Vote on the features you want in New Blog Templates

Hello Everyone,

We have been getting a lot of feature requests for New Blog Templates.

So its time to vote on them and get them developed.

Would you like to lock a few pages so that once a user signs up, he can not edit those pages ?

Prosites Integration :

Would you like to see something like below :

If you are using our Pro Sites plugin -

- If the site is a Pro Site (Your user is paying for the site) - They Can edit the pages

- If the site is not a Pro Site (Your user is not paying for the site) - They can not edit the pages

If you are NOT using our Pro Sites plugin -

- Enable/Disable original posts/pages edition?

Do you want a Wizard to help you setup the plugin ?

Do you want to allow your users to choose a theme while signing up and New Blog Template fills it up with Menus and Content (Pages, posts and sidebar widgets) as per your choice ?

So, what do you think ?

Please share your views and if you have any other ideas, please post them in the comments

  • ImNobodyX

    Since I don't use ProSite plugin, this feature will be a "must have" in my case:

    If you are NOT using our Pro Sites plugin -

    - Enable/Disable original posts/pages edition?

    This mean I can "block" some standard pages/posts content that I have already created and the users don't need to edit it (and I don't want to allow).
    This will be awesome.

    Furthermore, is it possible to add an option where I can give the power for the user to choose "to use or not to use" that "standard blocked pages"?
    For example, I created some pages and blocked it, but I want my client can choose between to use or not use. If he choose "use that standard page", he could not edit the content (since it was already blocked).
    But for another client, to use that standard page will be mandatory, but he still cannot edit it.

  • PiOfCube

    One thing I would like to see as a plugin is some form of wpmudev bage.

    I know it's very easy to just use the text widget and add the image and link but would like to see something a bit more "flashy".

    Maybe a list of options like:
    Days since updated.
    Wpmudev User profile stats (like the badges here).
    Perhaps even "authenticate this site owner" similar to SSL badges on sites.

    It would be even better if it could be generated on the fly as an image which could also have colour options available.

    I know many site owners would prefer not to use this and keep as much of the back-end hidden from users (particularly on multi-site installs) but here's my reasoning behind this:

    I have been monitoring my domains' "admin" email address for many years. I often use these as a mini honey-pot. I get roughly 2-5 emails per day per admin@xxx.xxx from wordpress and joomla sites which have been compromised due to a number of reasons... One of these is of course bad passwords (monkey123, admin, etc) but increasingly, bad plugins or plugins which have not been updated are to blame.

    If any users here aren't aware... A site gets compromised and some extra code is added to the plugins directory (or even into an existing plugin php file). This will then send fake emails to people with stuff like "We have just authorised $2,234 payment from your PayPal account." Most people will be shocked and quickly click on the link, thinking it takes them to PayPal so they can find out who stole their money. This just allows their credentials to be stolen.

    Each time I get these, I securely go to the site hosting this exploit and contact the owners and explain exactly where the problem is so they can fix it. I also mention wpmudev as a possible alternative to just simply installing some random plugin from some random "guy/gal". I never use an affiliate link in these emails because I don't want to look like I'm just trolling for commissions. I sometimes get replies thanking me but more often than not, they don't but they fix the problem. I guess many of these are thinking if they don't reply, they aren't acknowledging there was a problem. LOL.

    Personally, I'm proud of only using wpmudev plugins. There's plenty to choose from and wpmudev has a commercial reason to keep everything up-to-date and as secure as possible.

    By making a point of saying "hey, look... our plugins are provided by a reliable source" it should benefit the site owners and might also encourage paid subscriptions and return visits.

    All this is just me speaking for myself but I would be very happy to announce that I don't mindlessly put my servers and users at risk because of some sparkly plugin which might not be updated in the future (or worse case is full of bad code or accidentally exploitable).

    As more people become aware of similar issues with phone apps and other bad code (or code which can be exploited unknowingly to the author) there should be a push to make sure that websites don't fall victim to this also.

    If wpmudev can take a lead in this, even better!

    Bob.

  • Patrick

    @MEDUSOR & @electroasd

    That can already be done. Simply create the pages, posts & menus exactly the way you want them in your template site. When new sites are created, all the content is reproduced, and menu URLs adjust accordingly.

    Be sure to select those elements in the template settings before creating new sites. Remember, anything you add to, or remove from, templates sites will be reproduced on all new sites from that point onward.

  • Gabe

    @Ignacio

    I've been using the plugin consistently since late 2012 and there's one feature that'd be a huge improvement. Some networks have a large number of templates, but so many choices can seem a bit unwieldy. When customers are faced with too many choices they simply leave and conversion rates drop.

    To help this, allow an optional 'template groups' feature that, when enabled, allows blog templates to be organized into groups.

    Let's say I have 50 different templates. Instead of presenting 50 templates during signup I can present a drop down menu with 5 options. These 5 options are 5 different groups each with 10 templates. As each group is selected, the templates belonging to that group would appear instantly (ajax/jquery?). Groups can be named, templates can belong to multiple groups, etc.

    For example, maybe I organize my groups by color, genre, or style. I can choose what makes sense, organize my templates into those groups, and present my customers with more relevant, succinct options instead of an intimidating wall of choices.

    A minor, though important, aspect is that no templates should be displayed by default. If this option is enabled, the customer must choose a group from the drop down for templates to appear. In terms of UX, this is important because if it doesn't exist some customers will see the templates of the default category and assume those are the only options (I've seen this in other apps).

  • JenORoss

    @Gabe... that is a great idea! +1.

    Another thing I have run into is this... Say a customer chooses a template upon signup. Their site gets set up perfectly just as the demo... homepage widgets all set up exactly as they should be. But...Then they decide to change their mind, and decide to switch themes shortly after signup. That screws up everything because now the nicely pre-arranged widgets and such on the home page are all messed up in the newly activated theme.

