From the archives – building a better blog host series

From the archives – building a better blog host series

A way back in the days of WordPress mu, I wrote a series of posts helping new users to plan out and really think about their network they were setting up. Almost all of the information is still applicable and still useful, so here's a recap for your elucidation.

Building a better blog host: Week 1 The first week walks you through the basic understanding of how the whole platform works and encourages you to make your plans. It also talks about install and setup.

Building a better blog host: Week 2 – the front page In the second installment I walked readers through setting up the front page, using the previous version of as my example.

Week #3 Build a better blog site – User themes and pluginsThis week's installment dealt with explaining how themes and plugins work in a wpmu and multisite environment. The addition of "network activate" hadn't happened, but the rest applies.

Building a Better Blog host: Week 4, the SEO and stats edition always a hot topic, I covered SEO and how it applies to a network, and I also talked about stats.

Build A Better Blog Host Week 5 – Security And lastly, I covered security in week 5.

So, what do you think? Is it time for an update? Is there a section I missed or one I could add now that we are light years away? Or was most of the past advice still really relevant?

What would you like to see me cover next?

  • Colin Slade
    Posted at 18:48h, 17 February Reply

    Hi Andrea, Thank you so much for all of the information on the site. I have a question that I cannot find in any of the forms, communities or blogs. Hope you can help and add to your sections above. (WHICH ARE GREAT)

    I want to use a multisite to offer blogs to many users but I will have specialized WP templates that have pages and not just posts and are formatted for a particular industry. The problem is that some may pick the default themes but most if not all of them will be paying to have their blog/site customized. So I would like to have them pick the theme and colors they like and then either have them or my team customize each blog for them. Example would be adding a few pictures and changing a logo. So I would like to start with 5-10 unique templates and then customize for each blog? Is this possible and how hard would it be? We plan on thousands of blogs so worried about the scalability.

    All of the info that I have read says that multisite blogs have to chose from the default templates but do not go into detail if you can customize individually or how you would do it.

    I hope you can help and thank you for all your information on this subject.

  • stevenlpn
    Posted at 21:47h, 08 March Reply

    I read it when you first wrote it. And now that i’ve been around the community for a while, you guys still have the best stuff. Thanks for the second time!

  • acracia
    Posted at 07:04h, 14 March Reply

    I wonder if you would like to cover how to upgrade from WordPress MU to wordpress 3.0, as it seems it is the way to go….
    thanks for the great posts!

  • Lene
    Posted at 09:18h, 16 March Reply


    I am new to WP multisite and your site.

    I have been browsing around reading your latest posts as well as this post and some of the posts it links to.
    However I’m not able to find updated information on how to get the main blog to display excerpts from all the blogs and not just the main blog.

    I would love to see an updated post on how to display sitewide information on the index page.

  • Lene
    Posted at 09:52h, 16 March Reply

    I guess I can use the sitewide tags plugin:
    I was kinda ignoring the info on that plugin for now as I thought it had to do with making a sitewide tag cloud.

    Are there any other methods or built in functions to get posts from all the blogs?

    • andrea
      Posted at 20:18h, 16 March Reply

      No, there’s no built in function.

      If you want to get all the blog posts on the main page, that plugin is still the best way to go. In the posts above, I also linked to it in part 2 of the series. While the older posts reference wpmu, the ways to do these things are still basically the same way becasue it functions the same way.

      It does what you want, I use it on you can also use Diamind Multisite Widgets in the plugin repository, if you want listings of sitewide stuff.

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