So what plugins are we using at UMW Blogs? Well, there is a two-part answer to this question: which site wide plugins (mu-plugins) are we using? and which user-activated plugins have we made available? Below you will find a list of each that we are using along with a brief description of the plugin and any notes I thought appropriate.
Keep in mind that this is an insane list that most universities and other WPMu administrators might find horrifying. It’s not my fault, I just haven’t been fully reined in yet 🙂 In other words, you may not want to try all these plugins at home, and I have noted the one’s to watch out for.
Finally, if you are using plugins not listed here I would love to know about them in the comments, UMW Blogs is always on the lookout for additional functionality and there is no better way than through your recommendations, so please don’t be shy and share the love, hippies!
Here is a list of the site wide mu-plugins we are using currently with a brief description about each and an asterik ( * ) next to the one’s I find essential and a dagger ( † ) next to the mu-plugins I got from the WPMuDev Premium service.
User Themes 1.1*
Adds the ability for system administrators to move themes to users file folders, allowing them to edit their themes.This feature is managed via Site Admin. Practical uses for me as site admin: my blogs-including the home-all have different user themes so no user can choose these themes. I am able to hack these themes without harm to the original “system theme”. Userthemes do not appear in the normal list of themes, they only show up in the user’s Presentation tab. If a particular user wants to customize (read hack) a theme more extensively, you can upload it to their blogs.dir/blog_id/themes folder and only they will be able to see/edit/activate it. Warning: enabling the theme editor is a huge risk/responsibility. This plugin does not magically enable it.
WPMu Sitewide Feed*
This plugin generates three RSS 2.0 feeds comprising of posts, comments, and pages across all blogs on your WPMU powered site.
Anarchy Media Player*
Anarchy Media Player 2.0 for WordPressMu will play any simple href link to mp3, flv, Quicktime mov, mp4, m4v, m4a, m4b, 3gp as well as Windows wmv, avi and asf files, in the appropriate player on your web page. Links can be added via Rich Text Editor (‘A’ for anarchy) button and also includes buttons for embedding Flash swf and Director dcr movies as well as YouTube, Google Video, iFilm, DailyMotion, Revver, Metacafe, MySpace, Atomfilms, Break.com, Apple iTunes iMix, and GoEar players. Version 2.0 includes admin options page for per blog settings as well as config.php for sitewide defaults. Note: This plugin is not working with all the video services listed above, specifically we have had issues with Revver, Metacafe, and iFilm.
Sidebar Author Registration*
Adds a sidebar widget for users to auto-register as authors. Drop in mu-plugins. Then add the widget to sidebar.
This plugin allows you to send a mass email to your users.
More Privacy Options*
Adds a three more levels of privacy to the Options–>Privacy page. Drop into mu-plugins. 1. Blog visible to any logged in community member. 2. Blog visible only to registered users of blog. 3. Blog visible only to administrators.
List All Widgets*
Adds sidebar widgets to let you display new/ updated/ active blogs from WordPressMU. Download from the topmost link.
Widget Box Widgets
This widget allows users to use up to 9 Widgetbox widgets in their sidebars… just drop it into mu-plugins and watch as your blogs start to become populated with Tetris, PacMan, radio stations and glittertext
Change Blog URL*
This plugin allows blog user to change their blog URL from existing one (subject to availability). The admin page can be access at Option->Publishing. Note: user’s should be made aware that this will change their RSS feed accordingly.
WPMU User Comment Tracking and Display*
This plugin will keep track of which blogposts a user comments on and store them as usermeta. It adds a page which users this tracked information to show the last 3 comments written on the blogposts a user has commented on. It also has a function which can be used on the dashboard etc which just lists the blog post title, blog name and number of comments on the users latest commented blog posts.
List All Blogs
Lists all blogs on a WPMU site. Simply place list-all.php in your mu-plugins directory and then you can call the list from any page. Read the instructions located within the zip file for configuration options. Additionally, this plugin no longer displays any blog marked as spam, mature, archived, or deleted.
List All Posts
This Plugin allows you to place a list of the latest posts wherever you wish. Read the instructions located within the zip file.
