Bracketpress makes it simple to run your own NCAA bracket contest on your WordPress site. Here are the steps to get it up and running.
1) Install and activate the
Bracketpress Plugin: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/bracketpress/
2) Install and activate the
BracketPress Login/Register Widget: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/bracketpress-login-and-registration-widget/. NOTE: This step is optional. You could use a different login process, but the widget makes things easier as you’ll see below.
3) Upon installation, Bracketpress creates two unpublished blog pages. Navigate to your
Pages and publish both of the drafts. They’ll be titled: “My Brackets” and “BracketPress Leaderboard”:
Change both posts from
4) Flush your permalinks to make sure your brackets will show up after you published them (this is required because the plugin creates a new post type for brackets). Do this by going to
Settings --> Permalinks, and clicking “Save Changes.” You don’t actually have to change anything, just clicking “Save Changes” flushes your permalinks:
5) Upon installation, the
BracketPress Login plugin creates a new widget type that you’ll need to add to your site’s sidebar. Do this by going to
Appearance --> Widgets and dragging the
Bracket Widget into your sidebar, then saving the changes:
6) Enter data for the brackets by hand (if the tournament draw hasn’t been done yet, you can enter dummy data or last year’s data). Do this by going to
Brackets --> Team Data and entering the Team, Conference, Region and Seeds:
7) Create a login for a user. Do this by going to
Users --> And New, and typing in the required information. Set the user’s
8) Visit your site’s Bracket page. This will the URL of the WordPress page you published that’s called “My Brackets”. When I was testing the plugin, that page was http://www.fredmarion/my-brackets/. Once you’re there, login using the subscriber account that you set up in Step 7:
9) Now, that user will be able to view and edit their bracket:
10) To update the scores for each round, you’re going to need to manually update the master bracket. Do this by going to
Brackets --> Master Bracket --> View:
When you’re viewing that page, click the “Edit Bracket” button and enter the game data. If you’re testing, you can click the “Randomize” button to fill out the form with random guesses.
11) Process your scores. The plugin compares the brackets of everyone who plays against the “Master Bracket” to determine the scores each round. To process the scores, you first fill in the Master Bracket (as noted in Step 10), then you need to process the scores. Do that by going to
Brackets --> Settings and Scoring. There, scroll to the very bottom of the page and hit the
Process Scoring button.
If you run into any problems with this step, it’s probably because your master bracket
Page ID isn’t correct. Make sure the
Page ID for your Master Bracket matches the
Page ID listed under
Brackets --> Settings and Scoring:
Unsure what your page ID is? This post can help.
12) View the leaderboard. After you’ve processed your scores, you can point everyone to the leaderboard page that you set up in Step 3. There, they can see how they’re doing in the competition.
Best of luck getting your bracket up and running. Many props go out to the BracketPress team for creating a stellar app!
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