This is the final part in our blog series talking you through setting up a typical corporate intranet using WordPress. See earlier parts: 1 – Introduction, 2 – Privacy, 3 – Accessibility, 4 – User Management, or 5 – Extra Functionality if you missed them.
This article is written for organizations who are using Google Apps to manage their email, and perhaps calendars and documents too. In this situation, where users already understand and use their Google accounts, it is important for Google functionality to be integrated deep into your intranet. Otherwise, you are missing out on an opportunity for your intranet to be embraced quickly and enthusiastically by your employees.
As we discussed in User Management, even the seemingly simple feature of single-sign-on via Google, and ensuring that employees don’t need to wait for accounts to be created before they can start to use the site, could mean the difference between an intranet that is never used and an intranet that becomes the heartbeat of your whole organization.
Our sales pitch
At the end of our intranet series, we really hope that you have a working WordPress intranet that you think is perfect for your organization. Please let us know your success stories (or otherwise)!
Just to prepare you, this article will certainly explain why we believe our paid premium Google Apps Login plugin is essential for a WordPress intranet (assuming you use Google Apps). We hope you don’t mind us covering that. But if we didn’t think the product was important, we wouldn’t have built it in the first place! In any case, we are also thrilled whenever anyone uses the free versions of our plugins, so we will start with a recap on everything we offer.
Google Apps Login
Installing the free version of our Google Apps Login plugin will allow your existing WordPress users (if on a Google email account) to login to your intranet with one click on a Login with Google button that it will place on your login page. That means users don’t need to remember an extra username and password, and they can also take advantage of secure 2-factor authentication if you have it enabled on your Google Apps domain.
To install, go to your WordPress admin panel’s Plugins page, click Add New and search for “Google Apps Login”. Once activated, you will be guided through instructions for configuration.
Your web developer can build extensions on top of our plugin. Once the Google Apps Login plugin is configured, it is very easy to instruct it to obtain extra Google service permissions from your users when they login. This requires no extra configuration and means your code shares the same user authentication and permissions already in place for the Login plugin.
As an example, our free Google Drive Embedder plugin extends the Login plugin. If you install that (search for “Google Drive Embedder” from your Plugins page), you will notice that next time you login to WordPress via your Google account, you will be asked to grant extra permissions to access your Google Drive files.
The Drive plugin itself gives users easy access to their Google Drive in a popup box, where they can select documents to embed directly into their post or page, in the same way as they would pick an existing photo from the WordPress media gallery.
So Google Apps Login for WordPress plugin is a platform where we – and any other third party developers – can share its centralized Google authentication for other purposes. If the Drive plugin had been built completely independently of the Login plugin, it would need separate configuration, an extra authentication/permission step for users, and it would appear as an extra item in users’ Google security panels. Instead, using our platform, your website behaves as one unified ‘web application’, making it more secure and easier to manage.
If you or your web developer would like more information about working with our platform, please get in touch.
Premium Google Apps Login
We warned you that we’d say you need the paid version of our plugin – certainly if your organization has more than a handful of users – and here’s why.
The free version will be a great start in ensuring users can login securely and with minimum fuss – without having to remember separate usernames and passwords – but this assumes that you always manually create WordPress accounts for them in advance.
For a growing organization, that will take more time out of your schedule than you may realize… and what’s worse is that if you forget to set up an account for a new employee, they may never get round to asking you for one, and never end up engaging in your intranet.
Even more worrying from a security point of view: can you be 100% sure that you will remember to (and, again, take the time to!) remove users’ WordPress accounts when they leave the organization? Assuming Google Apps accounts are the ‘gold record’ of users in your organization, then the only way to be sure is to link your WordPress accounts directly to Google Apps.
Our premium plugin comes with all of the following features:
- Auto-create new WordPress users if they authenticate successfully from your specified Google Apps domains
- Populate new user profiles based on their Google profile, leading to greater intranet engagement
- Admin can specify a default WordPress role for new users
- Disable regular WordPress username/password login to ensure terminated employees can not login in the future
- Email support plus updates for one year
To buy a premium license, please visit our web site, and choose the number of Google Apps users you have: http://wp-glogin.com/google-apps-login-premium/
If you are a non-profit or educational institution, please ask us about special discounts available to you. Likewise, if you intend to install the plugin on more than one WordPress site, we can offer significant bulk discounts.
We were very pleased to hear your feedback throughout the creation of our intranet guide, and would love to continue to hear from you. Please email us, or comment below. Has this information helped you set up a successful intranet? What challenges do you face now your intranet is up and running…? We would like to improve our existing products, and also build new products, to better serve WordPress sites, Google Apps admins, and intranets more generally, and we can only do that with your feedback!
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