Support » Fixing WordPress » Using WP as an “MU Lite” for multiple bloggers

  • I am interested in hosting multiple bloggers on a WP installation. Yes, I have researched WPMU. However, since I need just some of the MU functionality, I’d like to discuss if the standard WP software will be able to do what I wish to do. I hope you have a minute to read this and give me your thoughts:

    The beauty of WPMU is that it lets hundreds, thousands or more people set up blogs on their own, with no intervention by the administrator. In addition, it allows the user to customize their blog via templates and plugins. I don’t need any of this.

    In my particular situation, it’s going to be a group blogging environment for a small city, where they blog about local (usually local political) issues. I want to “approve” bloggers before they are actually allowed to blog so I can have only good writing and good content; then I will set them up as an author and they can begin. I might have anywhere from 20 -100 bloggers if I had to guess.

    On the home page I wish to show the aggregated blog entries in reverse chronological order, or perhaps instead, the one latest entry from each blogger, in chronological order. In the sidebar I’d show the author names, the categories, etc.

    When the author name is clicked on the sidebar, it will show just the author’s entries, as if it where his own blog. The styling will be exactly like all other author pages. A link to the author’s name will show profile information for the author.

    All that is part of WP. No problem. But, what else can I do to make these individual author’s list of entires feel more like “their own blogs”?

    1. Can I assign a blog name (i.e. “Joe’s Politically Incorrect Rant”) to the author (i.e. Joe Smith) that will then show up at the top of his list of posts page, and hopefully also in a list of blogs on a page or in the sidebar?

    2. Can I on the home page or sidebar, list “Most Popular Blogs” (authors really), “Most Commented Blogs (again, authors really), and other such things I might not be thinking of right now.

    EDIT to add: 3. Is there any ability to subscribe to individual authors?

    I really hate modifications to code since it make upgrading such a pain, so I’d prefer to do all of this with standard plugins, tags and built in features.

    Is it possible to pull this off?

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
  • 1. Could use the “About the user” field and with an Author Template display that info at the top of the page displaying the author’s posts.
    2. Check Plugins/Statistics for possible candidates

    Would I have to make a separate author template for each author? Or, could I make one up that shows the blog title from the author’s profile (if I could figure out a way to do this…no custom fields for author’s right?) at the top?

    I suppose I could use the nickname for the “blog title”, sort of. Just tell the blogger that we’re using nickname to identify the author’s page, not blog title.

    What about questions #2 and #3? I’m pretty sure I cna’t do #3 though.

    Sure, you can do #3, it’s basically built in to regular WP as well.

    WP automatically makes an RSS feed for each author. Not sure what you mean by “subscribe” but readers can subscribe to the RSS feed for any author (or syndicate it); and you can get a Feedburner type plugin to allow people to subscribe-to-feed-by-email.

    Hope this helps. My reaction was you can do everything in WordPress, except I’m not sure if a current plugin answers #2 but someone could make it.

    Sweet! I didn’t know I could do it by author. Sounds like I might be able to pull this off without going to WPMU.

    I’ve looked at some random blogs and tried to see if any offer feeds by author, but didn’t see any. I checked the docs and didn’t see how to do it. If you have a sec, could you tell me how that is done?


    might have anywhere from 20 -100 bloggers
    If you get to the higher number… I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t use MU, instead of struggling with a lot of custom code that might or might not work.
    just my $0.02

    slobiz, on my site that uses permalinks (if that matters) I can get a feed for an author from this

    Check this out!
    Use that template tag in your sidebar with the feed argument turned on.


    I understand what you are saying, but MU just feels more complicated and less proven. And, I need something other than my shared web account to even try it out. Maybe I’m mistaken.

    As for the number of users, I would not be changing them up very often once I got a critical mass of them going. And, I’d need to approve them anyway–I might have more control over this on manually adding them in regular WP.

    Thanks Dgold

    OK, you know better what exactly the project is and what kind of requiurements are involved.
    I think it’s doable in WP, too, it’s just more, much more manual work 🙂

    I’m not seeing very much manual work in his questions, it’s mostly stuff WP does already, automagically. Multiple authors, posts aggregated on the homepage, with all authors listed in sidebar, subscribable feed for each author, webpage (archive) for each author — all built in to WP. Custom header for each author’s page to make it their blog — simple customization (either spend 5 minutes editing a template for each author, OR put a template-tag like Nickname or Description on the author template and then populate that field for each author in the WP interface). Most popular author and most popular post = do it with plugins.

    And WP easily handles more than 100 registered users (I have more but mine aren’t mostly authors, but I think it would work just as well if they’re all authors posting). I’d say go for it!

    Not taking sides but this caught my eye:

    I understand what you are saying, but MU just feels more complicated and less proven.

    … it also powers WordPress.COM’s 1.1 million blogs.

    Good point on the “proven” part Handy. But, the lack of any documentation makes it feel more “complicated” to me. If I can’t read about something, if I can’t touch it, it’s seemingly more complicated. How can it not be?

    Frankly it’s mind boggling that there is no real introductory tutorials for this product. I have to buy a hosting account and install it just to check it out. And when I do, it’s all by just farting around with it since there are no instructions.

    I’ve seen instructions to install, but nothing from that point forward. If I knew more, I’d likely give it a shot. I can read post and after post on this forum, and then ask questions about things that pop in my mind, but it is such piecemeal learning.

    Since we’re talking about this, if I wanted to try it, what type of web account do I have to purchase. I understand a shared server is no good; otherwise I could try it in an addon domain on my own server. Do I need to purchase a dedicated server account just to try it out?

    That’s the problematic part for me. My idea requires more stiff restrictions on users than do most other installations of MU, so I have to be able to see if I can do it without hacking the code (with nightly builds, forget hacking). I need to see how things work, what I can restrict a user from doing, how plugins work in comparison to regular WP plugins (never much detail on plugins, one really needs to try them). See what I mean?

    There are EXTENSIVE instructions on virtually all aspects of WP, with this forum to supplement any lingering questions

    the documentaion is called “The Codex”

    Re: Handy and WP.COM using WPMU: True but that doesn’t prove a lot to me, because the people who invented & developed WP run WP.COM. They know everything there is to know about how to make it work, how to avoid and fix errors, and there’s probably a team of administrators and/or volunteers who are expert at various tasks from DB to CSS to htaccess. That doesn’t really indicate reliability or usibility for a self-proclaimed n00b. Wouldn’t it be at least somewhat more complex than regular WP?

    I can’t judge MU because I haven’t tried it yet, but I feel the same way: MU looks like it would have added challenges, lesser documentation, smaller forum and smaller user-community for feedback, and from what I’ve heard some themes and some plugins wouldn’t work.

    So I’ve hesitated on it so far, even though I would like to run about 10 WP blogs and can only keep up with 3 or 4 using regular WP due to the frequency of updates, so I think it would be grand to have only 1 database and 1 install using MU. I might try it.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
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