Creating and Managing a Blog Network with WordPress
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating and Managing a Blog Network with WordPress

with Justin Seeley

Video: Common use cases for multisite

There's no question that WordPress Multisite has some pretty cool features, but not everyone needs to create an entire network of sites. So now let's take a look at some of the common use cases for WordPress Multisite so you can determine if it fits into your needs. First of all, we will take a look at the benefits of using WordPress Multisite. Then we will go into ways that you can actually use WordPress Multisite. Next, we'll take a look at who exactly needs WordPress Multisite, followed by who doesn't need WordPress Multisite. So the benefits of WordPress Multisite: Number one, it's a huge timesaver.
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  1. 47s
    1. Welcome
      47s
  2. 16m 30s
    1. Introducing multisite
      2m 40s
    2. Common use cases for multisite
      6m 24s
    3. Understanding multisite server requirements
      1m 40s
    4. Optimizing your hosting environment
      3m 52s
    5. Using subdomains vs. subdirectories
      1m 54s
  3. 22m 35s
    1. Enabling the Network feature
      2m 26s
    2. Installing your network
      7m 13s
    3. Troubleshooting network configurations
      4m 4s
    4. Disabling your network installation
      2m 44s
    5. Changing your install type
      3m 24s
    6. Removing the blog permalink
      2m 44s
  4. 46m 27s
    1. Getting to know the network admin interface
      2m 40s
    2. Configuring the network
      6m 2s
    3. Creating your first site
      5m 25s
    4. Managing your user database
      8m 14s
    5. Installing and enabling themes
      7m 16s
    6. Enabling themes on a per-site basis
      3m 56s
    7. Defining a site-wide default theme
      3m 12s
    8. Installing and activating plug-ins
      6m 16s
    9. Updating your network installation
      3m 26s
  5. 29m 15s
    1. Setting up user permissions
      3m 31s
    2. Defining the registration process
      3m 8s
    3. Controlling access to sites
      2m 43s
    4. Importing users from another blog
      3m 52s
    5. Understanding user roles
      3m 39s
    6. Changing user roles on signup
      2m 58s
    7. Exploring blog privacy settings
      6m 1s
    8. Enabling features for site administrators
      3m 23s
  6. 38m 22s
    1. Displaying posts from network sites on the home page
      7m 45s
    2. Displaying a list of your networked sites
      4m 9s
    3. Broadcasting news across all sites
      8m 22s
    4. Gathering and using comments network-wide
      5m 13s
    5. Creating and using global tags and categories
      4m 33s
    6. Exploring network plug-ins
      8m 20s
  7. 17m 18s
    1. Introducing domain mapping
      1m 58s
    2. Using parked or add-on domains
      3m 24s
    3. Altering DNS records
      2m 15s
    4. Installing the domain mapping plug-in
      3m 18s
    5. Mapping a domain to a specific site
      2m 58s
    6. Hiding the original domain name
      3m 25s
  8. 33m 28s
    1. Understanding the importance of backing up your web site
      2m 4s
    2. Exploring backup plug-ins
      2m 23s
    3. Installing and configuring BackupBuddy
      8m 29s
    4. Migrating a standalone site into your network
      3m 24s
    5. Migrating an entire network
      7m 41s
    6. Scheduling backups with BackupBuddy
      3m 43s
    7. Remotely storing your backups
      5m 44s
  9. 29s
    1. Final thoughts
      29s

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Watch the Online Video Course Creating and Managing a Blog Network with WordPress
3h 25m Advanced Dec 15, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course presents the WordPress Multisite feature, which allows web site designers and administrators to create a network of sites and blogs from a single installation of WordPress. Author Justin Seeley covers installing the network components, configuring their web server/hosting environment, using the Multisite Network Administration panel, managing users, and backing up, migrating, and restoring a multisite installation.

Topics include:
  • Optimizing the hosting environment for Multisite
  • Enabling the Network feature
  • Troubleshooting network configurations
  • Creating your first site
  • Installing and enabling themes on a per-site basis
  • Defining a default theme sitewide
  • Controlling access to sites
  • Enabling features for site administrators
  • Displaying a list of networked sites
  • Broadcasting news across all sites
  • Gathering and using comments network-wide
  • Mapping domains and mapping to certain sites
  • Installing and configuring BackupBuddy
  • Migrating a stand-alone site into a network
Subject:
Web
Software:
WordPress
Author:
Justin Seeley

Common use cases for multisite

There's no question that WordPress Multisite has some pretty cool features, but not everyone needs to create an entire network of sites. So now let's take a look at some of the common use cases for WordPress Multisite so you can determine if it fits into your needs. First of all, we will take a look at the benefits of using WordPress Multisite. Then we will go into ways that you can actually use WordPress Multisite. Next, we'll take a look at who exactly needs WordPress Multisite, followed by who doesn't need WordPress Multisite. So the benefits of WordPress Multisite: Number one, it's a huge timesaver.

