Buddypress / multisite design. Is pro sites my best choice?

Hi. I'm not sure where to begin, which tools to use to achieve my end goal.

I would like to build a community around a common shared interest / niche. I would like to offer a social community that people can join for free and have a simple blog for free using the same theme as the buddypress site. So far I can't figure out how user blogs can use the same theme as bp site, they seem to get 2012 by default.

I would also like to offer a premium option or two that gives them an opportunity to host a more advanced site, including domain etc.

Additionally I would like to be able to design and host sites with custom designed themes and plugins. I would like these to also be a part of the community. There would be distinct user benefit there.

(if I use pro sites, can I override levels on a site to site basis?)

I would ideally like visitors who are not logged in to be presented only with several pages of my choice (presentation / call to action to join etc., kind of like fb does it I guess) until they join and log in, they won't have full access to the content on the main buddypress site but of course if they go to a user site directly they will be able to read everything there.

I have several self owned existing Wordpress single sites each with their own domains already. I would like these to be rolled in tithe community as well. When I create the community will they automatically becomes part of it? They are currently part of my multisite install.

That should keep us busy for awhile. Many thanks in advance.

Chris

  • Mike
    • New Recruit

    Hi @Chris

    Thanks for posting, I'll try and answer everything!

    I would like to build a community around a common shared interest / niche. I would like to offer a social community that people can join for free and have a simple blog for free using the same theme as the buddypress site. So far I can't figure out how user blogs can use the same theme as bp site, they seem to get 2012 by default.

    In the Network Admin screen you need to go the Themes > Installed Themes. Choose "Network Enable" for the themes you want to be accessible and they will be showed on the sub-sites.

    I would also like to offer a premium option or two that gives them an opportunity to host a more advanced site, including domain etc.

    That's fine with Pro Sites, you set up subscription plans and access levels and that's all you need.

    Additionally I would like to be able to design and host sites with custom designed themes and plugins. I would like these to also be a part of the community. There would be distinct user benefit there.

    That's fine too, just create the themes as normal and upload them with the Network Admin Themes section and Network Enable them then all can access.

    (if I use pro sites, can I override levels on a site to site basis?)

    Not really, what would you want to orverride? The way to do this is create different levels.

    I would ideally like visitors who are not logged in to be presented only with several pages of my choice (presentation / call to action to join etc., kind of like fb does it I guess) until they join and log in, they won't have full access to the content on the main buddypress site but of course if they go to a user site directly they will be able to read everything there.

    You can use Membership for this, you can restrict certain pages and force people to sign up(you can charge with Membership too) in order to access.

    I have several self owned existing Wordpress single sites each with their own domains already. I would like these to be rolled in tithe community as well. When I create the community will they automatically becomes part of it? They are currently part of my multisite install.

    If they are currently part of the multisite install then yes that should be fine.

    I hope this helps!

    Cheers,
    Mike

  • Chris
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Hi @Mike

    Thanks for the quick pop! :slight_smile:

    1) how do I set it to use the same theme for mainsite.com and user.mainsite.com? The theme I use for mainsite.com is already network activated but when a new user signs up they get 2012 and not the theme I want. How do I set it so that it automatically uses the theme I want? For the free customer I don't wish to give them a choice of themes or plugins.

    2) I figured pro sites would be the best option there! Thanks for confirming though!

    3 & 4) the issue would be that if I create a custom theme for user a, they won't want user b to be able to use it.... Especially given that they will likely be competitors. Also, I would want user b to pay me to create something as good as or better than a! :wink:
    Perhaps I should not have said "override them level by level". Is there any way perhaps to be able to manage a site manually? To be able to exclude it from being managedby pro sites?

    5-) Membership, wow. I was thinking I had to choose one or the other for this project. Thanks!

    6-) I asked this because I installed buddypress on my main site just the other day and the existing sites that are subsites of the multisite, domain mapped, did not show up in buddypress as users. Is it as simple as registering these sites as new users using their subsites name and it will all link up like magic?

