Discernably Me!

The Multisite Experiment and limited resources.

I have since the beginning of my blogging been hampered by my site not being able to update itself. This wasn’t such a big problem that it couldn’t be worked around. All I had to do was manually remove the plugin directory via ftp and then install the plugin through the normal channel. It was just annoying. I had tried every trick that was suggested and researched it. The last trick that I tried was to make my single site into a multisite. This was supposed to restructure the database and kick some of the permissions up to a super-admin level.

Installing multisite is easy enough. Just add a couple of lines to your wp-config.php and adjust your .htaccess and you’re running it. Using multisite is a different story. I first created my wife a site of her own to test the structure. That was easy. But when I was trying to show her plugins, I noticed that her site-admin could only see plugins that I had installed on my parent-site. In fact, that’s one of the strengths of multisite. It takes a super-admin to actually install a plugin or an update. So if she wanted any plugin installed, I would have to do it network-wide first and then she could find it in the multisite and install it. So, multisite is meant as a control to the free-wheeling addition of themes and plugins across domian-related pages. If I were a parent and wanted to set my kids up with plugins that I approved of, I would love it.

As far as fixing my original update issue, it failed. I still had to go in by hand and take care of things.

Add to the mess that I temporarily reached some kind of limit on space with my hosting and you have annoyance become frustration. To be fair, I network enabled a backup program and set it up on both my original site and my wife’s site. They actually use the same database and structure so they were backing themselves up plus each other. Also, while they knew not to backup their own backup, they didn’t know not to backup each other’s backup.

On Labor Day, I had had enough. I have percolated the idea before and took it to its fruition. I purchased zig81.net and hosting space from GreenGeeks. (They offer unlimited bandwidth and drive-space for a very reasonable price.) I realized that I couldn’t simply move my website as that could potentially move the problem that I was having with it. So I exported, imported, copied, pasted, and installed and configured a complete duplicate site from www.zig81.com to zig81.net.

Hold on, zig81.net? Where’s the www? It turns out, it’s not supposed to be there. That’s so that you can use subdomains, like liamartin.zig81.net or zoos.zig81.net for sites if you want. Which I didn’t. ‘Let me try a few things’ took me a week before handing it over to GreenGeek support. They were able to put the www back in front of my site and I continued to improve www.zig81.net. If I was going to go with wordpress, after all, I may as well go all in and back-date all the pictures and posts into it. And from 2009 to 20011, I was adding a mask to my portrait shots because my slideshow program couldn’t handle multiple dimensions. I may as well get rid of all those annoyances, too.

Then my plugins needed updating. And I couldn’t log into my multisite as super-admin because that was zig81.net and I was using www.zig81.net. After going around with GreenGeek support about that, they were able to make some changes and my multisite was working under www.zig81.net for my super-admin user. I made the updates. And the next morning my site was back to zig81.net and I had had enough. I didn’t want to keep bouncing back and forth between zig81.net and www.zig81.net so multisite had to go.

I’m sure that there is ample fault to be found on both sides but I’m calling multisite a failure. It simply had too many things that I wan’t going to tolerate. I have yet to parse my files and remove some tables in the database but I’m sure that I will. I created a new wordpress install and moved my wife’s website to it. I’ll need to put up some referers to get people where the think they are going anyway. Then, I will move my zig81.com name to GreenGeeks and let MySiteSpace go.

3 thoughts on “The Multisite Experiment and limited resources.

  1. (I missed this post last month; sorry. I mentioned recently that my RSS reader was missing posts; this one might have been one of them. I’m now checking your sites manually.)

    Personally, I found WordPress installation very difficult when I first attempted it. At the time, I was using GoDaddy as a host, and at the time they didn’t have auto-install set up for WordPress.

    When I later switched hosts, the WordPress installation was automatic, as are the updates to the platform.

    I’m glad you found a host you like. 🙂

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