Multisite Development

Set the Default Admin Color for Users in WordPress Multisite

When version 3.8 of WordPress came out, it changed a number of things in the admin area. One of those things was the default color scheme.

It used to be that the default color scheme was lighter in color.

Now it’s much darker and looks like this:

Changing the Color for Multisite Users
While it’s easy to go to your profile and change that if you don’t like it, if you run a Multisite Network, then you have all your users to deal with as well.


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7 Ways To Make WordPress Multisite Work for You

If you’re new to Multisite you may feel as though you’ve been tricked. You were told that it makes managing multiple WordPress sites so much more convenient, so you’ve jumped in with both feet. But now you’re finding new limitations and complexities.

Don’t panic. Here’s what you need to do to get to the other side where you can say “I got this” and finally have multisite working for you.

1. Give yourself a crash course in WordPress Multisite


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How to Build a Web Hosting or Design Business with WordPress Multisite

Maybe you’ve had a talent for technology or design nearly all your life. Or maybe you just stumbled onto WordPress one day when looking to set up your own site. And then that one day led to another, and soon you were finding your way around the WordPress backend pretty well.

And then time and time again you started running into people who “wanted a website” but didn’t really have the first clue about how to build one. At some point it probably dawned you – Hey, I could make some money doing this.

Web Host vs. Designer: Which is right for you?

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WordPress Multisite Guide for Beginners: Unlock the Power of Networks

Even the average user can see that WordPress is a powerful and flexible platform. But there’s more to WordPress than meets the eye.

Just below the surface, and somewhat hidden away, there is an even more powerful mode that WordPress possesses – a mode called Multisite.

Enabling this mode allows you to turn a single WordPress installation into a network of sites. Thousands of sites, if you like. Hundreds of thousands. Even millions.


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Set Up A Killer WordPress Test Environment Locally using MAMP on OSX

