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Tuesday, 6 July 2010

10 Free Plugins To Create a Community Site in Wordpress

Have I ever mentioned how much I love WordPress?  Oh surely I have!  One of the reasons I do, is because you can turn it into, well, pretty much anything really.
Today I want to share with you some great plugins that help take WordPress from a blog, into a community site, enabling you to share and interact more with your readers and members.
But enough of this, let’s get on to the plugins!  In no particular order we have our top ten:

1 – s2Member

s2Member is a robust/powerful ( and free ) membership management system for WordPress®. s2Member integrates seamlessly with PayPal® ( very easy ), and fully supports recurring billing, with the ability to track affiliate commissions on a recurring basis. s2Member supports custom Pages for registration ( including Custom Registration Fields ), account access, and a whole lot more.

Mingle uses your standard WordPress website and standard WordPress theme to create profile pages, user friending, profile page posts, profile activities, social comments, email notifications (with privacy settings) and a full directory of members. Features include:
  • User Profile Pages
  • User Friending
  • User Profile Posting (for friends)
  • User Profile Post Commenting (for friends)
  • Friend Activity Pages
  • Full Member Directory
  • Login & Navigation Widget
  • Random or Recent Users Widget
  • Email Notifications
  • User Email Notification Opt-Outs
BuddyPress is built to bring people together. It works well to enable people with similar interests to connect and communicate.  BuddyPress provides a range of features that work right out of the box. However, you might decide that you only want to make use of a couple of features to start with. This is really simple using BuddyPress as you can turn off the features you don’t want with a click of a button. When you disable features, your site’s theme will auto adjust, showing only the menu items, pages and buttons for the features you have enabled.   Using profile pages for members, forums and groups this system uses the WordPress MU platform.

This plugin themes the WordPress login, registration and forgot password pages according to your current theme. It replaces the wp-login.php file by using a page template from your theme. Also includes a widget for sidebar login.

Business Directory for WordPress is an easy way to host a free yellow-pages-like directory page for your readers, affiliates, advertisers, community or club members. Invite them to submit a simple advertisement listing for themselves on your blog.

Community Submitted News lets you allow your readers to add articles to your site. There is a full moderation panel. No story will be fully published until you allow it to be published. All articles are initially put in their own category for easy separation from other content.

Powerful yet easy to install forum plugin for WordPress, please see my review here.

A plugin for wordpress which allows you to send an email to the registered blog users. Users can send personal emails to each other. Power users can email groups of users and even notify group of users of posts.

WordPress does not allow your users to communicate with each other. Some forum plugins can add this functionality but are quite heavy, do other things and updates might not be focused on improving the messaging features. This is why User Messages is born: a plugin to facilitate communication between your users.

With CYC, the registration, login, logout, lost password pages and the profile.php page will use your existing blog theme and will not show obvious traces and branding of WordPress on these pages to users labeled as subscribers. Additionally, the ability to add a captcha to the registration page to prevent automated registrations is now an available option.
Enjoy using these plugins and the extra community styled functionality they give your WordPress installation.

2010 Sally Walker - The Best in Social Business


Wishlist Products said...

Great list of free plugins! If you wanna learn about other great free plugins, check out this webinar -

It was completed by the guys at WishList Member - a membership site software - So they certainly have lots of experience using these plugins!

Briyani Missisipi said...

Nice info.

Rajasekar V said...

Nice Post !