Building Communities, there’s a plugin for that.

Are you running a blog host or a community? I’ll assume from the out-set that you are here because you have a WordPress MU installation and are offering free or paid blogs, but how many of your bloggers are actually engaging with others across your site?

Are you merely a publishing platform or a community?

Now, admissions first, I’m not a community manager / builder in any way, shape or form. I don’t go out of my way to tweet, follow, comment or engage. I’m a developer (with a fair amount of experience with WordPress and WordPress MU) and so I tend to take the programatic approach and build tools for others to take advantage of.

So, for those of you interested in taking your site that little bit further, I am going to guide you, as best I can, over a series of posts through the steps, tricks and techniques of building some more advanced WordPress MU community encouraging plugins.

Over the course of the posts we will cover topics such as:

  • The WordPress MU database – including local and global tables
  • Sitewide and blog only options
  • The difference between plugins and mu-plugins
  • How to structure your plugin to be as efficient as possible
  • Hooks, Filters and Actions – overriding and enhancing the systems default behaviour
  • and a lot more..

At the end we will all come away with some useful plugins for our sites, and hopefully you will have the skills and knowledge to develop or enhance some of your own plugins.

A call for ideas

Now, as I mentioned earlier, communities aren’t my thing, though I do have a few ideas for plugins that don’t yet exist for WordPress MU, and we shall start the first post of the tutorials building one of those.

However, I’m sure that you guys (and gals) have some of your own ideas about what you would like to see developed. So this is your chance. Post in the comments what your dream plugin would be and we’ll start building a list of ideas for the tutorials. Who knows, if your idea turns out to have a lot of interest, we’ll push it up the list (and kick some of mine out of the way).