Noob here... Advice on multisite practice install and plugin config order

Hello WPMU community...

I'm excited about joining your site but have to admit, I'm a complete noob with Wordpress...

I just cant seem to get my mind around how to get it set up to do all of the amazing features that I know it can do.

I have several ideas for ways to utilize multipress but trying to decide whether to invest the time to learn how to create these sites myself, or to hire someone to do the initial set up, then admin the sites myself....

Couple of quick questions for the community

1) Is there a list of preferred providers, if I wanted to hire someone to create 3-5 wordpress sites? I would like for them to be familiar with the themes and plugins from WPMU to avoid problems with incompatible plugins, etc...

I am thinking about creating a multisite test install to learn how to integrate the plugins together seamlessly before rolling out a live install. Basically, a practice install.

Ultimately, I like the idea of creating a site / directory in my town where citizens could have a free blog but would charge for business directory listings and business blogs.

I thought I would set up my practice sites using the auto-blog plug in for each of the "sample" blogs on the practice site that would simulate the various citizen or business blogs once I go live.

So, I'd probably set up 5 blogs and populate them with rss feeds with the autoblog plugin: photography blog, food blog, cycling blog, watches blog and maybe a classifieds site?

WPMU seems like the PERFECT platform for this kind of thing.

2) Is there a particular order that you should install and configure the plugins? or just go ahead and install as many as look like they would be nice to have?

3)Is there a tutorial or walkthrough for creating this type of site?

I'm going to be reading through the documentation provided but just curious if anyone could provide any tips or feedback on how best to begin getting something like this set up? Perhaps a rough $$$ estimate to use as a general cost when budgeting. $500.... $1000.... $5000....I have no idea how much time would be involved for an experienced word press wiz.

Thanks in advance,

  • Charlie Pryor
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    HI advertability,

    Well there is certainly a lot here, but I'll see what I can do with some advice from my own experience with Wordpress.

    1) If you are creating Wordpress sites from a Multisite installation, multiple sites can be created extremely quickly. I could have 10 sites up and live in under a minute technically, although there would be no content on them. The main important thing with a website, is the content you provide. The look and navigation are vital, but second, so ensure you have great content above all else before you try to make things too complicated.

    In regards to performing the type of blogging system you'd like to set up, as far as local people and business, the Pro Sites plugin would be an excellent tool to help you achieve this goal, since it was designed for that exact purpose.

    Best of all, as far as beginners go, we've got a step-by-step tutorial series set up to learn this plugin, so you'll be familiar with not only its capabilities, but how to utilize them effectively for your goals.

    2) Order to install plugins.

    There isn't really a "law" or set of rules for installing plugins on your site. The general rule I follow, is to go in the order of importance for your site operation. In other words, the most involved and important plugins get installed and set up first. That way, you know it's set up and working properly, and when you start to set your site up later, it will be easier to see where conflicts occur, and which plugin is causing it.

    Most of my best discoveries with Wordpress has come from experimentation, but if you've got specific ideas as to the features you really want to make sure you get right, you've come to the right place to get the right advice. If you are doing things yourself, and you take the time to really learn and understand your site, it shouldn't cost you a whole lot of money. Your membership here will probably be the most expensive part of your entire operation really (unless you have dedicated hosting)

    I hope that gets you started. Others will likely chime in here with more to say. Welcome to WPMU DEV.


  • Vaughan
    • Support/SLS MockingJay


    thanks for posting.

    #1 we have a jobs board over at, as for others, there are many places that advertise, but checkout their reputation & so on.

    wpmu plugins and others can certainly do what you ask so far.

    autoblog sounds like it will fit in, directory plugin, events+ maybe.

    #2 no prticular order. some plugins require other plugins though, like global posts etc which require post-indexer plugin, so best install that before those.

    some themes are child themes so make sure you have the parent theme, especially where buddypress child themes are concerned.

    only install the minimum amount of plugins that you need, installing plugins that you don't use will use up resources.

    #3 there are plenty of tutorials around, i would start with the wordpress codex (remember this site as you'll visit it a lot if you decide to jump in and learn yourself), though understand web development even with wordpress can be pretty complex for even the advanced users.

    we have many manuals here.

    hope this helps, if you require any further assistance please ask.

    thanks for being a member of wpmudev

  • Dev4
    • Champion of Loops

    Hey here is a tip for you from a recently not so newb ... The fact that you are doing a test install is a great, so many just try to install and finght things to get it all right.
    Of course that can work, but doing the test install rout is cleaner and you learn along the way
    So the advice is, do it over and over, dont be afraid to jsut install and play with it and install more plug ins than you need then scortch the earth.l. Completely delete your install, and do it again. And again, with less plug ins, then start over and do it again..

    Doing this you will gain become so good at brining up your network that you will almost be able to create your site in your sleep,.,

  • Charlie Pryor
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    As long as you take your time, and focus on one thing at a time, the entire scope of what Wordpress is shouldn't overwhelm you.

    It's like learning a new language. Keep thinking about how different it is and how much their is to learn, and it will seem very complex. Focus on small things, like building blocks, and it will be easier to retain.

    I love WordPress. I'm a bit bias and stuff I know, but it's so great. Took me over a year to get truly comfortable with everything I needed to make my sites the way I needed them.


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