WordPress MU vs. WordPress Vanilla

It’s been about a week and a half of using WPMU, since I switched full time. And it’s been a real trial but I am slowly bringing the blogs back to full speed. Obviously, blogging is going slowly and each stream will be less frequent than the full blog, at least until I’m more able to handle the beast called MU.

It’s not for newbies!

WordPress is a great application for bloggers, and it’s a great way for relative newbies to cut their teeth on managing, installing and updating a PHP based system. It’s fairly robust on the installation front, quite stable once running. However, WordPress MU shares many of the features, it’s a little more tricky to set up; but the limitations (mostly for security) really drive me nuts at times!

Stubborn and spiteful

There are quite a few issues with plugins, themes and general wordpress functionality in the MU environment. In general, Javascript and other scripts DO NOT work out of the box. Additionally, some common and important plugins just don’t play nice with MU at all. I’ve had problems with the sitemap plugin, and several that share the database. Any themes that require any plugin with javascripts or popular database reliant plugins will likely encounter severe problems. And you can forget YouTube Videos out of the box, though there are solutions.

Forums and Advice

If you are considering switching to MU, then consider this: many of the plugins that I have tried, (for example, to install Adsense or YouTube) simply don’t work, though you’ll find the odd one that is worth it’s weight in Gold. Similarly, advice that is posted on forums, blogs and the Codex may or may not be relevant to your install, and there’s little to tell either way.

So, if you are considering switching, I’d suggest a trial install of MU on another domain so that you can figure out if you will be happy with the switch. I’m still finding the problems annoying, but I am not switching back: the power of this platform is surprising, and I’m only beginning to understand what I can do.

Have you tried the switch? Let me know how it went!

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