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This is kind of an airy-fairy question but it's been causing me grief for weeks and I'd like some outside input. I have a client, a programmer, who wants a site set up so people can post stories, edit them, share the accounts, comment, etc. I have the site working rather well via buddypress and a few other plugins. However, he has spent very little time playing in the admin area and steadfastly refuses to watch and training videos or learn about the system as a whole. The remaining features he wants really seem very far our of the standard WP parameters. It is really beyond me as how to get them to work, but all attempts to dissaude him have failed. They include:

-Wanting multiple useres/emails on one account/profile and the ability to share/give access to this account. For instance, the whole family (with multiple emails) is under one profile and can post, edit the stories and comment.

-All of these people are supposed to be able to edit Posts off the same, joint account and manage comments.

-having the story posting process divided up into multiple pages with big push-buttons. Right now it is through a BuddyPress simple front end plugin where you can add pics, Post text, add a audio file, choose a category etc. He wants it to be this multi-step process to create one post.

There are some other wonky requests too. To me, this sounds like the essential WordPress framework would need to be reworked somehow. I can't get him to understand that this is not how it was built to work and he is just asking for trouble. So far his main test subject has been his elderly non-tech mom, who needless to say doesn't understand any of it. So somehow he thinks he can dumb it down to a level she could get. I might also add, he has rejected including a page with instructions on how to post and comment. I'm ready to throw the towel in on what started out as, and still is, a pretty nice and functional site. But it seems like the "dumber" the front gets the more hideous the backend is. Does anyone have any input on this, even if it is "he's nuts and it would cost a ton?" or "this is not WordPress is for?" Thanks for any comments.

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2 Answers

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Yeah, the multiple user under one account is not stock with WordPress. You would essentially have to reprogram a lot of stuff to get everything you are wanting, and hacking the core is a no-no, as all updates would just over-write it. So you wouldn't be able to update it, or have a lot of work every time you update.

Either he decides he doesn't want some of these features, or choose another software.

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I want to note that WP's user/role system is quite flexible out of the box and is further extensible. I don't think I ever heard of customizing it requiring core edits. –  Rarst Jan 1 at 19:30
    
I didn't say that the core would need to be hacked up :) "and hacking the core is a no-no".. I said that to let Erm know that hacking the core is not a good idea. –  MrJustin Jan 1 at 20:13
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I feel like your frustration gets in the way of client-professional relationship a bit. As a professional you are not paid for something WordPress already does - it comes with it already. You are paid precisely to develop extra functionality.

There is good dissuading and bad dissuading the client. Dissuading client from coloring site in toxic unreadable colors is good. Dissuading client from implementing functionality that would improve experience for his target user base is not so good. Client pays so that users have easy time, not you. :)

Grouping accounts is not unreasonable to me. Yes, it is challenge to architecture and get right. No, it isn't illogical or somehow incompatible with WordPress.

Multi-step forms are staple technique for simplifying input process. Again - very reasonable feature.

Overall it's not our place to validate or invalidate your client's opinions. You have a choice between firing the client or telling him how much these things would cost him [and getting them done if the price tag is agreed on]. Ponder the choice, make the choice.

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You have a point. Definitely frustrated though since I am primarily a designer and this is far beyond what I can do. Also, he didn't bring any of this up in the first few discussions and has been adding them/coming up with them as we go. What we initially discussed is there and functional in the working site. Normally I would end it at this point but he's also a friend, which makes things even trickier. I feel I should be able to articulate well why these ideas aren't so hot and also what sort of person he needs to hire to finish it off. I just feel it will end badly no matter what. –  ERM Jan 1 at 18:50
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@ERM you have learned two important lessons - have agreed upon scope in writing and working for friends is a mess :) –  Rarst Jan 1 at 18:56
    
Ah yes, I usually don't work with friends but his first page was a piece of cake. However, Rarst, you little genius you, I DO have a contract with him. Time to dig it out, dust it off, put on my big designer panties and cut the cord. Clichés ahoy! –  ERM Jan 1 at 19:10
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