Cheers to WordPress

I have probably said it before but will say again … WordPress is great. I spend most of my day writing and reviewing code at work and is nice to be able to write in words for a change. 

Word press is built with PHP – I know PHP has it's critics and sure there is a lot of hacked together PHP scripts out there but I am sure there are is a lot of good code also. WordPress is it's real success story (sorry not a facebooker) in my opinion.

In the past I have dug into the code base and found it a little hairy (used to OOP) – this was years ago though. I don't know what it looks like now, and whatever about the code base the ui seems to be orgainzed very well.

WordPress is just so flexible and straight forward and is great fun. Not sure about using it for businesses to be honest – have been there before and I think eventually you out grow it. Small businesses should be fine!

WordPress MU – is it worth doing?

I think it depends really on the amount of sites you have and also what and how much they share.

WordPress MU is great in that it allows you to manage a lot of commonalities between your WordPress sites in one place. I have created WordPress sites in the past that have all been hosted on the same server and share a lot of the same things. If your sites have a lot of the same users, plugins and share themes then you should definitely consider installing MU.

Once you have installed MU and you have multiple sites setup you can setup users at at the top level(network) and then assign access to individual sites from there. This saves you having to create different users with new passwords each time – its easier for the user and for the administrator of the sites. In MU you also install plugins at the network level and then you can activate the plugins across the different sites. It means you only need to install the plugin once and and is easier to keep track of what plugin is installed and versioning etc. You might also want to share the same theme which again means you only need to install the theme once.

An important thing to note about WordPress MU is that all sites will be sharing the same database. This can be a good thing and a bad thing at once. It means you only need to create and manage one database but it also means that if that one database gets corrupted that you are in trouble and you will need to fix multiple sites rather than 1. It’s not as much an issue if you have a replicated database to fall back on. It might in fact make things easier for you to manage in that you don’t have to create multiple databases and assign users and permissions etc.

Likewise, since there is only one version of WordPress, you only need to update wordpress once when the latest versions come out. If the update goes wrong it can affect multiple sites instead of just one so these are risks you will have to either decide take or leave. I’ve worked in environments where you have load balanced servers and a deploy involves taking one server offline to receive the new code, you can then test away to hearts content but maybe you cant afford the time and admin in that if its just for personal or friends or small businesses.

So you do need to think about it a bit or maybe experiment with it for a while if you need. It makes admin and maintenance easier but there is a bit of extra work involved in terms of setting up and organizing initially. This site is hosted in the same space as 4 other sites and counting. Its not wordpress MU, partially because I haven’t gotten around to moving it and partially because I make a lot of changes on the fly and since I don’t have any real deployment process, backup or load balancing I really don’t want to bring down 5 sites with an update, one would be bad enough. Living on the edge!

Problems with permalinks in WordPress on Ubuntu

I’ve had problems with permalinks in the past on Ubuntu and always forget one thing or other so here is a set of instructions on setting up those pesky permalinks. This is what I have done in past but if you can think of anything else, please let me know.

1. Create a new “.htaccess” file in your root WordPress directory.

2. Enabling mod_write in the Apache2 server. Type:
sudo a2enmod rewrite

3. Open a terminal and type:
sudo chown -v :www-data “//.htaccess”

4. Also give write access to the file:
sudo chmod -v 664 “//.htaccess”

5. Restart the Apache:
sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart
We are all done with the command line prompt; you can close the command line window now.

5. Go into your WordPress admin screen. Click on settings, then on permalinks and select whichever permalink layout you wish. Hit Save button.