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Announcing WPMUDEV Premium

James Farmer of Incorporated Subversion and announces WPMUDEV Premium.

Before you run thinking this a terrifying new language, WPMUDEV stands for , a “custom” version of , the extraordinary blogging platform that has morphed into that which runs Edublogs, similar to .

James Farmer and Andrew Billits have put together WPMUDEV Premium based upon what they developed with Edublogs and their associated blogging services, like learnerblogs for school students, for university and college students, and eslblogs for those involved in teaching English as a second language and English as a foreign language.

WordPressMU is not appropriate for those who wish to have multiple blogs or the average WordPress blogger. WordPressMU is designed for memberships, associations, groups, and companies to bring blogs to their members and employees.

Before was Edublogs, the first fully functional version of WordPressMU to be put to the test. has built up their WordPressMU model to include over 1 million bloggers and many VIP Hosted blogs including several from CNN and Yahoo. Farmer and Billits have taken and expanded the WordPressMU program to host four different free blogging services with tens of thousands of bloggers from all over the world and all ages, and they want to bring that expertise to other groups and businesses for a modest support and development fee.

James Farmer and Andrew Billits have developed a variety of hacks and customization features, along with some excellent WordPress Plugins for WordPressMU into a support package deal. All the work has been done, including over two years of development and testing. With so much of the work being done, there is little the administrator has to do other than administrative monitoring and decisions. The hardest work will be recruiting new bloggers – oh, and explaining what a blog is.

This is a joint project between Andrew Billits and myself that aims to find a way to provide complex custom plugins, materials, hacks and support for WordPress MultiUser (WPMU) for a fraction of the amount you’d have to pay a developer.

It’s already stuffed full of goodies; there’s the multi-database code that’s used on Edublogs (happily supporting 50,000 blogs on the one domain), mu-plugins to give you the lowdown on all your user activity (active users, posts, comments and more!), unbranded support videos for you to use on your WPMU site and a new bumper theme pack with uploadable headers a gogo.

And lots, lots, lots, more… which we’re going to be adding to all the time.

Plus there are comprehensive support forums to back up all of the code there.

Trust me, there is a lot of work involved in developing such a multi-user blogging system, especially with all the bells and whistles James and Andrew have put together.

WPMUDEV Premium is actually very affordable. They have a monthly pricing schedule which begins by the month at USD $50 and then scales back for a year of program and support for $250, a $350 savings off the monthly rate.

Here are the features with more on the way:

  • Multiple Databases
  • Mass Email Service
  • WordPress Theme Packs
  • Support for hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands…who knows how many blogs
  • A Variety of WordPress Plugins which add more features such as:
    • Blog Activity Monitor
    • Administration Ads
    • Administration Messages
    • User Activities
    • Avatars
    • Friends (connecting blog users)
  • Customer Support
  • Upgrade Support

You can learn more about what is offered in their new FAQ and expect more information on as this grows and expands.

Again, this is not for typical bloggers. This is for groups and businesses who want to bring blogs to their members.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network, and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.


  1. Posted July 13, 2007 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    Wow – how exciting! I have a question, then. I am considering adding blogs and content to my site with multiple authors. I’d also like to create a members only section with varying levels of premium content – would WPMUDEV be the way to go, or will I need a different CMS?

  2. Posted July 13, 2007 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    I think that WPMUDEV would be the way to go as you would get the support you need. It’s a VERY technical program and while based upon WordPress, it’s like explaining a rift in the space time continuum. Okay, not really, but it is a different beast. Everything you do impacts EVERYONE on the site, not just little you. It’s a big responsibility but I think it would be awesome for you to work with them on this.

    You already love WordPress, why go elsewhere?

  3. Posted July 14, 2007 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    How much better is it then wordpress?

  4. Posted July 14, 2007 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    I don’t understand your question. It is WordPress. It is the Multiple User model that has been tweaked and built up with a lot of new features for multiple blogger support.

    This is not a replacement or challenger to WordPress. It is WordPress. WordPressMU allows you to set up a blogging system with more than one blogger – thousands of bloggers – using WordPress to implement their blogs. Each blog is semi-independent, all under the same umbrella of WordPressMU.

