WordPress bridge plugin (beta) - user verify, thread replies, conversations, and more

Mangini

Well-known member
Over the last few months since switching my forums to XenForo I have been building the addon I've always wanted since I started selling my products online - a way to let my customers verify themselves to my support forums. In years of selling products online I have been manually promoting new members to a "customer" user group to give access to my site's private forums, but over the last few days I have watched my users start to verify themselves!

Thanks to how robust the XFAPI is, I didn't stop there and ended up building a pretty action packed plugin with other cool features like importing thread replies for blog comments, a multi-conversation starter interface, tabbed widget with latest/featured posts and threads, and a bunch of helpful developer tools for building future integrations.

This is a WordPress plugin that seeks to make your forum a beloved feature of your website and not be so disconnected anymore. For simplicity sake, this is not a plugin that synchronizes users automatically but allows your WordPress users to verify individual forum usernames (by promoting forum users to secondary usergroups, probably similar to how XF.com works).

I have to go for now but I will update this thread with more examples later!
 

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Mangini

Well-known member
Answering some questions received from private messages:

We do not allow our forum/any users to register at our news website. We just provide the authors with WordPress account each. Does your plugin auto import forum users account into WP site once they comment?
No user data is imported to or from either side and registration must still be done with two separate accounts. The idea behind the verify form allows registered WordPress users to promote/demote forum users from the frontend of the WP website.

Can we disable the verification form? That is not something we need, so just asking.
The verification form is something you have to enable manually by placing a shortcode or template tag anywhere to show up on your site. I made this feature as a way for offer a more automated forum verification feature to each of my customers and definitely recommend it be used behind some kind of paywall!

If we create a new thread using the WP option by your plugin, from whose forum user ID it will be created? Does that user need to be connected to the form via the verification form.
In the plugin setup you can add the forum user ID who will be used to post threads. Of course, that user must have the proper permissions to post to the forum(s).

It displays the forum replies through live API query on page view or stores it somewhere on the WordPress installation?
My beta plugin currently makes an API request per page load, but the released version will make one request every X hours (user-configurable) and save the post replies to any given page's post meta table in the database.

How does this plugin affects on performance of the website?

I could write paragraphs about this but performance is the #1 priority of this plugin. Over 90% of data syncing happens from the WP admin panel and is already neatly saved to the wp_options table before the web page is even loaded.

When thread comments need to refresh, they silently do so in an asynchronous way that guarantees the comments are loaded by the time the user scrolls down. Again, comments are saved to the page's postmeta table so if the request fails for whatever reason the plugin will load the template of the last saved comments.
 

Mangini

Well-known member
Relaying some more questions/answers from PM below. I also have a sneak peak at how the Conversations manager works for user promotions/demotions (see below attachment).

How about an admin option to hide/hide by default first post of the linked thread under comments section. Usually sites use bot account to auto post on the forum, so it just posts the same snippet over the community. It is not necessary to display the first post.
Good spot - I encountered this in the first version of threaded comments I built and I currently have it set to only show the initial thread post upon publish, and then remove it once a reply is made to the thread.

And, a WordPress widget to display latest comments shown on WP posts forum linked threads can be useful addition to the sidebar. Can call it Latest forum comments or something like that. :)
Currently the widget shows the latest posts from the forum, featured threads (user enters the thread ID), and a simple forum listing.

I plan not to perform testing of the plugin on my live website but i have a parked domain in which I can clone my website and you can perform all sorts of testings over there. Does that sounds good?
I don't apply site usage limits to my software, the only thing I restrict is how many times you can activate license keys to get auto-updates sent to your site(s), and I never disable features for any reason.

Does the XF forum need an add-on in it's end to enable the connection with WP site or it doesn't?
No, this is only a WP plugin.

Do you plan to add switch per option to turn off each feature among those four options. Because there will be users who want to integrate one feature but not the others. Such as User verification and Conversations aren't going to be used by us. May be you will end up getting users who do not want forum comments integration but User verification and Conversations.
Definitely. All of the features in the plugin have to be activated by usage or a direct option to enable them. This keeps the amount of data being saved to your DB down and of course prevents external scripts and styles from loading where they are not needed.

To link threads to WP posts, do we have to use the thread URL or ID?
Thread ID. Copying the URL would be slightly easier but as the URL is subject to change it would make for an unreliable connection.

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SEE MORE: Follow a more public conversation about this plugin at The Admin Zone
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Chernabog

Well-known member
I need a way to give XF more of a front end web appearance, before people hit the 'community' features - otherwise it seems to confuse younger web browsers (or turn them off) --- this looks like it has potential to kind of be that?
 

Mangini

Well-known member
I need a way to give XF more of a front end web appearance, before people hit the 'community' features - otherwise it seems to confuse younger web browsers (or turn them off) --- this looks like it has potential to kind of be that?
I think you are on the right track! This plugin helps give forums a front-facing look in a few ways:
  1. The idea with Thread Comments is to get the latest posts from any XF thread and embed them where WP blog comments typically show. This will allow you to limit conversations to the forum only and entice people to sign up there to comment on posts instead of the free-for-all, limited display of blog comments.
  2. There are a couple of widgets included that allow you to fetch forum content like latest posts, featured threads, board statistics, and a forum listing. See attachment for a preview of the "Tab widget" in my blog's sidebar.
  3. With this plugin's developer tools anybody can easily retrieve the full range of XF's API to build other features using their forum's data.
 

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Mangini

Well-known member
The plugin is nearing completion and soon moving to BETA. I am looking for a small handful of testers who would be interested in helping me test this plugin on their sites.

If interested please PM me the following:
  1. Link to XenForo forum:
  2. Link to WordPress site:
  3. XenForo license validation token:
  4. Feature you are most interested in:
If you have any questions let me know here or in your message. Beta testing should start in about a week and I will have clear expectations set for what I am looking for after approving your application. Thank you!
 

Mangini

Well-known member
The plugin is nearing completion and soon moving to BETA. I am looking for a small handful of testers who would be interested in helping me test this plugin on their sites.

If interested please PM me the following:
  1. Link to XenForo forum:
  2. Link to WordPress site:
  3. XenForo license validation token:
  4. Feature you are most interested in:
If you have any questions let me know here or in your message. Beta testing should start in about a week and I will have clear expectations set for what I am looking for after approving your application. Thank you!

I am making a last call for beta testers—there are only two spots remaining! For your time you will be awarded a one year license at no charge for this powerful plugin. Follow the steps in my quoted message to apply!
 

Mangini

Well-known member
New update:

Thank you to everybody who applied, I am about to finally move the plugin into beta and get it into your hands very shortly. I expect a quick testing period and am aiming to release the full plugin within the month - stay tuned and thank you for the support!
 
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