Can You Have Different WordPress Websites Under the Same URL?
A while back, I posted about how to separate your business from your personal life, using different social media accounts. When it comes to your blog or website, you might be wondering if you can have a similar set-up.
The answer is yes, you can have different WordPress websites under the same URL, as long as they’re physically located at different domains. For example, blog.wordpress.com, store.wordpress.com, and portfolio.wordpress.com would all be considered separate websites, and could exist under the same URL, as long as they’re hosted at different domains.
Even if you’re using the same platform (WordPress) and theme (Commerce) for these blogs, you’ll still want to maintain a distinct identity. This guide will teach you how to make the most of your multi-site setup and how to give each site a unique identity using a combination of techniques.
The Different Domains Are The Key
When visitors come to your site, whether through a search engine or another channel, the first thing that will catch their eye is the URL. With three separate websites under the same URL, you’ll want to make sure that each one loads quickly and easily. This means that you should host each site on a different domain. For example, commerce.wordpress.com, blog.wordpress.com, and portfolio.wordpress.com.
You don’t need to use all three domains, so if you’re feeling creative, you can come up with a few other options. For instance, you could use mysite.com for your business blog, mysite.net for your portfolio, and mysite.org for your shop. Different domains for different types of sites gives them a different sense of identity, which could be beneficial for building brand loyalty.
Choose A New Domain For Each Site
Even if you’ve got three perfectly good domains sitting around, you should choose a new one for each site. This is especially important if you expect the sites to perform well and you want to keep growing and evolving as a business. When picking a domain, make sure that you consider the following factors:
- The domain name should be easy to remember
- It should be available
- It should be relevant to your niche
- It should be easy for your target audience to find
- It should be easy for people to find online
- It should be easy for people to navigate to your site
- It should be easy for search engines to find you
- The price should be affordable
After you’ve picked your domains, it’s time to move on to the next step, which is to register them. Each site will need a different URL, so make sure that you register these domains with a hosting provider (Bluehost is one of the most popular choices when it comes to hosting WordPress websites). Once you’ve got your hosting set up, it’s time to install WordPress on each site.
Install WordPress On Each Site
This step is pretty simple; you just need to visit the WordPress website and follow the on-screen instructions. When installing WordPress, you’ll be asked to pick a language and a theme for your site. Make sure that you choose English as your language and that you pick a theme that’s built around the concept of minimalism. This will make a significant difference in the way your website looks and feels. You can also choose to have your site powered by WordPress.com or WordPress.org, as long as you’ve got a hosting provider. This will give you the freedom to update your sites whenever you want as long as you’ve got internet access.
Set The Blogs’ Homepages To Point To A Single Blog
Each of your blogs will need a home page in order to function. This page will serve as the face of your blog—the first thing that visitors will see when they come to your site. The most common home page set-up for a WordPress blog is to have a cover photo, a couple of curated articles, and a link to the homepage of the site (blog.wordpress.com).
If you’ve got three blogs under the same URL, you should have three distinct home pages. They don’t necessarily need to be templates that you can just copy and paste; make sure that you consider each blog’s unique scope and purpose when coming up with content for your home pages. For example, blog.wordpress.com could focus on cooking, while store.wordpress.com could talk about fashion.
Set Up Custom Header Images For Each Blog
One of the simplest ways to give a website a unique identity is to use custom header images. These images should be relevant to the content of your blog or website. If you’ve got a fashion blog, make sure that your custom header images are relevant to fashion (e.g., a stylized flower, a fashion silhouette, etc.). The options for custom header images are endless, so make sure that you try out a few different ideas.
Make Sure That Each Blog’s Meta Descriptions Are Unique
Each blog on your site will need a unique description, which should sum up the content of the blog in a few short sentences. For example, when you create a blog post for blog.wordpress.com, you’ll want to make sure that the meta description for that particular blog post is different from the meta descriptions of any other blog posts on the site. This is why it’s important to have individual descriptions for each blog post.
While there’s no set formula for a meta description, you can follow a simple set of guidelines when writing a blog post that will increase the chances of someone browsing your website looking for the type of content you’ve published (e.g., fashion, food, travel, etc.).
Avoid Using The Same WordPress Themes
If you’ve ever shopped at Nordstrom, you might have noticed how everything is completely unique and how the same items never appear on different store floors. This is the same concept behind minimalism and creating a unique identity for your blog or website. Since WordPress is the most popular content management system, a lot of themes and plugins are made for it. This means that you’ll most likely have a large number of themes and plugins to choose from when creating your blog.
When picking a theme for your site, make sure that you consider the following factors:
- Is the theme mobile-friendly?
- Is the theme simple to use?
- Does it offer a variety of colors and styles?
- Does it come with a bundle of features (e.g., video players, sliders, etc.)?
- Is the pricing affordable?
Since every business is different and since you’re building your own identity, it might be a good idea to check out the themes that suits your needs best and that you can afford (e.g., whether you’re a small business or a large corporation). You shouldn’t necessarily choose the cheapest option, as this will usually mean that the theme lacks features that you might find useful (e.g., video players, etc.). This could become a sticking point as you begin to grow your business and need features that the cheapest themes don’t necessarily offer. In this case, you could look into paying a bit more for a theme that has what you need. Remember: it’s not about the cheapest option; it’s about having the best option for your needs.
Create A Unique URL For Each Blog
To make sure that your readers can find the blogs that they’re looking for, you’ll want to make sure that each one has its own URL. Make sure that you pick an easy-to-remember URL for each blog and make certain that it’s relevant to the content that you’ve published on the site.