Re: Expect to pay for hosting that will run WordPress MU?
I use BlueHost. Your friend was talking about the WPMU + BP installation via SimpleScripts (kind of like Fantastico de Luxe, but much more responsive to upgrades).
SimpleScripts calls it “BuddyPress”, but it is really BP + WPMU.
I used SimpleScripts to do my initial BP + WPMU installation. I had a complete site failure yesterday when I upgraded to the most recent BP version. I also had some bugs creating user blogs with the original installation.
I think SimpleScripts automatically configures WPMU to create user blogs as subdomains. For this to work, your hosting provider MUST support “wildcarding”. When opened a support ticket with BlueHost to do this, they quickly replied: “No our system does not support wildcarding.”
If you were creating your own blogs as subdomains, this would not be a problem because you could use the DNS tool (e.g. cPanel > Simple DNS Zone Editor) to support define each one when you create it. But, it seems likely you’re using WPMU to support multiple users. In that case, it would be nearly impossible to define a new subdomain each time your users created a new blog. The wildcard gets you out of that predicament by immediately supporting any subdomain when they create the blog.
If you install WPMU + BP manually, you don’t need a hosting provider that supports wildcarding. During the configuration, just select the option to create user blogs as *subdirectories* instead of subdomains.
I did the manual installation for the first time today. I don’t think I’ll need the SimpleScripts approach again.
Hope this helps.