Setup Two (or Multiple) Blogs in WordPress

In the previous post, I discussed the basics of hosting a website on your own domain. I will now discuss the factors involved in installing WordPress for maintaining two blogs on this site.

WordPress Installation for Multiple Blogs

After I was the proud owner of www.skepticgeek.com, I had the following options to run my two blogs:

  • Use a single WordPress install, and segregate blog posts using different categories for two blogs
  • Use two WordPress installs, with a common database at the backend
  • Use two WordPress installs that are completely independent with a separate database for eachWordpress Logo

The decision depends on the following factors:

  • Will multiple authors be posting to either of the blogs? Will the same authors post to both blogs? This determines requirements regarding access control and security.
  • Do you need two separate, independent feeds for both blogs with separate subscriber tracking? In this case, you need two WordPress installs.
  • Is disk space a constraining factor? Two databases will most likely take up more space.
  • Do you plan to use different themes, different plugins for the two blogs? If so, separate installs are a must.
  • Do you plan to have ads on one blog but not on the other? Again, this means you need two installs.
  • Is heavy traffic and site performance a consideration? In that case, using a single database might help site optimization.

I chose to setup two independent WordPress installs, so that I could have guest posts from other authors or even contributing authors to this blog in the future, while I kept An Unquiet Mind as my personal, individual blog.

WordPress Location: Root Directory or Sub Folder?

The next issue is deciding on the WordPress installation folder structure.

Even for installing WordPress for a single blog on your own site, there is conflicting advice. Always install WordPress in the root directory says Daily Blog Tips, while many say Keep it Clean and install WordPress in a subdirectory to keep your root directory clean and manageable. You can see that a question regarding pros and cons of subfolders vs. subdomains has remained unanswered for two years on the WordPress.org forum.

The Pros and Cons of installing your WordPress Blog in a subfolder are summarized here, but the article doesn’t provide an easy way to get the best of both worlds, since it was probably written before WordPress introduced a way to install in a subfolder but power the site’s root.

I believe I chose a way to get the best of both (or all) worlds in the following manner:

In the next post, we’ll look at the steps I performed immediately after the WordPress install.

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  • http://vikasgupta.wordpress.com/ Vikas Gupta

    There were many things in this post that I did not know unlike the volume 1! Thank you. Waiting for part 3. Have many questions but will ask them while I am hosting my own blog.

  • http://www.skepticgeek.com Mahendra

    Even I didn't know many of these until I jumped in the water. The important thing is to ask questions and search for answers before each step you take. :)

  • http://priyank.com/ Priyank

    Hi Mahendra,

    I agree with all your arguments and indeed that's why I did exactly what you did (except that I no longer point my travel blog to the root.)

    Oh, why do you say: “Is heavy traffic and site performance a consideration? In that case, using a single database might help site optimization.” Wouldn't it be better to have separate databases to keep them from interfering? Simply because having too many tables and entries in one database but queried by two different blogs sounds kinda cumbersome, especially if you (and you will) use cache plugins.

  • http://www.skepticgeek.com Mahendra

    Priyank,

    You are right. It should be the other way round! Many thanks for pointing it out.

  • http://GetANewBrowser.com abrudtkuhl

    Great overview!

    Couple points – If you are going to be setting up multiple WP blogs, do so with WordPress MU. believe me – it will save you headaches down the road if you continue adding blogs. Why? It's so much easier to update one set of core files than many.. Also you can manage plugins and themes much easier.

    I always install WP in the root – for SEO purposes it's a no-brainer.

    As far as after installation goes – I configure, setup backups first thing (http://bit.ly/backupplugin), then Seo/Google plugins, etc

  • http://www.skepticgeek.com Mahendra

    Andy,

    Thanks! I guess I should have at least mentioned WPMU in the post. I wonder at what point it becomes optimal to use MU – 3 blogs or 4?

  • http://GetANewBrowser.com abrudtkuhl

    Yea I'd say anything over 2

  • http://timmyjohnboy.com/ Tim

    I would say if there is a possibility of someday having over 2. Easier to use it from the start.

  • http://GetANewBrowser.com abrudtkuhl

    I agree

  • marfi

    Hm, on this part “Do you need two separate, independent feeds for both blogs with separate subscriber tracking?” couldn't this also be tracked per directory/tag even if you run one blog, I am sure there are services for this. I would rather run one blog with multiple categories so I can spend less time and be more effective in promoting and optimizing the stuff.

  • http://timmyjohnboy.com/ timmyjohnboy

    As it turns out, in the release of WordPress 3.0 we will have the merger of WP and WPMU. What that means for the topic at hand? Not sure. It may just help solve it though:)

  • http://www.rajneesh.me/ Rajneesh

    Really nice blog , nice them too.