Plugins I Found Useful

lightning14I decided to go with a different social plugin (part of the FB widget I chose – http://wordpress.org/plugins/facebook-like-box-widget/ .  The style I chose is “Right 5”

I also wanted to let you know about three plugins I’ve found that other churches may find useful. As PHP is something I do very poorly (never learned it, just fake it if I have to) I searched for plugins that would do things for me without having to ever get into the PHP functions and change code manually. In each instance below I did get single-license pro versions of the plugins for full extensibility.

Not every congregation has the luxury of having a full time webmaster or even someone who is a programmer. In my situation, once my site goes live I’m turning the day-to-day operation over to a team of three people who will share the webmaster responsibilities. Though they are all savvy computer users, none of them are programmers or even familiar with HTML beyond the basic bold, italic, and link codes.  So, I wanted applications that they could learn and use without the need to understand or use CSS, HTML, or PHP.

User Role Editor($29 pro) – Three big things make this worthwhile to me. First is the ability to add new roles and assign capabilities (permissions) to them. Second, the ability to easily change/add more granulated permissions for already established WP user roles. Third, the ability to build all pages at the admin level and then turn them over to a content provider by a combination of role and specific page assignments on a user by user basis.  This is huge at our church because we want the content providers to maintain their own pages.

Pages by User Role ($13) – It does only one thing, but it saves a raft of trouble. It allows the administrator to identify specific pages, posts, custom posts, categories etc. to be accessed by a particular role.  This was critical for us because we are making the congregant directory available online to those who are in a role we call “member.” (Not just members of the church, but also long-time congregants/friends who support the church through participation and funds but are not members).  There will be additional content available to them (e.g., videos, special committee work, community sharing, etc.).

User Profiles Made Easy ($25) – I tried and discarded several free login and profile builders because they were either too circuitous to use or failed to have an easy integration with form building and display.  This one is pretty good (though the checkbox and radio button functionality isn’t working well).  It provides a nice front-end login & registration, the ability to build profile pages with custom fields, ability to upload a picture, and the ability for the end-user to easily identify what information they want to display and what to hide from anyone who has access to view their profile (such as in the congregant directory).

I hope someone finds these useful for their congregation as well.

Maggie Lynch
Interim Webmaster
UU Community Church of Washington County
Hillsboro, Oregon