The first set of reviews for my book, the WordPress MU 2.8 Beginner’s Guide, have started trickling in.
They’ve been mostly positive so far. There’s been a couple of things pointed out (such as a plugin conflict that went un-noticed in testing) that I’ll raise with the publisher in case they decide to make a second edition.
I hope to work on another book for Packt in the future, so it’s great to learn what people liked, and what they didn’t.
Here’s a sampling of the reviews:
The Open Sourcerer
Thanks to all the reviewers for taking the time to read and write about the book!
There are dozens of social bookmarking services. If you tried to promote your site on all of them, you would probably end up spending more time on submitting pages to those sites than you would on producing new content.
Most of those sites are very sensitive to ‘spam’, and are hostile towards people who are clearly shilling or promoting their own web sites. So, if you have a strong community already, why not encourage your users to promote your site for you, rather than doing all the submission work yourself.
One effective way to do this is to place social bookmarking links at the bottom of each article. These links take the user to the submission page of their favourite social bookmarking site, so all they have to do is enter a quick description, and submit.
One such script is available for download here.
This script was originally designed by Hugo Haas. I have been using it on my web sites for quite some time, simply updating the social bookmarking links as necessary.
I recently learned that WordPress-MU and WordPress are going to be merging soon. OK, I’m a few weeks late hearing the news, but I have a good excuse – it’s been a crazy month for me! The announcement was made by Matt Mullenweg during his State of The Word speech at WordCamp.
The plan is to merge the multi-user parts of WordPress-MU into the normal WordPress setup, and the current MU project will be closed down – because it won’t be needed any more.
Is this a good thing? Well, I think it’s good news in some ways – WordPress-MU has always lagged a little behind normal WordPress, and it will be nice to see more coders working on the multi-user features, and it will be nice to be able to go to the normal WordPress community for support. Having two projects that were so similar was a bit of a waste of resources.
On the other hand – what will the move be like? Even normal upgrades aren’t without hurdles. Merging the two codebases sounds like a recipe for many hours of plugin and workaround wrangling. How many plugins will break? How many people will run into database issues?
Also – how many new users will see the ‘multi user’ option, turn it on for their simple WordPress install on an oversold shared hosting account, and bring the server to its knees when huge numbers of spam bots swarm it to create ‘splog’ accounts? Right now, you have to make a concious decision to install MU, and a lot of ‘normal users’ don’t even know it exists. Are most cheap web hosts ready for MU to become another option users can go “Oooh, what’s this button do?” with?
WordPress-MU 2.7.1 was released last week. The release included a number of tweaks to the back end – including the removal of the admin bar, and some changes to the Plugins system.
The ability to activate plugins on a sitewide basis is nice, but I won’t be getting rid of Plugin Commander just yet.
There are some other back-end tweaks to set the dashboard for users who don’t have blogs, and to make things easier for users who have multiple blogs.
I upgraded SlayerCafe using the upgrade link in the admin panel, and things went fairly smoothly, although I did have some problems with plugins in the mu-plugins folder. I’m not sure if that’s something to do with my configuration, or with WordPress-MU itself, so if you’re thinking of updating, it’s a good idea to make a backup first!