    So, if there was a way for a user to select a template for a theme, during the theme switching process as well, that would be super awesome. Or a way to have the super admin assign a specific template to a theme so that whenever it gets activated by a user, all the homepage widgets are set the way they should be for that particular theme. At this point, the user has to set up the homepage widgets all over again with each theme change and with a widgetized home page, that really freaks them out for some reason. They go to their website and it looks nothing like the demo!

    How do you guys and gals with established networks handle this scenario with customers?

    Thanks for getting the community's input on this! This plugin is really really cool!

    Jennifer

  • PC

    Do you want to allow your users to choose a theme while signing up and New Blog Template fills it up with Menus and Content (Pages, posts and sidebar widgets) as per your choice?

    Well, with that he meant that users can not only choose a template but also a theme while signing up.

    For example you have created a template for a doctor's site and one for a lawyer's site but the theme used might not be great and someone would need a different theme. So they can choose a doctors template and then choose a theme in next step and NBT fills the new theme with the content and menus etc.

  • Gabe

    @PC

    That's interesting. It may also be a bit restrictive since themes vary widely in the number and style of menus (dropdown or not), widget locations and styles, homepage design, image sizes, etc. so only certain templates could be with certain themes.

    Do we know that enough themes actually have enough of those factors in common to make it worthwhile? In my experience image sizes and other factors almost always vary. If they don't have those items in common, we'll end up with what naturally happens when users switch themes (i.e. having to setup some widgets/menus again), which is a poor first experience for users.

    I may be misunderstanding, but from what I've experienced it's easier to have a separate template for each content/theme combo. It's more time consuming to setup, but it pays off in the long run. The template groups I suggested would make it easier to sort by doctors, lawyers, etc.

    But maybe I'm being naive. If there is a way to make this work it could be quite powerful. If it's just things like widgets and mostly text content, then it would probably work. My major concern is if the quality of the user's experience will be negatively impacted just because we wanted to save some time by making a few less templates.

  • johnnymestizo

    @JenORoss

    a way to have the super admin assign a specific template to a theme so that whenever it gets activated by a user, all the homepage widgets are set the way they should be for that particular theme.

    +1 I've been fighting for this for ages !

    =====
    INTEGRATION with Advanced Theme Switcher (when flicking through themes, this default widget config needs to be stored too:

    If there could be a drop down that would actually sit in a floating box, iframe, of html frame so it is constant while you flick through the themes. That would stop the user from getting lost when the adv theme selecter widget isnt on the next theme.

    As for pro sites integration, I have two levels - free and premium. If there could be some way to restrict what is available to the user, or simply highlight that they need to upgrade for this theme.
    =====

    Cheers,

    Johnny

  • Ignacio

    Thank you all for your ideas and comments, I'm taking in mind all of them.

    Maybe I didn't explain well myself with the menu stuff but the feature is already there. I believe it could be improved a lot and select between several menus.

    We'd like to take the plugin further and implement a theme preview. Some users asked about it some time ago but it needs to be planned in a good way.

    Also, selecting posts by categories is in the future features list.

    @Gabe, I think what you said is really interesting, I'll try to think about it and come back here with some ideas or mockups. I guess we could give a try.

    I hope this plugin is going to be improved a lot in the next few months but because is a very fragile plugin (it can cause a little mess in new blogs) I'm thinking to add a little new feature in every release.

    Regards.
    Ignacio.

  • greg_mcewan_marriott

    i tried the Browse Themes plugin which is a brilliant way for a user to easily page through all the templates installed on your site.... what would be nice is that he should then be able to choose which template by then just clicking on that template and it installs it for him with the blog templates plugin....

    Second.... Allowing diff "types" of users to sign up to a category with template best suited for him... e.g we all know the site categories plugin ... I might have at sign up a field select box saying eg...

    Travel Site
    Medical Site
    Personal Blog
    Photography

    These could be for example your "site categories" it would be nice if he could then be presented with a choice of pre installed templates based on his decision... so yes categories (site categories) for blog templates is my suggestion

  • Atlanta

    @Ignacio thanks for posing the question.

    I use NBT to simplify my site so some of these changes, eg offering different themes, widgets etc won't be necessary for me.

    Here is what I will LOVE to see, and it is probably asking for the moon but I will go ahead and plant the seed:slight_smile: I think there will be more requests like this as multisites evolve.

    A way to not only use the template for new blogs but an option to retroactively make changes to blogs that were created before.

    Each time popular plugins like marketpress and membership offer new features it is tough to implement default changes.

    Thanks again for asking.

  • signed_up

    I have another feature request that I really want is in the Q&A plugin. I have mentioned this in a post before and so have many others and have gotten many +1's for this idea!

    Buddypress Groups should be more integrated with Q&A, just like bbPress. I don't love bbPress, but I don't hate it. I can say one thing for sure - I like Q&A plugin a whole lot better!

    My idea is to integrate Q&A with Buddypress, just like bbPress is now integrated with Group Forums. The Q&A plugin should have a feature to let each group have its own Q&A forum/setup. Basically, a better, WPMU Dev premium supported, replacement for bbPress Group Forums.

    Anyone interested in this? I really want it and so do a bunch of others!

    Like the comment, Give me +1's, and/or point donations to show your support for such a feature!

  • kylem

    The ability to get a little more detailed and specific when it comes to what comes with the template when a user creates a new site, such as plugins and certain users, etc.

    Also on the sign up page when users are shown the available templates, it would be awesome if a link were present where a user could check out the demo of the template before committing to it.

    This is a great plugin.

  • nelnehal

    hey i like the lock pages option

    Would you like to lock a few pages so that once a user signs up, he can not edit those pages ?

    Prosites Integration :

    Would you like to see something like below :

    If you are using our Pro Sites plugin -

    - If the site is a Pro Site (Your user is paying for the site) - They Can edit the pages

    - If the site is not a Pro Site (Your user is not paying for the site) - They can not edit the pages

    If you are NOT using our Pro Sites plugin -

    - Enable/Disable original posts/pages edition?

    i like the idea of locking the pages. i would like something like this

    if a free member- lock pages
    if prosites level 1- network admin can choose if he wants pages locked for this level
    if prosites level 2- network admin can choose if he wants pages to be locked or not by using a select box.