Firestats for WPMu
FireStats is a comprehensive statistics package with support for various systems (WordPress, WordPress MU, trac, Drupal, Jumla and more). FireStats installation into WPMU is really simple, and it creates a single set of tables for the entire WPMU site, which are shared by all the blogs. Each user get their own statistics view in the dashboard, and the site administrator gets a complete administrative view, that enable him/her to administer FireStats. Note: users have the option to activate this plugin on a blog-by-blog basis.
Manage global plugin policies or just turn on and off plugins for individual blogs.
WPMu Avatar Pack Release*
Users will be able to navigate to their Profile page and upload their own photo. The photo will appear next to their comments across your WPMU site, and, if they use my Author Profile Enhanced widget, in their sidebar next to their â€œAbout Meâ€ text. For a demo see http://suleiman.hadithuna.com. Note: the new Gravatar plugin may also be a possibility here, but we haven’t tested this yet.
Blog Activity †
Collects data on how many blogs were updated in the past “hour”, “day”, and “month”. Also displays how many posts and comments were made over the last “hour”, “day”, and “month”.
User Activity †
Collects user activity data and makes it available via a tab under the Site Admin. This plugin also allows you to display the number of users currently online anywhere on your main blog (or any other blog).
Admin Message * †
This is a simple plugin that makes it easier to place a message in the admin panels that all users will see. Extremely useful for communicating with users about updates, new features, etc.
Adds the ability for users to add other blogs as friends and display friends in the sidebar via a widget. Includes friends approval/rejection and email notifications. Please note that this plugin requires the “Avatar” plugin. Note: I have been very underwhelmed by this feature and it requires a core hack which is never good for a plugin that doesn’t really add much.
Primary Blog Switcher †
Places a drop down on the profile page to allow a user to select their primary blog. Very useful if you have numerous blogs on a WPMu system and want you default login to be one other than the first blog you created.
This plugin allows users to send invitations to friends and colleagues. Users can include a personal message along with the invitation.
Here is a list of the plugins that users can activate and use according to their own needs. None of these are essential save perhaps Spam karma 2, our spam blocker of choice.
Advanced WYSIWYG Editor
Adds more styling options to the WYSIWYG post editor in your blog. This feature allows you a host of editing options for your visual text editor in the write post of write page areas of your blog.
Allows you to place the contents of an RSS feed into your posts.
BBpress Latest Discussions
Puts the latest discussions on the UMW Blogs Forums (a bbpress forum) on your blogs sidebar.
BDP RSS Aggregator
New and Improved RSS Aggregator – collate RSS feeds and summarise to a page – updates regularly without the need for cron. This is an extremely powerful and a bit complex plugin. Read more about this plugin on the developers site here.
BDP RSS Aggregator Widgets
Generate sidebar widgets for the RSS Aggregator. This plugin will only work when activated in associate with the BDP RSS plugin, described above.
A filter that displays code blocks nicely while still allowing formatting. This is primarily for folks who will be displaying a lot of code in their blog post in order to explain certain procedures, ideas, etc.
Dagon Design Form Mailer
The WordPress plugin version of my secure php form mailer script.
Daiko’s Video Widget
Adds a sidebar widget to display random videos of your own choice. You can mix Google and YouTube videos.
Statistics plugin for WordPress.
Flickr Photo Gallery
This plugin will retrieve your Flickr photos and allow you to easily add your photos to your posts. Note: this plugin does currently have a bug which make the upload section of write post or page disappear!
Allows you to integrate the photos from a flickr rss feed into your site. Read more about this plugin on the developers site here.
Adds a sidebar widget to show your last.fm widget.
Displays info from your Netflix account. This includes text and images via RSS feed. Read more about this plugin on the developers site here.
Adds an Automattic, Inc. Sidebar Widget wrapper for Albert Banksâ€™ Netflix plugin. Read more about this plugin on the developers site here.
The podPress pluggin gives you everything you need in one easy plugin to use WordPress for Podcasting. Read more about this plugin on the developers site here. Note: I know folks have got this plugin working with WPMu, but I am still having problems, anyone have any tips for this?
Sidebar Author Registration
Adds a sidebar widget for users to auto-register as authors. Drop in mu-plugins. Then add the widget to sidebar.
Page-based forum that is created right within a user’s blog. An amazing tool if you are into forums that is just about as powerful as any other forum application I have seen. Moreover, the support community is quite amazing! Please note: As Dr. Mike has reminded me in the comments, there is a small hack you have to perform to this plugin for it to work in WPMu, here is a link to the howto.
