WordPress MU for Entrepreneurs: Pt. I
Creating an Exclusive, Invitation-Only WPMU Site
The vast majority of sites created with WPMU are for commercial purposes. WPMU.org stands apart as a rogue resource, contending for your increased profits with our tools, tips, and unmatched plugins. In a time of global economic turmoil, the entrepreneur will face greater risk but may also receive greater reward. I’ve spoken with a number of people recently who have wanted to start a business based on an exclusive, invitation-only website but have no idea what kind of infrastructure it would require. In this post we will discuss why WPMU is an economical option and provide you with several tools to help you get your project off the ground.
What kind of site / service would lend itself to an Exclusive / Invitation-Only Setup?
Any organization that requires membership dues or involves any level of exclusivity will benefit from an invitation-only setup. Some examples include investor tips websites, chambers of commerce, homeowners and neighborhood associations, PTA’s, fraternities and sororities, gaming networks, guilds, fantasy sports, youth groups, political organizations, dating websites, and any sort of fraternal organization. If you’ve ever thought of creating such a community, this post will show you why WPMU is an excellent platform and what tools will be essential for your organization’s success.
Open Source Platform – The core code is open source with a thriving community that is constantly developing and improving the core and its plugins. Its successful use for commercial operations has contributed to a greater range of functionality.
Scalable and Extendable -It’s important to be able to add features and functionality as necessary and tailor your installation to your needs. Also, scalability is essential if you want to grow a business that doesn’t eat up more resources than it requires.
Easy to Monetize – If you want advertising revenue, it is simple to set up ad space and track your stats, which will attract more advertising. Most of these tools are as easy as a plugin.
Lots of LAMP Developers – Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP developers are very easy to find, compared to other technologies. That makes WPMU less expensive to develop. Plus you won’t have to surrender your startup money for proprietary software licenses and support.
Essential Tools for your Toolbox
These plugins have been developed by WPMU Dev Premium and make it a cinch to get your invitation-only website off the ground. Certainly, you could create your own custom plugins or wait around for someone to release those specialty plugins you need. However, WPMU Dev Premium has already developed a slew of tools that are convenient and backed by stellar support. The following are tools you don’t want to start an invitation-only community without:
Signup Code – This plugin assist you in limiting who can sign up for a user account at your site by requiring a special code that you can easily configure yourself.
Invite – Allow your users to invite – via email – their friends and colleagues to check out their blog and sign up at your site!
Rebranding WordPress MU – This plugin removes all the WordPress branding from your site and makes it easy to add your own identity. Don’t let your underwear show! ;)
Support System – This plugin sets up a comprehensive support system for your MU. It has an FAQ, and Support Ticket systems.
Sitemaps and SEO WPMU Style – The ultimate search engine plugin – Simply have sitemaps created, submitted and updated for every blog on your site while making sure that all your posts are well tagged and SEO’d.