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Learning Server Skills For WPMU (21 posts)

  1. ChrisH
    Member
    Posted 15 years ago #

    For those of us who don't have the Apache and PHP chops to use WPMU, where would you advise going to pick up that knowledge? I don't really have urgent need for MU right now, but I see some interesting potential in it for future things, and I'd like to start building up my abilities. What online or offline resources would you recommend? What's the minimum you have to know to get it up and running and stable, and what's the ideal?

  2. Ovidiu
    Member
    Posted 15 years ago #

    if you're serious about this, I would suggest you get yourself a server, either a local one in your home, or rent one. if renting, I'd suggest a virtual private server, those come very cheap and then try and get it up and running including a web server, a mail server, DNS server whatever comes to your mind.
    And try not to use all those grafical stuff like webmin, whatever, stick to putty.

    In my opinion, then you are ready for mu :-)

  3. corourke
    Member
    Posted 15 years ago #

    Before renting to really get a feel for apache, mysql and all the tasty local php goodness you could want (plus the best place to really get your hands dirty tweaking your wpmu install) is here:

    http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp.html

    That'll get you a tiny (under 100mb) windows compatible apache/mysql install preconfigured for your coding enjoyment (I keep a copy on my thumbdrive with me at all times since I'm a total nerd)

  4. quenting
    Member
    Posted 15 years ago #

    if you plan on a more than 100 blogs, I'd suggest feeling comfortable with manipulating mysql from the command line, since phpmyadmin and other DB administration tools are not usable after you pass a few hundred users.

  5. drmike
    Member
    Posted 15 years ago #

    You don't have to learn everything about Apache and MySQL to run stuff. You really just have to realize that you need to use teh tools in front of you to find your own answers and those answers your users will be asking you.

    That and how to edit a frigging file. :)

  6. andrewbillits
    Member
    Posted 15 years ago #

    Basically I'd just get a bit familiar with PHP. Other than that, you just really need to know your way around documentation sites for PHP, Apache, etc.

    If you have a problem, there's a 99% chance that someone else has already experienced the problem and found the answer. Remember, Google is your friend.

  7. drmike
    Member
    Posted 15 years ago #

    Even I have a copy of PHP for Dummies. :)

  8. andrewbillits
    Member
    Posted 15 years ago #

    Yep, got my "Apache, MySQL, and PHP Web Development All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies" right here.

  9. ChrisH
    Member
    Posted 15 years ago #

    So far, I have the following skills and assets:

    • A shared IP server account, with several domains (parked and add-ons). Account includes cpanel, shared IP, Linux OS, MySQL, PHP, and Apache 1.3. I have FTP access, but not SSH.
    • A good knowledge of HTML and CSS
    • A very basic knowledge of PHP. This means I understand the format enough to manually insert template tags in my blog.
    • Experience with using MySQL through phpMyAdmin graphic interface. This experience is both good and bad. Mere nights ago, I accidentally deleted my entire WP database. I restored it from a backup within 12 hours. (Note: biggest flaw in the GUI on cpanel is it allows you to delete databases with one click.

    Big sticking points when I tried to install WPMU:

    • Modifying the httpd.conf file. Or, for that matter, finding it.
    • Making the proper modifications to the .htaccess file. This I can find, and have modified in the past, but only when the code was spelled out for me.
    • Modifying the DNS servers, as per Matt's directions.

    So, that's essentially where I stand now. Thanks for all the suggestions and understanding.

  10. PerS
    Member
    Posted 15 years ago #

    You'll find a lot of good LAMP tutorials at http://www.howtoforge.com/

  11. andrea_r
    Moderator
    Posted 15 years ago #

    ChrisH, that's where I started too, but I also had people around that I could ask, especially if they needed to bail me out. :)

    "Modifying the httpd.conf file. Or, for that matter, finding it."

    Just in case anyone else searches looking for the same thing - you can't usually get to it on a shared host. in a shared setting, you almost alwyas have to ask the host to set it for you.

  12. ChrisH
    Member
    Posted 15 years ago #

    Just in case anyone else searches looking for the same thing - you can't usually get to it on a shared host. in a shared setting, you almost always have to ask the host to set it for you.

    Based on the cursory amount of research that I did, that's the conclusion I'd already come to. That's one of the reasons I've decided to look at WPMU as a long-term goal, rather than an immediate one.

    I really appreciate you clarifying it, though. One of the reasons I started this thread was not only to get info for my specific use, but in hopes that it would make a starting point for my fellow newbies who thirst after that very sort of information.

