Project Management with WordPress & P2 - WordCamp Toronto 2013

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There are plenty of great project management solutions available on the web. Unfortunately you don't have a lot of control over what you can do with them. Wouldn't it be great if you could create a …

There are plenty of great project management solutions available on the web. Unfortunately you don't have a lot of control over what you can do with them. Wouldn't it be great if you could create a custom tool for your own projects? In this presentation/workshop from WordCamp Toronto 2013, we create a WordPress-powered project communication and collaboration solution using the P2 theme and a smattering of plugins.

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  • 1. Andy McIlwain & WPUniversity.com @ WordCamp Toronto 2013 October 6, 2013 @ Humber College Lakeshore Campus
  • 2. Andy McIlwain, a guy with many hats: • Co-Organizer, Toronto WordPress Group & WordCamp Toronto • “Content Guy” (Communications) @ WPUniversity.com
  • 3. • Lots of players. • Basecamp, Teambox, Huddle, Asana, Teamwork PM, Ace Project, Zoho • Trello (a personal favourite of ours) • …What are you using? • Incremental costs. • Features vary from one to the next. • Lack of control. • Need a feature? “We’ll take it into consideration” or add yet another service.
  • 4. • Open Source = Control • Themes & Plugins • Free (as in Free Beer) Objective: We’re going to play to WordPress strengths by creating a platform for communication and collaboration. This won’t handle time tracking, invoicing, or file storage.
  • 5. • Over 100 P2 blogs running at Automattic. • Make.WordPress.org sites now running on P2. • Completely free to use.
  • 6. • Create something that is secure and private. • Every project (e.g. client) has a separate site. • Every site is locked down with restricted capabilities and access. Users must log in to get access! We don’t want stuff shared publicly* *Michael’s methods are still awesome though!
  • 7. • A good web host like WP Engine. • The latest version of WordPress. • P2 theme from Automattic. • A dozen plugins. (More on that in a moment.) • SSL certificate. (Optional.) • Separate service for storing/sharing files. (Sync it up, baby!)
  • 8. • Members • Who’s Online • P2 Check In • P2 Likes • P2 by Email • P2 Resolved Posts • Backup plugin (e.g. Backup Buddy) • Custom Login • Blog Copier
  • 9. • Install WordPress. • Suggest using a subdomain, e.g. projects.yoursite.com • Enable multisite. • Follow the steps in Create a Network. • Use the subdirectory option.
  • 10. • Install the Members plugin. • Activate it for the network. • Go to your main network blog. Under Settings, click Members. • Under Private Site, check the Redirect All Users and Show error message for feed items checkboxes. • Click Update Settings. • This forces users to log in whenever they try to access the site.
  • 11. • From the Network Admin screen, go to Themes > Add New. • Look for P2 from Automattic. Click Install Now. • Click Network Enable.
  • 12. • Who’s Online • Sidebar widget. Shows which users are active on the site. • P2 Check In • Lets users check into the site. Shows how long they’ve been checked in for. Useful for real-time collaboration on pages. • P2 Likes • Adds the equivalent of upvoting/+1 voting to individual posts and comments. • P2 by Email • Gives you more email notifications than what P2 provides out of the box. Lets you submit posts and comments via email. • P2 Resolved Posts • Lets you mark posts as Resolved or Unresolved. Use in combination with smart tagging to add a task management/bug tracking component.
  • 13. • It’s like insurance for your site! • You’re using your multisite network for collaboration, documentation, and other fun stuff. Good backup plugin = worth every penny. • Backup Buddy from iThemes is one we swear by.
  • 14. • Create a custom-branded experience for clients. • Small details like this add to the level of polish. • Network Activate this plugin.
  • 15. • Easily copy blogs within a multisite network. • Network Activate this plugin.
  • 16. • We’re building a collaboration & communication solution. • WordPress is not a replacement for file synchronization. • Plenty of great options to choose from: • Google Drive • SkyDrive from Microsoft • SharePoint • Dropbox • Box • Copy.com • …any others?
