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Vivanista – Living Well. Doing Good.

  • colinloretz

    @colinloretz was a redesign project. Their first website was a custom-built application using Ruby on Rails and I opted to move them to BuddyPress as well as implement at redesign.

    There are still some minor fixes and changes being made to the website but here are the features:

    1. Classifieds (powered by deep integration with BBPress)

    Uses BBPress Forums and Topics in a manner similar to Craigslist

    2. Boutiques (e-commerce on WordPress MU)

    Renamed ‘Blogs’ in the language definition to become ‘Boutiques’ which allow users to create online stores (similar to Etsy) and sell boutique products to other members. Boutique creation is not available to any member and must contact Vivanista to sign up.

    3. Facebook Connect via plugin

    A good amount of the site’s audience is already on Facebook so this plugin was essential to making signup as painless as possible.

    4. Clubs via BuddyPress Groups

    More language/label changes

    5. Invite Friends

    Existing plugins for inviting friends are extremely lacking. Created my own which is still in its infancy but will be developed further and released as a plugin.

    6. Content Management

    I tried to make the management of content via pages and posts as easy as possible for the content creators and Vivanista staff. I kept custom fields to a minimum and instead of trying to mess with complex thumbnail generation, I’ve opted for simple CSS styling of the first image in a post to display thumbnails.

    Some more basic info: it is still running on a pre-1.1+ theme so it will need to be changed to work with the new parent-child theme framework.

    I’m writing up some case studies based on this project and the experience of working with WordPress MU, BuddyPress and all of the integrations that were necessary to provide the client with the features they desired. There are quite a few pain points I’ve encountered and either developed solutions for or devised workarounds that I will detail further. I will post a link to the case studies once they are complete.

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  • designodyssey


    Very nice work. It’s the use of buddypress as a CMS that I’m interested in and this is a good example. Patiently waiting for your learnings, expecially integrating as a CMS with other aspects of WordPress. is my model, but I have no idea how to accomplish that.



    Very nice colinloretz. Did you do a custom core in Ruby on Rails or did you use an existing framework like Community Engine. I have only dabbled in the past with Ruby on Rails and am looking at dabbling further. What made you make the switch from ROR to Buddypress? Curious to know.



    @zageek – I had not built the Ruby on Rails website but was originally responsible for improving upon it. After getting into the code and looking at how unusable the site was for users, I recommended that we start the whole site over rather than try to patch something together. After looking at the requirements the client wanted, BuddyPress seemed like a natural fit.

    @designoddysey I will let you know when those are published to my website.



    I am really curious to know how you were able to integrate e-commerce in so that individual stores could run on the site. I’m assuming this was not the e-commerce GOLD edition as there is no ssl or dedicated IPs for secure CC transactions. Do you set up the stores individually on a per request basis or is there some sort of automation to it?

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
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