I am probably far too new to blogging and wordpress to have such lofty goals, but I honestly feel that I need to persue this idea passionately. My history, my personality, and my goals are all so in line with blogging, that I can’t help but want to take every spare moment and put it towards teaching myself about blog management. When I ask myself about my priorities, this blog and its brethren come quite high on the scale, but thankfully I don’t think that I am losing track of the importance of the other things I need to be doing.
In fact, because I am learning to be very careful with my time, I quickly realized that I needed to streamline the blog management process if I am to make sure that I don’t spend excessive time fiddling with stuff. One potential time-sucker is the installing and updating of plugins (and wordpress itself, for that matter). With more than one blog under my command (muhaha, I still can’t help but think of it in Star Trekkish terms), it felt like those processes were more complicated than they needed to be. After all, I had two (going on three) blogs to update: “beautiful physics“, this one, and the new “green reasoning” blog I’ve been discussing building with my dad. Doubling my steps was bad enough; did I really want to start tripling it? Hell no.
So I started investigating how other people handled multiple blogs… and also brainstorming about what I would attempt in order to reduce maintenance time. The first idea I had was to use a single plugins directory for multiple blogs… so I googled ‘wordpress “symbolic links”‘, and thankfully, someone more suited to the task was way ahead of me on the idea. Woot! Anything I don’t have to do myself is great news, in my opinion.
Unfortunately, my newbishness slowed me down in implementing it. I learned a lot about the wordpress structure while working on it though, so I felt it was a worthwhile Saturday night nonetheless. (My husband in the next room was involved in almost-as-geeky persuits, so I don’t feel like a complete loser.. at least, not alone! :P) Sicker still, I feel like reliving the experience to write about it here… maybe I’m just hoping my steps and struggles will be helpful to someone.
For whatever reason, here’s an overview of my Saturday Night Adventure With Virtual Multiblogs:
- browsed the comments at the Virtual Multiblog homepage;
- unzipped the files and read the readme/helpfile;
- decided to use my existing wordpress install as my main, and to clone it.
- In hindsight, I’d say this was probably a bad move; I would suggest to others to export from an existing wordpress and re-import into a fresh install. I think I chose “the hard way” so I wouldn’t have to re-install latexrender, but it seems I may have to do that anyways.. but more on that later.
- followed the Advanced Setup instructions that came with Virtual Multiblog
- set up each domain to point to a different symbolic link to the existing wordpress install
- copied the database info into the copies of config/mb-config-sample.php (because I figure that each having its own database might be good, since they’re independent ideas on separate domains)
- followed the instructions too literally… I called wp-admin/install.php on this blog, which proceeded to add new tables to my existing database, freaking me out for a brief moment because I thought I overwrote my posts (I didn’t feel like learning how to restore from the backup that I was very glad I made!) For Blog #2, I ended up trying update.php instead of install.php, and it worked like a charm. Blog #3 was a new install anyways, so I used install.php.
- renamed the old tables to the new prefix and got rid of the newly made ones (not in that order of course)
- tried it out, and… parts worked! but my static pages failed, not even showing the themed error page.. and even worse, trying to log in to Site Admin gave me an error saying “You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page.”
- tried logging out, and back in… still the error.
- searched the error… found out how to check whether I was set properly as administrator, which I was. I added the word “capabilities” to my search, since that was the table element where permission levels were referenced.
- found a blog letting me me know that I was on the right track, and told me that some table elements also needed to be renamed! aha!
- did that, tried logging in again, ……nope. Sought out more advice.
- tried a “repair” on the database… still nothing.
- decided to do a ‘forced update’:
- commented out the meat of wp-includes/version.php
- ran upgrade.php
- uncommented out the ‘meat’
- tried again to log in as admin…
- … still got the permissions error. But at least now my static page errors were properly themed!
- Eventually, I found that one person had a problem because their wp-admin/login.php was not properly redirecting to index.php, and lo and behold, mine seemed to be doing that too. I manually added index.php to the URI, and voilà! A screen prompting me to run upgrade.php! And so I did!!! AND THEN—– EVERYTHING WORKED!!
- checked through my site as seen from the outside, and checked admin stuff too, including plugins…
- I found only a few issues:
- my static pages are not behaving like pages… they seem to be stored as posts, and yet they can’t be found via a search.
- latexrender isn’t quite working right on the clone-blog, but it works on the main one
- victory dance, yippee! that’s all good enough for me!!!
- bedtime! :P it was almost 2am by this point… :)
And now, as I’m logging into my account preparing to post all this, I am greeted by the announcement that there is a new version of WordPress. My first reaction was to cry out, NOOOOOOOOO!!!!! but once that got giggled out of my system, I thanked my lucky stars that I get to check just how easy it is to upgrade, now that I have multiblogs. Here’s hoping that it will be as easy as I hope…!!!! :)