WordPress was released in 2003 as a blogging platform. Since then, WordPress has grown to become something much more important! These days, WordPress is a platform, capable of creating incredible virtual communities and social networks. In this post, we look at why you should use WordPress as the foundation of your online community.
WordPress is the foundation of the internet
As of 2022, WordPress powers 40% of all websites. An incredible statistic, driven by its flexibility to deliver a wide range of website features and services, ease of use and ongoing improvements.
WordPress is a fantastic Content Management System
We mentioned WordPress started out as a blogging platform. In order to make it easy to post blogs to a website, the creators of WordPress developed a Content Management System (CMS). Over time, the WordPress CMS evolved into a powerful tool, capable of supporting much more than blog posts! These days the WordPress CMS allows people with little little to no web-design or coding skills to manage complex online platforms, such as social networks and online communities.
WordPress is free! And it will always be free! This is because it’s built using open source principles. Being open source means that everyone has access to the code that makes it work. In turn, this means anyone can lift the hood and make changes to WordPress work. This open structure brings two key benefits
- it allows for site-by-site changes to be made
- It means anyone can contribute to the growth and development of the WordPress platform.
Combined, these offer a platform that rapidly evolves to support the changing demands of developers, website owners and end users.
Plugins: Expanding the case for WordPress
All the way back in 2004, WordPress was updated to support plugins. Plugins are pieces software, created by third-parties. They extend the features and functionality of the core WordPress platform. Usefully, they allow developers and sit7e owners to hand pick the enhancements they want while leaving out software that might otherwise slow their website down.
In the beginning, plugins offered simple enhancements, like making tagging easier and adding the ability to add ratings to posts. But over time, plugins have grown into sophisticated and complex solutions, that can be seen as platforms in their right. One of the most successful examples is WooCommerce, which turns a WordPress website into a complete e-commerce platform. In fact, plugins like WooCommerce are so sophisticated, they have their own set of plugins that extend their functionality!
BuddyPress: The Community Plugin
BuddyPress is the premier plugin for turning WordPress into a fully functional Social Network. Out of the box, it offers a vast array of features, including member sign ups, avatars, cover images, groups, InMail, member pages, member notifications, expansive automated emails and more!
And just like WooCommerce, BuddyPress has its own ecosystem of plugins. It also works in concert with other plugins, such as WooCommerce. And with a bit of setting up, can be seamlessly integrated with services like LearnDash, the leading e-learning software platform for WordPress.
Because of its complexity, BuddyPress isn’t the easiest plugin to use. While anyone with a core understanding of WordPress can get it up and running, making it work exactly how you want often requires some developer skills.
Zipline: The WordPress Community Experts
The good news with WordPress and BuddyPress is Zipline have got you covered! The team of experts have been using WordPress and BuddyPress to create incredible social networks and community-based platforms for a wide range of clients and uses for over 7 years.
In that time, we’ve built up a deep understanding of BuddyPress and a range of plugins, like WooCommerce, LearnDash, Events Calendar Pro. And we’ve developed solutions of our own, like Live Chat and Enhanced OnBoarding, which make communities easier to use and able to fit more use cases.
Our Community Package offers a turn key solution, which gets you up and running with your own community platform, configured to your needs. As well as the BuddyPress-based community, you get you get hosting and your very own app. It’s published on your behalf, to the iOS and Android app stores.
And our Custom Development Service is there to help you create any elements that are unique to your needs.