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Should we use WP/BP or another platform?

  • Hi all,

    We have a fashion blog where girls share their personal style with others. We want to make it more social and allow girls to post content themselves (now they email pictures of their outfits to us, and then we post them).

    My big question is: should we build this using WP (WP, WPU, BP) or should we use another platform? As far as I know, not many communities (at least big ones) have been built using WP or other blogging tools. Why?

    But of course, we have all these new plugins, we have WPMU, BP. I am also a strong believer on the WP community, the stability and the fact that is open source. The fact is that I am 99% ready to start the project (outsourced).

    Why should I *NOT* use BP? Why others do not use it? What limitations does it have or will I face in the future?

    Thanks!

    Gabriel

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Avatar of Paul Gibbs
    Paul Gibbs
    Keymaster

    @djpaul

    Take a look at http://wordpress.org/showcase/ for examples of some of the best sites built on WordPress. WordPress itself is a stable and exciting for building sites and CMSs on, and the showcase which I’ve linked you to will let you browse the highlighted best.

    The ‘biggest’ BuddyPress installation – other than this site – that I am aware of, is GigaOM Pro.

    I’m not going to sell the idea of using BuddyPress to you :) but perhaps if you make a short list of the key features and ideas that are essential, and things you would like to have, we can all comment the feasibility.

    Avatar of John James Jacoby
    John James Jacoby
    Keymaster

    @johnjamesjacoby

    As enthusiastic as you are about WordPress, most of us are about BuddyPress, so without speaking for anyone else, my opinion is biased towards using BuddyPress for every website. My moms knitting website will use BuddyPress. :D

    If you want users to be able to blog about their own stuff without moderation, then you want WordPressMU, because each user gets their own blog to talk about whatever they want; WHATEVER they want. That means even though your site is about fashion, that doesn’t stop them from talking about puppies.

    If you want these users to be able to interact with each other, and have personalities, then you want BuddyPress.BP will allow your users to talk to each other privately, form groups to talk about things with each other, and comment on each others profiles.

    The reasons NOT to use BuddyPress? At the moment there’s very little restrictive control over what people do. You can’t stop someone from putting profanity in their profile. You can’t block a user from messaging you or others. Also, the platform is still evolving as much as WordPress and bbPress are. That means that if you like to keep your website on the cutting edge, you’ll find it hard to install everything and leave it alone, as enhancements and improvements are coming through at least monthly, and so far upgrading isn’t a one click thing yet (almost though)

    Those is my opinionses… Not sure how helpful they is, but if you like WordPress, you will probably see the potential of BuddyPress for what you want your website to be.

    Thanks DJPaul and John. Your responses are very helpful.

    The main feature is an easy and somewhat restrictive way to post content. The only thing girls can publish is pictures of outfits, and then tag the clothes (describe, tag, categorize…). We want to have some level of control here. BTW not all users can upload content.

    The content published by everyone goes to the main page, same of today. People con vote their fabs.

    When user is logged in, she sees the content of the girls she is following (not pictures of everyone, just pictures of the ones that inspire the user). User profile is built by the outfits she publishes and the outfits she favorites.

    You can search for/discover/subscribe to trends, types of clothes, styles, colors, people…

    Avatar of Plrk
    plrk
    Participant

    @plrk

    BuddyPress is not used by many community sites because it is still a brand new product.

    Avatar of Mariusooms
    Mariusooms
    Participant

    @mariusooms

    There are other platforms and have tried a few myself. As new as the bp platform is, it is by far the quickest out of the box that enables much of what you need already (together with wpmu). However other platform might offer more fine grained control, but it comes with a hefty learning curve as the platform is simply more complex. The upside to bp’s less complex architecture makes it also easier to develop for.

    I’ll see if I can give some input on your requirements.

    The main feature is an easy and somewhat restrictive way to post content. The only thing girls can publish is pictures of outfits, and then tag the clothes (describe, tag, categorize…).

    It looks like you need a custom content type that omits the post message. Flutter allows you to create a specific post type. I haven’t tried it with wpmu. There is also a wpmu plugin called ‘toggle_meta_boxes’ which allows you to hide unneeded post boxes to make it super easy for your users to just upload content.

    We want to have some level of control here. BTW not all users can upload content.

    Since you only have one subject users post on I would recommend NOT giving every user a blog at sign up, but just let them post to the main blog. Keeps you in control over categories, tags, etc. Plus it lets you control the user level. I however you do want to give users a blog there are wpmu plugins which allow you to set blog defaults like categories, predefined pages and posts and such. Also you can make new blog users have an editor role rather than an admin role if you want to control what they can or can not do.

    The content published by everyone goes to the main page, same of today.

    This is done by buddypress through widgets or even custom loops if you are adventurous.

    No problem there.

    People con vote their fabs.

    I haven’t looked at this, but I imagine there would be a wp plugin which would let users vote on posts. If you can find a vote plugin that serves an RSS feed you could pull that into the bp user profile. EVen link it to the activity stream with a small custom plugin.

    When user is logged in, she sees the content of the girls she is following (not pictures of everyone, just pictures of the ones that inspire the user).

    In bp through making friends with other users you can follow the activity of your friends only. At the moment the activity stream is text only, afaik, but I think images in the activity stream is in the pipeline?

    User profile is built by the outfits she publishes

    The profile page shows the latest activity, blog posts, wire messages, etc. of the profiles user.

    and the outfits she favorites.

    This is the most dificult part, since I haven’t looked into it. Assuming you can find a good vote/favorite plugin it should be doable.

    You can search for/discover/subscribe to trends, types of clothes, styles, colors, people…

    This is where bp shines as the search is very well done. Combine it with bp_contents plugin which allows your users to tag themselve, groups, blog and add categories…your archiving possibilities are endless.

    Some pitfalls (already mentioned):

    Privacy controls, inappropriate content flagging (is coming in 1.1 though), it is still not an out of the box solution (however for you requirements there is none that I can think of).

    There are still even other approaches when I think about it, I would recommend wp and bp in a heartbeat. Especially since the backend of both are really solid. Plugins are installed and upgraded easily. It is a widely supported and growing platform and would not hesitate to recommend it to you.

    I hope this helps a little bit.

    Thanks Mariusooms for your awesome response, really appreciate it!

    “Many blogs vs one for all” – > We’ll probably do what you suggest, allow people to post to the main blog, not have them create their own blogs.

    “Votes” -> you can see how we do it now on the site. We customized an existing plug in. We create rankings using this plugin and display the thumbnails of the posts, not the title.

    “At the moment the activity stream is text only, afaik, but I think images in the activity stream is in the pipeline?” -> this is pretty critical for us, we might end up developing this ourselves. Same as we did for the tops with thumbnails. We need to display to pictures in the content, not the title of the posts. You can see our sidebar as an example of this.

    Thanks again Mariusooms and to everyone for your support.

    Avatar of Jeff Sayre
    Jeff Sayre
    Participant

    @jeffsayre

    Gabriel-

    and then tag the clothes (describe, tag, categorize…). We want to have some level of control here.

    In case you have not seen this, there is a wonderful BuddyPress plugin that can address this need: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/bpcontents/

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)

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