Monthly Archives :

July 2012

The 10 Worst Partners For Your Start-Up

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Don’t give away equity or authority to these characters.

Partnerships can turn out to be a blessing or a curse. For every thriving partnership featured in Entrepreneur, there are thousands that end up stagnant, dissolving, dysfunctional or worse–in court. More often than not, performing basic due diligence can keep you from ending up in bad partnerships. So, have you done your homework? Are you ready to trust your financial security on someone else’s personality, work ethic and business acumen? Before you drink the partner Kool-Aid, here is a list of the top ten worst business partners for your start-up–along with some tips to help you avoid this cast of characters:

  1. Mr. Employee Mr. Employee is a first-time entrepreneur with a pristine resume and an abundance of references. He enjoys collecting a weekly paycheck, health benefits, and eating dinner with his family nightly at 7 p.m. Unfortunately, Mr. Employee isn’t really self-sufficient and doesn’t know how to move the business forward without you instructing his every move. Plus if your investment deal doesn’t pan out soon he is going to need to find a “real job” to pay the kids’ college tuition.Tip:Risk-adverse individuals who do not share your priorities will not be productive partners. Pass up individuals who cannot commit equal time, energy and financial resources.
  2. Mr. Perfectionist (also known as Mr. Procrastinator): Mr. Perfectionist needs every “i” to be dotted and “t” to be crossed before he schedules an official product launch date. He enjoys researching competitors, building industry case studies and improving his 150-page business plan. Mr. Perfectionist really wanted the new business to be up-and-running by now, but still feels something isn’t quite right. He plans on putting together another comprehensive survey to send to all of his colleagues, friends and family in the next few weeks to help flesh out the concept further.Tip:A good plan today is always better than a perfect plan tomorrow. Steer clear of excuse-prone procrastinators. Seek out self-starters who run with the ball and make things happen.
  3. Mr. College Buddy Mr. College Buddy had a stroke of genius while out at the bar one night, wrote it on a cocktail napkin and asked you to help him “make it happen”. He enjoys bragging about his great idea and giving you directions on how to execute (he’s not into the “heavy lifting” thing). The issue: he’s moving across country to start med school in the Fall. But fear not, Mr. College Buddy will make himself available by phone when he’s not studying, working, in class or on a date. He’ll be sure to forward you the address where you can mail his 50% of the profits.Tip:Never assume all of the risk in exchange for half the reward. Ideas are worthless without proper execution. Before you bring a co-conceived idea to fruition, make certain that your partner plans to be around for the long-run. Napkins are not legally binding. Always execute an operating agreement.
  4. Mr. Inventor Mr. Inventor thinks he’s created the next billion-dollar widget. He enjoys giving two-hour dissertations on Chinese electrical engineering standards to investors and making business decisions based on ‘nice people’ and ‘gut feelings’. Mr. Inventor doesn’t really understand the phrase ‘in the black’, but feels it’s imperative to spend all of the company’s investment proceeds on research and development.Tip:Brilliant academics are not necessarily brilliant businessmen. In lieu of a partnership, first consider licensing deals or strategic partnerships. If you decide to go ahead with a partnership, be sure your agreements clearly distinguish the differences between product control and operational control.
  5. Mr. Right Mr. Right will be the first person to tell you that he is never wrong. His favorite phrase is ‘my way or the highway’. He will rarely discuss his decision making process because he views such discussions as a weakness. He enjoys demeaning partners who don’t agree with him and making decisions without telling them. Funny thing about Mr. Right: he always seems to blame everyone but himself when his plans don’t pan out.Tip:Communication is the key to a successful partnership. Find a collaborator, not a dictator. No one is always right.
  6. Mr. Dreamer You’ll hear Mr. Dreamer say this line a lot: “One day, when we’re millionaires.” He loves talking about retiring by 29 and how he intends to spend his hypothetical millions on a gold plated yacht that he’ll dock off the coast of his private island. One small problem with Mr. Dreamer: he doesn’t seem to know how to keep the business above water next month.Tip:Big paydays come from years of hard work and persistence, not excessive rambling and daydreaming. While it’s important your partner be both positive and optimistic, it is equally important that he or she is grounded and focused.
  7. Mr. Spender Mr. Spender can’t possibly survive without a six-figure salary, lavish office and an in-house cigar roller. Price is no object when it comes to entertaining a client or flying first class. If you’re lucky, Mr. Spender might even invite you to one of the extravagant dinner meetings that he charges on your company’s corporate card.Tip:There is no such thing as the unlimited checkbook. Partner with fiscally conservative, financially responsible individuals who strive to make every dollar benefit company growth and development–not their personal lifestyles.
  8. Mr. CEO Mr. CEO feels compelled to tell everyone that he is a CEO within 30 seconds of meeting him–even if his company is worth less than the paper on which his business card is printed. He loves cocktail receptions, his name written in fancy fonts, and stacks of luxury car magazines neatly piled on a coffee table in plain sight of customers. The only thing he doesn’t seem to like: real work.Tip:Successful companies are not built on titles, talking and toys. Keep away from selfish, egotistical individuals who want to talk the talk versus walk the walk.
  9. Mr. Vacation I’d tell you more about Mr. Vacation, but I don’t know much about him. He never seems to be around.Tip:No-shows are dead weight and eat away profits. Make sure that your operating agreement clearly outlines partner responsibilities and vacation days.

