How can I capture more information for individual sites?

I need some advice on how I can do this. I'm creating a network for local sites, and I need to be able to capture additional information on their location - specific State and Cities for US sites.

I want to be able to allow visitors to hit the main MU site and have a way to drill down to their local state and city, and then find all the sites that are active using something like the site directory. Ideally, when a user signs up for a site in ProSites, part of the registration will include choosing the state and city from drop down lists - where the state choice controls the cities then shown in the second field (hope that made sense).

This information then needs to be stored in the db so that I can query across the network to sort and filter display of sites based on these fields.

Does anything like this already exist? Or do I need to find a custom developer?

Thanks in advance.
Barbara

  • Philip John

    Hiya!

    This should be fairly straight forward to do.

    If you install BuddyPress you can use the extended profile fields functionality. This will automatically add the extra profile fields to the signup.

    You will then be able to search based on those values.

    You don't even need to use the other BuddyPress components - just enable the core components when you activate it.

    Thanks,
    Phil

  • bghouse

    Thanks Phil for pointing out BuddyPress, but it sparked another question. I was thinking of using BuddyPress in a different way for my network and I'm wondering if I can do this.
    My network has two components. First there are small independent business owners that will be signing up to create websites & profiles for their stores. Then, I need to connect local users / buyers that are into finding and buying local in their communities with these business owners. The local users won't have sites (blogs) on the network - but I was planning to give them a community / social network for interaction.

    If I use BuddyPress to get these extended fields on the business owners that signup on the network, can I still have a social network where local users do not signup and don't have sites on the network? Or do I need to have these separate?

    BuddyPress does seem a bit overkill for the business owners / network sites as I just need to capture this location information at the site level and store it into the database. Any other advice for me?

  • bghouse

    Oops, a couple more questions on this. For the extra profile fields in the BuddyPress component, can I have a dyanmically driven set of fields - one for picking State, and then based on State it shows the list of cities?

    And where in the sql tables will this information get stored so I can pull it out and query against it on the main site?

    And last question - to have a separate signup for "users" versus "site owners" - will the site owners still be able to go through ProSites? I'm assuming I have separate registration page flows for the social network users versus the site owners. Is this pretty much built in with the combination of BuddyPress and ProSites - or will I need some custom work done?

    Thanks in advance...

  • Philip John

    I'm not familiar enough with profile fields to know if that's possible I'm afraid but that should be fairly easy to do, if requiring a little extra coding. The BuddyPress codex is your best bet for how-to.

    I'm not sure where the information is directly stored exactly but my gut feeling is in the user_meta table although it might be BP-specific tables instead.

    Normal users will use the same signup, yes. They should just select username only when given the option to create a site.

    Thanks,
    Phil

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