Before we delve into comparing features of WordPress MS * vs SeoSamba, let's take a look at the first step to creating a multisites franchise network which is the installation of the software itself.
WordPress has achieved worldwide fame for three simple reasons : it is free, it is open source and it perfectly fits the bill for blogs and websites with a few webpages.
Unfortunately, there is a huge gap between a one-pager blogging website and a full-featured franchise network with countless affiliated websites.
Installing Wordpress Multisite is nowhere near the flawless, fast and easy setup of regular Wordpress sites as you may know it.
Regarding installing the software itself, it will not take you long to realize that deploying Wordpress Multisite is not an easy feat. Even Wordpress hardcore fans experience a sour lack of knowhow when looking into the Multisite extension.
In order to setup a multisites network with Wordpress, you will have first to install, configure and deploy WPMS.
As indicated by the official Wordpress guidelines, deploying a WPMS network will require quite a bit of prep work and technical knowhow.
If you already are familiar with Wordpress, you will find the process rather straightforward to create a new "network of WordPress sites". Things get a little bit more hairy if you want to turn an existing WordPress site in a master site for multisite setup.
As this Wordpress expert testifies, even the so-called auto-install options will require some dire help: "As much as I love the one-click installation option, you need someone with experience to set up a multisite installation and teach you how to deploy the children websites."
Of course, we're only talking about installing the software here. Then you still need to actually build the individual websites, avoid the duplicated content traps, tie it all together with social network accounts, streamline their online catalogs connections with the main central catalog for multi-location stores, integrate networked content widgets, etc, etc.
Just like Wordpress, SeoSamba offers 100% open source customizable code (that includes core software code), a great API (Application Programming Interface) to interact easily and fast with the software, a full-fledged SDK (Software Development Kit) and a host of free online resources to help newcomers get started with multi-sites deployment.
Like Wordpress does, SeoSamba provides an easy auto-install script via Softaculous and web hosting companies to speed up website deployment.
But the comparison stops there, as SeoSamba also offers turnkey white-label deployement for its multi-sites administration interface with a user-friendly user interface.
SeoSamba's partners and multi-sites operators (franchise networks, MLM companies, multi-location e-stores) can easily implement white-label auto-install features on their own domain that will create satellite websites or online shops with their own custom themes and branding.
Unlike Wordpress MS, all these features require no special coding skills and should it be required for special request, help is always available from the engineers that actually created the software.
Bottom line, while Wordpress undoubtingly offers a great open source environment for developers and coders, SeoSamba does too but also provides an easy and fast alternative for website owners, online marketers and multi-store operators who have neither the skills or the time to follow a cumbersome and cryptic development path.
|Franchisor’s Site Package|
|Franchisee’s Site Auto-install|
|Network-wide System Auto-update|
|Turnkey White Label CMS|
|Turnkey White Label Admin|
|Turnkey Single Domains Install|
|“www.*” URL Support|
|Zero Plugin Functional Install|
As you can tell by the comparison table above, Wordpress Multisite is merely a platform for large companies or websites that have a valid reason to use multi-sites setup.
However this multi-sites setup is mandatorily deployed under the same domain as the master site - just like BBC America or Best Buy did - to create separate websites, respectively for their local subsidiaries and local shops.
The bottom line is that every time a franchisor needs to deploy affiliated sites that have their own domains, it's just not a viable option with WPMS. There are ways to tweak this setting but as far as we know only one serious extension has managed to circumvent the "subfolder/subdomain" mandatory install, but we haven't had a chance to test it yet (you can check it out here).
The fact is that SeoSamba’s solution was specifically built for this type of setup which leaves franchisee’s domain ownership intact, while centralizing all administration in a cloud-based interface.
Regarding the admin interface, WPMS requires an additional layer of extensions to customize it to the franchisor’s brand and colors, while SeoSamba provides full-featured white label customization with no added cost or programming.
Among the other drawbacks of WPMS for franchise marketing, the inability to use URLs “www” in the master site’s domain name without hardcore tweaking, and more importantly, the obligation to deploy countless third-party extensions to integrate the many important widgets and tools a full-fledged franchise website needs to function properly.
In contrast, SeoSamba’s solution can deploy a fully fonctioning franchise website with no other extra work than the expected branding customization.
Last but not the least, franchisees can have their affiliated website totally installed and ready to use in a matter of minutes - litterally - thanks to auto-install scripts that only require them to click on a few buttons and configure basic hosting information.
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Check out our blog post: How to easily automate SEO and marketing for multiple WordPress websites