New plugins and Updates to pages

It’s ALF weekend and I’m behind a computer!

I’ve added a few plugins:

Using the new network latest posts plugin I’ve created a page that pulls all the network blog posts. Currently I’ve set it to pull 2 of the most recent posts from the last 7 days.

The Network latest posts adds a little button to the visual editor bar which gives you options to display posts from around the network, more documentation can be found on the plugin website.

Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 10.06.11 AM

I’ve also added a redirect for the front page so logged in users are sent to the activity page.

Activity feed has also been updated to include blog post and comments!

Youtube or other video posts?

I wanted to put up a video (2 minutes long) and found that it far exceeded the media upload limits. As a result I ended up making a youtube upload and then posting a link in the ALC post.

I was hoping to embed the video on the page, but this wasn’t an option.
(Did I miss something?)

What can we do about this?

When I worked with B2evolution I was able to add a widget that allowed embedded videos. Surely this is just as easy to set up.

ALC Website Diary Day 3

More plugins

I found myself wanting to upload an image to the activity stream so I went out to get a new plugin.

I found BuddyPress Activity Plus.

  • BuddyPress Activity Plus (download plugin) – allows for embedding of oEmbed videos and media in your activities.

Downloading plugins

I’ve been downloading plugins directly from the server using wget. I just SSH to connect to the server then navigate to the /wp-content/plugins/ folder where I use a comment like:


Which downloads the zip file, then I use unzip to expand the zip file.

I decided it would be a good idea to keep all the zip files somewhere so I moved all the zip files to ~/plugins/ on the server.


I’ve added gravity forms to the site and begun migrating forms from the “old” site. So far I’ve done the contact us on the network and a student application on the Agile Learning Center NYC site.

WPMU DEV Membership

Art went ahead and got a WPMU DEV membership for the site. We have access to premium plugins and themes now.

Domain Name Mapping

We installed two plugins:

  • Domain Mapping
  • Multi-Domains

These are suppose to assist in mapping domain names and allowing for sub sites to have their own domains. There is some issue which I don’t understand that is preventing this from working. Our DNS seems to be configured correctly and the plugins appear to be installed correctly.

We need to move the site from it’s current temporary domain name: to one of the other domains, we decided on but are unable to make this change happen via the plugins.

We could change it from the wp-config.php file by updating the line:

define('DOMAIN_CURRENT_SITE', '');

However this would require us to go through the database and update the URLs as well. We were hoping that the WPMU DEV plugins would help, however it has so far proved to not work…

[Late night update]

Art and I decided to change the domain by hand to We changed the entry in the database for the following:

  • wp_options: options named “siteurl” and “home”
  • wp_site
  • wp_sitemeta: the option named “siteurl”
  • wp_blogs: any entries in the “domains” column that have the old domain name
  • wp_#options: Each sub-site will have sets of tables that correspond to the blog_id in the wp_blogs table. You need to go to the wp#_options table, where # corresponds to the blog_id, and update the “siteurl” and “home” settings in that table.

Basically we found all the following database entries and replaced with

It works and now the site points to the proper domain. We still need to get to the bottom of the WPMU DEV plugins not working!

Facebook plugin

While Art worked on the domain issue I went ahead and installed the Ultimate Facebook plugin.

Unfortunately for this plugin to work we must configure a Facebook app which requires us to set a domain name, so this is currently on hold until we figure out the domain name.

Plugins that look cool

The following WPMU DEV plugins should be considered:

  • New Blog Templates
  • Appointments +
  • Events +
  • Chat
  • Easy Blogging
  • Support System
  • User Activity
  • Post Indexer
  • Custom Admin bar
  • Custom Dashboard Widget
  • HTML Email Templates
  • Status (if it works with BP)
  • Pretty Plugins
  • BuddyPress Group Calendar
  • BuddyPress Group Email
  • Custom Admin Text
  • Multisite Theme Manager
  • Signup code (replace current baw invitation code?)
  • Multi-DB
  • AutoBlog

ALC Website Diary Day 2

Logged in User Menu

I’ve added another override to the child theme. /templates/parts/header-banner.php has been moved into the main site theme. I wanted to have the bottom menu (under the banner) only visible to logged in users.

