[development] Multisite risks (formerly multisite complication)

jeff at ayendesigns.com jeff at ayendesigns.com
Sat Nov 13 16:58:08 UTC 2010

My main reason for using multisite is time. I have 20 domains. If I am 
going to keep 20 Drupal sites 'in the green' (core/module status) with 
each having their own code base, it's 20x the effort.

On 11/13/2010 11:30 AM, Randy Fay wrote:
> My unpopular opinion is that multisite is completely unnecessary for 
> the vast majority of installs and has major drawbacks. The only 
> fundamental advantage of multisite is that that it saves some disk 
> space (does that matter?). But it has fundamental downsides:
>     * It closely couples the database updates of many sites. (When you
>       do a module or minor version update, you have to do the update
>       and test on all the sites at that exact time. If you're doing it
>       "right" it means that many sites may be offline until you're done.
>     * It takes your filesystem risk and instead of having one site at
>       risk at one time, they're all at risk. So if you have a new
>       module you're introducing or an upgrade that has a bug it
>       unfortunately affects all sites.
>     * The files directory has to be managed exactly right; and it
>       better not be sites/default/files.
> IMO, multisite and database prefixing were for the old days before we 
> had unlimited accounts and disk space was free.
> That said, if you know exactly *why* you're doing multisite and you 
> want to tie sites together, then that's fine. But "because Drupal does 
> it and it seems cool" is not a good reason.
> Aegir is fundamentally a multisite idea, and it deals with all these 
> problems. It's a maturing approach to doing multisite quite well, and 
> many people are very happy with it. That's a good reason for doing 
> multisite, and it has all the issues above dealt with.
> -Randy
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