    And the partner to avoid like the plague is.

  10. Mr. Personal Issues Mr. Personal Issues always has a sad story. On the same day as your company’s keynote presentation at the big conference, his son’s wisdom teeth need to be pulled and his dog died of pneumonia. He would love to attend next week’s investor meeting, but his divorce hearing might tie him up all day. Unfortunately, Mr. Personal Issues can’t afford his legal bills, so he’ll need to pull a little more money out of the company this month to avoid his ex-wife from taking 50% of his equity in the settlement. Thankfully, this will be the last time he needs money.Tip:You’re not in business to be a babysitter or a psychiatrist. Know everything there is to know about a prospective partner before you sign on the dotted line. Discuss everything from business to politics to family life to finances. If a potential partner seems to have a few screws loose, run as fast as you can in the other direction.

Post originally found on Entrepreneur.com

Quicktime Crashes on Mac OSX: DO NOT Uninstall!!! Here’s What to Do

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Okay, you’re using an Apple Macbook or Mac desktop workstation running Mac OSX, and you want to play a certain video clip through Quicktime. you notice that a previous video you had watched keeps popping up and freezes the entire Quicktime program. You force quit, run it again, and the same problem happens. What do you do?

One thing you do is: DO NOT Uninstall!!!

If you have the urge to drag Quicktime to the trash can or run a custom uninstaller, you will not be able to re-install it. Quicktime is built on the Mac OSX as an operating system “structure.” If you dare to uninstall it you likely will need to re-install the Operating System, possibly formatting your hard drive and erasing your data in the process.

Here’s What to Do on a Mac OSX

What you would need to do in this case is run a disk repair, and right afterwards repair disk permissions. On a Mac OSX, if you forget to repair disk permissions after repairing your disk, bad things can happen. Do both.

I was a bit skeptical about this at first, but had an open mind and it worked for me! Quicktime, iTunes, and Safari are as integrated into the operating system as Internet Explorer is to Windows systems – you can never completely uninstall it (though they say that you can on Windows 7 and 8 – haven’t tried it though).

How to Repair Your Disc on a Mac OSX

The following was taken straight from the University of Winconson KnowledgeBase (permission pending):

Mac OS X – Using Disk Utility to Repair a Disk

This document explains how to use Disk Utility in Mac OS X to repair a disk. Disk Utility is included with
OS X and can be used to repair system file permissions and minor errors in a disk’s directory structure. It
is located in the Utilities folder within the Applications folder on the hard drive. Disk Utility can also
be run from a Mac OS X installation disc.

