Plugins

Introduction #

Plugins are small open-source software packages, that can be ‘plugged in’ to a WordPress site to provide functionality, that is not available in the core software. Over time the development team will implement updates to SiteWorks plugins, these are listed here.

The SiteWorks software developers have provided a set of plugins that provide the u3a theme and the functionality required by an individual u3a to use, and hence manage their web presence.

The use of an individual plugin is discussed in the relevant user guide. In most cases, a plugin’s detailed operation and configuration are transparent to all users including the Administrator.

Important Note #

The SiteWorks software distributions include all the required plugins. Web Managers or other users with Administrator privileges should be aware of the following important points:

  • If the Web Manager wishes to review the operation of an unsupported plugin, this MUST be undertaken on a LocalWP site AND NOT on the production site. Deleting “test” plugins may not “clean up” properly and can leave settings or data on the production site that can affect site operation and may be difficult to resolve should a problem arise.
  • Web Managers are discouraged from installing additional plugins unless specifically advised or recommended by the SiteWorks team, as this may cause software issues, etc. If additional plugins are added, it is the responsibility of the u3a, to ensure that the cookie policy and other conditions within the Website Terms of Use and Standard Operating Procedures (in particular section 1.4) are maintained at all times.
  • If the System Administrators note that an Web Manager is using a unsupported plugin which requires a security updating, the System Administrators will undertake this update, to protect the integrity of the SiteWorks server.

The plugin menu is only visible to users with Administrator access and is found on the dashboard menu as shown below:

Select Plugins ⇒ Installed Plugins to obtain a list of the installed plugins, and their status.

Each plugin may be Activated or Deactivated by selecting the appropriate button. There is also an Auto-update enable/disable option on some plugins. If enabled, which is not recommended, the plugin software will be automatically updated whenever the plugin provider releases a new version. If not selected when an update is available a red icon appears next to Plugins, showing the number of updates available. The updating of the core plugins will be undertaken by the SiteWorks Administrator remotely, once testing has confirmed that the update will cause no issues.

It is possible from this page to view details of each Plugin by selecting View Details, of particular importance is the Changelog that allows Administrators to track development and confirm the resolution of specific problems.

Installed Plugins #

LiteSpeed Cache is provided in the current distribution, but should not be activated due to technical issues being resolved.

Update Process #

Most updating of plugin updates will be handled through the system administrators. The MainWP management console alerts the system admin team to the availability of plugin updates on all sites. It should be noted that it can take up to 24 hours after an update becomes available for the management system to detect its availability, and this might then not be seen and actioned by the system admin team until the following morning. Proposed and implemented updates to SiteWorks plugins are listed here.

The process for supported plugins – i.e. those provided within a standard SiteWorks release – is to verify the plugin update on a separate test system and then deploy it to all sites.

For unsupported plugins, it is the responsibility of the local Web Administrator to check the suitability and assess the implications of any plugin updates as our team can not undertake any testing of such updates. If the update is related to security issues, the System Administrators WILL implement the upload, to maintain the security of the SiteWorks system.

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Updated on 2024-02-22