Moving to a new community (part 3)

A city made of bricks built by children, "Project Morrinho" is an ever-growing social project that takes the form of a miniature city built by young people in Rio de Janeiro from brick, paint, and other found materials inspired by the landscape, architecture and everyday life of the favelas that span the city. The openings look a bit like form fields on a website form.
Photograph: “Project Morrinho at Night” by Alan Levine. CC-BY 2.0

In this post I’ll show how easy it is to install the Reclaim Hosting community site template. Then, I’ll demonstrate with a couple screenshots how simple it is to populate a community site with student and staff work.

Getting an empty community site installed is done in a flash. But first, folks will need to submit a support ticket to Reclaim Hosting to have the community template added to their WordPress Installation form. Once that is done, the rest is pretty automatic.

With the template added, you’ll see an additional option (actually a radio button) in the WordPress installer:

screen capture of the WordPress installer form. the WordPress Version field is depicted, with a "Content" radio button with two options - a clean install, or a Domains Community Site

In my case, I want to start working on a development subdomain. Once I’m sure everything is ready, I can easily move it into a production spot. For me, that final spot will be community.bergbuilds.domains. But for now, I’ll be working at dev.community.bergbuilds.domains. If you need some guidance on setting up subdomains, please visit this handy guide from Reclaim Hosting’s support docs: https://support.reclaimhosting.com/hc/en-us/articles/1500013046121-Creating-and-Managing-Subdomains

As configured, anyone should be able to submit a website to the Community site through a form. These submissions will be moderated, and will need to be approved by an administrator. If you expect to have two or more administrators, my recommendation is to create multiple admin accounts within the WordPress Users feature. But if you have a single shared administrator user and password, this will be set, at least initially, here.

screen capture of the SETTINGS field of the WordPress installation form.

A quick finalization of the installer form, and I have a new, shiny Community Template site with one entry:

screen capture of a new mostly empty community site template. One entry called Test Post is present.

Once a Community Site is installed, we have the option of hiding that radio button field from the Installer form. You’ll need access to WHM. You’d remove the community site template like this:

screen capture of the Installatron template configuration options in WHM

Select the Installatron Applications Installer, click on Templates and use the check boxes to toggle which options are seen in the installer form. In the WordPress stanza, you will uncheck to hide, check to show.

screen capture of the WHM Installatron Applications Installer template settings

I’ll work through the Gravity Forms configuration and administrative settings in a future post. But for now, just know there is a lot of flexibility, and the submission of a site (pending approval) to the community is super easy. The trickiest part is uploading a thumbnail of the homepage, which will require some sort of clipping software (we’ll look at using a headless browser called Puppeteer and a small NodeJS script to auto-generate thumbnails in a future post, as well).

Here’s the form that is set up by default once the template is installed:

animated screen capture scrolling through the fields of the Submit A Site form

Whether you work with Gravity Forms (again, reach out to Reclaim Hosting), or procure another form-building WordPress plugin, there are several options for bringing a form’s data into WordPress as a post. That is basically all that is necessary to leverage The Post Grid, it’s Isotope-provided core functionality, and all the sorting, searching, and pagination goodness that I’ll explore in the next post.

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