Repair Disk

Disk Utility cannot repair the directory structure of the active startup disk but in Mac OS X 10.4 or newer it can
verify the active startup disk. To repair an OS X system disk with Disk Utility, you must startup the
computer using an Apple Software Restore disc (included with newer Macs) or a Mac OS X Install disk (must be the same version). Insert
the disc, restart the computer, and hold the C key when you hear the startup sound. You can
release the key when the gray Apple appears.

It is normal for the computer to take longer to startup from a CD or DVD. The disc will automatically
start the OS X installer but you do not need to reinstall OS X. If you are prompted to select a language and
you do not see the menu bar at the top of the screen, click the right arrow button to proceed to the next
screen.

The method of opening Disk Utility varies depending on the version of OS X on the installation disc.

Mac OS X 10.2.x through 10.3.x:Select Open Disk Utility from the Installer menu at the top of the screen.
Mac OS X 10.4.x through 10.6.x:Choose Disk Utility from the Utilities menu at the top of the screen.

The Disk Utility window should look similar to the picture below. Select the name of the hard drive (e.g.
Macintosh HD) on the left side of the window and click the First Aid tab if it is not
already selected. To check the directory of the disk and attempt repair of any problems found, click the
Repair Disk button. If it finds any problems, it will list them. Otherwise, it will say
“The volume Macintosh HD appears to be OK.”

Note: If no disks are found, it may be an indication of a more serious problem. [The University of Wisconson provides free support for students, called DoIT Help Desk. For the rest of us, contact either the Apple Store or the place you purchased your Apple computer from, provided you are still under warranty. – RafiCall the DoIT Help Desk at 264-HELP (608-264-4357).

Note: If it does find any problems, you should click Repair Disk to
scan again. If it finds the same problem(s) during the second scan, it means Disk Utility cannot repair the
disk and a more advanced utility is required. Call the DoIT Help Desk at 264-HELP.

Repair Disk Permissions

System file permissions can be verified or repaired on the startup disk so it is not necessary to restart
from a CD or DVD. To check and repair system file permissions, select the name of the hard drive on the left
and click the Repair Disk Permissions button.

S.M.A.R.T. Status

Some hard drives are capable of reporting problems before a hardware failure occurs. This is known as
Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology or S.M.A.R.T. A hard drive’s S.M.A.R.T. status (if
available) is only displayed when the the drive (e.g. 57.3 GB IBM IC35L060A…) is selected on the left side of the
window.

The version of Disk Utility included with Mac OS X 10.4 or newer can display the S.M.A.R.T. status while running
from a CD/DVD or the hard drive. The 10.3 version only reports S.M.A.R.T. status while running from the hard
drive. The version of Disk Utility in 10.2 does not report S.M.A.R.T. status.

In Mac OS X 10.3 or newer look for the S.M.A.R.T. Status at the bottom of the Disk Utility window. If this
line is missing, it means the drive does not support S.M.A.R.T. If the status is Verified, it means the hard
drive is probably functioning properly (although there may still be directory issues that S.M.A.R.T. does not
check). If the status is Failing, you should backup your data and replace the hard drive.

Marissa Mayer, Former Google Exec, Becomes CEO of Yahoo! While Expecting a Baby – Some Thoughts

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Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer poses at Google’s Mountain View, California headquarters, in this February 24, 2009 file photo. (Source: REUTERS/Noah Berger/Files)

Marissa Mayer, former Google executive and project manager of some of Google’s most well-known products, became CEO of Yahoo! on July 16th, effective the following day, while expecting a baby due in October.

With regards to becoming the new CEO of Yahoo at age 37 (currently the youngest CEO for a Fortune 500 company) I would like to share some personal thoughts here:

Can she handle the stress and challenge

There is no doubt that Marissa Mayer can handle the stress of being a top executive of arguably the largest internet company in the world. However, the question comes down to whether she can go from working in a successful company with lots of money (though she started working there as employee #20 in 1999) to trying to restore the dignity to a formerly-successful company barely gasping for air. If track records say something, she will be the sixth one in five years trying to do this, and that’s not to say that the previous five Yahoo! CEO’s were incompetents. Not only that, she will be managing well over 10,000 people whereas before the most she ever managed was in the lower thousands. She may have the nerves of steel, having been known to work 130-hour long work weeks, but it will be a real test for her to see if she doesn’t mentally “break” from having to put out fires. From personal experience in fighting more fires than getting real work done, I can attest that this is a very different kind of “work.”

