I have over 10 years of experience in WordPress Multisite operation. This is a long time...
I made two WPMU based websites with a few thousand active users:
Ingyenblog.hu - That was my first WordPress project
- Started in 2009 (I was only 16 years old!)
- Running on shared hosting
- Free for everyone
- 13,5k active blogs in 2017
- One of the most popular blogging site in Hungary
- I sold it in 2018 (and the new owner didn't run it well, so it stopped working a few months ago - it's not my business anymore :) )
- Fun fact: The database size was more than 15GB when I sold it
- Fun fact 2: The web hosting provider couldn't make a backup, I had to run it without a restore point. That is so risky!
Blogginger.com - That was my first international WPMU project
- Launched in 2014
- Running on VPS
- 14 day free trial
- Low monthly price (from $2)
- Automated SSL order by shell script when someone signs up
- Domain mapping enabled for paid users
- Smart server-side backup and self-diagnostic solutions via shell scripts
- But it wasn't that popular because I didn't promote it enough.
- 3-4k signups, but only a few active (paid) users
- Shut down in March 2021
After that my next project is this blog, so I can share my best practices here. Yes, I know this website based on Publii, and the reason behind this choice is the safety and speed.
My opinion about WordPress is mixed...
- Open source
- Quickly fixing bugs and security issues
- Huge community
- Lot of plugins to extend features
- Easy to use
- Translated to all languages
- Slow because the code base is large
- You need lots of plugins for extra functionality
- Using lots of plugins is a security issue
- Using lots of plugins makes the site slow
- Website can sometimes go down for no reason
- Requires SQL database (due to security and performance issues)
- Requires a lot of resources