I'm currently considering converting my college newspaper's WordPress install into a multisite installation in order to create an extra blog that I would like to take a lot of the functionality from our current site to. In essence, they need to work together, which is why I'm leaning towards a multisite install. However, I've noticed that you lose the ability to set up user's accounts for them when you migrate to a multisite install.

That said, I have two questions. Firstly, is there a way that I can restore the ability for site admins to manually set up user's accounts for them?

Secondly, because we're a newspaper, the accounts that we create aren't actually used by anyone to log in, and in that sense are nothing more than a security vulnerability. Is there a way that "phantom" or "loginless" users could be added to WordPress, or perhaps is there another way that users could be managed in this type of setup, reserving the actual accounts for people that need to log in?

  1. Your (super) admins will still be able to edit users' details -- it'll just be a two-step process. First they'll create the user; then, they'll go to the new user's details page (eg, example.com/wp-admin/network/user-edit.php?user_id=[xxx]) to edit the user's details.

  2. I'm not sure I comprehend the second question. Do you require that readers of your online newspaper log in to WordPress before they can read the paper? If so, they should be set up as Subscribers -- see the Codex docs on Roles and Capabilities for a primer on WordPress's built-in roles and those roles' respective capabilities.

  • No. These are authors who are writing the stories, except they don't publish them- our seceds do. We just maintain 300+ accounts that aren't used by anyone to log in, but instead are there so we can assign "authors" to their articles. I'm wondering if we could utilize a taxonomy or what not to assign writers to their content rather than having all these accounts that no ones using. – Noel Forte Nov 12 '14 at 20:21
  • WordPress's built-in roles might help you there too: The roles are Subscriber, Contributor, Author, Editor, and Administrator. (Multisite adds a Super Admin level.) Your authors could be Authors (or possibly Contributors, who can (by default) submit content for review, but cannot publish it). – Pat J Nov 12 '14 at 21:05
  • Pat, like I said, our writers don't even touch Wordpress, so we're only using the accounts to be able to assign authors to posts, not to have people submit content. We have a whole separate copy editing workflow that excludes Wordpress and only adds it after all our print work is done. So is there a way we can assign authors to posts without giving them logins? Taxonomies perhaps? – Noel Forte Nov 12 '14 at 21:13
  • OK, I didn't comprehend that the writers don't log in to WordPress at all. I'd suggest using a custom taxonomy (like, for instance, author). Check out the Codex for some info. You might also find this taxonomy generator helpful. – Pat J Nov 12 '14 at 22:12

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