    Do you want to allow your users to choose a theme while signing up and New Blog Template fills it up with Menus and Content (Pages, posts and sidebar widgets) as per your choice ?

    been waiting for this feature for ages.

  • joejacobson

    Here are my priorities:

    1. Yes, a preview of the theme template at sign up for the new user;
    2. Integrate with Prosites levels, so someone at level 1 is presented different theme options than level 2 new user;
    3. Allow super admin to manually upgrade (change) an existing site at Prosite level1 to a different theme template if that user upgrades to a higher level (and also if they downgrade to a lower prosite level).

  • DiggiWebDesign

    I am a little late in this discussion, however I did notice the recommendations for Wizard to Set Up Plugin Reccomendation and do place my vote for such a function. For the not so tech savvy (like me) who do see the value of WPMU DEV and do pay to teach our self through hands on experience, testing, configuring, deleting and starting all over can be frustrating. A 'wizard' that sets up the most functional aspects of the plugins advertised uses, With Explanations Such as "This Will Do This When Activated and This Is or Is Not Neccessary for Such and Such" would be such an investment on WPMU DEV part if you do in fact have many customers like me who could use it to our advantage to keep things fun opposed to so technical.
    I would KickStart a donation to the team that can pull that off!

  • Ignacio

    Hi again!

    Lot of great ideas and comments here!

    @ImNobodyX, @nelnehal, @joejacobson
    Enable/Disable original posts/pages edition: Will be on the next version (soon release) although still not the Pro Sites integration.
    Furthermore, is it possible to add an option where I can give the power for the user to choose "to use or not to use" that "standard blocked pages"? I think I don't get the point, why do you want to block pages and then let the administrator to choose if edit them or not?

    @Gabe,@greg_mcewan_marriott
    optional 'template groups': Maybe adding a category or tags for that? Showing a menu on the signup page where the user can filter? I think is a great idea so this will be included for sure.

    @JenORoss
    Select a template for a theme, during the theme switching process as well: This is a big change and probably could make the plugin breakable or create some conflicts with other plugins but we'll talk about your idea :slight_smile:

    @time4novelty, @Atlanta, @Dev4
    Changes after a site is created is always difficult as you have to decide what to do with your current content. For the moment, a user can signup and if he does not like it, delete the site and create a new one. I don't know how to focus this, but we'll think about it.

    @Imperative Ideas, @PCactive, @JenORoss, iBlogNation
    GUI/wizard: I'm thinking about adding it when all new features are added (maybe 3 versions more) because the plugin is going to change a lot in the next releases. Did not think about the user wizard, just the Super Admin wizard but that's a great idea :slight_smile:

    @kylem
    Check out the demo of the template: This is something that is going to be included in the next version (will be released soon), a simple Theme Previewer. It's pretty simple now but we hope to improve it on the next releases.

  • ImNobodyX

    @Ignacio

    About what I said:
    Furthermore, is it possible to add an option where I can give the power for the user to choose "to use or not to use" that "standard blocked pages"? I think I don't get the point, why do you want to block pages and then let the administrator to choose if edit them or not?

    I made misreadings. When I wrote I thought: "The standard/blocked pages will be mandatory?"

    We can block pages and then let the administrator to choose if he will use or not that standard page, but still not edit their content.

    Let me say, for example, I created a standard page that integrates with a webserver that shows "foods and the descriptions".

    I create a page with a very specific content, where I put a code getting information from that webserver. I don't want the users to edit these codes. (So, that is a blocked page).

    However, the users may see and think: "humm I don't want to use that webserver to show my foods and descriptions, I want to build my own content".
    So, he doesn't want to use the "standard" page.

    He has the option to use or not to use the blocked page, but still cannot edit the content if he choose the "pre-created page"

    But don't worry about my ideas, I read it again and I think it will be useless :X

  • Gabe

    @Ignacio

    @Gabe,@greg_mcewan_marriott
    optional 'template groups': Maybe adding a category or tags for that? Showing a menu on the signup page where the user can filter? I think is a great idea so this will be included for sure.

    Categories/tags could work as long as they don't appear or interfere with the categories/tags used for posts and CPTs throughout the rest of the site.

    I imagine using a dropdown menu to choose/view one group of templates at a time. That keeps it clean and simple. Using check boxes or any system that would allow multiple groups to be shown at the same time gets overwhelming for customers at the point in signup where abandonment is the highest. If they're overwhelmed they'll just leave.

  • Ignacio

    Hi there and sorry for the delay.

    We're making advances here and though I just released a new version with some good new features, I could not include all of them as I had to release it because of a significant bug.

    So, here are the new features:
    - The template will be automatically deleted if the attached blog is deleted
    - Fixed bug when the user does not select any template. The default one will be chosen (if available)
    - New single menu for the plugin
    - Search by blog name when creating templates with autocomplete
    - Added screenshot option
    - Fixed error when reassigning pages authors
    - New DB Model for the plugin
    - Fixed error when saving button caption

    There is more code in the plugin that is currently deactivated as I need to work more on it but this is what we can expeect for next releases :

    - Template categories
    - A new toolbar from where a user can filter by categories when signing up (we are currently working in its design)

    About setting content after a blog is created: Well, I'm thinking about it but is really difficult and probably would be out of the scope of the plugin.

    @time4novelty: How would you integrate it? If the blog has not been created... But could be useful a Membership integration so the Super Admin can select what templates would the user be allowed to create.

    Regards.
    Ignacio.

  • JenORoss

    I don't know if this has already been suggested, but it would be really helpful if there was a way to select the exact pages of a template like you can do with post categories. Here is an example... Suppose we have a demo theme online that we want to use as a template. The problem is that there may be certain pages that I set up in the demo to demonstrate something that I do not want to be duplicated when a site gets set up. At this time I either have to have the user delete those pages, or I have to create one site for the demo and a second site for the template... but that's not really ideal. Thanks. :slight_smile:

    I could just uncheck pages...but I do want to duplicate most of the pages, just excluding some of them. Does that make sense?

