Buddy Press – Initial thoughts post-installation

Murder by Death


Ok, I’ve got Buddy Press installed and here are my thoughts as I flip through the settings (which are both directly off the plug-in itself, and sprinkled throughout the other Admin menu settings).

Plug-in settings and Admin Settings:  This has 3 tabs (the last one is just a credit page).
Components: the only two I didn’t turn on are Friend Connections, because we’re a small group anyway (though if everyone would want it?) and Site Tracking, which will “Record activity for new posts and comments from your site” – I left it off because it says “tracking”, though it might be something else entirely.

Options: There are heaps of settings here, all of which I turned on except for “Allow registered members to invite new members to join this network.”  I left this off because it was mentioned earlier that we’d want invites to be at the consensus of the group.

Pages: This tab allows us to associate pages to 3 categories:  1. Members (might be our “about me” problem solved?); 2. Activity Streams, and 3. User Groups.

Users Menu:  It adds several additional tools to this menu, but all save the last one are concerned with User Registration, which we have turned off for the site because – private.  The last setting though is Site Notices, which are notices shown at front end of your site to all logged-in users.  That could be really handy.

It also adds a new tab to Users Profile called Extended Profile.  This is very simple at the moment (just name and avatar), because we need to add custom fields for it under the Profile Fields sub menu.  This might give us an About Us option that we’ve been discussing.

Groups Menu (in Admin):  Allows us to create groups: Public, Private, Hidden.  If nothing else, this might make planning for future games easier, as we can create private groups for discussion.  There’s also a “Group Type” screen where it looks like we can create new group types (beyond hidden, public, private?).  Not sure what that’s about.

Emails Menu (in Admin):  This looks to be a list of templates you can use to send various emails, or that are used as notifications for users if they choose to received them.

I think that’s it – at least that I’ve been able to find.  I noticed that there’s a new notification thing on my Admin tool bar, which I’m hoping will work.

How to see the Admin Toolbar: Under User profile, look for the checkbox that says “Show Toolbar when viewing this site” and check it.  Save settings.

Also for TA: Drop down menu in navigation bar.

I created a drop-down menu using css/html, placing it just under the Categories drop down.  Let’s call this a “Proof of Concept”.  It’s currently linking to tag pages.


WP is finicky as hell.  It doesn’t seem to adhere to strict standards, so getting the colors to work to even the point of legibility was a challenge.

I can’t use the typical drop down menu (ie Categories, just above the test) because that uses JavaScript and I have no idea how to implement JS in a WP environment.

That’s also why the menu opens on hover; on click requires JS

The expanded menu – at least in the preview mode – isn’t recognised by the page, so if the menu expands beyond the bottom of the page, it just disappears/isn’t accessible.  This has me concerned about using it for very long lists.

It works though.  🙂

Question for TA about projects, as a user

Checked out the menu … and basically, if you’re just a user creating a Halloween Bingo Post, you just have to make sure you check the category for Halloween Bingo, correct? (Your user category is automatically selected when you save the post.)

Otherwise, projects is just an Admin area to create the bones, so to speak, of the reading project.

I think I’ve been overthinking this.

IF I’m correct about this, then the site architecture is:
Projects for the administrative posts pertaining to reading events (HB, Festive Tasks, Buddy Reads, or whatever);

Pages for static one-off pieces of information (bios; maybe general site rules; faqs) – things that pertain to the site as a whole rather than by project

Posts for all the things all the users want to say about absolutely anything.

Am I on the right track?

(I’ve left out how we use categories and tags for the time being.)

Private vs. Public and our Euro friends

Murder by Death


So far, the limited conversations about this site that have centered around privacy and visibility is that everybody is for making the site private.  Since this current test site is my personal domain, I’ve already taken all steps to make it as inaccessible to the public as possible and I’m comfortable with its current status.

But once our Euro friends who fall under the GDPR laws join us, it’s a different ball game, as, if I understand this correctly, the law states that all users must list their real names/addresses, unless the site is private.  My current settings would count as private, in my opinion.

Currently, it’s possible to make posts and pages private using the Visibility function, but the glitch with that is setting that to Private makes the post or page visible only to administrators (handy on the future perm. site for administrators to basically PM each other).  The other option is Password Protected and that just seems a bit too much, asking everybody to enter a password to read the posts.

The only way to make the entire site private is through a plug-in, which is free.  It will enable whole site privacy, and as they say on the site: “Now, whenever anyone who isn’t registered and logged into your site comes to see it, this is all they’ll get: the login screen.”  (source: https://www.websiteplanet.com/blog/how-to-make-wordpress-private/)

Do we want to do this?  We can still ask new members to join us, but they won’t be able to approach us blindly; they’ll have to come to us through another member.

Thoughts?  Personally I want our Euro members, TA, Lillelara et. al to be able to join us without stressing about GDPR.  If that means I publish my personal details along with everybody else’s on my privacy page, or make the entire site visible to members only, so be it.  But this is definitely a discussion for the committee.

New Plug-in: Default categories

Murder by Death


When Christine set up the details of the site layout, she created a category for everybody who is here (so far).  Once that user creates a post and assigns it to their category, it automatically creates a link in the left menu that will show all that users’ posts aggregated onto one page.

The hitch(es) are that Administrators have to remember to create the category when the user is created (at the moment it’s just me, but eventually will be Christine and whomever she assigns an Admin role), AND the user has to remember to assign their category to their posts.

I found a plug-in that eliminates half that need to remember.  It’s called Restricted Author, and it allows you to set a default category on a per user basis.  (You can also restrict authors to certain categories, hence the name, but I’m not using that feature.)

Admins still have to create the category when they create the user and make sure it’s assigned to them as the default, but now whenever any of us create a post, it will automatically assign that post to our category.

NOTE:  The category is only set upon saving the post (either Publish or Draft), so when you first open “new post” the category won’t be checked.