Is she trying to form a merger with Google, or has she gone to the other side for good?

This is a question that, as absurd as it sounds, needs to be asked. “Gotta ask the question.” One wonders if Sergey Brin and Larry Page look beyond the almighty dollar these days and would want to partner with Yahoo! now that Marissa Mayer is in charge. Or, are the wounds too deep to heal, even with time?

Has she been lured to the dark side?

It seems that, in a way, yes, she has. Marissa Mayer has supposedly joined Yahoo! for one reason: POWER. She had advanced to a certain point with Google in 2009 and 2010, but in 2011 she was passed up for an important promotion and, while her products were being showcased by Google in the past, in recent months this has not been the case. She realized that she had hit a glass ceiling and needed to move on. Therefore she needed to join the “dark side” of the Yahoo/Microsoft/Facebook alliance to advance in power at a relatively young age.

What will be the focus of Yahoo!? Search?

This will likely be Marissa Mayer’s biggest challenge. I personally cannot see Yahoo! at this stage succeeding in Search. First of all, Bing now powers it. Second, Google’s constant changing of their algorithm puts them light-years ahead in terms of Search. Thirdly, it’s “been done before.” Fourth, the timing of entry is way too late and companies trying to compete before have been made to look bad (remember Cuil? thought so). Fifth, Search was the primary topic of both Sergey Brin’s and Larry Page’s research papers at Stanford when they were going for their PHD’s.

Also, I can state from past experience in running Paid Search campaigns for both Google and Yahoo/Bing is that, while one can get clicks for Bing at a fraction of the cost of Google Adwords, you generally get much fewer clicks as nobody seems to care to search on Yahoo/Bing, even with the ad on the very top of the page.

With other products it will be interesting. Yahoo! Mail is now one of the most-hacked systems, however, there’s always Yahoo! Games, Flickr, and Finance. Why Yahoo! gave up Delicious to Google in the past is anyone’s guess. Therefore it will be interesting to see what Yahoo’s focus will be as right now, there doesn’t seem to be any.

Is Yahoo looking to grow, or are they trying to buy out as high as possible?

As soon as Marissa Mayer was appointed at the helm, Yahoo’s stock rose to $15.60 (at the time of this posting it’s at $15.92) and one wonders if Yahoo appointed her in order for employees and shareholder to redeem their stock holdings as high as possible and cut their losses. No clue, but that’s what it would seem from the surface if for no other reason.

How will Junior be managed?

That is the question every mother has to figure out: How will she manage the challenge of raising a child in a loving, caring manner while going nuts trying to figure out this whole Yahoo! thing? Who will the child grow up saying “Mama” to, his/her mother or the full-time babysitter that’s expected to be hired for the job? Or, will Zachary Bogue be the stay-at-home-dad (part-time or full)? Only time will tell.

Has Google Become Evil?

Google’s famous motto has always been in the past to “do no evil.” However, one must wonder if that still is the case. Google has always explained that their primary objective here was to improve search and nothing else. However, the company’s grown so large that this needs to be questioned.

Marissa Mayer may have left because Google denied her a huge promotion. Could there have been something deeper? Something that the top execs at Google may have wanted to hide from her? Or was she too much of a security risk to continue having at Google? In any case, Yahoo now has someone that can easily give away parts of Google’s special sauce to Yahoo and that might turn out to be the beginning of the end for Google.

