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Louis Kessler’s Behold Blog » Blog Entry           prev Prev   Next next

Creating a Community - Sun, 24 Feb 2008

Slower than I hoped, but I am working through the WordPress/bbPress integration. This is very important to me, since I’ll be melding the Behold Blog and the Behold User Forum together into what I hope will attract a “community” of Behold users and others who are interested in Behold. I’m trying to make it a nice and inviting environment in which everyone can discuss Behold and help me decide how best to progress into the future.

My main struggle over the last week was how WordPress handles registration, logins, user profiles and lost passwords. I was not pleased to see how unfriendly it was. So first I customized the forms to make them look like my new website. Then I added a login bar across the top of the Blog and Forum to encourage anyone interested to register. Then I changed the user fields so that there are only these: your UserID, your name, your e-mail address, your password, and two optional ones: your location and your website. Then I made it so that you can select your own password when you register, rather than WordPress’ horrid idea of sending you one it creates. And of course, there will be single login for both the Blog and Forum. I had to learn a lot about cookies to get this working together. And my PHP programming skills are improving rapidly.

The other exciting tool is I found the mailing program for my newsletter. It is actually a plugin for WordPress from ShiftThis and I’m very impressed with it. It will allow me to generate multipart HTML/text messages instead of just plain HTML like I had before. And I think I’ve solved my ISP mailing problems as well. I’ve found the ISP Dewahost who is affiliated with Plimus that has a hosted SMTP service for sending no-spam bulk-mail. The server is designed only for mass mailings, and the cost is reasonable. I expect I’ll be able to start my newsletters again soon after I get the new website up and working.

There’s still a lot of work left to get everything working, but I’m getting through it.

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