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I've recently been redesigning a site for a college radio, switching from Drupal to Wordpress from scratch. The site is based on the radio station, but each specialty show will also have its own blog. However, I want the layout to be the same from the main content to each blog. Categories more or less work, but things get tricky when I want information pages for the blogs, such as an 'About' and whatnot. Say I have a "Live" show. I'd want everything to be /live/page or /live/2011/06/post-title, but Wordpress only wants to do posts, and I haven't really found any solid permalink plugins. Should I stick to using categories? How can I improve the situation? Or is multisite a better option? Can I easily set things globally for multisites, like the layout and menu?

Thanks!

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4 Answers 4

However, consider WordPress's own advice on this subject in Before You Create a Network: "If you plan on creating sites that are strongly interconnected, that share data, or share users, then a multisite network might not be the best solution."

I've been struggling with that question myself. I've been thinking that maybe the best approach is to create a Page for each topic, and use a template that allows me to lay out those pages with an area for blog posts (filtered by category=topic), an area for forum posts (create a forum for each topic area), and a block containing the New Post form. However, if I can't do that by dragging widgets, writing a custom theme page is beyond what I've currently learned.

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Categories is ok for one blog, but if you have more, then multisite is the best option. It's easy to setup the theme, plugins and everything else.

Take a look here:

http://codex.wordpress.org/Create_A_Network

http://codex.wordpress.org/Installing_Multiple_Blogs

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Categories are meta data for n:n relations: Each category can be related to multiple posts, and each post to multiple categories. So categories aren’t what you need.

I would set up a multi site installation. Use the main site for everything related to all sub sites and the subdomains or sub blogs for each section.

To force the same theme to all blogs, just delete the default theme (TwentyEleven, in 3.4 probably TwentyTwelve), install your custom theme and add the following line to the wp-config.php:

define( 'WP_DEFAULT_THEME', 'folder-name-of-your-custom-theme' );

Each new blog will now use this theme.

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Layouts and menus will not be a problem to apply to site and subsites.

You may encounter complications if you want to share the data between them (as the only way to let's say share a post or other content is to post it multiple times on each subsite that you want that content to show in).

It all depends on how you envision the site browsing experience, and how much separation or integration do you want between your main site and shows. Do you want all posts / pages appearing on the main site, but easily sortable by shows? Use a single install and Categories. Do you want the main site to show something, and each show only showing their info/posts on their own sub-sites? Use multisite.

If you want to work with Categories (where each category is a Show), and need your pages to follow the same URL pattern as you mentioned, you may want to try using a Page "Parent" and subpages to organize each Show's own pages.

You may also want to look into custom taxonomy (to organize your posts by Show) if you will need to use Categories for other categorization uses.

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