Workflow for setting-up an online service, like Edublogs.

Hello, I'm in the process of setting up an online service, like Edublogs, but for another target group.
The service has to be in Brazilian Portuguese. WPMU is already installed and working fine.
I'm now a bit lost in how to proceed.
What have to be installed first, plugins or themes? Or does not matter?
Which plugins are essential?
When is the time to setup membership plans?
When to translate the themes and plugins?
There is so much you can do with WPMUdev, that's hard to know where to start.
Is not a question of how to do, WPMUdev has amazing tutorials, is more a question of what to do?
Maybe someone could put me in the right direction, please?

Thanks in advance,

Linhares Junior

    Timothy Bowers

    What have to be installed first, plugins or themes? Or does not matter?

    It doesn't really matter but there are things to keep in mind:

    + Create a clear plan of what you want to achieve!

    + Stick to that plan!

    + Don't install plugins and themes on your main site just to test, every install can and often will insert data in the database, not all will remove the data when removed thus leading to DB bloat.

    + Try not to bloat your install with too many plugins, remember every time a plugin is installed it can insert data, it might also be another 1 or another 100+ php files to include on every page and post load depending on the plugin, thus requiring more memory from your install. Shared hosting environments and hosting companies don't always play nice when you hog their server resources.

    + Create a sandbox install if you must play with themes and plugins before putting them on your production website, thus limiting the footprint on your main install.

    + Make sure your hosting environment is capable of managing your realistic anticipated usage. These things are not always easy so unless you have a huge advertising budget then chances are you won't grow that quickly at first although I suppose anything is possible.

    Which plugins are essential?

    Only you can decide that really, Do you want some form of spam protection? Do you want a community similar to facebook? Do you want to offer memberships? Do you want them to create their own blogs? Forums, something else?

    All decisions only you can make because you understand what you want to achieve.

    When is the time to setup membership plans?

    You need to create your own business model for this, what your asking is pretty much how you think your business should be run. That choice is really yours to make alone! Unless you have business partners of course.

    When to translate the themes and plugins?

    Not sure I really understand your question here? Are you providing multiple languages to your end users?

    There is so much you can do with WPMUdev, that's hard to know where to start.

    Then create a sandbox, a play area and go wild there. Create a business plan, a business model and a plan of what you hope to achieve with your website. Going into this with eyes wide shut or no idea of what you want the outcome to be in 6 months, 1 years, 2 years, etc, will only be a recipe for disaster.

    Forward planning is crucial if you intend to make this a serious venture.

    This is really all in your hands!

    linhares

    Hi, Tim,

    You have definitely answered my questions and like you say, planning is the big secret!
    About the translation, my clients will be mainly Brazilians, my intention is to offer a service for Brazilians,
    like you can find many in Europe and America (all in English), that is completely in Portuguese.
    The administration, plugins, themes, menus, buttons, notifications, everything possible should be translated.
    My doubt was if I should customize/translate the themes before installing them in
    the network or customize/translate after they are installed, with the help of the CodeStyling Localization plugin, for example?

    I really appreciate your help!!

    Thank you!

    Timothy Bowers

    @Tim you;re gonna end up taking all my points!!! Great post

    Well if you don't need them then I don't mind saving them for you!

    I've nearly caught you up. lol

    @linhares

    My doubt was if I should customize/translate the themes before installing them in
    the network or customize/translate after they are installed, with the help of the CodeStyling Localization plugin, for example?

    I think the key here is sandbox again, get a little play area which is just for testing things, install the themes, play with the themes and if you like them, well then translate them if needed and upload them to the production site.

    Be careful with what you install though, not every developer has a keen eye for security risks, not all sanitise the input correctly or out correctly. Strictly speaking if all input is sanitised then output should never need be thus lowering memory overheads, however I was once told to think the worse of end users not because they will all be out to hack your site but because some might, so plan for the worse case to provide the best. I digress...

    I'm saying this because if you make a mistake then someone could easily take control of your site and database.

    So... Use credible sources. In fact WPMU.org wrote something about theme sites not so long ago:

    When is a Free WordPress Theme Really Free? Some Thoughts and Some Places to Find Them

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/when-is-a-free-wordpress-theme-really-free-some-thoughts-and-some-places-to-find-them/

    Why You Should Never Search For Free WordPress Themes in Google or Anywhere Else:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/why-you-should-never-search-for-free-wordpress-themes-in-google-or-anywhere-else/

    Sometimes it is hard to find clarity in the fog, and there is so much out there for WordPress it is often hard to see which is genuine and which are not.

    The same can be said of plugins.

    sidcam

    Musicwise-

    Noticed your question never got answered. A "sandbox" is just an isolated test website.

    The term is an analogy to a child's sandbox where the child is allowed to freely play in the sand yet the sand is still confined to a defined space by the box walls so as not to make a mess or let it mix with the dirt outside the box (thus keeping things neat and clean).

    In web developer terms, Timothy is suggesting (and rightly so) that you duplicate your database and website as a testing environment for new templates and plugins. Like a child's sandbox that new code is then confined to this test environment so if something goes horribly wrong nothing important (like your working website) gets damaged. Once your satisifed nothing bad is going to happen you can then install the code to your working website.

    Generally you'll also want to isolate this from search engines and the public. I know a lot of developers who will set up an older computer that's not even on the internet as their sandbox so the test environment isn't even on the same computer as the "real" website.

    Also, if you have commercial (pay) scripts you may still be required to own a second license for the sandbox- it all depends on the developer's license. I don't think it will be as big of an issue in the Wordpress world as it is in other platforms but it is something to consider.

    Hope this helps. Timothy, thanks for the post. Spot on what I needed as well.