I was recently asked to review an e-book (also available in hard copy). The title? WordPress Multisite Administration – hardly casual reading! Since I have worked with Multisite, I was hoping to learn what I have been doing right (or wrong) and glean some tips to make my work more efficient! I was a bit disappointed, though I did learn! I agreed to post my review on my own blog, so here it is:
Stated in the beginning of the book: This book is geared towards people who have some experience with WordPress already. And in the first section, it goes through a quick (5 minute install) of WordPress, and assumes the reader knows how to and has already uploaded the files to the server and edited wp-config with the database connection info, since it begins with the “Installing WordPress” by starting the install wizard.
Then, in the next section on configuring MultiSite, it goes through how to upload the files, edit wp-config.php, etc – why cover it now and not prior? This was confusing to me. I would simply say that installing a multisite is done by installing a single site (and go through the procedures here), and then what to edit in the wp-config.php to allow multisite. Go through the file upload, editing the wp-config with your database information, change the prefix for security, add salts, etc – get the single site installed and working. Then add the multisite code lines to wp-config to convert to a multisite and continue with the network setup. It should all be one chapter, and since readers *should* already be familiar with WP setup – the file unzipping, upload, and initial username and password setup does not need to be covered in such great detail. And if it is to be covered, put it in the single site section, since it needs to be done and a single site install working before multisite can be set up. It was confusing to me the way it was written.
If anything, cover single site setup briefly. Then go right to editing the wp-config, reupload it, and on to the multisite dashboard and changes.
The later chapters on security, caching, optimizing, is good info, but not necessarily, specifically for multisite. Perhaps a note could be included that this can apply to all WP installs, not just multisite. And that there are many ways to accomplish the goals – plugins mentioned are suggestions only and each developer will find their own set of tools to use. (I have several not mentioned that I use for security, monitoring – and there are lots out there.)
I would suggest a chapter on subfolders vs subdomains, advantages and disadvantages of either setup, the difference between the two, and domain mapping (unique URLs for each sub site). The book “assumes” the sub sites will all be shown on your directory of sites, and are all interconnected. This is not always the case; each sub site may be a distinct site with its own URL. And that is where I, personally, had the biggest struggle in setting up my multisite – getting each subsite its own URL (site1.com, site2.com, etc).
The book does give info on multisite administration, but I feel it does not go into the depth I was expecting, and does not cover enough different situations to be considered a complete guide to multisite administration. Much of what is covered applies to ANY WordPress install, and the plugin suggestions, as I mentioned, were lacking. A good start, but there is room for improvement!
You can purchase the book here.