The following Google documentary video was launched 6-7 years ago. In the video, someone asked Marissa Mayer, at the time the Vice President of Search Product and User Experience at Google, why people should feel Google can be entrusted with personal information. Later, Ms. Mayer was asked how people would react to the knowledge that their “privacy” information can be divulged to the US government. In each case, Ms. Mayer looked clearly flustered. It’s worth the time to look at her reactions on the video clip. Especially take note on minutes 23:00 through 26:00.

Conclusion

What’s more to say? On one hand, congratulations to Marissa Mayer’s recent appointment, though many in the tech world likely are shocked at this recent development. Still, there are many things “under the hood” that we may never really know about until events unravel. It’s too early to tell from here.

 

Google Adwords Client Accounts Are Down Today???

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Since this morning we discovered that Google Adwords’ user interface was down and has not gone back up yet. This is very surprising considering Google’s relatively optimal uptime.

This is not like Google. Hopefully Adwords will be up shortly.

***UPDATE***

For some reason, Adwords will only work when you restart your computer.

The tweet: “@rafihecht I reset my computer and it works just fine now.”

I restarted my machine just now and it works well! Kudos to Shauna Mazkenzie on Twitter (@MsShaunaMack) for that info!

***END UPDATE***

 

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Groupon Clones for Morons e-Book Launch

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Well, it’s live. After a year of waiting the e-Book “Groupon Clones for Morons” has been launched.

Firstly, I feel I should finally open up and explain why I delayed in the launching of this e-Book. I initially was working on this a year ago and was sidetracked from writing this due to personal family-related circumstances, which among other things involved in the treatment, birth and passing of my son, all within the same year. Aside from the emotional stress, in terms of time, there was a point where any moment that I was not at work practically spent at the hospital. Anyways, I am certain that my son is in a much better place now, though his moving on has left a void in the hearts and minds of those that knew him for before and during his 7.5 week lifespan.

Personal matters aside, though, I intended to write this e-Book in the format of a technical paper as I felt that this was the best “no nonsense” approach. This is one of the reasons why it’s only 20 pages long – it’s 20 pages, but chock full of content, much of which is not found on my blog posts.

I published it only as an e-Book as it’s the most accessible format around. Also, I wanted to cut costs low and pass these savings to everyone else. Someone I know personally who has had his books published by a top-notch publisher explained to me that when he has a book published, and the asking price is, say, $30, he would be LUCKY if he received $3-something per purchase as the other 90% which everyone has to pay for goes straight to the following costs: advertising, illustration, editing, and the best part, PRINTING! Paper and book covers cost money! This is what the regular person gets.

I will be upfront and say it as it is. I am only charging $4.99 for the e-Book as none of those costs are being incurred, therefore, why should you the buyer suffer? Out of that price I get $3.62 of that depending if it’s sold on Lulu. From there the money gets transferred to my Paypal account where an additional 3% is taken off. Bottom line, all I am asking is to make what the regular author makes, and in return you the consumer get tons of valuable information at a fraction of the cost. Sounds good? Thought so.

As for the title, I chose “Groupon Clones for Morons.” “Morons, as “Dummies” and “Idiots” are trademarked titles and I didn’t feel like dealing with a lawsuit. I used the title “Groupon Clones” as that is what I have been using to express Daily Deal clones, and for me, Groupon is to Daily Deal sites as Coke is to soft drinks. Other than that, I thought it sounded better than “Groupon clones for the utterly helpless” and so on and so forth.

Anyways, enjoy the e-Book and use the information contained within wisely!

How to Install & Setup WordPress Multisite

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Since version 3.0, you  had the option to activate “WordPress Multisite,” which is great considering that it allows you to run as many sites as you want from a single WordPress installation (whereas previously it was one website per WordPress installation).

If you run a lot of sites, or you have lots of clients that you keep websites for, it can be a lot of maintenance to go to each one individually and update them on a regular basis. With WordPress Multisite, you can update all the plugins and themes with just one click, which is a huge time-saver. I currently run a network of about 20 sites and it makes it so much easier to keep everything updated. You could have a much larger network of sites and it would be no more difficult to update them all. Not to mention that, when you have a bunch of WordPress sites running on a single web server, it can slow everything else down. Having only one installation means less resources are being drained on your web server.

