WordPress Multi User

"wordpress-multi-user"I’m afraid I had to give up on WordPress Multi User. In theory, it’s a brilliant idea. Access to all your sites from one dashboard.

However, in practice, it’s a bit of a bodge. There is confusion over site mapping and, certainly, the Google XML Sitemap is not compatible. There are some special MU plug-ins but then there was conflicting advice over use of those too. Was I using a special Multi User plug in or just a function of regular WordPress? I know I had to change the coding in two files to make it happen but the suggestion was that with the new 3.0 version of WordPress, it contained a built-in multi-site facility that was different to the previous multi user format.

Despite the fact that there were several experts giving advice online, none of them seemed totally confident that they had everything up and running. Whilst it wasn’t too difficult to adapt the site to get the multi-user facility, everything seemed to fall down after that, especially if you’re not a fully-fledged geek.

The problem was that, if I wanted to host more than one site on the vcluster hosting at Fubra, I had to do it using WordPress Multi User and I wasn’t totally confident that it was working properly. I had a duty to my various clients to ensure that their site was being properly crawled by the Google spiders and I could not guarantee that. There were also issues over using different versions of the same template on the various sites. The only way to provide a proper hosting package was to have separate vclusters for each client at a cost of nearly £6 per month, almost double what was available at standard UK hosting sites.

So, despite the fact that the customer service at Fubra and the quality of the hosting itself was exceptional, I was left with no option but to bite the bullet and get a different UK web host account that would allow me separate cpanels for each individual client.

Unfortunately, it then took me two hours of faffing about to remove the code from the wp-config file that would change the site from Multi User back to single use again.

It doesn’t help that my laptop just doesn’t seem to like the new multiple user hosting account – it takes ages to load any of the pages. I’ve switched off my firewall and that makes no difference. But it’s only the sites hosted on the new account that are affected and only on my networked laptop. It seems to work fine on the wired PC.

Very frustrating.

On the plus side, I have a new project that will see me getting up close and personal with both WordPress and Drupal.

I’m very excited and totally trepidatious all at the same time.

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Changing Jo’s S&M To A UK Web Host

Phew!

It was a little more complicated than I originally envisaged but, after exporting the old database, changing the IP address in the DNS section of the cPanel, editing the config file to reflect the new database information and then a bit of tweaking from the lovely techies at Catn, Jo Shaer: Social Media Solutions is back up and running.

I should probably point out at this juncture, for the benefit of the wag who mentioned it, that the site is not called Jo’s S&M Solutions

So, what did I learn from this exercise?

Well, for a start, that I have picked up more technobabble than I realised over the last few months. Whilst my original idea that I could just change the nameservers to the new host and everything would be hunkydory was somewhat wide of the mark, once I knew what I had to do, it was relatively easy to accomplish.

However, as with all things computer-based, there were a few variables which could not have been foreseen and required the assistance of those who are more in tune with the vagaries of databases. Fortunately, these were sorted out relatively speedily so the site was not down for too long.

It does make me remember the wise advice of Jo Dodds who suggested that I might want to get UK hosting sorted before I started doing any work on the site…

The thing about Catn is that it is a cluster site which means you have a little more protection in terms of ‘down time’ if the servers go awry. However, I still have a site with the nice people at EUK Host so I shall be comparing the performance of both companies over the next few weeks.

Both these UK-based companies offer cPanel hosting with FTP access and it is easy to install WordPress so there really isn’t too much to choose between them.

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Setting Up A UK Web Host

Since I have been advising my various customers that UK sites should be hosted by UK businesses, I have taken my own advice and set about changing my own hosting arrangements.

It’s scary, seat of your pants stuff to be honest.  I had just got comfortable with the current hosts but I was made an offer that I couldn’t refuse by someone whose advice I trust so I thought I’d give it a try.

Of course, this meant that I had to change some things in the control panel.

*Gulps*

Name servers and ‘A’ records, IP addresses and other such geeky language was mentioned.

If you can still read this tomorrow, then the transition worked seamlessly and I will be able to tell you more about my new UK Web Host 🙂

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