    Please tell me if this feature already exists. Maybe I'm missing something! :slight_smile:

  • greg_mcewan_marriott

    First and utmost - this is one of the CORE wpmudev plugins - for anyone running a multi site, you simply cannot function effectively without a plugin of this magnitude - so well done to the devs of WPMUDEV on this one.

    I have been using it almost since I first started with BP/Multisites... and many of the changes lately have been well godsend, well done !!! The 2nd thing is the DEV is OPENLY ASKING USERS what they WANT which i think is a leading example of what every dev should strive at.....

    I am happy with this plugin... some of the things I asked for have been incorporated so thank you...

    My biggest hassle hassle I find at http://smeak.com with users setting up blogs in a live community is they ALL want a blog so they all go ahead and choose a template, and once done, they never, well a very small percentage actually know what to do next...

    So they get their site, and then do NOT know that there is a wp-admin page they need to log in to... most are just plain folk, new to to bloggng... so they don't even know what menus, pages, posts are, or that they have to got to site/wp-admin.. and do some work.

    Those that I show... are DAUNTED by the Admin screens of WP, totally, .... and YES even after installing the WPMUDEV videos AND EASY BLOGGING admin plugin to make it easier for them, I find that they are still scared off... I search high and low for themes that allow front end posting to alleviate this, but they are few and far in between

    Many then want to change their templates thereafter.... and suddenly as many premium themes have different approaches to post and category management, they end up with a total mess...

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> SO

    I find it daunting to have to set up a "site" with demo content loaded and all nicely configured if for example you have say over 100 themes for them to choose from, something that i have to do every time we introduce a new template to compete with WIX.

    Apart from the work, which i guess has to be done.... I end up with a 100 "blogs" that i DON'T want to show up anywhere in BP or WP searches or directories... AND that is what i feel is lacking. We need to totally HIDE these sites from anything in BP directories.... YET provide the user a "built in PREVIEW" link to the site so they can see what it would look like.

    My other worry, is once the user has his own content, and he changes his theme, will BLOG TEMPLATES re install the demo content from the "snaphot" sites overwriting his content?

    Last but not least using post indexer, i can actually stop the site snapshots from being indexed... but when the user uses that snapshot his indexing settings should auto change to indexed.

    Love yer work well done

  • pedro_resina

    Hi everyone, I vote on this one, very usefull in my point of view:

    Do you want to allow your users to choose a theme while signing up and New Blog Template fills it up with Menus and Content (Pages, posts and sidebar widgets) as per your choice ?

    Can you add also a feature to be able to choose a group of themes related to a specific plan:

    Example:

    - plan to use with ecommerce themes or stores
    - plan to use with corporate themes
    - plan to use for medicals, lawyers, etc...

    ... A function to filter the themes accordingly with the plan it would be nice :slight_smile:

    Users will subscribe to use a store or corporate site or both! hmmm a Multiplan is a good idea also! lol

    I vote for 3 new features...if its not asking too much

  • Ignacio

    Hi there and sorry again for the delay. I check this thread every few days.

    Though we have added some new cool features, new versions of NBT have a little delay as there are a lot of work to do and we want to release a reliable version. NBT is a fragile plugin and need to be tested a lot.

    About your suggestions:

    Membership integration: That would be great. Let's see how to integrate it in the plugin.

    @Alkamus: "allow your users to choose a theme while signing up and New Blog Template fills it up with Menus and Content (Pages, posts and sidebar widgets) as per your choice". That's not an easy one and need a lot of changes but I like it so I will give a try and see.

    @Fla0: I think I don't get you: "Blog templates has page and post title fields that can be set and then creates the pages and posts with lorem ipsum for all the themes installed in the network." Could you give me some detailed example?

    @JenORoss: That makes a lot of sense and will be included in future versions (maybe the next one)

    @bluekimberlite: Right now you can block posts and pages even for the administrator of the site. Then, you can unblock them as a super admin but you need to go to every post and page blocked in the user blog.

    @gosciu: This has been suggested some times. As with Membership integration I'll have to think about it and see how to integrate both plugins.

    @greg_mcewan_marriott: There's already a preview theme option. Have you tried it? Is it what you're asking for? About reinstalling content when selecting another template: This is a very dangerous option as it would delete the user content and I think users will complain about their dissapeared posts.

    @marikamitsos: Honestly, I'm not really sure about everything you asked about in that thread because there was another developer last year that was responsible of this plugin. I think we could change the dates when the new site is created, that makes sense (and this time you won't have to wait months for that, I'll try to change it on the next release). Images links however is really difficult to get although I'm currently thinking a way to solve it.

    Again, thanks for your thoughts, we are working really hard on this plugin as we know is an important plugin for all of you. I'm trying to work fast but sometimes things get delayed because of the plugin fragility. Every time I add a new feature we find new issues :slight_smile:.

    Regards.
    Ignacio.

  • marikamitsos

    @Ignacio

    I think we could change the dates when the new site is created, that makes sense (and this time you won't have to wait months for that, I'll try to change it on the next release).

    Thank you for your immediate interest on our requests.

    Images links however is really difficult to get although I'm currently thinking a way to solve it.

    If these are of any hep, here are some plugins that see the image issue from the migration point of view.
    Duplicator, Blog Copier, WordPress Move, Relative Image URLs, Root Relative URLs, Dynamic Sitelinks, UmanIT Update URLs .
    This may be an approach you could also have as well. Because the images do get copied over to the new site. It is their URLs that have the issue. So if there was a trigger to switch image URLs from absolute to relative during creation of the new site, it would solve the problem. Just a thought. :slight_smile:

    Also, as mentioned before. Could you please have a look at this issue?

    If you have a blog (as a template) where you have used it for a few test pages/posts/categories and so on when used as a template you get the new site having post iDs like 234, 520 etc.

    .
    This way we end up having the first post ever on the new site with ID 45 !!!
    It would be nice to have them with IDs like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc

    Thank you for your work,
    marikamitsos

  • Ignacio

    Uhmm, now that I think it again, there could be some problems with the post ID.

