Running a Wordpress Multisite platform at school needn't be a daunting exercise. Probably the area of biggest concern is that of user management, but we have a whole series of tutorials designed to help in this regards (check them out here). In addition, all network admins should be aware of some simple mistakes that are commonly made:
1. Don't remove or delete a user unless you want to delete their blogposts
It's a fundamental principle of Wordpress that every piece of content, be it a page or a blogpost, has an author. If you remove a user from a blog you will also remove their content. You'll get the opportunity to assign that content to another user (i.e. make them the author) but if you decline, that content will be deleted. Having said that, you need to know what to do if a teacher leaves (hint: tutorial)
2. Never change the URL of a blog
From the "Sites" list in network admin you can "edit" any of the blogs in your site. One of the fields you can change is the URL (web address) of the blog. However, you should never do this as it will almost certainly lead to unintended consequences. The link structure for the blog will be changed and navigation to content lost. If you make a mistake in naming a new blog when you set it up by, for example, mis-spelling the URL, delete the blog and recreate it with the correct name.
3. Never open up registrations to your sites
In the Network Admin Settings is a tickbox entitled "Registration Settings, Allow new sites to be registered". This should always be set to "Registration is disabled". Wordpress Network Administrators can always create new blogs regardless of this setting. If you allow open registration on your blog platform you may get 100s of spam blogs (splogs) being set up requiring a major tidying up operation or worse.
4. Don't make all your teachers Network Admins
Because making a teacher a network admin is really simple (any existing network admin can just tick the box to grant network admin privileges on any user's profile) it seems like a quick solution to problems surrounding who should be a member of what blog. Resist the temptation at all costs. Once you have given a user network admin privileges, apart from giving them the ability to make the first 3 mistakes above you're giving them licence to delete anything and everything on your multisite with a few keystrokes. Remember that a teacher does not need to be a member of a blog to leave a comment on it.
The only reason a person should be made network admin is if their role encompasses the following responsibilities:
- They are responsible for providing support to blogging teachers;
- They are responsible for adding new blogs to the platform;
- They are responsible for managing users on the platform.
5. Once you think you are digging a hole, stop digging
Tech support is a wonderful thing. We have 15 years experience of working with Wordpress Multisites in schools so if you are out of your comfort zone get in touch by clicking the "Submit a request" link at the top of the helpdesk, or emailing email@example.com We will do our best to help.