So, I’m getting very close to my October 1st release date for the DragonFlyEye.Net v5.0 launch, and I’m getting quite nervous. I’ve gathered together most of the plugins I want to incorporate for the first launch, organized a lot of my plan of attack and begun lining up bloggers to join the network. But there’s really nothing quite like pre-release jitters to get you going!
There are a few items I need to tack down between now and next weekend (when I’ll be doing the transitioning because my traffic is the lowest on the weekends). For one, I’ve been working on a CSS substitution plugin that allows users to use the same theme (there is only one available, for consistency’s sake), but select from a list of custom color schemes and also import their own images for the header. Most of this plan has gone fine, but I’m having difficulties with – of all things – adding the menu into the WordPress admin bar. For some reason I don’t get, it’s harder than it sounds. There are two panels added into the bar for this plugin, and one is working fine, but the other is a real pain. It’s there, but when the data is submitted, it goes nowhere.
I’m also going to need to explore the wonderful world of bbPress and WPMU integration. There are lots of individual posts on both the MU forums and the bbPress forums about getting this done, but they’re all quite incomplete. <a href=”http://mu.wordpress.org/forums/topic.php?id=2166&page&replies=10″>This post</a>, however, includes a guy’s whole Config.php file, so I’m hoping at least to get some clues from it.
Plus, I want to have a decent set of support docs available for bloggers, so I don’t have to constantly field the same questions or worse yet, administer accounts for people who aren’t getting the process. I haven’t had a whole lot of time to work on that because of the plugin woes, but I’m trying.
Still another thread that I’m trying to weave into this “Coat of Many Platforms” is getting Google sitemaps to work with MU. I wouldn’t have thought this a huge deal, but as it turns out, it’s at least as elusive as the bbPress/MU integration. The trouble is: because the directory of each blog is virtual (meaning, it doesn’t actually exist as a folder on the server), all the sitemaps need to be stored in the blogs.dir folder. Since Google and others don’t accept sitemaps which do not reside in the root directory of their schemas, it requires a here-to-fore elusive mod_rewrite directive that will point visiting bots to the right file. No one seems to have been able to tackle this quite correctly, and the one sitemap plugin on WPMUDEV.org does weird things with redirected files that I positively do not get and don’t have time to analyze.
I’ve decided (literally, just as I’ve been typing this post) that a basic sitemap in the root, dynamically pointing out the locations of all the blogs on the network, will need to suffice. Thus far, that has been all I’ve ever really used for my site, and I’ve still managed to dominate the stack rank for Rochester-centric keywords.
So, yeah. I’m getting a little nervous, but it’s a good thing. This is the kind of thing I live for: building, building, building and then putting it all on the line in one big launch!