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Considering A Wordpress Mu Installation...


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Right now I've got a handful of WordPress blogs running on my Reseller account. I have an idea for a multi-user site containing a central "showcase" blog and a bunch of satellite blogs written by other writers.

 

I don't expect monster traffic, but the single blog this is growing out of is running just under 16GB a month in bandwidth, and I'd expect similar traffic on a few of the other blogs (less on others).

 

I'm doing the spreadsheets right now, and had a couple questions.

 

1. Is WordPress MU the kind of thing that demands a dedicated (or semi-dedicated) server?

2. I read the acceptable use policy (as recommended in an earlier MU thread), and don't see any problems -- am I missing something?

 

Thanks,

TC

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TC,

 

Wordpress MU can be run without much trouble on a standard server, though with your bandwidth requirements you may wish to look into upgrading your account or moving to a dedicated.

 

One caveat on Wordpress MU pops up when you use subdomains URLs. The configuration for the subdomains requires the use of wildcard DNS/Apache entries. While we do allow this on dedicated servers, we do not perform the custom configuration on shared servers.

 

If you have any more specific questions regarding your account and wordpress, feel free to open a ticket with the help desk and we can work with you to find the best options.

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Mu is really nice, and if you manage several blogs already you'll appreciate the centralized administration. Without wildcard subdomains there is little point in going forward on your shared server. Over in the Mu forums it's recommended you have your own box (whether VPS or dedi) anyway just because it's easier to manage when you have root and a command line. Not to mention some shared hosts are starting to crack down on it as a resource abuser (however shady that claim is).

 

Good luck anyway, however you manage.

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Thanks for the helpful replies. The sad part is I only understand about half of it, but then, I knew nothing about WordPress before I installed my first blog.

 

One learns by doing. I'll get into it with the totalchoice help desk to try and clarify what level of server's needed (hopefully the semi-dedicated works).

 

TC

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It will require a dedicated server as a semi-dedicated server is a shared server.

 

The configuration for the subdomains requires the use of wildcard DNS/Apache entries. While we do allow this on dedicated servers, we do not perform the custom configuration on shared servers.
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  • 2 weeks later...
It will require a dedicated server as a semi-dedicated server is a shared server.

 

I'd like to add to this discussion.

 

I want to check a detail with you. I have a Wordpress blog on one subdomain of my site. I wanted to set up other blogs on other subdomains. I would be the single user; I'm not aiming to allow others to create their own blogs. Someone on the Wordpress IRC channel recommended WordpressMU. I installed it, but ran into problems as I was running in "subdomain mode". The problem is to do with subdomains. Someone on the channel told that I don't need wildcard DNS, but rather "wildcard name based virtual hosting". He said there was a difference. Either that or "symlink abilities"; that I should basically ask that the httpd.conf file be amended to "stop using virtualhosts and instead include a single link setting Server Alias to wildcard." He said: "basically, tell your host you want *.domain.com to point to the same document root as domain.com/www.domain.com."

 

I want to check with you if any of the above is possible.

 

thanks,

ian

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That would require a custom configuration on the server, specifically the httpd.conf file. The previous post by TCH-Jesse indicates that this is not possible on a shared server.

 

One caveat on Wordpress MU pops up when you use subdomains URLs. The configuration for the subdomains requires the use of wildcard DNS/Apache entries. While we do allow this on dedicated servers, we do not perform the custom configuration on shared servers.
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Ian,

 

What you have described there is wildcard subdomains, which is not allowed. I'll repeat it again - and if you spend enough time in the Mu forums you'll hear it over and over - if you're running Mu you're better off with a dedicated or VPS server.

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That would require a custom configuration on the server, specifically the httpd.conf file. The previous post by TCH-Jesse indicates that this is not possible on a shared server.

 

On the contrary, it seems a policy issue, not a technical one.

 

Everything I'm reading tells me that WPMU can work fine with shared hosting, with simple, minimal and non-threatening changes to the httpd.conf file to set up virtual hosts correctly.

 

See http://mu.wordpress.org/forums/ for many posts on this. And see here: http://www.blogopreneur.com/2006/11/06/ins...anelwhm-server/ and http://photomatt.net/2003/10/10/wildcard-d...nd-sub-domains/

 

It's not an issue of wildcard DNS because a test of my existing subdomains shows that they resolve to the same IP, which can be checked here: http://www.kloth.net/services/nslookup.php

 

And given that I can create manually entries for the subdomains I want, I don't actually need DNS wildcards.

 

The issue is simply putting a few lines of code in the Apache configuration file. This is what needs to be added:

 

><VirtualHost {SERVER_IP_ADDRESS}>
DocumentRoot /home/{CPANEL_USERNAME}/public_html
BytesLog domlogs/{YOUR_DOMAIN}-bytes_log
User {CPANEL_USERNAME}
Group {CPANEL_USERNAME}
ServerAlias {YOUR_DOMAIN} *.{YOUR_DOMAIN}
ServerName www.{YOUR_DOMAIN}
CustomLog domlogs/{YOUR_DOMAIN} combined
</VirtualHost>

 

Importantly, this entry must come after any valid subdomain VirtualHost entries one may have.

 

As one coder said, in WPMU: "no real subdomains are created, and neither are there any subdirectories. The only reason why we needed to create wildcard DNS is because WPMU uses mod_rewrite rules to determine which blog you are referring to. This means, the installation of WPMU actually reads the whole blog address and uses that to query the correct posts from the same one database."

 

Why won't TCH do this?

 

Is there a good reason, when other hosting companies offering shared hosting facilities do?

 

Can we get an answer on this, TCH?

 

best wishes,

Dr Ian Douglas

http://brusselstribunal.org

http://powerfoundation.org

Edited by ianrd
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Hi Ian,

 

TCH doesn't do it (and you can call it a policy issue if you like) because of the load/security/maintenance impact it has on the server, and hence on other users on a shared server. We are proud that we manage our servers with excellent up-time, and fast running servers, with low loads.

 

There are other hosting providers that will allow SSH on shared servers ... that oversell their servers ... that offer unlimited bandwidth etc. However if you check the responsiveness and security of those servers they usually have a few problems. We are not like those hosting providers, we provide an excellent server environment for all our users. Hence, if you insist on a MU setup with wildcard DNS, you will either need to move to a dedicated server or move to a host that does allow it.

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Just a heads up Ian. One of the very regulars in the Mu forums had her Mu install on a shared server at one of those other hosts that didn't so much allow it as they just didn't specifically disallow it. One day, they changed the TOS to say Mu is no good on a shared server, and they told her to pack her bags. Shut down the site and everything. The lesson being that Mu is still fairly new, and many hosts still don't really know much about it. Once they learn, who knows what they'll do.

 

Are there hosts that allow Mu and wildcard subdomains? Yeah. Are there plenty that don't? Yep. Is it a policy issues? Yeah, the policy is that they care more about long term server stability and fairness to all customers on that server than they do about the latest gee whiz script, which some might argue is not the answer to what you are trying to do. (Have you looked at the multiple domains hack?)

 

This all isn't to say that one guy and his Mu install would or could take down a whole shared server. But if the policy allowed you to do it, the policy would have to allow everyone to do it. And a bunch of people trying to build the next Blogger or WordPress.com on their shared hosting account - which I assure you is what would happen - would be bad.

 

The only reason you are in need of something like Mu is so that you only have one installation to update. That multiple domains hack should work fine for that, and you don't break any rules doing it.

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