Can I build a great community based site built on WordPress?

by Gozang
17 replies
I've found my niche and audience and product to sell to the community and for that reason, I'm planning to build a feature rich community site where community members can entertain, open discussion, ask for help, and find answers.

I'm still looking for the best solution in terms of platform to build my dream site for the community but haven't found the answer. I'm considering wordpress as it already so many plugins and custom themes. My question is that is it a good idea to build such site on wordpress ? or what's the best solution for such a site?

Right now, my budget is up to 5k.
#based #build #built #community #great #site #wordpress
Avatar of Unregistered
  • BuddyPress is one of the popular plugin to turn WordPress into social networking website. You may want to try this first before looking for other solutions.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11484603].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Gozang
      Thank you for the suggestion. I'm not looking to build social networking site. It's solely centered on community to engage in dialog, discussion, information, entertainment but not networking. No groups, no friends to build.
      Signature

      I'm looking for a great mentor and also looking for experienced wordpress developer.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11486140].message }}
      • Gozang,

        Originally Posted by Gozang View Post

        Thank you for the suggestion. I'm not looking to build social networking site. It's solely centered on community to engage in dialog, discussion, information, entertainment but not networking. No groups, no friends to build.
        Yes. I completely understand that you don't want to build a social networking site.
        Sure. You can use WordPress to build the community site that you want.
        You need to focus on two main development areas:

        Form -- You can find a nearly ideal WordPress theme (free or paid) and modify it to achieve the most suitable look and feel for your target audience; and

        Function -- You can use, set up and modify certain WP plugins (free or paid, and there are lots of them) to achieve the most suitable functions for what you want your target audience to do in your community site.

        But point is:

        • You won't know the most suitable form and functionality that you must integrate into your community site without knowing the relevant habitual preferences of your target audience when it comes to doing the things that you want them to do in your site ...

        So if you want viewers to post questions / discussions and participate in meaningful dialogues with others regarding certain topics, then the corresponding section of your website should be able to allow them to do this with as little pain as possible; and

        This should also be the case when it comes to the section of your site where you want them to view, react, share and comment on content posts (or publish their own posts) ...

        Now you can achieve that by hiring a designer with experience in modifying the visual look and feel of an existing WordPress theme.
        You can then hire a developer with expertise in setting up the right WordPress plugins and in modifying PHP code to achieve the functionality that you want for your community site.

        I for one would hire two people instead of finding one with skill sets that match those very different areas.
        That's because it's pretty hard to find one person with significant expertise in both areas (form and function).

        But you need to guide them regarding form and functionality.
        And you also need to manage them as they work together.

        So what can guide you to guide them is your ideal audience profile.
        Do you have one? No? Build one. Yes? Update it.
        This involves niche market research, data analytics and competitor analyses.
        Signature

        Hire Us to Get More Targeted Traffic & Sales in Tech, Business & Digital Marketing Niches — Text Chat with Me in Skype HERE
        I'm a Digital Marketing Consultant, Startup Entrepreneur, Content Writer & AI / ML / DL Developer — BBC Business News Interview & VIsION, Wearable AI Device for the Blind

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11486162].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author MSutton
        Originally Posted by Gozang View Post

        Thank you for the suggestion. I'm not looking to build social networking site. It's solely centered on community to engage in dialog, discussion, information, entertainment but not networking. No groups, no friends to build.

        Then I stand by my suggestion that you use wordpress for a blog and MyBB for a forum.



        Also, please realize that no matter what kind of format you choose (forum, social site, etc, etc, etc,) you will find the hardest part is getting people to participate on your site when it's new. When they come to your site and see no threads and conversations they will just leave.


        Save your $5K budget for paying people to post on your forum. I know it sounds black hat, but there is no other way to make your site look like it's getting popular. You have to show promise if real people are to start posting to your site. It's just the way it is. It would be the same if, say, you put up a dating site. You have to make a bunch of fake profiles to make it look like people are actually using the site.



