So I’ve been struggling with how to manage our varied user groups when it comes to initial site population and long-term registration rules.
In English, all of our current faculty, staff, students and very recent alumni have @saumag email addresses, so using the built-in WPMU registration restriction based on email domain capability is perfect for that…however, our less recent alumni (obviously the vast majority) do not have SAU email addresses since we only just started offering permanent email in the last year. The problem: either we can restrict registration to @saumag domain emails or we can establish an invitation only community using a plugin.
ITS indicated it would be no problem to give alumni the appropriate email account, but there’s a process involved and I would prefer not to force an additional step when we’re trying to really promote community building. Also, our incoming freshmen don’t get their email addresses until they arrive on campus. The addresses are created in batches as they’re admitted, but not activated until right as the semester starts. We really want easy interaction with both of these groups. A better solution is necessary.
Enter Bulk Import Members. This plugin will allow me to take delimited data from any source and turn it into a pre-registered membership. Essentially, I can import name and email address and the plugin will send an email to the user containing a link to the site and their username/password.
Why is this especially valuable to us? It circumvents the @saumag only restriction without my having to turn it off. It means that current students, faculty, staff, and anyone with a University email can still freely join the community, but I don’t have to put my non-University email address having alumni and admitted students through ANY steps to welcome them into the online community. It’ll also mean that my Alumni director and Admissions staff with admin access can go add their own people as they see fit without needing a lot of help from me.