    First, post meta and taxonomies depends on the post ID. However, that-s not the hardest part.
    Second. What if a plugin is saving post IDs in other places? That's very common and is used in some of our plugins, for instance. That would break everything in the new site.

    I'm afraid that chaging IDs is not going to be possible in this case.

    Regards.
    Ignacio.

  • marikamitsos

    @Ignacio

    Edublogs is not using NBT.

    You are right. But it is used on every Edublogs Campus Network setup.
    Is the issue tackled there? Just wondering.

    One last thing.
    If you take a look at this site (which is actually used as a template on a campus network), you notice there is a login link that actually works. I tried the same on a template of mine using /wp-login.php but didn't work. It would default to the mother site (http://mothersite.com/wp-login.php) resulting the child-site giving a login to the mother-site.
    Could we have admin links posted on the front of a template transfered to a child-site and link to the child's admin pages?
    It would help a lot on situations we faced like the one mentioned before by @greg_mcewan_marriott.

    So they get their site, and then do NOT know that there is a wp-admin page they need to log in to... ,
    ...or that they have to got to site/wp-admin.. and do some work.

    Thank you for your time,
    marikamitsos

    PS: Sorry about all these posts. I just got posting happy now that I got your attention.

  • Ignacio

    @marikamitsos

    You're right, we are using it in Campus Network but we are not resetting the posts IDs. As I said, the problem is that other plugins/themes could save those posts IDs in their options. If you know, for instance, WooCommmerce, it saves some Pages IDs in its options. Resetting those IDs would make WooCommerce to stop working in the new blog. That's why we cannot reset the IDs.

    About the URLs: Campus is using a plugin that shows the admin bar to users that are not logged in so that Login link is not hardcoded. It's just using a WP function. I don't know exactly how it works but could be something similar to:

    echo get_admin_url( get_current_blog_id(), 'wp-login.php' );

    So every time a blog is created the URL changes too.

    But I guess you're trying to hardcode the URL in the menus. Well, that's hard to change because NBT shoud then check for ANY URL inside the templated blog Database and that means to comb every corner in the tables and check if the URL is pointing inside the site and then change it. The problem is similar to the images URLs. For the moment, I just don't know how to focus this as could bring new issues but at least we'll try something in future releases. I'll try to release a beta and upload it here.

    Regards.
    Ignacio.

  • marikamitsos

    @Ignacio
    Thank you for the reply.
    I see the issue with the IDs.

    I think we could change the dates when the new site is created... I'll try to change it on the next release.

    And

    Images links however is really difficult to get although I'm currently thinking a way to solve it...
    ...I'll take a look at those plugins. I guess we can get something from there.

    We would be really happy with these two.

    As far as the URLs goes.

    Campus is using a plugin that shows the admin bar to users that are not logged in so that Login link is not hardcoded.

    I don't mean the login on admin-bar. This we can already do by using the Ultimate Branding plugin.

    Neither hardcoding URLs on menus.
    I am talking about admin links posted on templates' pages/posts. Please have a closer look at the above mentioned site.

    Since the templates will be used for a specific purpose, admin links could be turned into dynamic tags.
    [**LOGIN**] [**NEW-POST**] [**PROFILE**] [**THEMES**] [**PRO-SITES**] etc. Even with an option to activate them. :slight_smile:

    Thanks again,
    marikamitsos

  • greg_mcewan_marriott

    @Ignacio - Great work , great plugin - i did some css changes which i would like to keep through updates but added the following code to achieve a similar experience as you get at http://theme.wordpress.com/themes/sort/popular/

    Is it possible to "keep these" in updates somehow as I don't want to change core plugin? This adds the description as a "title" overlay

    In blogtemplates.php (line 61 onwards) i added title="<?php echo nl2br($template['description']); ?>"

    =================

    function nbt_render_theme_selection_item( $type, $tkey, $template, $options = array() ) {
    	if ( 'previewer' == $type ) {
    		$img = ( ! empty( $template['screenshot'] ) ) ? $template['screenshot'] : nbt_get_default_screenshot_url( $template['blog_id'] );
    		$tplid = $template['name'];
    		$default = @$options['default'] == $tkey ? "blog_template-default_item" : "";
    		$blog_url = get_site_url( $template['blog_id'] );
    		?>
    			<div class="theme-previewer-wrap <?php echo $default; ?>" id="theme-previewer-wrap-<?php echo $tkey;?>">
    				<a href="#<?php echo $tplid; ?>" class="blog_template-item_selector">
    					<img src="<?php echo $img;?>" title="<?php echo nl2br($template['description']); ?>"/>
    					<input type="radio" name="blog_template" id="blog-template-radio-<?php echo $tkey;?>" <?php checked( ! empty( $default ) ); ?> value="<?php echo $tkey;?>" style="display: none" />
    					<div class="theme-previewer-overlay" title="<?php echo nl2br($template['description']); ?>">
    
    						<span class="template-name"><?php echo $tplid; ?></span> <button class="view-demo-button" data-blog-url="<?php echo $blog_url;?>"><?php _e( 'View Demo', 'blog_templates' ); ?></button><br/><br/>
    						<button class="select-theme-button" data-theme-key="<?php echo $tkey;?>"><?php echo $options['previewer_button_text']; ?></button>
    					</div>
    				</a>
    			</div>
    		<?php
    	}
    	elseif ( 'screenshot' === $type ) {
    		$img = ( ! empty( $template['screenshot'] ) ) ? $template['screenshot'] : nbt_get_default_screenshot_url( $template['blog_id'] );
    		$tplid = preg_replace('/[^a-z0-9]/i', '', strtolower($template['name'])) . "-{$tkey}";
    		$default = @$options['default'] == $tkey ? "blog_template-default_item" : "";
    		?>
    		<div class="blog_template-item">
    			<a href="#<?php echo $tplid; ?>" class="blog_template-item_selector <?php echo $default; ?>">
    				<img src="<?php echo $img;?>" title="<?php echo nl2br($template['description']); ?>" />
    				<input type="radio" name="blog_template" value="<?php echo $tkey;?>" style="display: none" />
    			</a>
    		</div>
  • Ignacio

    Hi again.

