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Stream

Plugin Author: X-Team

Jay Hoffmann

February 3, 2014 (modified on May 19, 2018)

Admin

Stream is a fine example of a plugin built well. It puts performance top of mind and limits features to only the essential to create something that is useful and stable. So what does it do? It keeps a log of all activity on your site and lets you filter the information however you want.

What’s It Do?

Stream adds a new menu option in your admin panel which shows a running log of all activity happening on your site. This includes activity on posts and pages, user logins, menu changes, additions to the media library, theme changes, user activity and a few more. For each piece of recorded activity, you will get a summary of what happened, the user who performed the action, the action itself and it’s various connectors, or what piece of content it relates to. You can filter this information and view by a few different parameters, such as by the user or by the connector, and you can define how long to keep logs in your database before deletion.

Stream helps you keep track of what is going on on your site, especially if you have a few users or are trying to figure out what happened in a crisis.

How’s It Work?

When you install and activate Stream it will start logging activity right away. If you click on Stream -> Settings in the admin you can choose how many days to keep the log in your install before deleting (default is 90). You can also define which user role will have access to the site’s stream. By default, only the administrator can, but you can allow any user role by checking the boxes. You can also reset the entire database and delete all current logs by clicking the “Reset Stream Database” link.

A few basic settings

A few basic settings

If you click the Stream button you will see a list of your recent activity organized into rows. Each row will be timestamped with when the action was performed, followed by a summary of the activity, for instance “[User] logged out” or “[New Post Name] was published”. Next to this will be a column containing the author that performed the described action.

The next three columns are “Connector,” “Context” and “Action”. These are filterable categories which help define and organize the actions. The connector and context are usually the same and describe what part of your WordPress install is being affected (User, Post, Page, Theme, etc.). The action section describes the actual piece of the WordPress API that was evoked (Logged Out, Trashed, Created, Updated, etc.). So for instance, when a User logs out, the action has a connector and context of “User” and an action of “Logout.” If a new post is created, then the connector and context are labeled as “Post” and the action is “Created.” Fairly straightforward. Each of these categories has several parameters that it can fall under, and more are being added by the plugin development team.

A typical stream

A typical stream

At the top of the Stream page, you will see the option to filter the information displayed. You can specify a date range, a user, a connector, a context or an action, or any combination of parameters mixed together. This will show only Stream activity that relates to the parameters you have specified.

Filter by various content types

Filter by various content types

The Stream team (I like the sound of that!) is working on adding new kinds of actions to the plugin and securing the means by which data is stored so that it can be stashed and deleted even more efficiently, so keep an eye out for that.

Costs, Caveats, Etc.

Stream is free and updated, even at the beginning of its development. More comprehensive support docs are on the way, but for now, if you have a question, the support forums are the best place to go.

Resources

Plugin Info
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  • Last Update: August 23rd, 2022
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