Multisite Blog Lifecycle Audit – My First WordPress Plugin…or not?

So I’ve been inspired to write a plugin for WordPress after attending my first WordCamp San Francisco.  I wanted to help contribute back to the WordPress community, but my chops for helping contribute to core code are not good enough.  With that said, I figured I would look for something I need at work that is currently lacking in WordPress and see if I could figure it out myself.

I work as a consultant for the federal government, and without going too much into it, the gov’t requires a LOT of paperwork.  One of the things I’d like to have in my multisite installations is an audit log of when a blog is created, deleted, and also when users are added/removed from blogs.  Anything that you would think an IT security person would want logs of.

Currently, it’s easy to see when a blog is created.  Sadly, when a blog is deleted, it’s just nuked from orbit.  My quick fix is to log to a text file, but that is scattered across multiple web servers, so I wanted to put it into the database. I found the Audit Trail plugin, and it does a bunch of logging, but not exactly the operations I want.  Specifically, addition/deletion of blogs, and adding/removing of users to blogs.

My current boggle is this: Do I modify Johnny5‘s to include the new functionality, or do I use this as a learning experience, start slow and small, and just create what I need?  I’m of the mind of the latter, just to learn more about creating plugins, and basically coding in WordPress.

Your thoughts?


  1. Start small and create a new one from scratch with just what you need. :) No point in muddying the waters, either.
    Actually, this is a great plugin idea. I can see it being very useful for certain sites.

    • *Drinks more coffee*

      Seconded! Write one from scratch. ;)

      An audit trail like that would be remarkably useful for many companies.

      • Hah! Howdy Jan. Surprised to see this comment, but yeah, I’m going to write one from scratch based on another audit-like plugin I found a few months back :)

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