I'm attempting to set up a wordpress install that does a couple of peculiar things. The educational institution at which I work wants to have the ability to have custom TOCs or sidebars on different pages of the site. IOW, I need to be able to set up a "department site", then individual "class sites", each with a different sidebar. The sites, of course, may be just different pages on the same installation, but that would require some hackery I imagine. Ultimately, I'd like to be able to use one codebase and one database, but the only hack I've found to do so has returned errors (required editing the wp-config.php file to create multiple dynamic sites from the same database... i didn't really understand what it was doing, neither did I understand the errors it returned). So, my question is more of a setup and install strategy question. Do you think it is better to:
1) use something like WordPressMU to accomplish the above by setting up multiple "blogs"/sites for the different classes. This seems like it may take more time to setup and update... but perhaps not?
2) use one installation and try to hack the sidebar / widget code so different pages can have different sidebars. The theme and site settings would otherwise persist and therefore take less setup time, but probably be less customizable than wordpressmu.
I really have no idea what is available out there as far as theme hacks, etc, and I'm not an experienced web programmer. Any ideas about possible implementations/solutions would be greatly appreciated.