We are a small Romanian company that loves ExpressionEngine. We are trying to build every client's website with EE. But it is very difficult to maintain and update.

Is there any way to install it somewhere ( on a domain ) and the sites just to take the "core" from that domain? ( including modules )

Example structure:

Site1 <------- CORE -------> Site 2
             Site 3
  • Do you mean one file install with separate dbs for each site?
    – fccotech
    Feb 8 '13 at 17:31

You cannot use 1 ExpressionEngine installation to drive a multitude of websites for different customers. That would be a violation of the license, because you'd essentially be paying once to derive revenue from any number of clients, even if you're paying for Multiple Site Manager seats as they come on board.

Multiple Site Manager's use is to develop satellite sites for a single customer, where you're not only relying on maintaining 1 core install, you're also pulling content from the core site into those other sites. If you had a corporate website and set up sites for your branch offices, they could pull news articles from the corporate website while having their own home pages, contact us pages, etc. You can run those satellite sites on a subdomain, or their own domain. Each vhost on your server gets a copy of the index.php/controller file, and pulls the system in through the core system folder.

I don't know the exact wording of the license. I don't know if there's a requirement that the multiple sites sharing anything other than an install. But I think it's safe to say that if they're separate customers, they should have their own license, no matter how you install/configure your server.

  • However if you purchased a licence for every customer, then presumably Ellis Labs wouldn't care if you used the same files? May 5 '13 at 11:57

If I understand you correctly, you're wanting to run several entirely different websites off of a single install.

This is not allowed by the license. I used to work for a company that used the Multiple Site Manager to run websites this way. This is prohibited by the license, too. It's also a nightmare to manage this way. Separate installs is indeed easier to manage.

I would suggest looking into how others manage their EE sites. Take a look at Ryan Masuga's Article on Git and EE.

I'm sure if you asked about others' workflow here on Stack Exchange, you'd get some great answers.


Did you check out Multiple Site Manager?

  • Hey ,yes i did. i just wonder that , if I update the core , but , does it work on totally diferrent domains & hosts ?
    – Klauss
    Feb 8 '13 at 10:45
  • Yes, the domains can be different - but the files should reside on same server, or course.
    – Yuri Salimovskiy
    Feb 8 '13 at 11:13
  • 2
    I don't believe the ExpressionEngine license allows you to do multiple domains for multiple clients with a single install. I believe its multiple domains for a single client install. Feb 8 '13 at 11:59

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