28 Sep The Road to Well-Mu
A while back, Andrea put out a call for folks to pitch in and help out with her site, wpmututorials.com, by writing articles and tutorials. She especially nagged, poked, prodded, and bribed (Double chocolate brownies please. No nuts.) those who had put in the time and effort to build successful sites.
During the next few weeks, I'll be setting up the Cynix blogging site. Right now, it's just a basic shell with the WordPress Multiuser software uploaded and installed. Not much there, right? With the permission of the site owners, we'll be walking through each and hopefully every step of the creation of the site. We'll cover the planning of the site, choosing what plugins to use, how to write documentation, determining what features and/or concepts may work best for your site, and how to build it to the best that you become. As we complete each step, you should be able to see the site grow into a full featured site, ready to fulfill the needs of its end users and hopefully give the admins something to be proud of. (And maybe earn them a buck or two to boot.)
But to make it perfectly clear, this is not a set of tutorials for beginners. I won't be covering such basic concepts as installing the software, database management, uploading plugins and themes, and the like. Just like WordPress Multiuser requires some basic knowledge of WordPress, blogging, web hosting and the Internet in general, these tutorials will assume that the reader already has some basic knowledge as well. If you're still lost on how to upload a theme, you may want to consider if this is worth your time or if you need to broaden your skill set a bit first.
Don't expect a successful site to pop into existence overnight. It takes work. Sometimes quite a lot of it. I have to admit that I still get a chuckle reading the threads in the support forums where folks want a site "just like WordPress.com," they want it now, can't understand why they have to pay attention to whatever an error log is, and don't understand why they got the boot from their $2.95 a month hosting account after a week. I remember one person who gave the time frame of 10 days. That's not going to happen. The time frame for this one is 30-45 days.
This doesn't mean that I'm not interesting in answering questions. Please feel free to do so. Just remember at this level of the game, you're already playing with the pros.
And, yes, there will be homework. In fact, you already have some. What I would like you do it is find 5 blogging sites, sign up for accounts, and give them a try. No, they don't have to be WordPress sites but Andrea has reviewed a few here. Blogger, Typepad, MSN Spaces and the like are fine. Test them out. Find what you like and dislike about them. What do they do well? What do they do poorly in? Take a look at their features. What are they missing? Are they easy to use? Hard? Make a list of the pros and cons and give them some thought. Don't think about if what you're looking at is doable in Mu or not. We're just worried about a list right now.
Next Step: Planning.