What this book covers

Chapter ^ — Introducing WordPress MU will introduce WordPress MU, bbPress, and BuddyPress and explain the hosting requirements of those sites. You will learn about shared hosting, Virtual Private Servers (known as VPSes), and dedicated servers, and you will get an overview of the benefits and downsides of each of those hosting options. Finally, you will learn how to plan the development of your site so that it has all of the features that you want to offer to your prospective users.

Chapter 2—Installing WordPress MU will discuss setting up a local copy of your site for testing purposes and installing WordPress MU on your web server in subdomain configuration so that users can have WordPress.com style "myusername.theblogsite.com" blog addresses.

Chapter 3—Customizing the Appearance of Your Site will cover installing and customizing themes and how to offer a range of theme choices to your users. You will also be introduced to some plug-ins that offer community features so that your blog looks like it is a part of a network, rather than a standalone blog.

Chapter 4—Letting Users Manage Their Blogs will cover more about the multiuser aspects of WordPress MU and setting up some features that allow users to manage their blogs, including allowing them to add and remove plugins and widgets, change their themes, and even have their own domain name point to their blog.

Chapter 5—Protecting Your Site will explore some security options that will make life harder for spammers and hackers, keeping the site clean, safe, and stable for your users. You will learn how to reduce spam, block known bad visitors, and automate backups, so that if the worst happens, you can restore a backup of your site quickly and easily.

Chapter 6—Increasing Traffic to Your Blog Network discusses some simple promotion techniques that will make it easy for you and your site's users to bring in visitors to their blogs. You will learn how to offer RSS feeds that interested visitors can subscribe to, and how to "converse" with other bloggers via trackbacks. You will also learn how to use pings to tell blog directories that your blog has been updated and how to promote your blog on Twitter.

Chapter 7—Sticky Features for your Blog Network tells what is meant by a "sticky" site and how to make your visitors feel like they are part of the community, encouraging them to return to the site and promote your site to their friends.

Chapter S—Adding Forums with bbPress introduces the bbPress forum software. You will learn how to install it and how to integrate it seamlessly with WordPress MU. Not only will the two parts of the site look like they fit together, but they will behave like they are part of the same site, too. Your users will need to register for an account once and, when they log in to the site, they will have access to both the blog network and the forums.

Chapter S—Social Networking with BuddyPress will help us add some social features to our site. BuddyPress offers several features, including friends lists, groups, and The Wire (a feature similar to Facebook's Wall). Along with setting up and optimizing BuddyPress, you will learn how to allow your users to log in to your site with Facebook Connect and how to integrate BuddyPress with Twitter—the popular "microblogging" service.

Chapter lO—Monetizing Your Site will show how to monetize your site. We will explore several different options, including advertising, revenue sharing, donations, and subscriptions. Which model (or models) you choose will depend on the kind of community you are running. You will learn about several different revenue models so that you can find the one that suits your site best.

Chapter il—Site Optimization will explain some ways to reduce the load generated by your visitors, enabling your existing server to handle a greater amount of traffic. You will also learn about some cheaper ways to increase your server's capacity.

Chapter ^—Troubleshooting and Maintaining your Site will give an overview of how to maintain your site and how to troubleshoot common issues with upgrades and plugins. You will see some common error messages and learn what they are likely to mean and how to fix them.

Who this book is for

If you wish to manage multiple blogs and build a blog network, then this book is for you. You are not expected to be experienced with PHP coding. Some knowledge of HTML and some experience with the blogging and social networking world will be helpful, but not essential.

Conventions

In this book, you will find a number of styles of text that distinguish between different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles, and an explanation of their meaning.

Code words in text are shown as follows: "Open your theme's index.php file—in our case we are editing the Blue Zinfandel theme."

A block of code will be set as follows:

$email = $authordata->user_email; $hash = md5($email);

$uri = 'http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/' . $hash . '?d=identicon&r =any&size=8 0';

$headers = wp_get_http_headers($uri);

Any command-line input or output is written as follows:

Mysqldump -add-drop-table -h localhost -u username -p databasename | gzip -c > backup_wpmu.sql.gzip

New terms and important words are shown in bold. Words that you see on the screen, in menus or dialog boxes for example, appear in our text like this: " You can add new fields using the Generate Tag dropdown ".

Feedback from our readers is always welcome. Let us know what you think about this book—what you liked or may have disliked. Reader feedback is important for us to develop titles that you really get the most out of.

To send us general feedback, simply drop an email to [email protected], and mention the book title in the subject of your message.

If there is a book that you need and would like to see us publish, please send us a note in the

SUGGEST A TITLE form on www.packtpub.com or email [email protected]

If there is a topic that you have expertise in and you are interested in either writing or contributing to a book, see our author guide on www.packtpub.com/authors.

Warnings or important notes appear in a box like this.

Tips and tricks appear like this.

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