So I have a challenge, here's the setup:

  • 3 Sites, each with it's own domain, managed by MSM.
  • Each site has a small e-commerce implementation requiring SSL
  • Multi-Domain SSL certs are prohibitively expensive, so I intend to get 3 single domain certs.

The server that these sites are hosted on requires a separate CPanel instance for each site w/ SSL due to limitations with adding multiple IP addresses to each instance. I don't entirely understand the details of this, but they assure me that while it would be possible to set up all 3 sites in one instance it would be prohibitively challenging to set up and maintain.

Which leads me to the question - how can I set up 3 sites in 3 separate CPanel instances all running off the same MSM install? Is there other alternatives I'm not considering here? How would you handle this setup?

  • Asking as someone who hasn't ever quite grasped the benefits of MSM, who would handle this by uncoupling the three sites from MSM: Why are you running the sites on the same MSM install? What's the benefit to you? Are the benefits of using MSM in this case outweighing the benefits of having them all on their own SSL certs? (And can you save the MSM license and possibly use it on a later project, thus not throwing away the purchase price of that tool?) If you're sharing member logins among the 3 sites, though, that's a good argument in favor of MSM.
    – user800
    Mar 18, 2013 at 4:01
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    Leigh - Advantages in this situation are cost (3 EE licenses vs 1 w/ MSM) and that all 3 sites are managed by the same person, are virtually identical in structure, and share all the same add-ons. Mar 18, 2013 at 4:19
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    Ah, I had read that buying and using MSM doesn't circumvent needing to buy licenses for each installation of EE. I think it's the same for many plugin licenses - that they want you to buy one for each site. It would make updating/upgrading easier, though: do it once, instead of three times.
    – user800
    Mar 18, 2013 at 15:02
  • @Leigh You have read incorrectly... The license are per EE install. 3 sites running off one EE install need 1 EE license, 1 MSM license and 1 license of each addon.
    – Anna_MediaGirl
    Mar 18, 2013 at 15:59
  • Oh - okay. Sorry about the mis-read, then. That's good to know! (Did the licensing situation used to be set up differently - or, at least, they tried that for a while? Or is my memory finally going?)
    – user800
    Mar 18, 2013 at 17:09

1 Answer 1


GoDaddy offers a 5 domain multi-domain SSL for $89.99/yr. I'd go with that. The cost is less if you signup for 3+ years which I would suggest so you don't have to install it again each year.

  • Anna has it right with this one. The description for the cert is a little confusing, it makes it sound like maybe it's only for multiple sub-domains, but a talk with GoDaddy support confirms that this cert will work for multiple domains. On the other hand... GoDaddy... Mar 18, 2013 at 20:57
  • I think you'll survive;)
    – Anna_MediaGirl
    Mar 19, 2013 at 4:10

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