I simply added is_user_logged_in() to the if statement:

if ( current_theme_supports( 'infinity-sub-menu-setup' ) && is_user_logged_in() )

This function (see wodpress codex) returns TRUE or FALSE based on the current users logged in status. The first part of the if statement already tested for theme support.

Issues on the group blogs

I’ve been uploading posts to the site and came across a strange issue. I wasn’t able to delete pages, when I looked into the error logs I found an issue.

Here’s my issue report to the github repo:

PHP Fatal error when deleting post from Buddypress Group Blogs

I’m using Commons in a Box to manage the site where the error is happening.

From the apache error log: stderr: PHP Fatal error: Call to undefined function bp_blogs_delete_activity() in /srv/www/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/bp-groupblog/bp-groupblog.php on line 1137

link to bp-groupblog.php:1137 it appears that this function isn’t being loaded from bp-blogs-activity.php in /bp-blogs/ (I’m not completely sure, just looking at this PHP cross reference…)

Disabling the bp-groupblog eliminates this issue.

Cross post from

See this issue on Github

This is one of the few times I’ve run into a problem that didn’t have a solution. A few other people have had the issue about 8 months ago but got no reply (see above link)

I’ll await a reply from the crowd…

Another potential problem

There was another error message I saw in the logs:

stderr: PHP Warning: array_merge(): Argument #2 is not an array in /srv/www/wordpress/wp-includes/widgets.php on line 900, referer:

Website Diary: Day 1

2014.07.10 Thursday

Set up

Initial setup went fairly soomthly. Art set me up with an account on his geekgene server. He installed and configured wordpress and the MySQL database, I activated the site and we had wordpress!

I configured wordpress to be a network following the wordpress codex

Installing Commons in a box

After some false starts I came around to installing Commons in a Box.

I got hung up on downloading and installing the plugin because (like always) I was looking for it in the main site dashboard rather than the network dashboard!

Install was simple, it also brought along BuddyPress and bbPress (a forum software).

Next I installed the CBOX theme, poked around with it for a minute then decided it would be best to create a child theme before I made any changes that might be undone be switching themes down the line.

I was able to download a pre-made CBOX child theme

The theme customization menu is clunky and slow, I don’t like it much, but it works okay…

Building the Home Page

I’ve created a static front page called home. It is set to the homepage template.

The template is a number of widget areas out-of-the-box, I wanted it to display the page content along with it’s widgets so I moved the homepage-template.php file into my child theme.

To pull in the page content I simply added infinity_get_template_part( 'templates/loops/loop', 'page' ); to the homepage-template.php in the proper location. Now the title and content of the home page shows up on the page.


After the initial installation I added some more plugins:

  • Display Widget (download plugin): gives more control over which pages plugins appear.
  • Nav Menu Roles (download plugin): Display menus based on user role
  • User Role Editor (download plugin): Edit user roles
  • Theme My Login (download plugin): Puts login/forgot pass/register inside the theme template
  • YD Network-wide Options (download plugin): allows syncing and sharing plugin settings across a network
  • unconfirmed (download plugin): lists unconfirmed users
  • Join My Multisite (download plugin): Allow site admins to automatically add existing users to their site, or let users decide at the click a button.
  • Easy Invitation Codes for BuddyPress (download plugin): Adds a required code to create a new user, the normal plugin didn’t work, had to find an alternate version

Pages and Menus

I added blank pages outlining some of the intentions of the site.

  • About
  • Community
  • Contact Us
    • Get Involved
    • Volunteer
    • Visit
    • Enroll
  • Donate

I was able to then add a top menu, in header menu, and under header menu with different items and visibility based on user status.

I think I’ll make the bottom menu visible only to logged in users.