Multisite wp in education wc philly2011


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Implementing a Wordpress Multisite as a faculty / staff / student platform within Temple University. The Challenges we faced, and the problems it solved.

Presentation given at Wordcamp Philly 2011, presentation put together by Paul Paire

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  • LDAP integration- login using our LDAP- Add users in Dashboard or on Admin bar redirects to plugin page that looks up users in LDAPUsers must be authenticated against our LDAP to comment
  • Some plugins are for network admins only (i.e Exploit Scanner, WP backup)Some plugins are site specific (such as the Superb SlideShow Gallery – it’s glitchy)We use the “Restrict MultiSite Plugin” to allow Network Admins to control which plugins are visible to the general publicWe also use the Plugin Stats plugin to allow us to see which plugins are heavily used on sitesThemes – we use the Theme Info plugin to see which themes are heavily usedSome themes are also site specific
  • Used a plugin to address the top twoTemple logo is a policy issue, can’t enforce but we have a policy statement users must agree to which states that their site can be taken downWe looked at the out of the box site creation process and realized that the average user would have a headache with it, so we used the “Site Creation Wizard” plugin and heavily modified it to allow us to denote which sites can be replicated by the front end. We looked at several other plugins but none of them offered the same level of control (specify exactly which sites can be replicated, therefore people can’t start gaming the system)
  • MPO – “Temple Website Hosting users” – no changed it to “Temple University users”Site Creation Wizard – pass template ID numbers, changed CSS, added option for additional checkboxes if the site being created is a special event siteSuperb Slideshow Gallery – poor plugin, forked it to allow modification of images, alt tags, still needs to be made more user friendly before released to general publicLDAP – tweaked for our environment
  • Since this is open to the community, need to have a process for people to request new plugins/themesReview process:evaluation to make sure it does what the user expects it toMake sure it doesn’t conflict with other plugins/themesPolicies were written and reviewed by the larger committee (good feedback)CAG – ongoing oversight of the project for feedback and changes
  • Multisite wp in education wc philly2011

    1. 1. Multisite WP in EducationImplementing Wordpress MultiSite at Temple University through crowdsourcing
    2. 2. Speakers• Paul Muller, Senior Technical Support• Paul Paire, Exec Director Special Projects• Sheri Stahler, AVP for Computer Services
    3. 3. About Temple9 5,000 39,000
    4. 4. How things were• Home grown web pages – No standards/policies – Difficult for the standard user to create/update – Static Web• Google Sites – Not on a ‘’ domain – Limited functionality/restricted features
    5. 5. What we needed• Easy to use• Policies• LDAP authentication• Moderation of comments• Target audience – Faculty – Staff
    6. 6. Why Crowdsourcing?• Beyond the buzzword• Quicker with help• Play to people’s strengths• Different points of view
    7. 7. What we created
    8. 8. Any problems?wp-includes/wp-db.php• Change mysql_connect() to mysql_pconnect()• Added a one time check to see if the connection is established, if not try one more time if ( !$this->dbh ) { if ( WP_DEBUG ) { $this->dbh = mysql_pconnect( $this->dbhost, $this->dbuser, $this->dbpas } else { $this->dbh = @mysql_pconnect( $this->dbhost, $this->dbuser, $this->dbp }
    9. 9. Alternate solutionHyperDB• HyperDB is an advanced database class that supports replication, failover, load balancing, and partitioning.
    10. 10. User Management• LDAP Integration – Automatically add users when they login• Site administrators add users from our LDAP, or existing users• Read-only if not affiliated with Temple
    11. 11. Plugins• Not all users should have access to all plugins• Some plugins are site specific
    12. 12. Challenges of Control• All comments must be moderated• Users cannot change their passwords through profile, or standard WP process• Temple Branding on Personal Sites?• Sign up process changed significantly
    13. 13. Customized Plugins• More Privacy Options• Site Creation Wizard• Sidebar login• Superb Slideshow Gallery• LDAP• Custom plugin to avoid hacking core
    14. 14. Accessibility• Themes (i.e. Search boxes)• Plugins (i.e. Alt-Tags for images)• Wordpress core (i.e. Login forms)• User education (i.e. closed captioning for embedded videos)
    15. 15. Governance• Request process for Plugins/Themes• Policies• Central Advisory Group
    16. 16. Bonus slides
    17. 17. Plugins available to all end users• amr events calendar or lists with ical files• Authors Widget• Blubrry PowerPress• Collapsing Categories• FD Feedburner Plugin• FeedWordPress• Galleria Galleria• Google Calendar Events• Gravity Forms• Importers (Wordpress, Blogger, etc.)• LaTex for Wordpress• Members• My Category Order• Peter’s Collaboration Emails• Sidebar Login• Sociable• WordPress SEO
    18. 18. Plugins we use (but not the public)• Exploit Scanner• Health Check• Login Logo• More Privacy Options• Restrict MultiSite Plugins• Simple LDAP Login• Site Creation Wizard• Superb slideshow gallery• Theme Info• Plugin Stats• WP Touch• YD WPMU Bloglist Widget• Custom written plugins (to avoid hacking core)
    19. 19. Functions of custom written plugin• Replace Add User functions with Add LDAP User• Users cannot change password in profile• Password change requests go to our site• Hide Simple LDAP settings from site administrators• Site Admins cannot enable unmoderated or unauthenticated comments• Encode variables being passed through wp-login.php to wp- signup.php• Change ‘username’ to ‘AccessNet username’ on wp- login.php• Change styling & wording for the wp-signup.php steps