The benefits of WordPress Multisite are massive and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who wants to run more than one site, unless there is a very good reason for keeping the sites separate from one another.

If you find this tutorial a little too daunting,  hire me to do it for you. However, if you’re comfortable fiddling with code, here is how to do it.

WordPress Multisite Step 1: Back Everything UP!!!

You’re about to be making some significant changes to your core files and in particular, your database, so be sure to take a thorough backup of both even if you automate your database backups. This is standard procedure and “I pity the fool” who doesn’t back everything up prior to updating core files.

WordPress Multisite Step 2: Allow Multisite Installation

To avoid dangerous mistakes, you need  to intentionally enable the option to even install multisite. Fortunately, it doesn’t require much of you. Hunt down your wp-config.php file which should be in the root of your WordPress installation, find the “stop editing” line and insert the following line just above it, like so:

define('WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true);

/* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */

WordPress Multisite Step 3: Setup the network

Now when you refresh your WordPress admin, you’ll see an additional option under the Tools menu called Network Setup. Head there. You’ll be presented with a few options, like what to call your network and the email address of your Super Admin (see A Quick Guide to User Roles). You may also be presented with the option to choose between sub-directory or subdomain installation. Unless you desperately want a subdirectory installation, I would strongly suggest subdomain installation. Fill the options out and hit the big old install button (but only if you promise me that backed up your site first).

WordPress Multisite Step 4: Enable the network

Now that your database is ready to get the network going, you need to edit a couple more files to make the network active. Fortunately, the clever WordPress monkeys made it very explicit and easy for you to understand.

After setting up the network, you should be presented with a page that shows you a few blocks of code. Enabling the network involves adding some code to two files: wp-config.php and .htaccess, both of which should be in your website’s root folder. The code for your wp-config.php will look something like the code below:

define('WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true);
define( 'MULTISITE', true );
define( 'SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL', true );
$base = '/';
define( 'DOMAIN_CURRENT_SITE', 'wpsites.rafihecht.com' );
define( 'PATH_CURRENT_SITE', '/' );
define( 'SITE_ID_CURRENT_SITE', 1 );
define( 'BLOG_ID_CURRENT_SITE', 1 );

/* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */

WordPress Multisite Step 5: Add a Wildcard Subdomain (optional)

At this point, you should also enable a “wildcard subdomain” in your hosting account, which will allow WordPress to use whatever subdomain it needs to create all the different sites. I’m going to show you how to do this in cPanel, since this should be available to most of you (especially if you use HostGator).

Once logged in to cPanel, hit the Subdomains icon. You’ll then have a small form that will enable you to add a new subdomain (above any subdomains that might already exist). Create a new subdomain of * on the domain of your WordPress master site, setting the document root as public_html, or wherever the root of your website is, if it’s not there.

Once you’ve successfully done that and added all the code that WordPress asks you to, you’ll need to login again. There should be a link at the bottom of the Network setup page. Click there and log back in, where your new multisite-enabled site will be waiting for you.
Note: this is optional as not every host, such as GoDaddy, will have the option to add a wildcard subdomain for security reasons. In that case you can always just do “wpsites.rafihecht.com/foo.”

WordPress Multisite Step 6: Tweaking your settings

How you set up your network will largely depend on how you want to run it. For example, on my network, I don’t want to allow anyone to be able to create their own site, though that is an option if you want to do that. I also don’t want to limit what kind of files can be uploaded (since I’m in charge of all the sites), or what size they can be, though if you have a more open network, you may want to put some of those restrictions in place.
To modify your network settings, you’ll need to go to the newly created Network Admin area; your original WordPress site will continue to have it’s own admin area, but there will be a new overarching Network Admin Area where you can install themes, plugins and add new sites and users from. To access it, you can go to the admin bar and find it under the My Sites menu. You can also go to yourdomain.com/wp-admin/network to get to the Network Admin area.