    What WPMUDEV Premium offers is a package deal of the hacks, Plugins, and support of a fairly tweaked version of WordPressMU.

  5. Posted July 16, 2007 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    Well, I was already going to go with WordPress MU – but I was just wondering if you thought WPMUDEV would be a better choice?


  6. Posted July 18, 2007 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Wendy: Yes. It is WordPressMU but it has support and added features already in place and I believe you will benefit from those.

  7. Andrea
    Posted July 21, 2007 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Just to clarify a bit: They are offering add-ons and support to the regular WPMU software available at (They use their own modified version of MU to run the whole site, but you don’t get it from there.)

    Worth every penny, as far as I’m concerned. So if a big user thinks they need MU, get it, install it and then hook up with James and Andrew.

  8. Ivan
    Posted March 13, 2009 at 2:42 am | Permalink

    Is there anything similar for Buddy Press? Or in other words, who does one talk to when in a need of a support of a PuddyPress installation?

    Is there a gap in the market? 🙂

    • Posted March 13, 2009 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      There are quite a few people involved in supporting and working on a BuddyPress install beyond the BuddyPress forum. I doubt there will be a gap in that market as there are so many chomping at the bit. The new BuddyPress Theme framework was just announced.

  9. Marc
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Lorelle, I understand the whole concept of WPMU and why WPMUDEV is a service, but are there any other choices out there?

    By comparison, if this was a single self-hosted WordPress blog, I would look for a service that provided perhaps a premium WP theme and offered a package deal of the hacks, Plugins, and support. In most cases, this is a one-time license or developer license fee. I’m okay with that.

    But with WPMU, I am looking for the same type of service as I would have received from a single self-hosted WordPress blog. Sure, WPMU is more cumbersome as it’s not just my little blog that is affected, but potentially thousands of other member’s blogs. But this has nothing to do woth WPMUDEV as the structure/protocol has been created by WPMU itself.

    So looking at WPMUDEV’s site, the price is $79/month or $419/year. The premium themes don’t look all that premium and only a select few. Since they are not the creator of WPMU and just provide a theme, with the hacks, plugin and support, I’m still questioning the Value/Price equation. Since you are in a joint project with them, perhaps it may be difficult to get a non-biased opinion. I’m hoping I’m wrong and perhaps missing something here.

    Regardless, thanks for all that you do. You always have the best information out there regarding WordPress.

    • Posted August 4, 2009 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

      WordPressMU Dev is a private “premium” program that uses WordPressMU. It is not part of the “official” WordPress family covered by the GPL license and such. I am not involved with the Dev project or on the staff of WordPress.

      I’m not sure what “service” you are looking for. WordPressMU has been under development for a long time and is only just recently semi-ready for prime time. It’s not for the casual blogger.

      I’m also not clear on what you really need.

      There are professional web designers who are now adding WordPressMU design skills and expertise to their resume. If you are looking to set up a WordPressMU site with custom designs, then contact one of them. The Themes are not much different for MU as they are for the single WordPress hosted site. A tiny bit of code and they are good to go. You could choose just about any modern WordPress Theme and it would work, free or premium. As WordPress makes the transition from single hosted to both single and MU with a few clicks in a single install, there will be “chop shops” for Themes that match that WordPress version, as well as thousands of older Themes updated accordingly.

      So I’m not sure what you need, but that’s my take on it. Good luck.

  10. Posted October 16, 2009 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    The prices went up a bit: $79, $159, and $419

7 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] WordPress MU Development Premium (WPMUDEV) released. Doesn’t sound like it’s worth $50 (yearly) to me. I’ll stick to WordPress and the standard WordPress MU. […]

  2. […] Lorelle provides a background of the development of this service. “Before was Edublogs, the first fully functional version of WordPressMU to be put to the test. has built up their WordPressMU model to include over 1 million bloggers and many VIP Hosted blogs including several from CNN and Yahoo. Farmer and Billits have taken and expanded the WordPressMU program to host four different free blogging services with tens of thousands of bloggers from all over the world and all ages, and they want to bring that expertise to other groups and businesses for a modest support and development fee.” […]

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