WordPress Multisite allows you to easily create sites on the fly with almost a single click. It's fantastic. Second, you install once, you upgrade once. That means you run off one single installation of WordPress and you will only have to update that instance of WordPress each and every time they release a new version of WordPress. It doesn't matter if you're running one site or 50 sites; you only have to upgrade once, and that is going to save you a ton of time. It also allows for a more rich user experience. You can actually allow your users to create their own blog as they sign up to become members of your site, and for crying out loud, let them blog! It's a great way to get them interacting and expand your online community.

It's also a great tool for freelancers because they can easily manage multiple clients. And finally, if you have more than one site, it's just easier on you, and this is actually my favorite part of WordPress Multisite. I have a ton of online presences, and it helps me manage those really easily. I have all of my different sites, which aren't necessarily connected in any way, rolled into one single WordPress Multisite. I can deploy plug-ins, themes, upgrade WordPress, add new users to help me manage content. Whatever it is I want to do, I can do that from this one single install point.

It just makes things so much easier on me. So what are some creative ways that you can use WordPress Multisite? Well, number one is a client management tool. Let's say for instance that you're a small graphic design agency. You have several clients coming to you all the time wanting to have a web site built. It's kind of a pain to go ahead and install a new version of WordPress on each individual one of their domains. Why not have one single installation of WordPress, so that you can manage all of those clients from that one single place? It makes it so much easier on you and in the long run, it's a lot better if you ever have to migrate or move anything from one server to another.

Second would be for blog networks, like online magazines and things like that. Any web site that has multiple divisions like sports, weather, classifieds, et cetera, they can all be rolled into one single installation of WordPress and then controlled individually outside of that. This would be perfect for things like online magazines, newspapers, et cetera. Multisite can also be used as a social networking tool for your users or readers. If you're using the BuddyPress plug- in in your WordPress Installation for instance, you can set it up so that each one of your new users can create their own blog or web site at your domain.

It makes it so much easier to expand your community. You could also use multisite for multifaceted marketplaces. Let's say for instance that you sell several different products: jewelry, hardware, and electronics. In this multifaceted marketplace environment, you can have each one of those in their own individual site with their own look and feel, their own checkout system, everything individualized for each one of them. However, they're all driven from that one single installation. Very powerful! Finally, WordPress Multisite is a great educational tool for teachers and students.

Let's say for instance that you are a web design instructor. You can actually show your class how to create a WordPress Multisite installation and then walk them through creating their own web site or blog based upon that WordPress installation. You could also allow your students to create their own WordPress multisite installations, and then have their friends set up their own web site or blog based on those installations. It's a very powerful tool to teach students and teachers how to utilize the web more effectively. So exactly who needs Multisite? Well, first and foremost, freelance designers and small graphic design agencies.

If you have clients that you need to manage, WrodPress Multisite is the answer for that. Second, professional bloggers and online magazines. I will go ahead and tack newspapers onto this as well. If you're a newspaper or a magazine or a blog that has multiple divisions and you're not using WordPress Multisite, you're really doing yourself a disservice. Also, schools and universities. As I said, it's a great educational tool. It's also a great way to allow students to interact with your school or university. Media companies and podcasting networks.

Let's say for instance that you host multiple podcasts. One could be a radio show, one a TV show, and one just a regular talk show. All of these can be utilizing WordPress Multisite to have their own individual site, their own look and feel, their own RSS feed, but they're all controlled from one single point. Awesome! Finally, people like me who have multiple homes on the web. As I said before, I have lots of web sites and they're not all necessarily related at all, but I have them all wrapped up in that one single installation of WordPress which makes it so much easier on me.

So who doesn't need Multisite? Well, first and foremost, the casual blogger. These are people who have one single web site and just use that to pump out content. You don't need WordPress Multisite if all you're doing is using one single site or domain. Second, small businesses? well, maybe. If you're a small business with a single focus, WordPress Multisite is not for you. However, if you're a small business with several divisions, WordPress Multisite might be for you. It's just something to look at. And finally, THAT client, and you all know exactly who I'm talking about.

This is the person that frustrates you with phone calls at 2 in the morning about something they broke on their web site while they were poking around in the code. This is not the level of control that you want to give someone who is really nosy about poking around the backend of their site. And as we all know, they are going to come right back to you as soon as they break something. Hopefully by now, you have a better understanding of the benefits of using WordPress Multisite, as well as some creative ways that you can use WordPress Multisite in your workflow, and whether or not WordPress Multisite is right for you. If it is, now you're ready to start configuring your hosting environment.

There are currently no FAQs about Creating and Managing a Blog Network with WordPress.

 
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