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Worpress MU - run multiple blogs from one control panel

If you need to allow colleagues, branches or regional groups to run their own blogs but need co-ordinated control, Wordpress MU is worth a look.

MU is a platform which allows you to manage multiple individual Wordpress blogs.

Let’s say you run a campaigning organisation with supporters scattered across the country. They might have regional groups with people who blog or are keen to spread the message - how do you encourage their enthusiasm whilst keeping tabs on what’s happening?

With MU, you’d give a blog to each group - you’d need to limit or modify the admin for each blog according to the amount of control you’d want to delegate. There’s a potential development cost implicit in that because the more limits you want, the greater the time needed to modify the system - conversely, the more functionality you allow the groups,  the cheaper it is to build.

So what’s not to like? Very little but be aware of the potential downside’s of WP’s popularity.

When I last looked, Wordpress was responsible for over 1% of the total content on the web, probably more now. This supports its ease of use but it also makes it a target for spam artists. I can’t emphasise enough the need for it to be easy to update to the latest release - in other words, make sure that any plugins are properly developed and included in Wordpress’s directory, otherwise it’s not a case of if you get spammed but when - at the very least you will end up hacked with your link juice (the ‘points’ that Google gives your pages because of the inbound links you’re getting from other sites) being extracted.

HOW DO THEY SPAM WORDPRESS?

With WP’s popularity it’s pretty simple for spammers to install their hacks. You just build a bot similar to the search engines - even call it googbot just to be cheeky - fill it with the required hack to exploit the security flaw you’ve just exposed in your test WP installation and let it rip. Dump it on someone else’s server and sit back and watch all that money come in from the affilate links you’ve rigged the hack to trigger, or dump the required virus or whatever you fancy on the site’s users.

Nasty but preventable - just don’t take shortcuts when it comes to plugins and updates.

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