ClothUnderground.com – ”Launching” Tomorrow
I’m on the home stretch of getting my WP+BP site officially opened, and thought I’d post it here for critique. The idea of the site is a BP based community of buyers and sellers of crafts and “work-at-home-mom” (WAHM) made items, as well as hosting for WAHM shops using WP 3.0.1 in multiuser mode.
The Community: based on Buddypress. Pretty self explanatory.
The Shops: each shop is a child blog of the main site. I’m using WP Custom CSS to allow users to make cosmetic changes to the Blix theme, and eShop for the eCommerce solution. WordPress seems pretty overwhelming to my users, so I’ve also written a custom library of tutorials (in the footer of the main site pages). I haven’t yet found a plugin that makes the hosting term payment/shop creation process automated, so I’m doing that manually at this time.
Extras: I know that I haven’t really done much in the way of customizing the default BP theme, but it’s only because I’ve been busy doing functional customizations…
* The Street: I’m using the main site’s blog function as a classifieds post for members to buy/sell their used items on (a very popular feature for this type of audience). I’ve used Adminimize to limit what the users see on the add post screen, custom fields that allow them to enter URLs to 4 remotely hosted images (Photobucket), disabled file (image) uploading to keep my disk space, and another plugin to keep them from seeing everyone else’s posts in the admin panel post list.
* Member Feedback System: It’s important on a site like this that buyers and sellers can leave feedback for one another with details on how the transaction went for others to see. I pieced something together (see the ridiculous process here: http://wordpress.org/support/topic/any-plugin-similar-to-ebays-user-feedback-member-rating-feedback) that seems like it will work beautifully! Check out the “feedback” button on my test user’s profile: http://www.clothunderground.com/members/test
* Customized Groups Page: I just pieced this together the best I could. Nothing else out there was working for my audience, who are more often than not coming from vBulletin based sites. Buddypress’ group/forum system is still uber confusing for them, but this was the best I could do.
* Sitewide Search: Using the Sitewide Search Pages plugin, I’ve created a child blog that pulls in info on posts published across the CU network. Shoppers are able to search using the form in the header, and browse a list of all CU shop items matching their search. There’s also a wordpress.com style tags page that displays all tags used in item posts sitewide, for a different shopping experience.
* CU Points: I’m using Cubepoints and CP Buddypress integration to award points to members for activity. Normal members can use theirs to buy anything that anyone (in a CU shop or on The Street) is selling for points, and shop owners can use points to purchase featured shop ad space or up to 20% off of their hosting fees.
Anyway, please check it out and let me know what you think! Small changes might be happening throughout the day, but it’s pretty much ready for the world right now!
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