For the majority of articles I write, I begin with a fresh install of WordPress. It’s the best way to ensure control when you have people following along and doing exactly what you do.It would be very tedious if for each article I wrote, I had to create an entirely new WordPress instance. That would require a fresh database, the most recent version of WordPress, a new user, etc.The answer, of course, is WordPress Multisite. (Btw, check out our Multisite guides here.)If you’re testing loads of CSS, you’re going to need a Windows virtual machine set up as well! Cross browser compatibility is essential, so it’s handy to have Windows versions of Chrome, Explorer, Firefox and so on at your fingertips.The coolest part about MAMP (Mac, Apache, MySQL and PHP) is that you can basically have your own local server running (duh!) with custom domain names. These domain names aren’t accessible to the rest of the world, but when you’re constantly looking at WordPress, it’s kinda nice to not see the default “localhost:8888″ as your URL for everything. This server CAN, however, be visited by your local Windows setup.The End ResultAt the end of this article, you’ll have a nice WordPress MS site in which you can create multiple blogs (with multiple themes to test). You’ll also have a Windows Virtual Machine in which you can check out the aforementioned sites in Internet Explorer (god forbid!), and so on.The CatchMAMP has a free version, and a PRO version. For this tutorial, we’ll be using the paid version. You can use the free version if you wish, there’s just a little extra set up to go through (which I’ll point you in the right direction to later).For Windows testing, we’ll be using VMWare Fusion. I love VMWare Fusion for its “Unity” feature- you can seamlessly have Windows windows (har har) in your OSX setup. I like this, because I really don’t like the Windows UI and hate looking at it. But that’s just me!Both of these are paid apps. But, if like myself you’re constantly testing and creating multiple WordPress themes, they are two invaluable tools to have.Setting up a MAMP ServerMAMP is the easy part. Thanks to MAMP PRO, setting up a multisite installation is a breeze. We can even set it up under a custom domain. seems fitting.Setting the Correct PortsOnce you’ve installed MAMP PRO, fire it up and you’ll be presented with the welcome screen- close that for now, and jump back to the MAMP PRO app.You’ll see that Apache and MySQL are using some strange ports- 8888 and 8889 respectively. In order for our Windows box to reach our site properly (and for custom domain names to resolve correctly), we need to change these to the default Apache and MySQL ports. They are 80, and 3306.OSX comes with a version of PHP pre-installed that’s pretty difficult to get set up. Since we’re using MAMP though, there’s no need for it. That does mean, however, we need to turn OFF internet sharing in System Preferences. Fire it up, and make sure it’s not active.Set Up the ServerCool. Now we’ve done that, you’re going to want to select the “Hosts” tab in the top left of MAMP PRO, and click the “+” symbol on the hosts list to the left.Here is where we set up our brand new WordPress server. You need to set 3 things here: The Server Name (URL), Disk Location (where the files reside) and an Alias (URLs). We’re going to use the domain name “” as our domain, since a quick trip to will show you it doesn’t conflict with any actual live sites.I’ve set the root directory to be ~/Sites/ You can make it whatever you want, but I think it’s nice mapping file directories to URLs.As good practice, I always make sure the Server Name mimics the first alias. Hit “Apply,” and it will ask you to restart the servers. Do so. You may be prompted to enter your password.If you jump to your favorite browser now and visit, you should be presented with the default MAMP screen. Great!If you can’t afford the PRO version of MAMP and still want to use domain names, there’s a great tutorial about it you should definitely read up on.Next Comes the DatabaseAs with any website, you need a database to accompany the WordPress website. If you head back to MAMP and select the server tab (next to the hosts tab), then the MySQL sub-tab, you’ll see a button to launch PHPMyAdmin. That’s where we’ll create our database.Once PHPMyAdmin launches, you want to go to the databases tab and enter a new database name. Call it whatever you like, wordpressms will do.By default MAMP PRO sets your MySQL username and password as root and root. Easy enough! We use that when we’re setting up WordPress, but first we need to download it!WordPress SetupThis section focusses on setting up and installing WordPress MS, so if you know how to do this, feel free to skip to the next section.Head over to and download the latest release of WordPress. Unzip it, and drop it into the directory we set earlier- if you’re following my steps, it should be in ~/Sites/ (~ is your home directory!).If you refresh your site in your browser, you’ll be presented with the usual set up blog page. Enter details as usual, but make sure you specify port :3306 when you set the database host! This is essential, otherwise your site will not work.The details following are up to you- call your site what you wish, whether it be “” or “WordPress Tests” or “WordPress Development.”All goes well, you’ll be told by WordPress that WordPress has been installed and you should login!Multisite Once logged in, it’s time to activate multisite.Open wp-config.php in our new install, and on line 82 (just below the WP_DEBUG constant definition), paste the following.If you refresh your browser while logged in, there will be a new menu item within the Tools section called “Network Setup.”One this page, you’ll be asked to do a little extra set up regarding your blog. You want to make sure the websites are set up under sub-directories, and once again call it whatever you like.Upon clicking continue, you’ll be prompted to add some more code to your wp-config.php file (which you should add below the WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE constant we entered just before).And to completely re-write your .htaccess to allow multiple blogsYou’ll then have to log in again after WordPress has properly calibrated itself for Multisite use.Once logged in again, you’ve now got access to the Network Admin! This is great news. For all Mac purposes, you’ve got a brilliant WordPress testing ground set up for all your clients/themes/projects!I’ve been using this set up for years, and its yet to fail me. I can have an unlimited number of test sites, using only one database and one set of WordPress code. It also means when new versions of WordPress are released, you’ve only got to update once- and it replicates across all sites.Facing The Dragon (Windows)We had to get here at somepoint *sigh*, but having a Windows box is an essential tool for any front end developer. You’ve gotta know how any site you work on behaves on IE as a start, and having Windows versions of other major vendors is a huge plus too.I’m not going to go in-depth on how to install it, as plenty of people have talked about it before.I am however, going to show you how to set up your new Windows box to access your MAMP multisite.Once you’re set up, its a simple act of finding out your Host’s IP address (mac) and making your Windows box’s host file point to MAMP under a url.If you’ve done this procedure before on your Mac, the process is nearly identical. MSDOS has some strange commands though, so I’ve run through it below to get it set up correctly.Finding Your IP AddressTo find your Mac’s IP address, it’s as simple as running a command in Terminal. If you’re not familiar with, it’s basically a console that runs commands directly to your computer. Old School!The command you’re after is ifconfig -a. This will list all IP ports you have running, and their address as well.When you install VMWare Fusion, a new port is opened up, which is the link between your Mac and your new Virtual Machine. After running the ifconfig function, you should see a port called vmnet# (the hash will be a number). Grab the IP Address that is listed next to “inet.” If you’re struggling to find it, refer to the image below.Either write this down, or copy it somewhere for later use. We use it in the Windows box’s /etc/hosts file to point to MAMP.Taming The DragonWindows’s command line tool is nowhere near as nice, easy to use, or user friendly as Fortunately, you can find your /etc/hosts file in C:Windowssystem32driversetchosts. You may have to right click on it, and select “Open as an Administrator.” This is the equivalent of sudo when in Terminal.At the bottom of the file, you want to paste the IP address you just found, and then space, and then step is similar to setting up in MAMP, except MAMP automatically edits /etc/hosts for us.Save and close this. There’s one last step. Remember I said MSDOS is gross? We need to fire it up now, to flush the Domain Name Servers, or basically reload the hosts file for browsing.The command for this is ipconfig /flushdns.Once you’ve done this, open up Internet Explorer, and try hitting your URL!Boom! Instant access to MAMP’s multisite.The ability to do this is invaluable. You’ve basically got an environment where you can test code in every and any browser. It would be worth installing all major browsers on your new Windows machine, so you can check all of them too (though we all know it’s mainly IE6 and 7 you’d want this for ;) ). That’s all there is to it!Too easy, right? You can now browse your sites in any browser you wish. Even compare them side by side! Having this set up has been really handy to me when testing bugs in websites when a client screams, “BUT IT DOESN’T WORK IN INTERNET EXPLORER!” No, really? Save the world and update your browser!Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below!


