Ready for New Users!

Hi There! Its progress report time! I definitely have been working hard on this site to try to customize it enough to have people begin to submit their own recipes. And I think I’m there! Its been a long few weeks battling with different plugins to allow me to do that but I think I got it right, and its looking good!

When planning out my project one of the first things that came up was the ability to create a new user and allow them to create their own content. There are different classes of users within a WordPress site. The administrator is the person(s) that has access to everything on the website. They can create and edit content and other users content as well. They can customize the website with the themes and install different plugins to extend the customization of the website as well. I felt like this would be way to much freedom for each user, so I decided to make each user and author when they sign up. This way they only have access to their own content and they can’t mess with anything else but their own content.

Now the question evolved from what status do I give users, to how will the users sign up? I originally thought about using a CRED Form (which I will explain more about in a second). I set that up so users could create their own username and password, kind of like the usual sign up forms for any social media site. But I ran into a major problem with that: spam. As soon as I made that form live, I got a flood of emails with names and email addresses that I had no clue who they were. After further inspection, I realized that the email addresses were fake, which meant that these users were spam accounts. And they ha access to their own content and could publish whatever they wanted to. Luckily I was able to delete the user before anything else happened but I knew I had to fix the problem and quick.

I decided to use a social media login. So when you go to my site (dgst395.meredithfierro.com/login) You will see what looks like a typical login in page, where you enter your username and password. Only this one is a little different. WordPress doesn’t usually allow you to have a social login in feature to the site, It only shows the username and password sections, but on my site I found a plugin that allows users to login using their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and WordPress.com accounts. This way they won’t have to bother with a new username and password for yet another social media site, but they can use an existing one to create a new user for themselves. This eliminated the spam problem completely! I still have it set to where I get an email each time a new user is created, and I have not seen a spam account since creating that social login.

Another question that hit me immediately was how are users going to submit their own content? After a few thoughts, I decided on the CRED Forms and WP Types. CRED Forms is a plugin where I can create and customize a form to let users submit their own content in a streamlined way. I want the content on my site to be mainly user generated so I’m trying to do as little asa possible on my side so that the users can take over. CRED Forms helps a lot in that aspect because the information in the form translates into its own post which the users have control over.

The form itself was very easy to create, WP types makes the process very easy to create a form, but once I began to create it, I realized that it was harder than expected. In order for the form to work, I needed to create different sections within the form itself. Right now the form 6 sections; Recipe Name, Recipe Description, Recipe Instructions, Featured Image, Categories, and Tags. All of these sections compile together to create one post for each recipe.

The recipe form

In order to create the form itself, I had to create what is called a custom field. Custom fields allow you to extend the use of a post. Right now I have a custom field set to Recipe Instructions. There is a separate section in the post editor with the Recipe Instructions. Unfortunately, you cannot view the recipe instructions without changing the view of the site itself.Luckily WP Types has a plugin for that. Views is another awesome plugin done by WP Types that allows me to actually change the way users view my site on the front end. Since Recipe Instructions is a custom field, the post itself won’t actually show that section. Using Views, I am able to override the code that limits what you can view. I was able to add different sections to each post to build out what I wanted them to look like. Ultimately, I came up with this.

I know it is redundant with the information at the top, but I am working on a way to streamline that once I get the mobile aspect figured out. That is the next hurdle I want to cross before the end of October. I want to solidify everything so that users can really make a push to add their own content, add friends, and create groups as well. But I’m really happy with my progress! Please, if you feel like it, make yourself a user on the site! I would really appreciate it!

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