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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.
One of the things that can be sort of confusing when you're working inside of WordPress Multisite is how to get things like categories and tags to propagate across all of your sites inside of WordPress. Technically, there's no way to make all of those sync together, but you can have them created uniformly across all of your sites using a plug-in, and luckily I found a great one to do it. Take a look at this plug-in here called New Blog Templates. It touts itself as a comprehensive new blog default templating plug-in. Basically, it allows you to go through and say hey, duplicate the content, the theme, the categories, the tags, everything from this site, and make that the new default going forward on all of my sites.
This means that each time you create a new blog inside of WordPress Multisite, it adopts all of these settings. It's pretty slick. You will have to pay for this plug-in, as it's a premium plug-in. You can get it from wpmudev.org. Once you've got that plug-in in place and you download it, simply install it like you would any other plug-in. Then, once you get into your WordPress Admin screen logged in as the Network Administrator, go to your Settings. Inside of your Settings section, find Blog Templates. Inside of the Blog Templates, you'll get to name your template, and then you have to determine the blog ID.
Now in this case, I just use the base URL, the first site I started with. That's always going to be Blog ID number 1. If you're basing this template off any other site inside of your WordPress Multisite installation, you'll have to find that blog ID. The easiest way to do that is to download a plug-in called WP Show IDs. Now it's going to ask you, what would you like to copy to the new blog? In most cases, I don't necessarily need to copy the WordPress settings, posts or pages, or even the users or files, but if you want to duplicate that information you can do that.
In this case, I'm simply going to copy over Categories, Tags, and Links. That means inside of my main WordPress installation any categories, tags, or links that I've created will now propagate across all new sites. It doesn't go back and add these to the old sites you've created though. So if you've been on a site creation spree, it's not going to help you that much, but if you're just starting out it's a great way to do it. Once I do that, I'll add a name, My Template, and I'll click Create Blog Template and now that's in place.
It's telling you here that your template is called My Template. It's also based upon the main domain. You can make that a default or delete it. In this case, I'll make it a default. Now theoretically any new blog I creates should have the categories, tags, and links that I have set up in that blog. Let's go ahead and create a new blog. I'll move up to the top, go to My Sites, navigate to the Network Admin, and choose Sites. I click Add New. You'll notice on the Add New screen I have a new section for My Template. I'll select that and in this case, I'll just do this as mutest. The Site Title is going to be A test, and I'll just put in an Admin Email. Then I'll hit Add Site.
Once I hit Add Site, I can go in and edit the site or simply visit the dashboard. Let's open up the Dashboard and visit the site. You'll notice here in the Dashboard it tells me, by default now I have 5 Categories and 25 Tags. If you remember from when you first installed WordPress, you had 1 category and no tags. So now in my Categories, I have Events, News, Photos, Quotes, and Tutorials-- all of the categories that were present inside of my main WordPress installation. Let's go back.
In my Tags, I now have stuff like awesome, cool, coolness, HDR, jpegs, lynda, NEF, photos. All of these are tags that I used in previous posts in that main WordPress installation and now every time I create a new web site or blog inside of WordPress Multisite, it automatically adopts these tags and the categories and also any links that I would have had created as well, making it easy to sync your blog rolls across all of your network sites.
Hopefully, now you see how easy it is to extend the WordPress experience using a plug-in like this and how useful it can be to auto-generate your categories and tags sitewide here inside of WordPress Multisite. It's going to save you a lot of time in creating this content yourself and hopefully you can use this to better your WordPress experience.
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