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What are the Differences between WP and WPMU?

Recently I have received a few emails asking this question: "What are the Differences between WP and WPMU?"

So I have decided to provide you with Troy's version of the answer.

Previously, there were two different install, WP and WPMU, with the currently release WP 3.0 there is only one version; you just activate the version you want. My favorite part is that you do not have to immediately start with WPMU if you do not need/want to. You can adjust the settings at a later date, a wonderful feature.


I will cover how to enable WordPress MU to create a network later.

Here are a few terms though that you need to be familiar with, no matter which version you use.


  • WordPress MU -> WordPress Multisite This now refers to WordPress with MultiSite enabled
  • Blog -> Site (a blog that a user can signup for)
  • Site -> Network (a group of blogs are tied together, usually supported by the main blog where registrations are accepted. A MultiSite install only has one Network unless you are using a special plugin that allows more than one network)
  • Site Admin -> Super Admin (the super admin user has access to everything across the entire Network) NOTE: You should only have one or two people labeled as Super Admin.
  • The admin menu's under "Super Admin" has been changed to reflect this new terminology.

Now here is the comparison chart. I have pilfered from numerous websites as well as providing my own. So please note this is not all my work. There could be more, so please let me know if you find anything else that is relevant to this matrix.


WordPress WordPress MU Famous for its "5 minute install." Setup is more involved. Each user is assigned a role level (subscriber, contributor, author, editor, administrator).
In addition to the standard WordPress roles, you can also specify "site admins" who can add/edit/delete all blogs and users. Plugins can be enabled/disabled by the blog administrator. Need to do manually code changes Supports one blog with multiple bloggers. Supports multiple blogs and multiple bloggers. Bloggers can write for multiple blogs   The site admin have an option to Plugin disabled altogether (the default setting), or allow blog administrators to enable/disable Plugin that have been uploaded. < Plugins can also be uploaded to a special "mu-plugins" folder, where they will be executed automatically on all blogs.