Dachshunds are more fun than a barrel of Monkeys

What’s more fun than playing with your Dachshunds? Moving their site to the cloud; and, for even more fun than a barrel of monkeys, configure WordPress as a multisite.

Screen Clip of 3doxies.com running on WordPress 3.2.1 multsite Configuration

Last weekend I installed 3.2 on a Rackspace Cloud server and started moving my sites over from multiple shared hosting accounts. With careful planing, I assumed things should not take to long nor break too bad. So far what I learned:

Start from scratch. Go buy a domain or use one in your inventory that is sitting around. I used something like my-media-network.net. This will give you a single management tool for your blog network.

If you’re planning to update from shared hosting, now is the time to do it. Use vps.net or Rackspace cloud servers. They run $10 – $50 per month but well worth price. My personal experience is with Rackspace and my clouds have been raining 24/7 for over 700 days now.

  1. Configure your multisite using subdomains. You may not be able to do that unless you have access to the Apache virtual host configuration files. I have root access to the VPS, so it isn’t an issue. Otherwise, use sub-directories for the configuration.
  2. Don’t be afraid to reinstall over and over if you don’t like the configuration or if it’s not working. Simply use phpMyAdmin to delete the tables from the database.
  3. Install the plugins. Many of your plugins will not work on a multisite. Below are the basic plugins that appear to install and play together:
    • Keyword Strategy link generator plugin Version 1.8.1
    • WordPress MU Domain Mapping Version 0.5.4
    • WordPress SEO Version 0.4.2 | By Joost de Valk (Sorry, All in One SEO isn’t multisite friendly)
    • WP Super Cache Version
    • XML Sitemap Feed Version 3.9.1 (I may use WordPress SEO 0.4.2 instead of this)
  4. Copy your themes over and test them using my-media-network.net. Add some dummy posts to see if they work.
  5. Start creating subdomain sites.
    •   Update the permalinks so they are the same as the old one.
    •   Export your posts from the old blog.
    •   Import your posts to the new blog.
    •   Test.
  6. On a side note, I noticed that I lost categories on one import, so I’m not sure if I did something wrong or if it is a bug.
  7. After you’re happy with the subdomain version, configure the domain mapping then update the DNS records.
  8. It’s a simple but tedious process going to multisite, but with 10 or more blogs, it is worth the investment to go that way.