Multisite vs multiple containers

Does anyone know the pros and cons of multisite vs multiple containers?

I currently have three Discourse instances as separate containers, and am thinking about converting two, maybe three more forums to Discourse - they’ll be on the same server (64GB RAM, running SSDs) so I’m wondering what might be the best way forward.

I’d prefer them to be as independent as possible, so each can be upgraded individually, backed up and restored individually, and issues with one should not affect another.

What do you suggest? Any pros and cons to look out for?

You won’t be able to upgrade individually with multisite, nor will you be able to segment plugins used. All of that is defined by the root multisite. Settings, themes, and backups can all happen separately, though.

Generally you’ll need a proxy in front to help with SSL certs, too.


Actually, I’ve worked out a way to get let’s encrypt to get certs for multiple domains and not redirect to the primary domain. Multisite Configuration with Let's Encrypt and no reverse proxy

@AstonJ, would you be interested in testing my howto? I’m 90% sure that it works, but it was some weeks ago that I last tested and I’m not entirely sure that the instructions “work” for someone who’s not me.

If you want all the sites to have the same plugins and be upgraded all at the same time, multisite is great.


I could just switch off any unused plugins via the ACP (and I think there’s only one that one of the forums won’t need) so I guess it depends on are there any benefits to doing multisite? Specifically, performance and/or stability?

I think I read @Blake once post that it’s insane not to run PG in it’s own container (is that different to multisite?) hence why I’ve been thinking about doing this. Btw don’t quote me on what Blake said I could have well dreamt it :rofl:

I use HAProxy which deals with our SSL certs so I ‘think’ that may be ok.

I think it will depend on the benefits Jay - if there’s not much difference then I don’t mind carrying on as I have been as it’s become relatively easy to set-up and manage, but if there are some big advantages to going multisite I would definitely be interested :sunglasses:

The other advantage is that you’re running just one more copy of rails and nginx, so the additional RAM required is much less. You’ve got lots of RAM, though, so going with what works already is starting to sound like the best idea.


Hi. Is it possible to combine users from a multisite so that a user can be registered on all multisites at the same time by registering on one of the sites (as in magento). Or a supervariant of using discourse, similar to federation. So that the alerts work synchronously and the user of site number 1 can receive alerts from site number 2? The same is true for the chat.
I have 4 communities of the same big direction, but different topics, and I would like these communities to be closely integrated with each other

You can make one site be the discourse connect authentication server and have all the rest authenticate against it.