  • 17. • Goal: Set up a dummy P2 site that we’ll replicate for all projects. • Use the Blog Copier plugin to simplify replication process.
  • 18. • Log into the Network Admin dashboard. • Under Sites, click Add New. • Enter the address and site title. Keep it simple, and make it something you won’t get confused with a project site. • Enter your email address for Admin Email. • Click Add Site. • WordPress might take a moment to set things up. Once it’s done, you’ll see an alert message saying Site Added. Click Visit Dashboard to go to the new site’s WordPress dashboard.
  • 19. • Click Appearance. • Under Available Themes, click Activate for P2. • Under Appearance, explore the Customize and Theme Options screens to see what you can customize. • Tidy up the design to align more closely to your own brand, so you have a graceful fallback if you don’t customize for each project.
  • 20. • The pages you use will depend on the work you do. • Some handy starting points for most projects: • Contacts: A list of all team members and any other important people. • Project Overview: Scope of the project, deliverables, and a timeline. • Links: Important links to other websites, assets, resources, and so on. • Introduction: A welcome message for project members. • These pages are placeholders. You’ll flesh them out in more detail for each one of your projects. Simply create the pages and add some subheadings or placeholder text for now.
  • 21. • Under Appearance, click Menus. • If your pages aren’t on the menu, add from the Pages dropdown. • From the Links dropdown, use the # symbol for the URL. This will be a placeholder for each of your projects. • The links will depend on your project. Good standbys: Calendar (e.g. Google Calendar), links to files on Google Drive or Dropbox, etc. • Have a lot of links? Consider using dropdown menus for quick access. • Click Save Menu. • Click the Manage Locations tab. Set the Primary Menu to the menu you just created.
  • 22. • Under Appearance, click Widgets. We suggest: • Search: Quickly search the site for information. • P2 Filter Posts: Toggle between Resolved and Unresolved posts. • P2 Recent Comments with Avatars: See the comments that have been left recently, along with an avatar for each user. • Archives: Jump to a specific month. • Calendar: Jump to a specific date. • Who’s Online: Listing of users who are also logged in and viewing the site. • Use whatever widget setup that makes sense for you.
  • 23. • Go to your Network Admin dashboard. • Mouse over Sites, click Blog Copier. • Choose the source blog – this is the template site you created. • Enter a URL for the new blog. Use only lowercase numbers, letters, and hyphens. • Enter a title, e.g. the project or client name. • Click Copy Now. It may take a moment for WordPress to create the new site. When completed, you’ll see a “Copied” status message.
  • 24. • Site won’t load? There’s a known bug with Blog Copier. • On the sidebar, click Sites. Find the new blog and click Edit. • In the Info tab, update the Path field and click Save Changes. You’re good to go!
  • 25. • Four post formats: Status Update, Blog Post, Quote, and Link. • You can add tags, embed media, and use HTML. • You can also use the normal Add Post screen.
  • 26. • Just click Reply next to any post to toggle the comment box. • Click Toggle Comment Threads to show/hide comments below posts.
  • 27. • Need feedback or a decision to be made? • Click Flag Unresolved to highlight the post in red. • Click Unresolved to change the flag to Resolved in green. • Click the flag again to reset to blank. • You can filter posts using the widget we set up earlier.
  • 28. • Mouse over your name in the toolbar and click Edit My Profile. • At the bottom of the page is the P2 By Email section. • Customize your notification settings to suit your preference. • Click Update Profile to save your changes.
  • 29. • Customize the site even more (e.g. custom login). • Add users. Add content! Read/Watch: • Michele Mizejewski: The Power of P2 (Video) • Beau Lebens: Taking WordPress to the Front End with O2 (Video) • Sign up for the O2 trial (Invite Only)
  • 30. WPUniversity.com Twitter: @WPUni / Facebook: WPUniversity WordPress Training Resources: wpuniversity.com Our Plugin, Sidekick for WordPress: sidekick.pro Personal Stuff Twitter: @andymci Blog: andymci.com Photo Credits • David Goehring • Dinner Series