Maybe a better name for an add-on would be good. But I was thinking recently after a near life ending medical condition. What would happen once I’m gone to my personal website and my journals?

I have since made sure I have a detailed manual for keeping my site up, and how to. But I was also thinking about my yet to be posted stuff. This was an easy fix just place entry date in future and do not use any future entries on public pages.

My journals and un-posted ideas could just end in a pile of recycling. But within this someone else may get inspiration. While alive I would not want these to be posted.

So this is what I would like to do.

• Able to set a whole channel as “off”, and still have listed in all my templates, just won’t render any thing

• Per entry set to single member (currently available add-on) for letters to friends and loved ones.

• Daily verification emails to see if I’m still around, if no reply a second level of verifications, then if no reply the hidden channel becomes active.

• A 3rd level could be emails to friends and family to verify

Sounds kind off sick, but I have way more art and ideas done up than what’s on my personal site, and I would hate to see that disappear. Just think of it as a Digital Will for EE, WillEE

So far my best solution I can do is a CRON job that would replace a few templates with ones that would also include the hidden channels to be rendered.

Thanks Mike

  • Is your webhost shutting down the site due to non-payment (being expired and all) a similarly important threat that would negate the whole kit and caboodle? I get what you're looking for, but the scope of a "dead man switch" is far from limited to the CMS - it's webhosting, billing, etc. that you'd have to solve above all else - starting from the outmost process. Wouldn't you roll that all up with granting power of attorney to someone upon your death? Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 12:31
  • I all ready have process and funding to keep site up if / when I should pass. I'm looking for a way to leave an "Easter egg" that would enable extra content to become available to the site.
    – user1305
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 14:40

1 Answer 1


OK, I'll kick this one off...

Firstly you will need a trigger to tell the site you're dead. How to do this is the hardest part! Possibly you have to log in once a week to verify, but ultimately you'll need some failsafe's in place otherwise you risk worrying friends and relatives with your premature news.

Either a Extension utilising a Session hook that runs upon each view of your site then does a check to see if you've been about, or a cron job that calls an ACTion URL (so triggering a module to do the pulse checks).

You could then have a database table, custom user field or update the config file to set a global variable. Obviously if you've gone down the custom database table route, you'll need an additional extension/module/plugin that either pulls that information or sets a global variable to be used in any template.

For your channel "off" scenario, you just have conditionals, whereby your normal news/blog would utilise channel="X", and then either via a parent embed passing it or a simple conditional utilising the global variable, you add the death channel to the parameter, e.g.

channel="1{if dead}|2{/if}" or channel="{if dead}2{if:else}1{/if}"

...or if passing via an embed:

{embed=blog/listing channelParam='channel="{if dead}2{if:else}1{/if}"'}

Regarding: "Per entry set to single member", I'm not sure which add-on you're referring to, but you could do this simply, by assigning the individual to receive the message as the author of the entry. Then when {if dead} display all entries by the current logged in member (if no message for that member, nothing is displayed).

If they already have access to the EE Control Panel, you can hide the entries or channels using this add-on http://devot-ee.com/add-ons/entry-access.

"Daily verification emails", touched on already above, but the easiest method would be to utilise the last visited status of your account and if you haven't been about for a couple of days, then raise the warning flag. As mentioned, either a cron triggering an ACT url and module, or an extension triggered by the session hook (only works if you have a popular site!). Your extension or module could then trigger an email to get you to login into the site. Or if you want to be lazy, you could have a hidden template URL that triggers the email for you: http://devot-ee.com/add-ons/email-from-template.

The 3rd tier of rigor mortis verification would be the same email trigger as above, possibly after the time check has triggered again but after a longer period of time. The difference being that you'd need to get the relative/friend to click on a link (ACTion URL again) that either confirmed you'd popped your clogs, or your heart was still beating.

Granted the 3rd level of checks may counter this, but the biggest problem would be false trigger due to prolonged time away from the internet, or what if there was a problem with your host going down for a period of time, coming back up, and all the triggers firing at once due to the time delay.


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