Need Thoughts/Ideas for Comment Synchronization between WPMU sites (and other platforms maybe)

OK... Here it is. My huge headache issue in a nutshell.

Here is my WordPress multisite:

-- letstalknation.com (main site)
-- letstalknevada.com (flagship site - was converted to WPMU when we launched nation and other sites.
-- letstalkcalifornia.com
-- letstalkutah.com
-- letstalkidaho.com

ALL articles go on letstalknation.com.

SOME of the articles get posted to each state site, depending on the audience the articles are meant for. For example, some stuff may be relevant only to Nevada and Utah, but not to Idaho and California, etc.

Here's what I need to find a way to accomplish:

Synchronization of comments between sites that show a particular article. If someone comments on one of the sites, that comment should show on the same article on all sites that it is posted on.

Currently, I am using (with very limited success and a ton of bugs) a plugin called Broadcast from Plainview Plugins with their premium pack: http://plainviewplugins.com/threewp-broadcast/
http://plainviewplugins.com/threewp-broadcast-premium-pack/
Their comment feature:

This plugin has DUMPED all comments from my entire site twice now. I had my developer attempt to modify it so that would not happen, but it happened again anyway, so needless to say, I'm looking for a different solution to accomplish this.

The site currently uses comment email verification as well, so comments are automatically approved with a valid email address. This could be solved with accounts of a different level I suppose, but want to know your recommendations.

I have looked at your comments+ plugin, as well as solutions with disqus, but I can't seem to find support for comment syncing in either of them. Is there a way with your comments+ plugin that I could make it work to sync comments between multisites?

I would love to have the facebook/twitter/etc comment ability that your comments+ offers.... Looks like a slick system.

I've considered disqus for their great feature list, but I'm a little concerned about bog down after reading your review on it..

Our commenters also need the ability to remain anonymous as well, using just a valid email address and a username of their choice to keep anonymity. I like this about disqus, and would need a way to keep the ability for simple registration using only a username and email.... possibly a password if a login system is used.

I REALLY need a reliable solution to make this work right.

Any help will be VERY much appreciated!

  • Jude

    Hey Jay,

    I know this may sound cliche but nothing comes close to a custom solution especially when its something like this. WP has XML - RPC inbuilt so all you'll need to do is write some code that queries the main site for comments on that article and keep it updated.

    http://www.sitepoint.com/xml-rpc-for-wordpress-developers/

    You are looking at 5-8 hrs of development time from a good developer for this project. Its much better than disqus as well as any other 3rd party plugin you may use in the future

    Hope that helps

    Cheers

  • Jay

    Would a solution like that work to sync comments both ways? For example, people should be able to comment from any of the sites, and have it show on that article on all.

    Thanks for the idea - I think it's a good direction to go in.. I'll check with my developer on this to see what he thinks. Just out of curiosity, does WPMU Dev provide hourly development services? (and if so, how much per hour?) This is a bit over my head... and I'm not sure how I'd do it to specify which blogs to sent content to, etc.

    One other question. My hosting company provides a nifty little "staging area" software, which uses a subdomain and duplicates the entire site, with one-click to roll changes to live but it's not multisite compatible. Do you know of any solutions that I can use to replicate my entire WPMU site onto, that can roll changes to live after testing?

  • Jude

    Hey @Jay

    Would a solution like that work to sync comments both ways?

    Yup, thats one the best and lightweight ways of doing this. It has the ability to make and sync using API calls both ways. Just make sure its a secure implementation.

    Just out of curiosity, does WPMU Dev provide hourly development services? (and if so, how much per hour?)

    Unfortunately this we do not do. As an Elite member you have access to our Jobs Board where you can find some good talent that can help you with this.

    Do you know of any solutions that I can use to replicate my entire WPMU site onto, that can roll changes to live after testing?

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/testing-environment-wordpress/

    I don't think there is a one click way of doing this, here are some techniques that you can look at.

    Hope that helps

    Cheers
    Jude

  • Jay

    @Jude - Thanks so much for your feedback and suggestions on this and many issues. This has been such a huge headache for me, I had that broadcasting plugin dump a bunch of comments from my system for no apparent reason this morning, which got me searching for a different solution.

    Using the XML - RPC as you suggested, would I be able to make the syncing work with a third party comment system such as your comments+ or disqus?

    Here's my thoughts/reasoning as to why. Currently, when someone makes a comment, it is verified using comment email verification plugin. My site has outgrown this system, and it's becoming a huge pain in the ass. Furthermore, it's bogging down my entire system, as the broadcasting is incompatible, so its sending a million emails in a big loop when people need to verify email addresses.... So I need some type of user management to go with a new commenting setup. I like the feature set with disqus, but I'm hesitant to try to make all of the readers sign up for a third party system like disqus. I do love the idea of allowing users easy login/commenting with facebook, twitter, wordpress, etc, though... as long as there would be the option also to sign up on my site(s) locally with just a couple clicks. Users also need to sync users between sites (as many users comment on different sites within the network) for this to work right. Also the built in feature to up or down vote comments would save me another bulky plugin, and the auto hiding of comments receiving more than 10 (or however many) down votes would be super helpful.

    Your feedback and suggestions for the above issues would be SUPER helpful... I want to make sure I do this right so it's scalable, and I don't have to redo again.

    Now on to the staging issue....
    Bitnami was almost exactly what I was looking for.... and I will DEFINITELY use it for staging for other sites... for sure... BUT - when I tried to enable multisite, I got an error.
    http://www.awesomescreenshot.com/image/45498/711c70f1edc5f1bd7d68868c6d302e8d

    I think I will just install a whole testing environment using another domain... and then just copy data. It will be a bit of a pain.... but at least I'll be able to have a testing environment that works. Do you have any suggestions for syncing of data from one site to the other in this scenario easily?

    Thanks so much for your time in helping me figure out the best solutions for this site moving forward. It is greatly appreciated.

    Jay

  • Jude

    Hey Jay

    After careful thought I think its best if you work the other way around. Take a plugin like Comments+ and build functionality on top of it either using XML - RPC or REST.

    I did not take into account the scenario where the network is already chocking and may need a revamp.

    Do you have any suggestions for syncing of data from one site to the other in this scenario easily?

    I somehow am not a fan of the one click solutions simply because when you want to change the workflow even slightly the whole system needs to go ..

    I would suggest a good version control system like Git and a tool like to keep MySQL in sync

    https://serverpress.com/get-desktopserver/ to keep mySQL synced

    or a plugin like

    https://wordpress.org/plugins/database-sync/

    Hope that helps

    Cheers
    Jude

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