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wordpress blog networksHave you ever wanted to take blogging to the next level and start a blog network?  A WordPress blog network is basically a group of blogs.  OK, I guess that part was obvious, but why would someone want that?

Organizations use them.  For instance, Harvard Law uses a blog network to offer blogs to professors and students, and Best Buy uses a blog network to run its local store blogs. You can also have a network of blogs in the same or similar niche and host them in one location (check out Animation Blogspot).

If you are interested in starting a WordPress blog network, it used to be that you needed to use WordPress MU as one of your options.  This project is similar to WordPress but it is different because of the multi-site features. Now that WordPress 3.0 is here, the two projects are now merged.  Now you can turn your WordPress site into a network of sites.

Step One:  Upgrade Your Site To WordPress 3.0

Upgrading your WordPress site should be as easy as usual.  You do need to make sure you make a backup of your files and databases (check out this article The 2 Best Non-Techie Ways To Backup Wordpress Blog The 2 Best Non-Techie Ways To Backup Wordpress Blog Read More for a few WordPress backup tips).  If you use the WordPress Automatic Upgrade How To Upgrade Your Wordpress Blog Automatically How To Upgrade Your Wordpress Blog Automatically Read More plugin, it actually allows you to download both the files and the databases in the upgrade process.  Either way, before you make any kind of upgrade to your WordPress site, you really ought to have it backed up in case something goes awry.

Step Two:  Modify A Little Bit Of Code

For some reason, the networking abilities of WordPress 3.0 are hidden behind a small edit to the wp-config.php file.  Don’t worry because if you know how to use FileZilla Transfer Files by FTP with FileZilla Transfer Files by FTP with FileZilla Read More (or some other FTP program) you can easily download the file, edit it, and re-upload it to replace the original file.

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What I actually did was download the file, rename it a little bit, and then download the file again.  This way I kept a backup file in case I messed something up.

Open the file in a text editor like NotePad or gedit and add this code:

define(‘WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE’, true);

directly before this:

/* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */:

Once you have made the necessary changes, save the file and upload it replacing the original file.

Step 3: Preliminary Settings To Set

There are a few things we need to set before going ahead with the installation process.  First you will need to make sure the site URL is not set to show “www” in the name.  To change this, simply visit the “General Settings” section and delete the “www.” from both the “WordPress address (URL)” and the “Site address (URL)” boxes.

wordpress blog networks

Once that is done, head to Tools–>Network to begin the installation process.  Since my WordPress installation is not new, my permalink structure is already in use only leaving the sub-domain option for me to use for the WordPress blog network (ie. xxx.bloggerdoggie.com).  If your installation is brand new, you’ll probably get to choose to either use the sub-domain option or the sub-directory option (ie. bloggerdoggie.com/xxx).

wordpress blog networks

Then you are free to click “install.”

Note: if you choose to use the subdomain installation option, you must add a wildcard subdomain in your DNS records.  In cpanel you need to go to Domains –> Subdomains

blog networking

From there create a subdomain called “*” (keyboard character for wildcard).  Point this to the directory holding the main installation of WordPress and WordPress will know what subdomain visitors are coming from and take care of the rest.  I understand that you may not be using cpanel but the idea should be similar.

blog networking

Step 4: Create A New Directory & Play With More Code

When you click “install” you will be faced with some more chores to do.  First thing you need to do is add a sub-directory into your wp-content folder called “blogs.dir” which will hold files uploaded to your other sites.

Now for more code!  You are going to want to backup both the current wp-config.php file and .htaccess files.  Once done, add the code where the page tells you to.

blog networking

Once you’re done with all of that, the network functions should be enabled.  You’ll only be asked to sign back in and you’re all set.

You will now notice that there is another option in the left-hand sidebar menu called “Super Admin.”  Don’t you feel special?  You’re now super!  Anyway, that is where you go to handle the network.  You can add sites and users and even handle which themes are enabled for the network.

There you have it.  Isn’t it nice that they finally brought the functionality of MU into WordPress?  Now, I wonder if they will ever cut out the annoying modifications enabling the features.  Maybe they can put some sort of switch in the dashboard converting it so we don’t have to modify core PHP files?  Maybe even a plugin?

What are your thoughts?  Do you like how WordPress 3.0 has blended MU’s networking abilities into its functionality?

  1. helpin
    August 11, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Yes sir !
    It is working well. Till now I installed wordpress multisite on 4 domains and for every domain I am following the same way.

    creating the .htaccess file and pasting the code:

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteBase /
    RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]

    # uploaded files
    RewriteRule ^files/(.+) wp-includes/ms-files.php?file=$1 [L]

    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -f [OR]
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -d
    RewriteRule ^ - [L]
    RewriteRule . index.php [L]

    for .htaccess file .

    Just I w'd like to know if it is Okay :)

  2. helpin
    August 11, 2010 at 6:29 am

    I can't able to find .htaccess on installation of wordpress .So I am creating .htaccess and placing the code which I see during the configuration of multi site.

    It is working well too. But is it the correct process?
    Could you tell me If I am missing some thing?

