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Extending WordPress Multisite for Fun and Profit by Angie Meeker at WordPress Columbus Meetup

Creating a network of websites from one WordPress install that shares themes, plugins and users… and then extending it to create your own, Social Network, Etsy, Treehouse and more. Perfect for entrepreneurs and startups. View Fullscreen.

Fast and furious - this presentation was shared at the March 2013 WordPress Columbus Meetup:

-Quickly and easily replicate standard sites on your network, including the theme, plugins and settings, AND content.

- Use top level domains for all the sites on your network.

-Aggregate content from across your network to your primary site, turning your network into a news beast!

-Turn your Multisite network into a money-making machine by charging for access to your new websites. That's right - once you've turn one Multisite, you're one plugin away from being able to sell those new websites on your network through a paywall. Or, DON'T charge for access for those site, but DO require membership.

-Turn the whole network into your own social network using BuddyPress - imagine a network of websites where each user's posts can contribute to a common feed, and those users can also connect with one another through messaging, profiles, photos... Sounds like Linked In, Facebook, or well... any niche network out today, huh?

-- Turn that same WordPress Multisite installation (without Ecommerce) into an educational powerhouse by giving each of the sites on your network a learning management system (useful for Multisite installation in the K-12 or college context).

-Turn that same WordPress Multisite installation (with or without BuddyPress or the ) into Etsy. Give each of your users their own e-commerce store, and you've got a marketplace. I'll even show you how to take a cut of their sales.

Use these ideas to gain an understanding of the power of Multisite and as a springboard for how WordPress can be extended beyond a simple blogging platform into a tool for generating fun and profit for your business or startup.

Extending WordPress Multisite for Fun and Profit by Angie Meeker at WordPress Columbus Meetup