Once you’re at the dashboard, you can find the network setup page under Settings > Network Settings. Just have a good look through at everything and set up the options as you see fit for what your network needs are. You can of course change them if they are too strict or lax in the future.

If you’re going to disable new site registrations, so that only a Super Admin can create new sites, you might want to add another declaration to your wp-config.php file, just below all the ones you pasted earlier. This will redirect people to a specified site if they try to access a site that doesn’t exist (presumably your master site). For example, since I have the following declaration in my wp-config.php file, anyone trying to access wpsites.rafihecht.com/rjhsolutions, which does not exist, will be redirected to wpsites.rafihecht.com:

define( 'NOBLOGREDIRECT', 'http://wpsites.rafihecht.com');

WordPress Multisite Step 7: Adding a new network site

Now that your network is all set up, you’ll probably want to add your first network site. Doing so is a fairly simple process. Go to the Add New option under the Sites menu in your Network Admin area.

The process of adding the site is incredibly simple. Just three pieces of information are required of you; the site address, which is where your site will be accessed from. For example, if I was going to create a site at wpsites.rafihecht.com/parties, I would simple insert parties in this field.

You’re then asked for the Site Title and finally the Administrator’s email. If you want to add yourself as the site’s admin, just enter the same email address that you used in your existing profile. Alternatively, you can set it as someone completely new.

Once you click on Add Site, it will create the site for you and you are then given the option to go to the Dashboard, or Edit the Site. Simple huh!?

How about using custom domains for my new sites?

As you’ll have noticed, everything up to this point has allowed you to create new sites as subdomains to the Network Master Site, where you installed Multisite. But what if you want to use custom domains for your new sites? For example, I have WordPress Multisite installed on rafihecht.com, but RJH Solutions is a network site from that installation, even though it’s domain (doitwithwp.com) is not a subdomain of rafihecht.com.

Well, I’ve written a tutorial that walks you through that process. If you’ve gotten this far, it’s only a small step to be able to use individual domains for your network sites. Go ahead and read How to Set Up Domain Mapping for WordPress Multisite.

Content of this part of the blog post was courtesy of doitwithwp.com.

Meta-tutorial: How to Disable Multisite Once it’s on

Let’s say you made a mistake during the enabling process, but only figured it out in the end. Perhaps you realized after setting it up as a subdomain network that your host doesn’t have wildcard subdomain support and now you’re out of luck. Perhaps you would only like to run through the process again, to show someone how to do it or to work up a tutorial (like me!). Here’s how to un-do the network:

Only undo your multisite setup if you’re comfortable looking at things like this. Otherwise, just restore from your backups.

  1. First you will want to remove the lines you added to wp-config.php, so that it appears as it did before you started the network setup. Since these lines are all right next to each other, this should be simple enough.
  2. You will need to remove what you added to your .htaccess file as well, returning it to its previous version. If you have made no further customizations to your .htaccess file other than what you did with the network setup, than you can simply delete the .htaccess file.
  3. Delete your /blogs.dir directory within the /wp-content folder. This held all of your site’s uploads (but not your primary site, those are still in /wp-content/uploads).
  4. Finally, you will need to remove a few tables in your database. Open up phpMyAdmin and delete the following rows: every wp_#_ row (these were created for each of your sites, and the number of them depends on how many sites you created) and wp_blogs,wp_blog_versions, and wp_site. This will remove all of the tables created during the multisite setup process.

Of course, since you made a backup of your site before enabling multisite, you can always revert to your old database and files if you need to. This is just another way to achieve the same thing.

You will know this process works when you log back in and the Super Admin menu is gone. Now you can re-create your network, or continue on in single-site WordPress bliss.

Content of this part of the blog post was courtesy of : http://wpcandy.com/teaches/how-to-enable-multisite

 

How to Set Up Domain Mapping for WordPress Multisite

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So you’ve gone through setting up WordPress Multisite, and now you’re ready to start setting up new sites in your network. Only trouble is, you want to use unique domains for your sites instead of using subdomains of your main installation. Well, with a little extra effort, it’s entirely possible.

