[Guest post by CT Moore to elaborate on his talk, Thanks!]
My presentation at this past weekend’s Wordcamp was called WP-MU 101: How to Install & Avoid Common Mistakes. One of the things I made clear at the outset was that I am NOT a developer or web designer, so the session was going to be very much of a beginner’s level one.
Being a very beginner’s level affair, the Q&A part brought up some some questions that I just wasn’t equipped to answer. After all, I’m a newbie to WP-MU, and was really just intending to share my experience with other newbies so that they don’t make the same silly mistakes that I did.
So what I started doing was crowd-sourcing the Q&A session. The crowd seemed pretty receptive; quite a few attendees stepped in to answer questions, and even I learned quite a few things.
Insofar as WP-MU is ideal for running multiple blogs through one platform, some of the things that more advanced WP-MU users in the audience shared with everyone were:
- WP-MU will support blogs in different languages; all you need to do is install the qTranslate plugin.
- Multiple domains can be managed through a single installation of WP-MU: first, you create a new blog through WP-MU (such as blog.domain.com); second, your point your new domain (example.com) at the same server root where WP-MU is installed; then, you go to the general blog setting for the blog you created (blog.domain.com) and change the URL in the general settings to the additional domain (example.com) you want to manage through WP-MU.
- Admin users can force plugins on blogs.
And some of the features of WP-MU that I was already aware of, but are worth recapping for anyone trying to determine whether the platform is right for them:
- WP-MU can support blogs in either sub-domains (blog.example.com) or sub-directories (example.com/blog), but not both; and you make the choice during installation.
- if you choose to have blogs in a sub-domain, you will need a Wildcard DNS Entry.
- your database must be MySQL 5.0.
- a single database is used for all the blogs under WP-MU.
- single users can contribute to several blogs.
- single users can be assigned different permissions on different blogs.
- each blog can have its own theme / blogs can share themes.
- there is no WYSIWYG for editing the home.php file (which is responsible for the content of the index page for the domain WP-MU is installed on); if you want to edit this file, you will need some coding skills and FTP access to the file itself.
In a nutshell, my presentation was intended to help others learn from my mistakes (i.e. not reading the installation instruction) and give the audience an understanding of (1) when to use WPMU, (2) common installation mistakes, (3) choosing between a directory vs subdomain, and (4) basic WP-MU configuration after you install it.
In any case, here’s the PowerPoint from my session. It’s not nearly as rich as the discussion that ensued (the audience was so awesome), so if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment and I’ll try to help you out as best I can.