        On your blog, I would turn off commenting. Instead, at the end of every article, put a link to the forum thread where you announce your new blog article. People can talk about/comment on the article on the forum.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11486206].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Gozang
          Originally Posted by MSutton View Post

          Then I stand by my suggestion that you use wordpress for a blog and MyBB for a forum.



          Also, please realize that no matter what kind of format you choose (forum, social site, etc, etc, etc,) you will find the hardest part is getting people to participate on your site when it's new. When they come to your site and see no threads and conversations they will just leave.


          Save your $5K budget for paying people to post on your forum. I know it sounds black hat, but there is no other way to make your site look like it's getting popular. You have to show promise if real people are to start posting to your site. It's just the way it is. It would be the same if, say, you put up a dating site. You have to make a bunch of fake profiles to make it look like people are actually using the site.



          On your blog, I would turn off commenting. Instead, at the end of every article, put a link to the forum thread where you announce your new blog article. People can talk about/comment on the article on the forum.
          Thanks for the advice. My site will not only have forums, there will be other features. I wish there was a way to integrate forum script with cms like wordpress.
          Signature

          I'm looking for a great mentor and also looking for experienced wordpress developer.

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11486952].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author expmrb
    My suggestion is that don't build a community as an extension of your blog (Wordpress). As in the long run services like BuddyPress (as suggested earlier) will create problems.


    Build community and just add a blog in it. Many forum scripts provide blog by default.
    Signature
    SEO Motionz Forum - A Digital Marketing Forum
    Forum Management & Promotion, SEO Tips, Money Making tips etc.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11484640].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    I agree that it's easier to start with a decent forum software then add the blog. The other way around typically doesn't have as good software/addons.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11484677].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author guillaumejd
    You can do many things with WordPress but keep in mind the its code is written for blogs. For a forum I would use a free script like phpBB which is open source.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11484724].message }}
  • Gozang,
    Q: Can I build a great community-based site on WordPress?
    A: Short answer is yes. But would it be aligned to the content viewing preferences and social posting habits of your niche audience?

    -- Your ideal customer profile can cost-effectively guide you on how to strategically start your online community ...
    • Many of your target viewers already have habitual preferences when it comes to viewing content, participating in meaningful discussions and sharing interesting content with their peers;
    • They also prefer to use certain types of devices to do these things; and
    • so remember, they're unlikely to spend time in your platform when they don't feel comfortable doing this for long periods of time ...

    -- So let your niche market data guide you on which platform to use, how to design and manage it ...
    • I do hope this helps.
    Signature

    Hire Us to Get More Targeted Traffic & Sales in Tech, Business & Digital Marketing Niches — Text Chat with Me in Skype HERE
    I'm a Digital Marketing Consultant, Startup Entrepreneur, Content Writer & AI / ML / DL Developer — BBC Business News Interview & VIsION, Wearable AI Device for the Blind

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11484742].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MSutton
    Install mybb or Simple Machines forum (SMF )or phpBB (all are free) forum script on yourdomain.com

    Install wordpress for your blog on yourdomain.com/blog

    Of course, you don't really need a blog as you can have a forum section where you post articles, this would be your blog. But it's your choice. If you do install a separate blog, just make sure you have a link to your blog (in your header and/or footer) of forum and a link to your forum (in your header and/or footer) of your blog. This way people reading your forum can click through to your blog and people on your blog can click through to your have a forum. This also makes sure search engines can find both.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11484792].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Gozang
    Thank you all for your responses and suggestions.

    I thought of wordpress as a platform to build my dream community site as there are many custom themes and plugins available in the market and those can be customized to some extent to give unique look and feel. In the site, there would not only be forum, but there will be other features which allow me to monetise the site in many ways. To do so, I'm thinking of building wp sites and merge them to make one site with many features.

    I know combining different sites for more features seem interesting but could be a tough job. Only problem I see achieving that is finding wp developer who is willing and can do so and not charge beyond my budget.

