Members Site for HCB

I thought I should start posting on here regularly.  So here goes my first proper post.  

I’ve been a member of Hertfordshire Concert Band for about a year and I created the updated website about 6 months ago.  I was asked if I could create a members area for the site and so, about a month ago, I did.  

As you may know, I use WordPress as the foundation of the majority of my websites and this created my dilemma.  Did I want to try and add user access management to the existing site?  I decided that I would have a halfway-house.  The two sites are hosted in the same place but are physically separate, both use WordPress but they have different table schema.  

So now I had a separate site that I could use to create the members area with no danger of bringing the public area down.  The other advantage to keeping them separate was that there was no danger of a member of the band accidentally breaking our public site.  

So the first task was to make sure that only logged in members could access the site.  This was acheived by adding the following code to the header.php file of my theme.  

<?php if (is_user_logged_in()){ } else { Header( "Location:" ); } ?>

This has the effect of redirecting the user to the login page if they aren’t already logged in.  

Next I wanted to actively manage the registration and login experience.  For this I used the following plugins:

The main features I used were:

  • Verify Users from Register Plus
  • Customising the registtration details required again using Register Plus
  • Redirecting the band members to the main site using Peter’s Login Redirect
  • Customising the look of the registration screen using BM Custom Login

One word of caution for BM custom Login is that I had to heavily modify the CSS file to allow for the new styling in WordPress 2.7.

I then used role manager to create the various levels of access required for each type of user; admin, committee member and band member.  This is an especially powerful plugin that allows you to actively manage, create and assign diferent roles and capabilities.  

Other than that I also used NextGen Gallery to allow the band members to upload their pictures to the site and Email Users to allow the committee to email members of the band directly from the website.  

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