While doing a quick sweep for WordPress Multi-User plugins on WPMuDev.org I came across two plugins that make me all the more certain that WordPress is without question the premiere open-source online publishing platform freely available to everyone.
“More Privacy Options” Plugin
The first, and maybe the most impressive plugin yet (at least for me), is what seems like a relatively simple affair that adds three more privacy options to control the blog visibility for sites within the Multi-User environment. As those of us in education understand all too well, the limited ability for controlling access and permissions (as much as we often hate it) was far too meager with only two privacy options: let Google and company crawl your site or don’t let them crawl your site. Such an “array” of options when talking about privacy in regards to WPMu was not very convincing for many folks. That has all changed now!
With the “More Privacy Options” plugin individual blog proprietors can choose from the above two listed already as well as the following: choose whether or not to let anyone from outside the WPMu community see their site; prevent anyone from viewing their site who is not a registered user on their site; or even limiting access to only themselves and administrators. Yes, yes, yes!!! Finally some headway on permissions. This, ladies and gentlemen, is huge for a community of educational bloggers like those congregated at UMW Blogs. We can now host every blog in the UMW community within the UMW Blogs environment. A major step forward in terms of upgrade management, database consolidation, and all around WordPress goodness.
Another amazingly useful and time saving plugin for anyone using WPMu with class blogs that have numerous authors is the Sidebar Add users plugin/widget. This plugin puts a sign-up form in the sidebar that allows users already registered within the WPMu community to register themselves as users for a blog that has this widget activated. This will save us here at UMW a ton of time as we are using blogs throughout this system in numerous ways, one of which is to have a class of students authoring on one blog. So rather than inputting them as authors one by one in the administrative backend, they can sign-up for themselves, and as long as they are already users within the wider WPMU community.