  3. Anonymous
    August 11, 2010 at 4:29 am

    I can't able to find .htaccess on installation of wordpress .So I am creating .htaccess and placing the code which I see during the configuration of multi site.

    It is working well too. But is it the correct process?
    Could you tell me If I am missing some thing?

    • timmyjohnboy
      August 11, 2010 at 6:10 am

      If it's working well, then I guess the process is fine. Is everything working OK?

      • Anonymous
        August 11, 2010 at 10:55 am

        Yes sir ! It is working well. Till now I installed wordpress multisite on 4 domains and for every domain I am following the same way. creating the .htaccess file and pasting the code:

        RewriteEngine OnRewriteBase /RewriteRule ^index.php$ - [L]# uploaded filesRewriteRule ^files/(.+) wp-includes/ms-files.php?file=$1 [L]RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -f [OR]RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -dRewriteRule ^ - [L]RewriteRule . index.php [L] for .htaccess file . Just I w'd like to know if it is Okay :)

  4. Liz
    August 10, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    I upgraded WP but there in NO "Tools–>Network" in my settings. So now what?

  5. Liz
    August 10, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    I upgraded WP but there in NO "Tools–>Network" in my settings. So now what?

    • timmyjohnboy
      August 10, 2010 at 5:46 pm

      Did you do step # 2? If not, "Tools->Network" will not show up.

  6. timmyjohnboy
    July 3, 2010 at 4:51 am

    Go to the Super Admin Options page and enable those options under Registration Settings. Then the link to send them to would be "YOURSITE.com/wp-signup.php" and I'm sure you can modify the page to your liking:)

    Does that help?

  7. timmyjohnboy
    July 3, 2010 at 2:51 am

    Go to the Super Admin Options page and enable those options under Registration Settings. Then the link to send them to would be "YOURSITE.com/wp-signup.php" and I'm sure you can modify the page to your liking:)

    Does that help?

  8. Manhattan Network Support
    June 28, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Thanks for the tips on upgrading to word press 3.0. I think some people will find this really useful.

  9. Manhattan Network Support
    June 28, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Thanks for the tips on upgrading to word press 3.0. I think some people will find this really useful.

    • timmyjohnboy
      June 28, 2010 at 5:58 pm

      Thank you for the kind words! Share with those who will find it useful, I don't mind:)

  10. timmyjohnboy
    June 28, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    It's called domain mapping but I haven't done it personally. I do know it requires a plugin:

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-m...

  11. Monique
    June 28, 2010 at 7:14 am

    Do you know of an easy way to use this new feature on straight domains instead of subdomains?

    For example, I'd like to use one wp-admin to manage bluewidgets.com, redwidgets.com and greenwidgets.com...

  12. Monique
    June 28, 2010 at 5:14 am

    Do you know of an easy way to use this new feature on straight domains instead of subdomains?

    For example, I'd like to use one wp-admin to manage bluewidgets.com, redwidgets.com and greenwidgets.com...

  13. timmyjohnboy
    June 27, 2010 at 4:15 am

    I'm sure there are many monetization methods. One, you could offer free niche-related blogs (subdomains) and run ads to monetize it. Also, you could team up with other bloggers in the same niche, and use the power of sharing the traffic/community and just cover different topics within the niche. You could then either run ads across the board and split/share the revenue or pay the writers OR give the other writers freedom to monetize and just share the traffic benefits.

    Really, just the same as running your own blog, there are many different ways to bring in money. Me? I'm thinking about running a social network for dog lovers using the BuddyPress plugin suite and run ads to monetize. We'll see how it goes:)

  14. Ingvar
    June 26, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    How does multiple sites benefit the main site owner besides getting the workload of managing these network sites, and using bandwith ? Are there any revenue potentials here ?

    • timmyjohnboy
      June 27, 2010 at 2:15 am

      I'm sure there are many monetization methods. One, you could offer free niche-related blogs (subdomains) and run ads to monetize it. Also, you could team up with other bloggers in the same niche, and use the power of sharing the traffic/community and just cover different topics within the niche. You could then either run ads across the board and split/share the revenue or pay the writers OR give the other writers freedom to monetize and just share the traffic benefits.Really, just the same as running your own blog, there are many different ways to bring in money. Me? I'm thinking about running a social network for dog lovers using the BuddyPress plugin suite and run ads to monetize. We'll see how it goes:)

  15. timmyjohnboy
    June 25, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    When you set up a new site, you can name a user to manage it. Later you can also add more users to help manage it with different roles.

    When a user signs in, they can only manage those sites he is a user of. The super admin has the control:)

    Does that answer the question?

  16. Amit
    June 25, 2010 at 10:49 am

    This is one of the best features of WordPress 3.0. Question: If I add multiple sites with a different set of users, will the user be able to manage both the sites. What if A is a user of BLOG A and B is a user of BLOG B ?

    • timmyjohnboy
      June 25, 2010 at 2:35 pm

      When you set up a new site, you can name a user to manage it. Later you can also add more users to help manage it with different roles.

      When a user signs in, they can only manage those sites he is a user of. The super admin has the control:)

      Does that answer the question?

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