    It's just a preliminary possible option to build the site but not the final one. I'm also considering custom made website from scratch but that would cost me so much time and money which might be beyond my affordability.
    Signature

    I'm looking for a great mentor and also looking for experienced wordpress developer.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11484793].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MSutton
    If the wordpress part of the site is the main part, then you can do the opposite of what I said and install it on yourdomain.com and you forum on yourdomain.com/forum


    But you can just use Wordpress with buddypress if you want. And you don't really need a developer to start out. Setting up wordpress or even one of the free forum scripts I mentioned is easy. Wordpress themes and plugins are also very easy to install. But don't go overboard on the plugins. Wordpress gets bloated and very slow.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11484811].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Steve L
    Originally Posted by Gozang View Post

    I've found my niche and audience and product to sell to the community and for that reason, I'm planning to build a feature rich community site where community members can entertain, open discussion, ask for help, and find answers.

    I'm still looking for the best solution in terms of platform to build my dream site for the community but haven't found the answer. I'm considering wordpress as it already so many plugins and custom themes. My question is that is it a good idea to build such site on wordpress ? or what's the best solution for such a site?

    Right now, my budget is up to 5k.
    Wordpress can essentially do anything and everything, although I feel it does nothing very well.

    Have you considered just starting a slack community or using something similar?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11486186].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author MSutton
      If you want it to be seamlessly integrated then you will have to use a forum plugin for wordpress. There is bbPress, Buddypress and more. Here is a list I found of several plugins that add forum functionality to WP...
      https://www.wpbeginner.com/plugins/5...for-wordpress/

      Why do I discourage this? Because wordpress gets heavy and slow the more junk you add to it. You do what you feel is best for you, of course. But in my opinion, @Steve L sums up WP on one little sentence...

      Originally Posted by Steve L View Post

      Wordpress can essentially do anything and everything, although I feel it does nothing very well.
      I know wordpress is all the rage, I use it myself. But the more I get to know wordpress, the less I like it and I try to install as little plugins as I can get by with, especially large ones like forum/social site plugins.

      BTW, today I found a thread that isn't very big but, IMHO, does provide good insight as to how to grow a forum...

      https://www.warriorforum.com/warrior...y-scratch.html
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11486979].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MSutton
    BTW: I just thought of another important reason why I think wordpress sucks to use for a forum. The Wordpress search function is terrible and a search function is a critical function in a forum. Yes, you can make WP's search function better, but you have to...wait for it....













    INSTALL YET ANOTHER PLUGIN! lol

    But that's not the only bad part. What I hate about it is how these search plugins work. Basically, they index all your pages/posts/etc to a section in your database and then when someone searches your site the results are served from this new section in your database. This means that any new pages, posts or forum posts will not be included in the search results until the search database is updated. And the more posts you have, the longer the update takes and the bigger a strain it puts on your site and database. If you have a busy forum, you would have to update that database a LOT. It's not worth it IMHO.

    OK, that's all I wanted to say
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11486980].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    WordPress is really bad as a forum. I tried but failed at that.


    I've been having some pretty good success with phpBB. It even has a Pages module that you can use to add pages to the site.


    I'm up to 3000+ posts now (I've been going 12 months). I'm able to scale back my own posts now as there are enough users who aren't me to post new content.



    If you can get people to register and post (that's a pretty big IF) then a forum is the way to go.
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11488468].message }}
  • Originally Posted by Gozang View Post

    I've found my niche and audience and product to sell to the community and for that reason, I'm planning to build a feature rich community site where community members can entertain, open discussion, ask for help, and find answers.... My question is that is it a good idea to build such site on wordpress ? or what's the best solution for such a site?
    The only thing that comes to mind is something that i've used myself - available as a plug-in via Wordpress. Or you can go straight to the product site and have it installed as your homepage of your Wordpress site.

    The tool that i'm talking about is "Website Toolbox". It's a forum based application but offers so much more than just forum capabilities.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11488586].message }}
Avatar of Unregistered

Trending Topics