Mason Law Student Organizations Powered By WordPress’s Multisite

When I met with a student to discuss about moving his organization web site into an open source content management system, I suggested WordPress and his face lit up. He was glad that he didn’t have to work with Drupal anymore. My predecessor set him up with a Drupal 6 installation for him to experiment with and yet he still has not quite learned how to create a simple Drupal theme.

My first approach was to intall WordPress on our server and then to provide him administration access to create the site himself, but then what happen if other student organizations, which scattered all over George Mason servers and some hosted themselves, would like to come on board? I would have to create individual WordPress. That didn’t sound like a scalable plan so I decided to experiment with WordPress’s multisite. It turns out to be a great solution and this is my first time using multisite feature.

Now I only have to maintain one installation of WordPress and creating new sites is just a clicks away. One of the advantages of using multisite is that the students can create their own design if they want to, but I have to install the theme. That way I can check the codes to make sure they are safe and secured.

I created a default theme, which is a child theme of WordPress’s Twenty Eleven, for the student organization main site. The students can use it just as it like this one or they can come up with their own theme.

I am also in the process of creating another network of sites just for the faculty so they can update the content themselves without having to know HTML. Multisite is another reason WordPress rocks!

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