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.
- 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 #
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 #
|An image slider and video slider plugin for WordPress that adds a simple-to-use Gutenberg slider block to the block editor
|Provides website analytics for the web manager and the u3a committee.
|Allows the System Administrator to support a local u3a’s website by managing the plugins and themes
|Lightbox for Gallery and Image Block
|Adds a Lightbox to the Block Editor Gallery and Image Blocks.
|An all-in-one site acceleration plugin, featuring a server-level cache and a collection of optimisation features, to improve site performance.
|Loginizer is a WordPress plugin which helps prevent brute force attacks by blocking login from an IP address after it reaches the maximum retries allowed. The SiteWorks Administrators can blacklist or whitelist IPs for login using Loginizer.
|Allow the Administrator to place u3a-specific information on the Dashboard for certain users.
|Create custom meta boxes and custom fields in WordPress.
|Meta Field Block
|Provides custom fields.
|u3a SiteWorks Contact Form
|Provides shortcodes to create a secure contact for emails.
|u3a SiteWorks Core
|This plugin provides facilities to manage u3a groups and events and to store related contact and venue information.
|u3a SiteWorks Dashboard
|Allow the Administrator to place u3a specific information on the Dashboard for certain users.
|u3a SiteWorks Import Export
|Provides facility to import and export CSV data files, to help populate the site.
|u3a SiteWorks Maintenance Mode
|Allows the Administrator to place the site into maintenance mode, which prevents the site from being accessed by external visitors, for example, during planned maintenance.
|u3a SiteWorks WordPress configuration
|This plugin disables the WordPress comments facility, removes unnecessary material from the HTML head section, disables access to the user’s rest endpoint, and makes changes to the administration menus.
†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.