Administration >> Tool >> Network Setup. The appearance of your screen depends on what kind of network you are using (localhost or online).

WooCommerce Multisite Network Setup
WooCommerce Multisite Network Setup

There will be 2 options for your network domain: sub-domains or sub-directories. The difference between these two options is stated above. This change is permanent, so you might need to consider it carefully. For your information, Subdomains is a domain-based network in which on-demand sites use subdomains while Subdirectories is a path-based network in which on-demand sites use paths.

Enter a name for your network in the field Network Title in the section Network Details. Then you can add the site admin’s email address – this is the address of the super admin of the network as a whole. Check your information you added and now you can click Install.

WordPress will provide you with 2 coding paragraphs: wp-config.php and .htaccess files.

Woocommerce Multisite Coding Paragraphh
Woocommerce Multisite Coding Paragraph

Now your task is to backup your existing wp-config.php and .htaccess files. You can locate these files in your WordPress root folder. For the wp-config.php, you need to add it above the line /* That’s all, stop editing! Happy publishing. */ just like the very first step.

define('MULTISITE', true);

define('SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL', true);

define('DOMAIN_CURRENT_SITE', 'My Website');

define('PATH_CURRENT_SITE', '/');

define('SITE_ID_CURRENT_SITE', 1);

define('BLOG_ID_CURRENT_SITE', 1);

About the .htaccess file, add the code snippet to it and replace other WordPress rules.

RewriteEngine On

RewriteBase /

RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]

# add a trailing slash to /wp-admin

RewriteRule ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?wp-admin$ $1wp-admin/ [R=301,L]

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -f [OR]

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -d

RewriteRule ^ - [L]

RewriteRule ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?(wp-(content|admin|includes).*) $2 [L]

RewriteRule ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?(.*\.php)$ $2 [L]

RewriteRule . index.php [L]

Save both files and you’ve configured your WooCommerce Multisite. Log in again to start your site.

Final words

In conclusion, WooCommerce multi stores are very convenient for online merchants to boost product visibility. Through this article, we hope you can easily understand how to create WooCommerce multiple stores in WordPress and make the most of it.

WooCommerce can be the perfect choice that suits the demand for any kind of business, especially big sellers with massive amounts of products. In case you wish to switch your business from another platform to WooCommerce, you can have a look at our LitExtension WooCommerce Migration service. We can support you in making changes from any platform to a more modern robust one (for example, OpenCart to Magento, Prestashop to WooCommerce, BigCommerce to WooCommerce,…)

If you are not familiar with technical knowledge or don’t have time to migrate on your own, our All-in-one Migration package is a perfect solution for you.

Should you have any questions about WooCommerce multistore, or how to perform WooCommerce migration, don’t hesitate to contact our customer support team. We are always ready to support you.

In addition, you can join our community to get more eCommerce knowledge.