    Cheers!
    Chris

  • Chris
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Wow, Membership is a beast and thrice that again! Wasn't there a lite version at one time? It just seems way overkill for what I wish to do.

    I wish to limit access to my buddypress community to registered members (a free membership is the entry point, paid memberships will provide more features through pro sites). All "visitors" (users not logged in) will be redirected to a landing page and will have access to several marketing pages, terms of use, privacy, contact us etc.

    Anyone aware of a simpler solution than using (barely!!!) membership to setup this?

    I worry that membership would use more resources than needed? Even if I barely use it? Would that be true?

    Cheers!
    Chris

  • Mike
    • New Recruit

    Hi @Chris

    1) how do I set it to use the same theme for mainsite.com and user.mainsite.com? The theme I use for mainsite.com is already network activated but when a new user signs up they get 2012 and not the theme I want. How do I set it so that it automatically uses the theme I want? For the free customer I don't wish to give them a choice of themes or plugins.

    If you set a free level and only allow access to one theme that should do the trick there. If you Network Deactivate all themes except one that should set that theme as the default. I haven't tried this when setting up a new site though.

    2) I figured pro sites would be the best option there! Thanks for confirming though!

    No Problem

    3 & 4) the issue would be that if I create a custom theme for user a, they won't want user b to be able to use it.... Especially given that they will likely be competitors. Also, I would want user b to pay me to create something as good as or better than a! :wink:
    Perhaps I should not have said "override them level by level". Is there any way perhaps to be able to manage a site manually? To be able to exclude it from being managedby pro sites?

    There is a 'Themes' tab in the site editor for each site, maybe have a play with that and see how you get on there.

    5-) Membership, wow. I was thinking I had to choose one or the other for this project. Thanks!

    Nope they should work together :slight_smile:

    6-) I asked this because I installed buddypress on my main site just the other day and the existing sites that are subsites of the multisite, domain mapped, did not show up in buddypress as users. Is it as simple as registering these sites as new users using their subsites name and it will all link up like magic?

    I'm not sure if I follow, but if you have existing users, they can create sites, or you can create the sites and add the users too them. You can also assign access levels and subscription plans to them in Membership.

    Wow, Membership is a beast and thrice that again! Wasn't there a lite version at one time? It just seems way overkill for what I wish to do.

    The lite version has all the same options except there are only 2 levels/plans available, there are fewer gateways available(just paypal I think) and no coupons or automated messages. The lite version is on the Wordpress repo to download.

    I wish to limit access to my buddypress community to registered members (a free membership is the entry point, paid memberships will provide more features through pro sites). All "visitors" (users not logged in) will be redirected to a landing page and will have access to several marketing pages, terms of use, privacy, contact us etc.

    Anyone aware of a simpler solution than using (barely!!!) membership to setup this?

    I'm afraid not, but this isn't too complicated with Membership. Create all of your pages, then set up the subscription plans, and then add a free and pro access level and allow access to the relevant plans. In the plans you can set which pages are accessible to which levels then.

    I worry that membership would use more resources than needed? Even if I barely use it? Would that be true?

    This should be nothing to worry about, it's just a couple of extra pages loaded in the admin area, if anything it should reduce resources by limiting content :wink:

    I hope this is all helpful, I've tried to answer everything.

    Cheers,
    Mike

  • Chris
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Hey Mike, yeah, I ran into a whole mess of issues and started new threads related to those issues, so this one can be closed. Still waiting on the other issues for response, been a couple days now.

    Thanks,
    Chris

  • Mike
    • New Recruit

    Hi @Chris

    I see that the threads you are referring to are these:
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/pro-sites-upgrade-sends-back-to-homepage
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/buddypress-not-adding-users-for-domain-mapped-subsites
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/prosites-main-site-upgrade-message-is-it-normal

    I do know that @Jack has been particularly busy recently which would explain the slight delay, I'm sure he'll be around soon though.

    Cheers,
    Mike

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