Today network23 has had some routine updates and there are a couple of changes to our plugins that writers should know about.
Firstly, by popular demand, the classic editor is back. So if you don’t get along with the newer “block editor” (a.k.a. Gutenberg) you can enable the classic editor plugin, and things will be back like they were in the good old days.
Secondly, the once-popular “WPtouch” plugin seems to have been abandoned by its authors, and is beginning to cause minor problems with the other parts of our software because it’s not being updated. If your site uses WPtouch you should deactivate it and start using a modern theme instead – most themes from the last ten years or so are “responsive”, i.e. they automatically adapt to browsers on smaller-screened devices, which is what WPtouch did for us back in the day when smartphones were a new thing.
You can still use wp-touch now, but at some point in the near future it’s likely to become unusable, so you’d better make your changes soon if this affects you.
Finally we’ve updated our wordpress core software to version 5.4, which you can read about here if you like.
Network23 has added the squat-radar calendar/events plugin. This offers improved privacy over the other calendar plugins available here, so we recommend its use. The plugin integrates with https://radar.squat.net/ to display events on your network23 blog.
Here are some instructions to get it working:
1. Activate the plugin in the dashboard Plugins section
From the dashboard, open the ‘plugins’ page. Scroll down to Squat Radar calendar integration and click ‘Activate’. While you’re here, make sure that The Events Calendar and All-in-One Event Calendar by Time.ly are both deactivated as they can cause problems.
2. Get the code for the events you want to display
If you’re publishing events as a group, you will need to sign-up and create a group on https://radar.squat.net/, if this isn’t already done. Now start at https://radar.squat.net/en/events and use the filters to find the “search result URL” that corresponds to your group’s events. Note that this is not the same as your group’s homepage on radar. For example, https://radar.squat.net/en/events/city/London/country/GB/group/360362 is the search result URL for the group with this homepage: https://radar.squat.net/en/london/grass
Alternatively, you can display any list of events that can be searched for on radar, here in your network23 blog; just apply whatever filters you want on radar.squat.net and make a note of the search result URL that you’re interested in. So if you want to write a blog that publicises all the cafe/bar events in Belgium, you could use https://radar.squat.net/en/events/category/bar-cafe/country/BE .
3. Decide where in your blog you want to display the events
3a. To add a widget (e.g. as a sidebar or footer block) from the dashboard visit: Appearance: Widgets section, drag the ‘Squat Radar Events’ widget from the column on the left to where you want it, in the column on the right. Here, I’m about to place the radar widget in the footer of the blog, just after the search box:
3b.To display your events in a page or a post rather than a widget area, you need to take two steps:
3b.(i) In the Widgets section, rather than dragging the ‘Squat Radar Events’ into a real location like above, you have to drag it into a fake widget area called Squat Radar Shortcodes, in order to properly generate the shortcode you will need. Like this:
3b.(ii) Create the page or post that will hold your events listing. Amongst whatever other content you want there, insert the shortcode . In the Gutenberg editor, you can give it it’s own block, like this:
4. Complete the setup
In the Widgets section, open the Squat Radar Events widget to show the settings. Copy the link to your events (from 2., above) and add to the widget settings as ‘Event Search URL’. You can also add a title, choose how many events to display and what fields to include. The widget provides guidance. Scroll down and hit the Save button, and you’re done.
We provide network23 users with a selection of wordpress plugins. These have been chosen for different reasons. Sometimes, the plugin developers start doing things we don’t like and we have to make a tough choice whether to remove the plugin (which could break some old sites that were relying on it), or deal with it.
Recently some of our plugins have started asking users (i.e. bloggers) to “opt-in”, “upgrade”, or “sign-up” for some extra features. We strongly urge you not to do this. It creates a risk that your privacy could be breached in various ways, and could compromise the way this network runs.
It’s been a while since the front page for network23 was designed. Lots of the links were dead and some functionality relied on things that don’t work anymore. So we decided to start afresh, and hopefully make a front-page that’s simpler and less cluttered than before.
One of the things we had to drop over the last year was buddypress and a few multisite widgets. Instead, we’re now bringing you a “Top 10” (on the right of the front page) and a “Top 100” listing of the blogs we host that have most recently been active. So if you want to see what’s going on, that’s where to look.