The great WordPress / MU merge

A subject which keeps coming up in conversation just now is the planned merger of ‘normal’ WordPress with WordPress MU, the ‘multi user’ version. There’s been both excitement and concern at what it might mean: but the latest report from Jane at WP HQ should be enough to calm anyone’s worst fears.

It was announced at WordCamp San Francisco last year that WordPress and WordPress MU would be merging codebases. This has now happened in 3.0-alpha, and we’re working on smashing bugs and tidying up a few screens. If you’re currently using a single install of WordPress, when you upgrade to 3.0 you won’t see any of the extra screens associated with running a network of sites. If you’re currently running MU, when you upgrade you’ll notice a few labels changing, but upgrading should be as painless as usual. If you’re going to set up a new WordPress installation, you’ll be asked as part of the setup if you want one site or multiple sites, so that’s pretty simple. If you want to turn your single install into one that supports multiple sites, we’ll have a tool for you to use to do that, too. So if you’ve been worried about the merge, have a cup of chamomile tea and relax; it will all be fine. 🙂

It’s quite a relief to see how they’re planning to manage this: most existing users of ‘normal’ WP won’t even see the new functionality, but if they want to make use of it, there’ll be a way to do so. Any impact will be seen by the existing MU user base, but as it’s a more complex product by definition, they should be better able to cope with any changes. That seems like the perfect solution all round.
The feature I’m personally most excited about? Never more having to refer to ‘ordinary’ WordPress, ‘standard’ WordPress, ‘WordPress solo’, ‘non-MU’…

4 thoughts on “The great WordPress / MU merge”

  1. This is great news – and almost sounds too good to be true (Mu confuses the life outta me currently – hopefully that’ll be resolved)
    Let’s hope getting rid of a cool but confusing name will be backed up with simpler methods of navigating wp-admin for multi-site installs!

  2. Indeed. As I think I’ve said here before, MU has never had quite the same love and attention that ‘main’ WP (there’s another one) got. So whilst the functionality is in all there, it isn’t always as slick as you’d like – and I’ve always found that quite jarring, when everything else around it is fantastic.
    That’s not (hopefully) to be too critical of MU. It isn’t a bad product, far from it. It’s at least on a par with most other CMSes. But when, by definition, it has to stand alongside the Best Of Breed, it’ll always look weak by comparison.
    If it’s all formally the same product, you have to assume the various kinks will be ironed out – perhaps not in v3.0, but certainly in the next one or two.

  3. So does this mean WordPress 3.0 will allow multiple users the ability to create their own blogs? Thanks for any answers!

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