Networks for WordPress
What does it do? (6 posts)

  1. Erlend Sogge Heggen
    Posted 4 years ago #

    I get the feeling this plugin is beyond my technical comfort zone, but I'd still greatly appreciate an explanation of what does it do?. Does it work/enable anything different from what Network+ or WP Multi Network (likely outdated) does?

    I've read your FAQ and the complete plugin description on your personal site, and I'm not detecting any key differences.

    I also don't understand the implications of this warning:

    Plugins that create global (i.e. not blog-specific) tables will behave as though they are on a single network install. This is a limitation of WordPress's table naming scheme.

    Could you give an example of a plugin that would be affected by this issue?

    p.s. I've skimmed through the threads for this plugin, and you are clearly doing a great job supporting your users. I sincerely hope it's worth your while.


  2. David Dean
    Plugin Author

    Posted 4 years ago #

    I feel like this will only ever be settled by some monster blog series, but I'll try the short version.

    About what it does: it creates another Network with the same codebase and user database.

    Think additional Network Admin to log into, separate set of sites to manage, potentially a different network admin or admins, etc. It is NOT for everybody, and it is NOT for you if all you want is for an individual site to have a vanity domain name.

    About the various plugins: They all do the same thing.

    Once upon a time (before WP 3.0), "Sites" were called "Blogs", and WPMU kept track of the blogs in a wp_blogs table. And there was another table - wp_sites - that appeared to just keep basic info about your domain.

    There was only ever one row in the wp_sites table, and no interface for making others. But, if you created a second row with SQL and made a few other changes, you ended up with a second site (now called a Network) on a different domain.

    So, in 2007 I released the WPMU Multi-Site Manager to automate those changes. Networks for WordPress is a descendant of that original plugin, as is WP Multi Network. I can't speak for Network+, but the description makes it look similar enough. The point is that any plugin that creates Networks has to make these same changes, because it's how the Network feature operates.

    About the plugin warning: BuddyPress.

    BuddyPress creates global tables, so it isn't attached to a particular blog/site. So, if you activate BuddyPress on two networks, it can't tell which set of data it's supposed to be using.

    Finally - thank you for the kind thoughts! TBH, if we didn't use it extensively at work (JerseyConnect is an ISP that also hosts blogs), I wouldn't have kept it up. You never know who will find the next bug. :)

    I hope that shed some light on things. Let me know if you have any more questions!

  3. Erlend Sogge Heggen
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Thank you very much for that in depth answer. It should go into the FAQ/Other notes for sure.

    That pretty much explains it, though I'm still a bit in the dark about how exactly this added functionality is interfaced in the backend. Some screenshots would go a long way in this regard. I really enjoy in-plain-typing use cases and screenshots =)

    Please let me know if this is an appropriate use case:
    I want to use sub-domains to separate key types of content on jmonkeyengine.org while also taking advantage of app-like themes in these places, like jobs.jmonkeyengine.org and wiki.jmonkeyengine.org.

    In other words, I'm using sub-domains as an extension of my own content, not to host and publish user-created content. Enabling users to create their own blogs with sub-domains could create confusion about official sites - e.g. jobs.jmonkeyengine.org - versus user sites, e.g. pirategame.jmonkeyengine.org.

    I do want to enable my users to publish their own content though. The solution:
    - Create a sub-domain called blogs.jmonkeyengine.org
    - Install Networks for WordPress
    - Create a Network for blogs.jmonkeyengine.org
    => Now my users can create blogs like pirategame.blogs.jmonkeyengine.org, and alternatively use MU Domain Mapping to make pirategame.com while still being hosted by us.

    Is that right? If it is, you are free to use it as you'd like, just replace 'jmonkeyengine' with 'example'.

    Now, in the above scenario I didn't involve BuddyPress, but in reality, jmonkeyengine.org runs on BuddyPress, though not yet with Network enabled. On a local test I've successfully installed BuddyPress on a secondary blog in a multisite environment. It clearly creates global tables (its top-menu is displayed on every site in my Network) but only one blog (hub.example.com in my case) is tied to it and prompts me for a BuddyPress enabled theme, and I can freely choose which blog that should be thanks to that tutorial. So from my point of view, without having been able to test it, it should work. But if you've actually put BuddyPress to the test with your 'Networks for WordPress' then I will take your word for it.

    Thank you for your time David.

  4. David Dean
    Plugin Author

    Posted 4 years ago #

    That setup sounds like a good fit! But don't create the blogs.jmonkeyengine.org subdomain before installing the plugin - you'll create it as part of the new network creation process. Let me know how it goes and if you run into anything!

    You're definitely right that screenshots would help. I'll see about including some in the next release. There's just one new admin option right under "Add Site". Installing the plugin doesn't change anything about your installation, so I'd encourage you to give it a try and see if you have any questions.

    BuddyPress should be fine on one network. You could even run it on a secondary network. While I haven't tried it, what I was trying to say would NOT work is running it simultaneously on two Networks. If it ran, I'd expect links to all go back to the BP_ROOT_BLOG. I know this is hairy stuff, and I apologize if I wasn't clear. :)

  5. Erlend Sogge Heggen
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Aaah, I get it now. Yeah, multiple BuddyPress installations on one Network site is already strongly discouraged, but I can see how an "additional Network" could be misunderstood as a "clever" workaround for this limitation. Definitely well worth pointing out; I could have easily fell for that myself, he he.

    I wish I could put your plugin to the test right away, but I'm pressed for time most of this year so I recently discontinued my webhosting as I couldn't spend the necessary time on it to justify another year of service. Locally I tend to have a lot of issues figuring out IP & domain stuff. I did give it a go, and it kind of worked, but some links seem to take me to the wrong places. Do note that I'm not asking for support, I think that would be wasted on me right now, but I'd just like to keep sharing some of my initial impressions if you don't mind.

    So I'm getting the feeling that your plugin really wants either a separate domain, or a sub-domain, i.e. not a sub-directory. Correct?

    That's what I gathered from this test anyhow:
    (jme.org is the same as localhost; a hosts file edit)

  6. David Dean
    Plugin Author

    Posted 4 years ago #

    I would say that having multiple networks as separate subdirectories on the same domain would probably work, but is an "advanced users only" type of setup.

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