Support Forum

Finding members by first and last name, maybe email

Thorsten B
Aug 5, 2017 - 4:25 am

I know a similar question has been brought up before, but I'd like to add my perspective to it.

We are running an ecourse site and all our student interactions are in the forum without any access to the WP backend. I know the member list only searches for display names, which isn't all that useful to our users. It would be great if they could also search by first and last name, perhaps even email. The reason for that is that students are often curious if anyone they know is taking a class.

I am on the fence about searching by email address as it's one of the more sensitive pieces of information (we had students concerned/confused because their email address shows up on their profile when they look at it and we had to explain it's only visible to them). Though it's also one of the most definite options to find someone specific.

First and last name would be great though. Is there any possibility of having this added or can search already be modified in that regard?

Mr Papa
Simi Valley, CA
Free Members
Aug 5, 2017 - 9:56 am

 its unlikely we would make that the default as many sites dont even collect a first and last name - and most that do would consider that private information...  or said differently, display name is the forward facing way for a user to be known...  any other name information, or email, is considered private information...  as a general rule...  of course, there are always exceptions that make perfectly good sense...

and adding it in as an option is a possibility (we can even add it to our list) but having too many options can be dizzying and confusing... like WordPress, we generally prefer decisions vs options and instead prefer to offer ways to accommodate...

and as such, you can already change this with a filter and bit of code...

you can use the filter 'sph_members_list_query' to adjust how the search is done... the first argument to the filter is the query object... element $spdb->where will contain the where clause of the query...  its a string and in there will be 'AND display_name LIKE "xxxxx%"'...  you can adjust that however you like...  note the xxxx is the search term and % is a wildcard marker...

Thorsten B
Aug 7, 2017 - 10:34 am

Thank you for all the information. I concluded that it actually might not make much sense to search for first and last name as neither is included on the member list, so it might lead to confusion. Instead we'll use a forum where students introduce themselves and where they can then search for other students based on the information provided in each post. That makes it a clear matter of choice for as to what one is willing to share, which will then come up in the forum search as well.

Yellow Swordfish
Glinton, England
Aug 7, 2017 - 12:43 pm