  13. andrea_r
    Moderator
    Posted 15 years ago #

    Also, I shoudl just say to jump right in., That's the way I learn best anyway. You can read about any amount of it for years if you like, but it isn't relevant until you actually *do* it. :)

    And like the hubby always says, real life doesn't follow the instruction manuals. :)

  14. ChrisH
    Member
    Posted 15 years ago #

    Also, I shoudl just say to jump right in., That's the way I learn best anyway. You can read about any amount of it for years if you like, but it isn't relevant until you actually *do* it. :)

    I think this is excellent advice. It's actually how I've learned all of my computer skills, from HTML to WordPress. I don't think I've taken a formal computer class since I learned BASIC on an Apple II in seventh grade.

    Unfortunately, I have tried to install WordPress MU several times, and I stall at the points that I noted above, when trying to make the subdomains work, which makes me feel that I need to do a little research and upgrading of my skills before going on. I might also need to upgrade my account to a dedicated server rather than a shared one, and I'll have to wait before I'm willing to spend the extra $5/month.

    Really, a lot of my interest in this comes more from the "OOH! Shiny new toy!" reaction than any practical need. At this point, I'm only managing two blogs (my own and my girlfriend's), and the server seems to be handling them well. (Although it would be nice to be able to install plugins and themes simultaneously on both.) But it does stimulate my imagination.

  15. andrea_r
    Moderator
    Posted 15 years ago #

    "Unfortunately, I have tried to install WordPress MU several times, and I stall at the points that I noted above, when trying to make the subdomains work, which makes me feel that I need to do a little research and upgrading of my skills before going on. I might also need to upgrade my account to a dedicated server rather than a shared one, and I'll have to wait before I'm willing to spend the extra $5/month."

    If you're on shared, you will hav eto ask your host to enable wildcard domins for your account. No two ways about it, most shared hosts are like this. Didja ask them yet? :D

    Also, MU is awful picky about soem thing. Pointed domain, for instance - where a domain is pointed to a subdirectory on the server.

    Dedicated hosting = $$$$$ heckofa lot more than $5/month. A bridge between that and shared is Virtual Dedicated Hosting. But - in my experiece, it's only been a few hosts / setups - specialized setups where MU has been impossible to install and work.

    Wanna email me with some of the details of your setup? andrea AT atypicalife.net. maybe I can point you in the right direction. (after you ask your host about the wildcard domains. ;) )

    If you're only managing two regular WP blogs at the moments, that's only peanuts as far as the server is concerned. :) I'm got my MU setup (http://homeschooljournal.net/) on one account, and it has a couple hundred users, with quite a few visits - we averaged almost a million page hits a month for a while there - and very active users because I like to run a tight ship. I'm starting to tax the server a bit and outgrow shared hosting, but that's mostly issues with spam and the SK2 plugin, which we've modified. I've had to keep on top of database optimization as well.

    That account is on the same server as my "regular" web stuff, with two reasonably active and visited blogs, plus a whole messy pile of other things. :) Those stats are peanuts compared to my MU setup.

    As a side note, just add to the educational aspect of it all - both the hubby and I took computer programming. He got his degree, I got my Mrs. degree. ;) What we took then isn't taught now, and what he uses now at his job wasn't even invented yet. That's why it's more important to be an active learner that it is to learn / memorize specific things. He's also taught programming at the college level, and our oldest is currently studying to be a programmer as well. (get the geeks when they are young - my 6yo has her own web page too. :D )

    My point in that is that immersion and exploration of the subject results in unlimited learning.

    "a lot of my interest in this comes more from the "OOH! Shiny new toy!" reaction than any practical need."

    That, I would say, is one of the required skills. :D

  16. drmike
    Member
    Posted 15 years ago #

    And like the hubby always says, real life doesn't follow the instruction manuals.

    Anyone else wondering if they have a copy of Joy of Sex on their bookshelf? :)

    Sorry, couldn't resist. :)

  17. andrea_r
    Moderator
    Posted 15 years ago #

    *pbbbttthhhh*

    :D

  18. billdennis5
    Member
    Posted 14 years ago #

    Actually, I would buy a copy of "Virtual Private Servers for Dummies" right about now.

    ;)

  19. cafespain
    Member
    Posted 14 years ago #

    I found the following websites invaluable - both are written by the same person, so there is a fair bit of overlap:

    http://www.usefuljaja.com/

    And

    http://articles.slicehost.com/

  20. billdennis5
    Member
    Posted 14 years ago #

    THANK YOU!

  21. tdjcbe
    Member
    Posted 14 years ago #

    Virtual Private Servers for Dummies

    Some of us have run those 1000 page manuals on running Apache, MySQL and the like.

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