    @marikamitsos: Ok, I'll try to take a look at it when I take again the development. We'll see that case.

    @greg_mcewan_marriott: The best way to make CSS changes is not changing the plugin. Add your styles to your theme, will be much better and the changes will be preserved.

    However, I have a little bad new for you: I'm changing styles for the next release so probably your code won't work in the next version. Actually I guess we will be polishing styles in the next few versions as I predict that some people will tell us that the plugin does not seem well in their themes :slight_smile:.

    Regards.
    Ignacio.

  • Ignacio

    Hi.

    Here's a new beta for the 2.0 version. It has some new cool features:

    - Templates categories (aka groups).
    - Available a new category filter when you select screenshot, screenshot plus or theme previewer. Just go to settings, select the styles and the signup page will show a new menu where a user can filter templates by categories.
    - Improved admin and front styles.
    - Pages selector in template options.
    - Added uninstall function. When you remove the plugin (not deactivate) from WP Admin, tables and options will be removed from your system.
    - Dates on posts/pages created are now updated to the current date.

    We have been testing it here a lot but this is a big change so I'm attaching here the new beta for you to test.

    IMPORTANT: Please, make a backup before of your Database.

    Regards.
    Ignacio.

  • thendricksen

    I would LOVE to have this plugin make sure that all new websites that are created by any system automatically get the default template applied. I use WHMCS provisioning to sell websites on a multisite setup, and right now when I run the run module (even with the updated 1.9.1 version), it just creates a vanilla WordPress installation, without the template applied.... I would pay more if that would just create using the default template!

  • jcnjr

    Thanks for asking @Ignacio

    We've been happily using New Blog Templates forever.

    My biggest issue is with the datestamp of the first/default post in a template. The date of the post remains the same as that in the template, even if the site is created months after the template was last edited. When new users choose to edit the post, the date remains the same, so they will often not appear in Recent Posts widgets and feeds.

    Ideally, the date of the first post should be no older than the date the site was created. I'm not even sure if this is possible, but upon creation of the site, the time and date for all posts and pages should be updated to reflect the site's creation date.

    Oops! Just read through all the comments, and am very happy to see:

    - Dates on posts/pages created are now updated to the current date.

    Keep up the great work!

  • Ignacio

    Hi there.

    @Joe: Could you give me some more little details? Are you using the new beta? How's the template setup (posts, pages,settings,plugins...?) Is the blog templated a Pro Site or not?

    @David: Thanks for your feedback. I think that's an important point and should be treated in a separate forum thread. This is specific for New Blog Templates features. Could you open a new one and start a discuss?

    Regards.
    Ignacio.

  • Hatchman

    Make it so all content can be edited from the main template. This would automatically load in any site using the template. The copy over content concept currently being used would require a copying over all this data. It would seem to make more since to pull from site using template first if page does not exist then pull from main template.

    I built this structure for the replicating web system that I was hoping to replace with wordpress. It use the include path logic accessible in php to simply first pull from site folder first, then template folder. The site title, menu and link was stored in db and content saved to a file. It may be possible to build a caching model that worked this way.

    So add an option that says Pages Load From Master Template. It would be good if it could be done on a per page basis. Then have the pull for get_the _content check site first then template. I do something similar to this where I will do an order by asc site id assuming that the template has a lower id. Then I use a get_row pull.

    The architect is limiting here because you would have to build the menu outside the list of pages. Obviously you could also add similar logic on the menu build. I currently am not familiar with word press enough to add specific input but hopefully you understand the request.

  • Gabe

    @Ignacio

    Great work with the plugin. Just curious, what's your plan for all of the additional features? As you mentioned, new features tend to bring new bugs, lead to overly complex relationships, and bloated code.

    Do you believe the extra features (if added) will come as plugin add-ons or be part of the same plugin? Just curious about the road map. Thanks, we appreciate all of the awesome work so far.

  • chris207

    Hello Ignacio,

    I'm glad I found this thread as it seems your new update would destroy how we use the plugin. The update for "Dates on posts/pages created are now updated to the current date." should really be an option. We use the plugin to clone blog and newsletter archives that our clients get. The content is part of the product. We then broachcast the new posts to their blogs/newsletters moving forward but there is a base of all previous posts from that template that they start with.

    If the post date is overriden on the posts/pages then it will break existing systems that depend on categorizing content by date.

  • Ignacio

    Hi there.

    @chris207: Ok, no problem with that, I can add a checkbox for that.

    @Gabe: No, or at least not right now. I was thinking to add little features in each release instead of add big features in each one. Step by step is better, I think.

    @Hatchman: Thanks for the suggestion, we'll think about it though is a big change right now.

    @Joe: Thanks, I had no time to check your error but I'll check it in the next few days.

    Regards.
    Ignacio.

  • Hatchman

    Although it would lack feng shui I believe that you could use the concept that I used in building systems prior. Basically it would use caching logic and add the template folder to the include path. You would add a folder for the template in the blogs.dir.
    $path = '/blogs.dir/template/';
    set_include_path(get_include_path() . PATH_SEPARATOR . $path);
    if(file_exist()){
    include();
    }

    I see problems with this solution but I also see it as a possible simple solution. The problems:
    1) Still dealing with the menu issue
    2) Not sure of the wp post pull structure. Need to explore further.
    3) There would have to be several things added to work through how to publish this content.

    Just put it out for discussion hoping it might stimulate someone with more knowledge of wp to come up with a more elegant solution.

    Some other basic needs: Let say you want to roll out a listing or directory system later on once you have built some mass. Or you later on wanted to add the ability for people to post content to their system through post but not pages. Or .... NEW BLOG TEMPLATE is usable but very simple and it may be the wp architect that limits its evolution but I am sure that the mind trust here can come up with a solution.

