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What Is WordPress 3.0 MultiSite?

August 4th, 2010 in WordPress 3.o Multi site by admin

The folks over at WordPress have finally merged WordPress and WordPressMU into one product and have changed the name of the WordPressMU functionality (formerly known as Multi User) to Multi site. The idea of WordPress Multi site is the same as it was with WordPress Multi User and that is to create a “network” of blogging sites very much like WordPress.com. In other words, each user has his own blog, which is why they used to call it Multi User. However, this term is a bit too simple to describe what it does, since each “blog” could itself have multiple users. I know it gets confusing but take heart it gets worse.
Now the way WordPress.com is setup, each “blog” gets its own sub-domain. So if I set up an account with the user name “me”, I’ll get a “blog” with the sub-domain:
me.wordpress.com.

Now here’s the catch. No sub-domain “me” is set up on your server. In order for this to work your server must have a magic configuration setup called “wild card subdomains”. This means that all sub-domains “me.mysite.com”,  “you.mysite.com”, “theother.mysite.com” all actually get served up by mysite.com.
Okay so you say… well all I need to do is enable “wild card sub-domains” and I’m ready to go. Here’s the catch. Most hosting accounts utilize what is known as “shared hosting” and they not only do not have this feature, and they sometimes forbid you from setting it up as per their terms of service. Obviously they don’t want you setting up a WordPress.com like site on your $10/month hosting account. Also they don’t want you setting up a “splog” either.
To work around this issue WordPress 3.0 has an option to use subdirectories for each “blog” instead of a sub-domain. So my “blog” would have an address of mysite.com/me instead of me.mysite.com.
Remember the whole purpose of the 3.0 Multisite feature (formally WordPressMU) was to create a site like WordPress.com. And one of the key features you need to run a site like WordPress.com is to allow users to set up their own “blog” themselves without anyone having to manually set anything up.
For must of us running WordPress sites we don’t want people coming along and setting up sites on there own. So we actually don’t need to have wildcard subdomains setup to use Multi site on your site. You can create sub domains on your shared hosting account by using your hosting control panel to set up any sub domains that you want to create. Also you can map a sub domain to a domain name with a WordPress plugin.

Author: admin

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