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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 differences between a standard installation of WordPress and a WordPress Multisite installation is the addition of the WordPress Multisite Network Admin panel. In previous versions of WordPress this was located underneath the section over here by your name. You would hover over it and choose Network Admin. In this case, in WordPress 3.3, they've updated it with its own menu item. You'll notice over here on the left you have the My Sites link. Underneath My Sites you have a direct link to the Network Admin. Let's start off by taking a look at the Admin Dashboard.
Once I click on the Dashboard, you're going to notice that it looks similar to the standard WordPress Dashboard, although there are some parts missing. For instance, all of the content creation pieces aren't here. That's because this is an administrative panel. You're not going to be doing any sort of content creation from this particular section of WordPress. This is all about managing the network itself. You'll notice here under the Right Now panel where you normally see things about posts, pages, and all that kind of stuff, you now have Create a New Site or Create a New User directly from within this panel.
You still have things like Plugins and WordPress News, but missing are things like the Recent Comments and Quick Press. These are not available in the Network Admin Dashboard. You'll also notice some new menu items over here on the left as well as some that have been altered somewhat. The first of which is the Sites menu. This allows you to go in and view all of your sites as well as add a new site. You'll also have access to the Users menu which allows you to view all of your users or create a new user. The Themes menu allows you to go in to view all of your installed themes, add a new theme, and even access the Theme Editor.
Once you've enabled WordPress Multisite, you'll notice that the Editor option goes away when you're using a single site's dashboard. Therefore, if you want to edit a theme from the backend of WordPress you have to be logged in and using the Network Admin screen. The same holds true for Plugins. If I hover over the Plugins menu, you can see that I can access installed plug-ins where I view a list of all of them. I can add a new plug-in, and I can also go into the Plugin Editor. The Settings menu is significantly reduced inside of the Network Admin. You have things like Network Settings and Network Setup, both of which we'll cover in future movies.
Finally, you have the Updates panel. The Updates panel allows you to go in and see the available updates for your WordPress network as well as update your entire network with themes, plug-ins, or even the version of WordPress itself. This is just a brief tour of the Network Admin screen. My suggestion is for you to take some time and really explore this thing and get to know it as well as you can. As a network administrator, you're going to be spending a lot of time inside of this part of WordPress and it's important that you know each individual piece so that any time a problem arises, you'll be right there to take it on.
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