To make WP more social I have months been plugging and unplugging adds ons to WP . This is an honest post that does not tell you I have the answers, rather what I have been doing and what I think might be a solution.
These are a few of the plugins I have tried to extend my WP sites to a community
- WP Mingle
- WP Symposium
- WordPress dating plugin
- Profile pages
- Hovecard plugins
- Chat plugins
I have explored every possible combination of plugins and extensions to WordPress to make it more interactive or more like a WordPress social networking website. As discussed ad nauseum with an SEO expert David Law who creates the WP Stallion theme, if you increase the complexity of a website arithmetically – incrementally (such as with registration), visitor interaction drops exponentially.
Therefore, unless you really are a wizard like Mark Zuckerberg and are lucky and one of the first one the wave, do not thinking having a plugin working will mean anything but headaches and pain. I know know reality bites, but I am here to tell you the truth not just some blah, blah mediore review of WordPress social networking. Social networking has a low success rate and can slow down your plans for greater website.
A normal WordPress website to a social netowrking website
So for the guys in the trenches that want to just give their website a social spin I have concluded that BuddyPress and bbPress are not the formula for success I have been looking for. Nor buying a dating website plugin. There are a lot of light bbPress and BuddyPress sites out there as well as dating sites stuffed with fake profiles.
- Compare the success rate of blogs compared to dating and social sites out there. I think proportionally blogs have a better chance to succeed as the content created by the users via the comment system is more meaningful than some generic dating site profile or networking profile.
What I am now trying to do is just add a couple of simple features to make the interaction a little bit more social rather than revolutionize my website. These features are comment based. That is the center is all from the comment system.
My favorite ways to socialize a WP blog are:
- Use the Stallion theme which has super comments encoded, so long comments that are meaningful can become something a search engine might recognizes.
- Use Hovercards to leverage the WP Gravatar system.
- use a creative design on and navigation on your website. I am creating a social dating site with a normal WP install. I will add an example when I am done.
If anyone else has any ideas for increasing the social aspect of a WordPress Website let me know. I have over 10,000 approved comments on my websites so I know I am not off base. I just want to have a bit more interaction.