Attaining the Holy Grail of WordPress Registration Customization

Registration Customization Plugin Search

Disclaimer: This is a lengthy post, but well worth it.

Have you been searching for that perfect WordPress custom registration plugin that will allow you to fully customize your user registration page? I have…literally for years. I believe I’ve found the solution we’ve ALL been looking for, but I need your help to make sure.

The Problem

I have tried many plugins and combination of plugins both in the past and just a few days ago to try and get the WordPress registration page customized to my exact needs. The trouble is that I have never been able to find one that had everything I needed.

The one plugin solutions always seemed to be lacking one critical piece of functionality that I needed. Then I was left with trying to use several plugins that achieved similar results, but one would have some function that the other didn’t.

The problem with this approach is that you then have overlapping features, two plugins performing the same tasks. Errors and unexpected behavior abounded (for me at least).

The Solution (almost)

While performing my normal morning WordPress research and news sponging, I came across a new site named WP Honors which as you might guess by it’s name, aims to honor those associated with WordPress in some way. It’s a cool idea for a site but I’ll let you explore it on your own. While there I came across a nomination for a plugin named Register Plus Redux.

Learn how to customize your WordPress registration and profile pages
Register Plus Redux

Now, if you’ve been involved with WordPress for any length of time, of if you’ve already researched on how to create a custom registration page in WordPress, the first part of that name might ring a bell. There is an existing plugin named Register Plus and back in the day, it was the grand puba of registration plugins. However, the original developer abandoned the plugin just about a year ago.

This is where Register Plus Redux steps onto the scene. Another developer named radiok has stepped in and started developing a fork of the original registration plugin. When I say stepped onto the scene, I should say busted onto the scene like the Kool-Aid man busts through walls!

His version of the plugin has only been live for just over a month (at the time of this writing) and not only has he squashed most of the bugs reported by users, but has also added a TON of very useful features. Just a look at some of what this plugin offers:

Register Plus Redux enables the user registration process to be customized in any way, big or small. Is there another field you want users to fill out when registering? Do you want to change the message your users receive after they register? Do you want users to have to verify their email address is legitimate? Do you want to queue up new users to be approved or denied by an administrator? Register Plus Redux can do all that and more.

Enhancements to registration include:

  • Customized registration page, including your own logo, disclaimer, license agreement, or privacy policy
  • User-entered password (with password strength meter)
  • Added profile fields
  • Additional required fields for registration
  • Invitation code system (with dashboard widget to track invites)
  • User-defined fields
  • Email verification of new users
  • Administration verification of new users
  • Customized new user message
  • Customized administrator message

As you can see, it’s pretty kickass, but it still didn’t fit my specific needs. Ugh. But read on because there’s an opportunity for this plugin to not only fill my needs but probably yours as well.

What Features Does My Perfect Registration Customization Plugin Have?

Multisite/Network Compatibility

First and foremost, it must be compatible with WordPress MU and Multisite. MU you might ask? Isn’t that outdated in favor of WP 3.0.1 with Multisite enabled. Yes it is, but I have some clients with MU 2.9.2 installations. These days I work almost exclusively within the WordPress Multisite environment for my own network of sites and any new client projects I create.

Removal of Built-in WordPress Fields

Secondly, if you’re going to have the ability to create custom registration fields and have your users fill them out, then you would most certainly want to have the option to remove the built-in fields that WordPress provides. I’m talking about the AIM, Jabber, etc. fields.

The good news is that Register Plus Redux does allow you to remove these fields from the registration page by toggling them on and off in the settings. However, this does not remove these fields from the profile page. These fields just don’t make sense anymore, especially when you haven’t asked for that information during registration.

There are ways to remove these fields as you can see in my previous post, but could this feature be added into the Register Plus Redux plugin? I decided to find out.

You Don’t Know Until You Ask

I decided to contact the plugin developer (radiok) directly but before I did I made sure to read through his documentation and some of the forum posts, as well as his website. I quickly learned that the MU/MS feature was on the todo as well as many other things, but there was no indication of when…he is developing this plugin for free ya know;)

In my contact with radiok, I offered a donation and asked if the Multisite compatibility could be moved up on the todo list and also if he would consider the removal of the built-in contact fields from the Profile page feature. I was delighted to receive a reply a short while later that included a detailed response to my suggestions/requests and an agreement that these items would be looked at more closely.

I was also asked my opinion on some other thoughts radiok had about the organization of the plugin backend, especially concerning the placement of all the settings he’s built-in as they are now getting a bit complex.

It Takes a Village (WP Community)

I replied with my thoughts and suggestions, but there was also something else I added to my reply. I shared my intention to implement an idea I’ve had for awhile concerning a WordPress registration and profile customization plugin. It’s nothing new really, but the idea is this…to rally the WP Community to support the development of this plugin. Believe it or not, I actually had a draft post saved that included a few brainstorms about this very subject. It was prompted by a forum thread I found while searching (yet again) for another solution. This is the draft post…no bull:

Let’s Get a Registration Plugin Built

Idea: Start a community initiative to fund the development of a registration and profile fields plugin to be released for free.

Get devs to line up and then promote it to the WP world
Create a mock up of the interface and post these images and ideas
Create an entire community project site?

I would say that is serendipity in full swing!

How Much is Custom Registration Worth?

Think about that for a moment. The Register Plus Redux plugin is already freely available. Chances are, it might handle everything you need already. Is that worth a $1, $5, $10?

Now think about the future.

Register Plus was a very popular plugin on the repository with over 130,000 downloads…then the author discontinued development and after a few WordPress upgrades things started to break.

Imagine you had installed this on a client site and created a custom registration form and all of a sudden it stopped working after you (or they) upgraded their installation. You would be scrambling to get it fixed and time would be of the essence!

It would probably cost you.

If it were me, I’d have to hire a plugin developer, and one who had the chops to take on this already complex plugin. Add the hours he or she would need to spend to find out what’s broken plus the hours of coding to fix things and you’d be in the several thousands easily. I ask again, how much is this plugin worth to you? $20, $30, $50?

It’s the Right Thing To Do

So folks, here’s the point. I’m asking that you throw a few bucks to radiok if you use this plugin. In other words, you’re donating to “the cause” of Register Plus Redux development and at the same time contributing to the software that we all love. Keep in mind that I do NOT know radiok personally. My communication with him started as outlined above. He deserves it. I hope you agree.

Donate to Register Plus Redux Development

Disclaimer: The Paypal button was supplied directly from radiok upon my request. No donations go through me or this website.

Spread the Word – Pay it Forward

I’m a realist and I know times are tough. You may not be able to afford even a $1, and that’s ok. You can still help by spreading the word about this donation campaign by sharing it on your own site, on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, etc. Whatever you’re preferred means of socializing online, please help me to spread the word. I know the WP Community is full of helpful, positive, and appreciative people!