Install the required plugin

There’s an excellent plugin that will do most of the hard work for you. Install the WordPress MU Domain Mapping plugin and Network Activate the plugin.

Before you proceed any further, there’s a couple of things that you have to do manually. Access your site’s installation, either using FTP or your hosting Control Panel and go to wp-content/plugins/wordpress-mu-domain-mapping/ and locate the sunrise.php file. You must move this file up two levels, to the wp-content folder.

Once you’ve done that, find your wp-config.php file and add the following definition. Add it below your previous multisite rules (i.e. above the “Stop editing” line):

define( 'SUNRISE', 'on' );

Domain-Mapping.php
Move “domain-mapping.php” to the mu-plugins” folder at the wp-content “root” level. This is important as certain web servers won’t render the mapped URLs correctly unless this is done.

Configure the plugin

Now your plugin is correctly installed and when you head to the Network Admin area you’ll notice a menu under Settings called Domain Mapping. Click on that so that you can configure the plugin.
The main thing you need to be concerned with is setting the IP address of your server. To find this, log in to your hosting cPanel and on the main page, you should be able to see the IP address of your server in the information on the left-hand side. If you can’t find the IP address, you can get in touch with your host, or use one of many available free tools to convert the web address to an IP address.

If you fill out the IP address, you can ignore the CNAME field. Then, the remaining options are as follows:

  1. Remote Login – Means that logging in to one site will log you in to all sites.
  2. Permanent Redirect – This will create a 301 redirect on your subdomain (as opposed to a temporary 302 redirect) – highly recommended if the domain mapping will be permanent.
  3. User Domain Mapping Page – Creates a new menu in each site which allows that site’s users to map their own domains (instead of being controlled by the network’s Super Admin only).
  4. Redirect administration pages – Means that all administration pages will be kept on the original site’s domain, instead of on the mapped domains.
  5. Disable primary domain check – Means that multiple domains pointing to a single site will be treated as separate sites, instead of redirecting all domains to the noted primary domain (not recommended).

Map domains to your network sites

Now you’re ready to set up the domain for your new sites. You should have already created the site that you’re wanting to map your domain to. At the moment, it will just be a subdomain of your main site – it doesn’t have to be set up or looking perfect – it just has to exist.

Once you’ve purchased your domain, make sure that you set the nameservers for the domain to your hosting account’s nameservers. Then, go to your hosting account cPanel (which all good hosts, including HostGator, should have) and find the Parked Domains option under Domains.

Once in there, add your new domain as a parked domain, making sure that the document root shows as the same folder as your WordPress installation (probably /public_html). If you can’t do this (because you don’t have cPanel for instance), you need to set an A record on your new domain that points to the IP address of your hosting server (which you found out earlier).

Now is the final step. You’ll need to know the “Site ID” of the site you want to map the domain to. If you click on Sites > Sites in the Network Admin, and click on the name of the site (as if to edit it), the URL will include the site ID. It will look something like this (where the Site ID is 2 in the example):

http://wpsites.rafihecht.com/wp-admin/network/site-info.php?id=2

Now back in your Network Admin, go to Domains under the Settings Menu. You’ll see a section for adding a new domain, with three fields: one for the site ID, which you just found out, the domain name and an option whether to set the domain as the primary domain for the site. This is because you can set more than one domain to point to a single site, so you want to specify which one should be the site’s primary domain.

Once you save that, with any luck (and assuming that DNS changes have propagated), if you go to your new domain in a web browser, you should find yourself at your new site.

I’ll grant you that it is a little bit fiddly, and it would be nice if WordPress would bring this into the core and make it a bit more of a fluid process, but once it is set up, you never need to look at it again; the plugin will keep serving up the right site at the right domain.

Did you manage to get through the setup process? Did you encounter any problems? If you need any help getting through this process, you can always ask a question here, or hire me to do it for you.

 

Content of this part of the blog post was courtesy of : http://www.doitwithwp.com/domain-mapping-for-wordpress-multisite/