  • Hatchman

    @Ignacio, unfortunately I missed your live session today. I spoke with Arnold trying to work through the problem and he was helpful. I would however like to speak with you more directly so I can share my intent and see if you can shoot the concept down because of my current lack of wp understanding. Right now I would see making a separate plugin that alters the wp->query prior to pulling the post from the database. This query would check both the site and template site page and post data. If data does not exist in site then it would pull template. Then when creating a template site I would only copy over pages that I wanted them to edit. This would let me change the pages at a top level.

    This would also be used to work with the menu. Since the pull is fairly simple, it should not increase the work of the db.

    Anyways, this is how I see it right now. I build it as a separate plugin then maybe in the future you may want to introduce it. Anyone with a large network of sites would want this functionality if they ever had to make a global change. There may be a more elegant way so please provide feedback.

  • berg

    Do you want to allow your users to choose a theme while signing up and New Blog Template fills it up with Menus and Content (Pages, posts and sidebar widgets) as per your choice ? yes

    inside pro sites a build in theme for the dashboard.
    more options to make the dashboard personal to the site.

    maybe for some other people a better over view of the registration and signup pages.
    so people whit less experience can tweak this pages inside pro site menu.

  • Ignacio

    Hi there.

    Here's the second 2.0 Beta. Here are some highlights:

    - Membership integration (new users could not see the Membership Admin Page)
    - Fixed menus copies
    - URLs (images/menus/links) from templated blog are now replaced by the new blog. Please, note that images links will be replaced too and if you don't select Files as an option in the template, images will appear broken. I guess that if you have images in your posts, copying them to the new blog uploads folder is logical but I'm opened to observations about this.
    - Added new option to update dates when the blog is created (inside template options).

    Let's see if this the good one :slight_smile:

    Regards.
    Ignacio.

  • Gabe

    @Fla0

    If you want to use you own custom blogtelplates.php (and any other custom files) you could add a function or a rule in your htaccess that tells it to use your custom blogtemplates.php instead.

    If you use a function, just make it conditional so it falls back to the default if a custom blogtemplates.php isn't found in the specified location.

    An example of the function is how the Anti Splog plugin does it on line 484 in anti-splog.php:

    function ust_wpsignup_page($wp_query) {
    
    	if(isset($wp_query->query_vars['namespace']) && $wp_query->query_vars['namespace'] == 'ust') {
    
    		// Set up the property query variables
    		if(isset($wp_query->query_vars['newblog'])) $_GET['new'] = $wp_query->query_vars['newblog'];
    
    		//include the signup page
        $wp_query->is_home = false;
        $wp_query->is_page = 1;
    
        //allow for a custom signup page to override this by placing in wp-content dir
    		if ( file_exists( WP_CONTENT_DIR . '/custom-wpsignup.php' ) ) {
          require_once( WP_CONTENT_DIR . '/custom-wpsignup.php' );
    		} else {
    			require_once('includes/ust-wp-signup.php');
    		}
    		die();
    	}
    }

    An example of changing it with a .htaccess rule and putting the custom version in your theme folder would be:

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteBase /
    RewriteRule ^blogtemplates.php(.*)$ wp-content/themes/yourtheme/blogtemplates.php$1

    You could do it a number of ways, but those are just a couple ideas. But either way, by telling it to use a different version of those files you don't have to worry about losing your customizations when you update the plugin.

    Hope this helps.

  • Site Division

    @Gabe

    Thanks!
    Love the forums.

    I could dig through my WP development books but there is no substitution for human direction.

    The reason I had asked is I found a plugin to style the registration that is placed in the mu-plugins folder. This is the code. Are there any negatives in styling this way as far as updates are concerned?

    Thanks Again.

    <?php
    /*
    Plugin Name: Signup Page CSS
    Plugin URI: http://wpmututorials.com
    Description: This plugin adds the styles/codes needed to have signup page display correctly or at least better on any theme that the main blog has selected..
    Version: 0.1
    Author: Ron & Andrea Rennick
    Author URI: http://ronandandrea.com/
    */
    
    /*
    	Copyright:	(C) 2009 Ron Rennick, All rights reserved.
    	Released under GPL.
    */
    
    function ra_signup_css() { ?>
    <style type="text/css">
    
    .widecolumn .entry p { font-size: 1.05em;	}
    .widecolumn {	line-height: 1.6em;	}
    .widecolumn {	padding: 20px 0 20px 0;	margin: 20px 0 0 15%;	width: 1000px; border: solid
    #333333 medium; box-shadow: 15px 15px 10px  #888888;	}
    .widecolumn .post {	margin: 0;	}
    
    /* defaults from signup page. feel free to override. It's commented out for now.
    		.mu_register { width: 90%; margin:0 auto; }
    		.mu_register form { margin-top: 2em; }
    		.mu_register .error { font-weight:700; padding:10px; color:#333333; background:#FFEBE8; border:1px solid #CC0000; }
    		.mu_register #submit,
    			.mu_register #blog_title,
    			.mu_register #user_email,
    			.mu_register #blogname,
    			.mu_register #user_name { width:100%; font-size: 24px; margin:5px 0; }
    		.mu_register .prefix_address,
    			.mu_register .suffix_address {font-size: 18px;display:inline; }
    		.mu_register label { font-weight:700; font-size:15px; display:block; margin:10px 0; }
    		.mu_register label.checkbox { display:inline; }
    		.mu_register .mu_alert { font-weight:700; padding:10px; color:#333333; background:#ffffe0; border:1px solid #e6db55; }
     */
    </style>
    <?php
    }
    function ra_add_signup_css () { add_action('wp_head','ra_signup_css', 99); }
    add_action('signup_header','ra_add_signup_css');
    ?>
  • Joe

    Hi

    I still cant get this to work on my site - I have just upgraded to the second beta. Also, I have noticed the following message in my php error log:

    WordPress database error Table 'xxxxxxxxx.wp_48_posts' doesn't exist for query SELECT * FROM wp_48_posts WHERE post_content LIKE '%%' AND post_status = 'publish'; made by wpmu_activate_signup, wpmu_create_blog, do_action('wpmu_new_blog'), call_user_func_array, blog_templates->set_blog_defaults, blog_templates->set_content_urls

  • Joe

    Here is the error from my php error log:

    [17-Sep-2013 20:29:20 UTC] WordPress database error Table 'brew7nl_models.wp_nbt_templates' doesn't exist for query SELECT * FROM wp_nbt_templates made by require_once('wp-load.php'), require_once('wp-config.php'), require_once('wp-settings.php'), do_action('init'), call_user_func_array, blog_templates->maybe_upgrade, blog_templates->get_options, blog_templates_model->get_templates

  • Dawid Rewak

    @Ignacio, I mean when you've already got sites created. Will adding a new page in the template add it into each site?
    e.g.