SimplePie for WordPress
Wordpress plugin for SimplePie: a super-fast, easy-to-use RSS and Atom parser. Read more about this plugin on the developers site here. Note: As of now, this plugin will only be functional is a user can edit their theme.
Spam Karma 2
Ultimate Spam Killer for WordPress. Activate the plugin and go to Options>> Spam Karma 2 to configure. Read more about this plugin on the developers site here. Please note: as Dr. Mike points out in the comments, there seem to be some issues with using Spam karma 2 with WPMu. These issues seem to have more to do with modifying the original plugin to work with WPMu as this Forum thread discusses, but we have been using an unmodified version of Spam Karma 2 that users elect to activate on their own. Not sure of the implications here, but I need to do a bit more searching.
Subscribe To Comments
Allows readers to receive notifications of new comments that are posted to an entry.
The Author Description Widget
Adds a sidebar widget to display The Author Description that is in the User–>Profile tab. Read more about this plugin on the developers site here. This plugin/widget is bundled with the WPMU Avatar Pack Release.
Top Level Categories
Removes the prefix from the URL for a category. For instance, if your old category link was /category/catname it will now be /catname
Tracks views, post/page views, referrers, and clicks. Requires a WordPress.com API key.
WordPress Database Backup
On-demand backup of your WordPress database. Works brilliantly with WPMu allowing users to back up just their work from the shared database. Love that!
WordPress Heat Map
Template tags for a heat map of category links and archive links. Read more about this plugin on the developers site here. This may eventually prove unneccessary with WPMu 1.3’s tagging features.
WordPress Mobile Edition
Show a mobile view of the post/page if the visitor is on a known mobile device. Read more about this plugin on the developers site here. (There is an accompanying theme file that goes with this.)
This plugin creates your personal YouTube plugin for wordpress. It finally works with the file structure in WPMu and I think this is a total coup. It is kinda like having a bitchin’ media center in your very own WordPress blog.
Given RSS Feeds, automatically makes posts to your blog. The development of this plugin has unfortunately been discontinued, but you can still get a version at http://wpmudev.org
Adds a contact form to your sidebar.
This plugin automates chron jobs from within WP. usefule for certain plugins.
Enables administrators to create posts automatically from RSS/Atom feeds.
Adds an AJAX rating system for your WordPress blogâ€™s post/page. This plugin needs a theme hack to work.
Adds a PostRatings Widget to display most rated and/or highest rated posts and/or pages on your sidebar. (Note: You will need to activate WP-PostRatings first.)
Allows selection of a Creative Commons license for blog content.
As an additional note, there is really only one option for WPMu themes and it is free!:
Farms Bumper Theme Pack
that’s a lot of plugins 🙂 thanks for sharing your list – I’ll be borrowing heavily…
Jim — I was meaning to check in with you to get an update on your plugin array, but was only holding back as I had already pestered you so much already.
UMWBlogs is the benchmark to which we aspire with our pending service. This is a wonderfully useful resource, and I will be passing it on to a few people here at UBC. Thanks so much!
Thanks for posting this list and the accompanying annotations, Jim!
Awesome. Thanks Jim!
I am spending way tooooo much time here;-) Thanks for being an inspiration. As they say, “You are doing good!” And thanks for sharing.
Unless they’ve changed it, the wordpress.com stats plugin will not work on wpmu as it tries to use the Site Admin’s email to verify the account and not the individual blog admins. It can be rewritten to use the admins but it was brought up in the forums that this plugin was written this way on purpose.
Simple Forum needs to have a couple of edits when it declairs what tables to use to work on mu. I don’t think anyone’s fixed the “Last read” marks issue yet either. (And that kicks out errors)
Dr. Dave doesn’t want Spam Karma modified and used on wpmu. There’s a lengthy discussion on the mu forums about this.
Cool list though. Thanks.
I have the wordpress.com stats working via the API key on a few WPMu sites. Not sure why it would need the site admin email given the way it uses this key, but I am sure I am overlooking something.
As for those edits on Simple Forum, that’s a really good point and for anyone interested I blogged about that here. I will include it in the list, thanks for the reminder!
The other Dr. doesn’t want Spam Karma 2 used on WPMu? Wow, I didn’t know this, I am going to have to find that thread to see why.
Thanks for these tips, drmike, as usual you are a WPMu mensch, always the giver!
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