I have a site that requires a couple of different areas that I don't think categories will work as there are some things I can't get regular wordpress to do. I want all of the following to use the same user database - not the same database, but the same user login for each blog or area. This would be easy if all of the below could somehow be installed into one WordPress install but I'm not sure it can - which is why I'm asking. For the most part, they can use the same theme too. The blogs or areas are as follows:
1) I have a "faq" section that functions as a blog that I author everything. There is a nested category system and then I put in posts in each section: mysite.com/faq
2) I have a site map "blog" where I create pages that show where all the content is for each section. mysite.com/sitemap
3) I have the front page which uses a custom index.php to display a nice page. You can do this easily by putting it into a theme to use as the index.php. mysite.com
4) I have 2 external domains that are news blogs on the same server. The theme is virtually the same but I'd like to slightly change the header for each one of them. mysite2.com and mysite3.com with their own categories for their own posts.
With WordPress MU, this would in theory make it relatively easier. Setting up all these blogs as one user should give you unified login/logout on all your blogs, from what I understand. But I've discovered that, especially with it being built to forcibly not use the www it can be a real pain trying to manage. (try going to my.wordpress.com by "accident" and you get error pages that the database can't connect, etc.) I get the general feeling that using the standard wordpress might be a better use.
Here is what would be great - to stick "pages" instead of posts under specific categories, which would have helped me in the "maps" area where these are just static pages that don't use comments (and should be no warning shutting them off). How have you guys used WP to create multiple blogs or areas on your site? Could you use just one install in the root and use categories to somehow accomplish the above? How about the external subdomains? I'd really appreciate hearing from you as I'm close to launching the site and I've discovered these challenges. Thank you!!!!!