    1. Setup blog template: template1 - with 2 pages (Home, About us)
    2. Create a new site, test1 - creates successfully with (Home, About us)
    3. Go into template1 and add a page Services,
    template1 now has 3 pages (Home, Services, About us)
    4. Go into test1 and still has the original 2 pages (Home, About us)

    So what I would like is for the page to dynamically "appear" in each mutlsiite

  • Ignacio

    Hi there.

    @Joe: It seems that there was an error while creating your table. You have two options:

    1. Open your database and execute the following query:
    DELETE FROM wp_sitemeta WHERE meta_key = 'nbt_plugin_version'

    2. Network deactivate the plugin and then delete it from WP Admin: This will delete your old templates and options. Everything from the plugin will be erased. Then install it again.

    @Dawid Rewak: No, NBT is just designed to provide some initial content. Just as Wordpress.com. Changes in the template will not affect blogs that have been already created.

  • Ignacio

    Hi there.

    @Hatchman and @Dawid Rewak. I know that these kind of features have been asked before but adding/deleting content from sites already created is not an easy one. It could create some other issues and we have no plans to add that at this moment. We're adding some more little features and waiting the plugin to be more stable. Once we finish with the next versions we'll see what's the best way to touch sites already created.

    Regards.
    Ignacio.

  • Hatchman

    Hi @Ignacio

    What I could really use right now is a table that links together the site to the template used to created. Obviously I can add this to the code but would rather see it part of your code. The benefit for most is an admin list of sites created by templates so they can keep track of what needs to be edited. The benefit to me is that it allows the plugin I have created to do what I have been asking.

    BTW... I would never build a system that had to add and delete from multiple tables. That has no fung shway. What I would do is build a system that could pull from the template site content if not available in the created site. This is actually what I have done. I know that there are issues with this approach but they can be dealt with over time. It is more important for me to be able to edit and change content across a network of sites.

  • Ignacio

    Hi there.

    Finally, a new version has been released (2.0). Here is the changelog:

    - Added uninstall functionality
    - Improved upgrading system
    - Pages filtering
    - Better UI in admin side
    - New toolbar in signup page
    - Added functions to detect if a default category is missing
    - Templates categories
    - Updated menu copies for WP 3.6
    - Membership integration
    - Fixed blog search in subdomain sites
    - Minor fixes

    That's pretty much for an update :slight_smile:

    @elaine_ossipov: I'll collect some of the ideas in this thread in a few days and make a list for the next version. I'm lost too here, I didn't expect such success.

    Regards.
    Ignacio.

  • yorkey181

    Sounds like I missed the boat on this upgrade, but I'll add my voice to the requests for some way to restrict different New Blog Templates to specific ProSites levels.

    I understand it would mean a shake up of the sign up process, but the current one doesn't seem very logical to me ...

    I personally think the logical order would be to select a package, pay for it, then select a template and set up the website etc. Seems very disjointed in the current format.

    Also problems in that any theme or plugin enabled in a template is going to be made available to anyone who selects that template, regardless of whether they are a free or upgraded user, regardless of whether it's a premium feature or not.

    So short version is... templates can only be super basic sites with no premium functionality or themes.

    Which unfortunately defeats my planned purpose of getting the customer to upgrade for a fully-configured, plug-n-play website?

    One possible quick fix ... I wonder if it would be possible for premium plugins and themes to be disabled in the template install until the user upgrades to the appropriate level?

    ie. they upgrade on the first login they get the works, if they don't the premium affect plugins aren't activated?

    Just a thought!

    Cheers

    Matt

  • Gabe

    @yorkey181

    I understand it would mean a shake up of the sign up process, but the current one doesn't seem very logical to me ...

    I personally think the logical order would be to select a package, pay for it, then select a template and set up the website etc. Seems very disjointed in the current format.

    Hey Matt. I completely agree with you on this and I think many other members and a few developers do as well.

    One obvious example is (even when the free trial is turned off) users can enter their info, choose a theme, and create a blog, then never enter payment info, and abandon already-created blog.

    A better solution would be to require payment info before even creating the blog in the first place to avoid that problem.

    I can't find the post, but @Aaron said he agreed with the idea a while back, but said it was due to limitations in the way WordPress actually works. Once that problem is resolved (by WPMU DEV in a plugin or WordPress) it opens up possibilities to allow customization of other areas of the signup process.

    I know that's only a small part of your question, but hope it helps. I used to wonder the same thing.

  • yorkey181

    Now I've used this a bit longer, here's a couple of suggestions for the next upgrade...

    1. Wondering if it might be possible to offer 'template variations' on each theme?

    ie. Give the user the option to select a theme first, and then select whether to install it 1. empty, 2. with some dummy content and basic settings, or 3. fully pre-configured with pages, posts, images, plugins, settings etc.

    2. I'd love to be able to offer users the option to change templates after they've set up a site. Currently if they decide they don't like a template, the 'easy' option is to just create a whole new website and abandon the other. Would be nice if there was some option to import a new template somehow? (tho it might be a whole new plugin!?)

    3. with the template selection step ... I think I might have seen a mention/suggestion of this somewhere ... but hiding/showing templates by category (or pro-site level) would make it much more manageable for admins and user-friendly for new members.

    Right now I'm limiting the available templates to stop the page getting too big, but I do think more options would make my users happier!

    Cheers

    Matt

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