  1. 1. EXTENDING WORDPRESS MULTISITE/ Creating a network of websites from one WordPress install that shares themes, plugins NETWORK and users… and then extending it. Perfect for entrepreneurs and startups. FOR FUN AND PROFIT@angiemeeker | |
  2. 2. Why use don’ If you don’t need to do all three of these bullets, Multisite might not be the right use for your multisite? project. Sometimes category templates with a Role Mangement plugin like Role Scoper will do more simply what you might try to do with Multisite. •To create an unlimited number of sites with one WordPress installation •To share users, themes and plugins across those sites •To manage those sites within one Dashboard ALL THIS FROM ONE DATABASE@angiemeeker | |
  3. 3. Examples WORDPRESS.COM of multisite BEST BUY in the wild BOWLING GREEN YOUR CRIME SITE | |
  4. 4. Before you start… Decide on your format Your child sites will either use subdomains: or folders (also called subdirectories or paths) If you want to use subdomains (which I do), your host must support the use of wildcard subdomains. (* And, you’ll need to add a wildcard subdomain pointing to the folder of your installation. If they don’t, you have to use folders. If your original site is older than 30 days, the folder option will not be allowed (easily).@angiemeeker | |
  5. 5. Before you start… get permission You’ll need to make edits to your wp-config and htaccess files, so be sure you can both see them and edit them. These are two single files located in the root of your WordPress installation.@angiemeeker | |
  6. 6. Backup.* *Really. Do it.@angiemeeker | |
  7. 7. Multisite is like your wife. She’s already in bed, you just have to turn her on. /* Multisite */ define(WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE, true); in wp-config.php before /* Thats all stop editing */@angiemeeker | |
  8. 8. Log back in. Expand tools. Click on “Network Setup”@angiemeeker | |
  9. 9. @angiemeeker | |
  10. 10. @angiemeeker | |
  11. 11. don’t copy from here this info is dynamically generated for YOUR site on that admin screen. Paste into your wp-config.php right under the other stuff: define( MULTISITE, true ); define( SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL, true ); $base = /; //define( DOMAIN_CURRENT_SITE, ); //define( PATH_CURRENT_SITE, / ); //define( SITE_ID_CURRENT_SITE, 1 ); //define( BLOG_ID_CURRENT_SITE, 1 );@angiemeeker | |
  12. 12. Replace your current .htaccess: RewriteEngine On RewriteBase / RewriteRule ^index.php$ - [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]@angiemeeker | |
  13. 13. Add two folders to wp-content: BLOGS.DIR MU-PLUGINS@angiemeeker | |
  14. 14. Log back in. That’s it! You’re all Multisite’d up.@angiemeeker | |
  15. 15. My Sites will include “Network Admin” for Super Admins Links to Dashboards of sites for which user is a subscriber@angiemeeker | |
  16. 16. Multisite User Roles • Super Admins: Can do everything across the entire network • Administrators: Masters of their own…websites, but can’t install themes or plugins. If Super Admins give them the option, they may be able to activate existing plugins and choose from given themes. • Subscribers: All users are automatically added as subscribers to the parent site, and can be subscribers to individual sites.@angiemeeker | |
  17. 17. Theme “Network Enable” Plugin “Network Activate” Themes and Plugins can be installed on your Network… but not ACTIVE or ENABLED on an individual site. OR Network Enabled (themes) Network Activated (plugins)@angiemeeker | |
  18. 18. That’s Let’s make it more efficient. WordPress MU Domain Mapping WordPress MU Sitewide Tags/ Pages WP MultiSite Replicator@angiemeeker | |
  19. 19. Recommended Plugins For Many Networks WordPress MU Domain Mapping mu-domain- mu - domain- mapping/ top- (to give your child sites their own top- level domain) WordPress MU Sitewide Tags Pages (to start the process of aggregating content to the parent site from within the network, like at WP MultiSite Replicator (to quickly replicate an existing, perhaps default, site within the network) Google Analytics Multisite Async | |
  20. 20. Now let’s make money, and maybe protect content. s2member@angiemeeker | |
  21. 21. s2Member is a membership plugin that integrates incredibly well with Multisite. Use it to charge for access to your site, for access to your content, for the ability to create a site on your network. Or all three. One time payments. Trial memberships, then one time or recurring. Recurring memberships. All integrated with various payment gateways AND your WordPress user base. (read: no pay = no play)@angiemeeker | |
  22. 22. We’re making money. Now let’s build community. BuddyPress. (and really you should do that the other way around)@angiemeeker | |
  23. 23. BuddyPress allows you to create a social network with your WordPress installation. It can be used with or without Multisite. Coupled with Multisite (with or without s2Member), your NICHE network of websites can have their own social networks, and also participate in the larger network of your ENTIRE Multisite network. Imagine: •A campus wide social network for your university, school or college. •An internal communication tool for your company. •A niche social network for your interest topic. •A focused social network for your new product.@angiemeeker | |
  24. 24. Hey! It must be the money! No, it’s not. Sensei. BuddyPress Courseware.@angiemeeker | |
  25. 25. Education is undergoing a revolution as students turn more and more to the web as a resource for learning that is pacing with today’s technologies and quickly changing world. Printed textbooks – not so much. Multisite in the education sector, combined with these learning management systems allow educators to begin moving their curriculum online and offering it to a greater number of students at once. Hint: it’s not just for K-12 and colleges. Everyone can teach something. Sensei – (very user friendly, not as big as BC) BuddyPress Courseware (in Repo, hugely powerful, originally made for universities)@angiemeeker | |
  26. 26. She ain’t nothing but a golddigger. MarketPress.@angiemeeker | |
  27. 27. MarketPress is a free ecommerce platform that works on Multisite installations. It is available in the WordPress repo. Used most simply with S2Member, offer one membership which does not include an ecommerce store, and one that does. MarketPress also has a PRO version which allows you to take a percentage of the sales made from the stores on your network, and provides a series of tools (widgets, tags, scripts) for displaying featured items, categories, etc… from across your network on your parent site. Other WordPress e-commerce solutions work on Multisite, too. The “take a cut of the sales” feature? I think is specific to MarketPress.@angiemeeker | |
  28. 28. Other Plugins I’ve Mentioned… s2Member BuddyPress Sensei BuddyPress Courseware MarketPress@angiemeeker | |
  29. 29. TO LEARN MORE… @andrea_r taught me everything I know about Multisite @ipstenu | Mika @cgrymala | Curtis @markjaquith | Mark Come to WordCamp Columbus.@angiemeeker | |