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WPMU CMS choices: What would you do? (6 posts)

  1. Bike
    Posted 15 years ago #

    Some backgrounds first:
    - I have been running MU for a year or so and it works as promised.
    - I run another, popular content site that is spagetti-html-php coded, an organically grown tangled mess (in about 8 years).
    - I am thinking of turning this site into WPMU as I want to offer blogs and just handle my content better.

    - The site ( has currently about 8 main categories ( etc). Each category has its own CSS, (sub)menu etc.
    - even though it is technically a mess, the contet is good it has been #1 on Google for about 8 years for its subject(s).
    - In the new version I will add hundreds of static content (books I have published), within categories/subcategories etc.
    - I would like to keep the current structure ( etc)

    ?: Would you install WPMU and:
    (1) give users etc, so you can use for your pages, with al sub and sub-sub pages?
    (2) Use/offer variation and register the first 8 blogs (subject1 etc) to 'cover' your subjects?

    In case (1) I would need a lot of conditional tags and/or page templates to create the different layouts per subject. Widgets can only be used once (though I think some plugins might fix that?).
    In (2) I could clone one theme and use one per subject. Also I can use widgets more than once easily.

    ?: Basically '' is a well-known and popular expression, so would users prefer to have a blog at or rather in your experience?

    ?: Does any of these have (dis) advantages with regards to Google juice. Maybe its better if Google sees all my pages as one site, or maybe it is better as separate sites? (Many people link to my current site, but there are also many internal links)

    ?: Does any of these have (dis) advantages with regards to adding BuddyPress?

    ?: Has anybody used WPMU for a large (>500 pages) CMS before? Or would you rather use something completely different (Joomla etc) and use WPMU on the side?

    What would Brian Boitano do? Or maybe better: what would current WPMU-keepers do, especially those that focus on CMS rather than just blogs alone??

    I welcome your input and thoughts. I have been putting this off as every day new plugins and ideas pop up, but at some point I must make a decision :)

    Cheers, Bike

  2. mrcycling
    Posted 15 years ago #

    I just went the same route of replacing a kludged together html website with wpmu.

    I am using the set-up for assigning blogs, that way any name is available for my pages residing as This allows me to maintain a resemblance to my old page urls (minus of course the trailing .htm).

    Also gives my guest bloggers their own "domain".

    We have a number of page templates for various sections, most with the sidebar hard coded to allow different setup and different widgets. The widget settings are unfortunately site wide, haven't figured out how to set each template separately.

    Don't have anywhere near the number of pages (only 70ish) so can't comment on the 500+ aspect. And have only experimented a little bit with BuddyPress, as we aren't really aiming for a social website, more of an informational one.

  3. Bike
    Posted 15 years ago #

    Thanks MrCycling. Did you notice any problems with ranking after the switching?
    I guess using only one blog for the content might make the navigational menu a bit easier to set up, though I expect that with many pages the actual editing might be a pain with hundreds of pages?

    Anybody out there with large WPMU content-site?

    Cheers, Bike

  4. dwenaus
    Posted 15 years ago #

    I am in the process of developing a large project with WPMU. I will be making free websites for available for non-profits. So each website will be a small CMS plus blog, plus program listing. It's not exactly the same as your setup, but similar.

    If you used a plugin such as Redirection (, you could ensure that all your old links work seamlessly on the new site. and with a little .htacess rewrite magic you could proabably mimic your old site's urls exactly. Either way you would not see any hit from google as long as you kept your page code clean.

    People on this site generally recommend that if you have one site, no matter the size, keep it in one install. This makes things like displaying meta data, popular posts, much easier. You can easily style each category differently via template tags. Wordpress has a lot of flexibility with page templates. Also check out More Fields plugin for structured content other than pages or posts, excellent plugin. (

    But with a plugin like Sitewide Tags, you can also group the posts from many sub blogs into one. but it is really meant for actually separate blogs, not site categories. (

    This topic is probably quite relevant to your situation:

  5. Bike
    Posted 15 years ago #

    Hi Dwenaus,

    thanks for your reply, very helpful. How is your project coming along? is it public?

    I am definitely keeping it in one MU install, but I wondered if I should use separate blogs per category (easy templating/theming etc), or put al the pages of all categories (hundreds) inside the main blog instead (probably easy navigation, though likely very messy with editing).
    Likely most pages do not need much editing after they have been filled, most content is (semi-)static.

    Not sure yet which of these 2 options offers more benefits/problems.

    Has anybody set up Mu as CMS with hundreds of content pages?

    Thanks much,

  6. dwenaus
    Posted 15 years ago #

    Either solution will work. If you put all categories in one blog, and use conditional statements and categories to style the sections differently, that will work fine. The down side is the complexity setting up the different designs within one blog, the benefit is all your posts are easily interconnected, can have more than one category, more plugins available to manage your posts, show recent comments across the site, etc.

    you can also setup your categories as separate blogs. this will make the design side of it a little easier in that your designs are independent themes. However if some of your header or footer info is shared, this might mean repetition of these elements or complex includes across themes. Now in this setup managing content is more similar to two completely independent blogs. If you want to have a post in two categories (blogs) then it will be duplicated. if you want to show top comments across blogs, it's possible but a bit more work than option 1. also, user management is different as it is per blog. this could be a plus or a minus. (however users can be member of all blogs if you wish)

    I suggest that the first is a simpler solution with more tools and tutorials available to make it work. in fact you really don't need wpmu at all. While it is possible to do what you want via option 2, maybe it's not the smart way. But in the end it all depends on your content, if it really is separate, and almost like separate websites, then separate blogs might be best.

    Wordpress has been setup before by many to use as a cms. check out this website: and as well as this link also note these are wordpress implementation of a cms. one would generally only use wpmu as a cms if they wanted lots of little cms' not one big one.

    recently idealware came out with this excellent report reviewing the various open source CMS tools: it is a very intelligent article, very honest in it's assessment of each tool. wordpress comes out as very easy to use, even for complex sites. but when it comes to complex architecture, it falls short.

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