Reader turns your Multisite into a community by adding Tumblr, WordPress.com and Edublogs style “follow” features.
Complete with a beautiful and fully-featured dashboard reader experience that allows comments, RSS feeds and significant customization.
Follow Your Favorites
Reader adds a nifty “Follow” button to the admin bar on every site in your Multisite network.
Users can click on the Follow button to add their favorite blogs to their Reader. Browse, search and engage with posts from the dashboard.
We’ve combined the greatest features from Feedly, Tumblr and WordPress.com to give you a premium reader experience.
Users can engage with sites across your network, without ever leaving their site.
Setup can be completed in just a couple of seconds complete with a custom name a site exclusion. Tell reader what to include in your feed.
Get a reader that runs the way you like it with powerful features and simple settings.
Stronger Sense of Community
You will be surprised by the impact this has on your users – receiving email notifications is great, but being able to browse and interact with comments can really set your network on fire.
To Get Started
Important: Reader must be network-activated and requires the Post Indexer plugin to fetch your network content.
- If you have not already installed & configured Post Indexer, and indexed your network, please do that first.
- You’ll find the usage instructions for Post Indexer right here.
Once Reader is installed and network-activated, you’ll see a new sub-menu item in your Network Settings menu: Reader.
Using the Reader is quite intuitive for the end-user, with tooltips for just about everything.
But to help us understand all the features of Reader available to the network admin, let’s first take a quick look at what your users see with all of them enabled. Then we’ll explore all of the options & modules in greater detail, as well as what your users can do with them.
1. An RSS feed URL is generated for every display type. There are several ways to filter the display, and they’re all discussed below… keep reading. :)
2. The post display area. This is where all the network posts display according to what post-types you have indexed with the Post Indexer plugin, and what filtering option has been selected.
3. The search widget enables you and your users to search within all available content by title, author or tag, or any combination.
4. The main widget contains a bunch of display filtering options, as well as a couple of handy links to stuff in your admin.
5. The Trending Tags widget displays tags recently used in your network to make filtering for the hottest new content just too easy!
Pretty cool, huh? We’ll look into all that in more detail below.
Oh, and be sure to read all the way through as some of the greatest interactive features of this plugin are detailed at the end!
Now, let’s take a closer look at the options available to you in the network admin, and see what effect they have on the Reader that appears on each site in your network.
Brand the Reader for your network
The options panel in the network admin enables you to control the features and behavior of the Reader on all sites in your network.
The first thing we want to do is decide where the Reader should appear in the admin menu of every site, and what it should be called in your network.
1. Where should the Reader be? gives you 2 options. You can select to either:
- add Reader as a new item under the Dashboard menu
- replace the default Dashboard screen with Reader
Adding Reader as a new item does what it says on the tin: it adds a new Dashboard menu item that links to the Reader page in the admin.
However, if you set it to replace the default Dashboard screen, your network users will instead be welcomed by your sexy new Reader when they log into their sites. Woot!
2. Whats The Reader page name? enables you to customize the label that appears in the menu, so you can brand it to better fit your niche.
Now let’s get to all those cool features!
Getting Reader up and running on your network couldn’t be easier! All you really need to do is decide which features you want enabled.
They are all enabled by default when you first install the plugin, but you can set ’em up the way you want ’em.
The Featured Posts module enables you, as the network admin, to add any posts to a featured list.
To do so, visit the Reader in the admin of your main site, and click the “Feature” button in any post that appears in the main content area.
Any post that has been featured will have a little green star in the upper-right corner as a reminder, and the button will change to “Unfeature” so you can remove it from the featured list later if you want.
Users on every site in your network can now filter what appears in the main content area of their Reader to show only featured posts by clicking the “Featured Posts” link in the main widget.
Note that the “Feature/Unfeature” button is only available to you as the network admin user, but will be visible to you on all sites in your network. Site admins and other users cannot add or remove posts from the featured list.
Filter by author or site
The Filter by author or site module enables your users to filter the post list in the main content area of their Reader to show only posts from a specific site, or those from a specific author.
To filter by author or site, simply click the author or site link that appears at the bottom of every post in the main content area of the Reader.
If the display is filtered to show only posts from a specific site, a “Visit site” button will also appear next to the title in the main content area.
The Follow module enables your users to follow sites in your network and create a customized list of those that interest them.
Before we look at how it works, there are some additional configuration settings that you can set in your network admin for this module.
1. Click the Configure button next to the module to access the settings.
2. Enter the IDs of sites followed by default in the Reader on all sites in your network.
- For example, if you want the main site to be followed, enter the ID of your main site (usually 1).
- If you want multiple sites to be followed by default, enter a comma-separated list of IDs like so: 1,16,37
- If you don’t want any sites to followed by default, simply leave the field blank.
3. Select where to Display follow button on the toolbar of all sites in your network. You can select to show the “Follow” button on
- Both the frontend and backend (wp-admin) of all sites.
- Only the frontend.
- Only the backend.
Now your users can follow sites that interest them simply by clicking the “Follow” button at the bottom of any post in their Reader.
When a site is followed, the button will change to “Following” with a nice little red heart.
Also, depending on what you have set in the network configuration for the module, the toolbar will show the site is followed when the user visits the site.
The main display can be filtered to show only posts from sites that the user is currently following simply by clicking the link in the main widget.
The “Following” link at the top of the main widget will also indicate the number of sites the user is following.
When that link is clicked, the main content area will display a list of all the sites the user is currently following.