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New & Improved Post Indexer Plugin Explodes Your Multisite’s Potential

If you run a WordPress Multisite install, then no doubt you’ve had your hands full trying to manage and/or display posts from across your network.

At WPMU DEV, we’ve built a whole host of plugins that help you do that, everything from Recent Global Posts Widget to Global Site Search to Global Site Tags and many more.

What you might not realize is that all of those plugins rely on a very powerful behind-the-scenes plugin called Post Indexer.

And so today is very good news for Multisite owners because the Post Indexer just got even more powerful.

What It Does


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How To Limit The WordPress Posts Screen To Only Show Authors Their Own Posts

When working on a multi-author WordPress blog, the post listing screen can get a little bit crowded. Sometimes you have to hunt through many posts that are not your own before locating a draft you’ve been working on.

Here’s a quick way that you can change the posts page to show only the author’s own posts. I found this handy tip over at WP Snippets and have updated it and made into a little plugin.

Make it easy for authors to find their own posts

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Use WordPress Shortlinks For Jetpack Sharing Buttons

By default Jetpack uses your permalinks when a user shares your post via the sharing buttons. Wouldn’t it be cool if, instead of posting that super long URL, Jetpack could tap into its own URL shortener to share shorter links?

Plugin author Jeremy Herve has created a quick solution for this with his new Jetpack shortlinks for sharing buttons plugin. It basically gives you the ability to use shortlinks when sharing posts:

Here’s how it works, depending on which shortlink service you’ve enabled for your site:

A Year Later - Your Opinion on Jetpack

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How To Make a Site Private In WordPress Multisite

When it comes to the subject of privacy, more options are usually better. Bloggers and members of your site are more likely to trust and recommend your community if they know that they have the option to protect their content.

WordPress Multisite Privacy Settings
By default, WordPress Multisite has two site visibility settings under the Settings >> Privacy menu, both related to search engines:

Allow search engines to index this site
Ask search engines not to index this site

If you want more privacy options, it’s as easy as installing a plugin.

WordPress Multisite Plugin: More Privacy Options


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Project Management in the WordPress Dashboard

A good project management system lets you keep track of (and manage) projects within your organization. It lets you relate and assign tasks to contacts, set milestones and goals, and it provides an easy to use interface for messaging other members of your team.

Every organization has unique needs, which means no project management system is perfect for every situation, but the WP Project Manager plugin is a great place to start if you want to bring simple project management functionality into your WordPress Dashboard.

Business word cloud for business concept, Project management

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