- Clicking the site name on the left will display all posts from that site in the main content area.
- Clicking the site URL will redirect the user to that site.
- Clicking the “x” at the far right of any row will remove that site from all displays of followed sites.
The My Posts module enables your users to instantly view all posts that they have authored in your network.
Enabling this module creates a “My Posts” link in the main widget.
When this link is clicked, the display in the main content area will be filtered to show only posts authored by the logged-in user viewing the Reader.
Note that this will display all posts from the same author on all sites, regardless of which site the user is viewing. In other words, if the logged-in user has authored posts on multiple sites, they will all display.
The My Sites module creates a link in the main widget of the Reader enabling your users to filter the display to show only posts from sites where they are listed as users.
Note that this is a site filter, and it will display posts from all sites where the user is actually a user, regardless of the role they have on each site.
Also note that the “My Sites” link which appears above the filter list and next to the “Following” link simply redirects to the standard My Sites screen in the admin, and does not affect the Reader display.
The Popular Posts module also has an additional configuration option that you can set in your network admin.
1. Click the Configure button next to the module to access the settings.
2. Enter the Minimum number of comments to the post to treat it as popular to determine which posts will display when the “Popular Posts” filter is used.
When this module is enabled, it creates a link in the main widget that your users can click to filter the post display and view only those posts that have the minimum number of comments you just set.
The Recent Posts module simply adds another filter to the main widget that, when clicked, displays the most recent posts from across your entire network.
The RSS Feeds module creates a special RSS feed for each of the above filters that you have enabled.
- To get the RSS Feed URL for the currently selected filter, click the RSS icon next to the title.
- As an example, if the user is currently filtering & viewing only Featured Posts, the RSS Feed URL that appears can be used to display your network’s featured posts.
- You can use these RSS feeds in widgets on your site, on any other site, or even in your favorite feed reader on your mobile device to get instant notification of new stuff in your network!
Each feed URL also contains a private key. This can be very handy if, for example, someone unauthorized or unscrupulous gets hold of the URL and uses it to scrape content from your network.
- You can reset ALL private keys for your feeds by clicking the link at the bottom of the RSS feed box.
The Search module enables a search box above the main widget so that your users can easily find the content they want.
- You can search for any network content by title, tag or author, or any combination.
The Trending Tags module is another that has a few configuration options.
1. Click the Configure button next to the module to access the settings.
2. The Number of links in “Trending Tags” widget is just that. Simply select how many you want displayed in the widget.
3. The Number of recently added tags to check setting enables you to select how many tags should be checked throughout your network to find those that are truly trending.
Once enabled, this module creates a new widget in the Reader on each site.
Users need only click any tag in the widget to filter the display and show only posts containing that tag.
- Please note that there is currently no dedicated RSS feed for tags.
The User Info module is what displays data for the user currently viewing the Reader at the top of the main widget.
- The username link next to the avatar redirects to the user’s profile in the admin.
- The “My Posts” link, as detailed above, filters the post display.
- The “My Sites” link, as mentioned above, redirects the user to their “My Sites” screen in the admin.
- The “Following” link, as detailed above, will replace the content in the main post area with a display of all sites being followed.
If this module is disabled, the user can still view and manage the list of sites being followed by clicking the little gear icon that appears at the top-right of the widget. The “My Posts” link is also added to the filter list if that module is enabled.
The final option in the network settings is the default feature.
You can select which of the features you have enabled above that should be the default display when users visit their Reader.
For example, if you have enabled the “Recent Posts” module, you can set it as the default so your network’s most recent content is shown to users first.
Oh yeah, the Reader has a reader, and this final feature is just too cool!
You surely noticed a “Read More” button in previous images. That button does not redirect to the post in the site where it was published. Rather, it launches a modal window where your users can read the whole post & comment on it right in their dashboard!
1. The navigation bar of the Reader modal contains several features:
- Easy navigation between posts in the currently selected filter.
- Click “View Original” to be redirected to the post on the site where it is published.
- The network admin, and users with the required capabilities, will see an “Edit” link so they can go directly to the post and edit it if required.
- The network admin will also see a “Feature” link on all posts that are not currently featured. If the post is already featured, that link will show “Unfeature” instead.
2. The post display area enables your users to scroll through the entire post they’re viewing so they don’t even need to leave their own site!
- The post meta at the top of each post shows the site where it is published and the author’s name. Clicking either will close the modal reader and filter the main display to show all posts from that site or author.
- Users can follow or unfollow the site right there too.
3. The comments area works just as if the user were commenting on the author’s site.
- Your users can comment on posts right in their reader, and even reply to other comments.
- The network admin, site admins and users with the required capabilities can approve/unapprove, spam & trash comments.
Responsiveness & Mobile Devices
On a final note, it’s worth mentioning that the whole thing is fully responsive. It looks fabulous & works perfectly on mobile devices.
We do hope that you enjoy using your new Reader, and that your network gets a real boost from all the new interaction between your users!
If you hit a snag with any aspect of configuration or usage, or have a cool feature suggestion to make, please do head on over to the community forums where support staff and other stellar members are waiting to lend a hand.
Reader Is Highly Customizable
Your pick of features and customizations.
- Set featured posts
- Integrated Reader
- Follow button
- Filtering posts by author or site
- Excluded sites
- Browse popular posts
- RSS feeds
- Extra user information
- Custom locations
- Recent posts
- Title search
- Use tags to discover new content