What framework and plugins will I need


I would like to create a network that focuses on three types of sites.
1) me, who cares, i do whats needed
2) Groups, most likely a handful setup by me, but with CMS managed by other users. These will have news and links to all Sites
3) Sites (common sites)

New Blog Template or Site Replicator would be an easy option for creating sites with Custom Pages, Preset Widgets, etc.

AdSharing is a great idea. I want this to help fundraise for nonprofit sites (but still give me money to pay developers for cool new modules, etc)

Perhaps a paid membership plugin for only the "commercial" sites (ie, non profit free, but if youre commercial, you pay).

My design needs are simple. Many themes out there would do just fine with some modifications. However, I NEED to have sites have the option of adding a custom background and/or a custom logo

I like the idea of framework, because of hooks. So if i wanted to add things, they go on the framework vs several themes, etc.

I need an admin bar like Wordpress.com

I would like to find some plugins too to help make some pages. Say if I am in a state area, and i want to check all new posts.. the sitewide tags would be great. However, I would need to be able to control how people are tagging the posts (a default tag option would be great)

My tags im interested in may only be a handful 10-20 states/regions for instance.

And of course other plugins - like WPtouch.

What do you all suggest? :slight_smile:

(yes, i could spend another week reading, trying, breaking, etc.. but might as well use this paid subscription for something.)

  • Mason


    Whew. That is quite the post ;D

    Regardless of ya slice it, this is gonna be a large amount of work (though I betcha knew that already).

    I'd definitely grab up the New Blog Template plugin. You can use this to make multiple templates saving you hours later on.

    As for Ad Sharing, we have several plugins available to do this sort of thing:

    That page lists all our plugins together so scrolling through it give you a good idea of what we have for ya. You may also be interested in the Supporter or Membership plugins.

    The basic difference between the two is that with Supporter you're charging people to create content (sites) while with membership you're charging them to view content (although there are some options in Membership for authoring content as well. Either plugin will allow you to provide a free/paid subscription status.

    As far as themes go that's really up to your personal preference. Are you going to be developing your own child themes for this project? My opinion is that frameworks are only for theme developers. Each framework has it's pros/cons, but as a developer you have to learn that specific framework (on top of a good understanding of HTML/CSS and WordPress theme structure).

    Another thing to consider is whether or not you're going to want to use social networking features like BuddyPress. If so, you need to be even more selective with your themes as BuddyPress really requires themes designed to handle it's extra navigation bits.

    Since you're already a member here and have access to all of our themes, I'd recommend heading over to http://themetastic.com and checking out the live demos of all of the themes. See which ones you enjoy and provide the features you're looking for. Any of the parent themes could be a great "framework" for you to begin developing your own child themes.

    I need an admin bar like Wordpress.com

    Easy: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-admin-bar/

    As far as the global taxonomy goes there's several ways you could approach this, but ultimately you just want to disable all users from creating their own taxonomy and use the ones you provide. You might be able to limit this in the themes function.php file or through an mu-plugin.

    The custom_post_type_ui plugin actually allows you to create a custom taxonomy for a post type and then limit it so that no other categories/tags can be created. Not sure if you need a custom post type for your project, but if so this would also be an easy solution.

    There's no right answer for every situation. You mentioned not wanting to spend a week reading and testing etc, but the bottom line is someone will have to do these things for your project - and it'll take more than a week ;D

    If you want all of these things done for you, I'd check out our Job Boards and post some specifics about your project that you'd like developed or even contact a developer directly:

    Alright. Hope this helps!

    Best of luck with your project!

  • in-mn

    Thank you for the detailed reply. I have some construction to do in my basement thats on a timeline of tomorrow, but yes, it will be a large project. I expect months to deploy it fully with my part time evening efforts...


    I do expect, especially if i develop a framework to apply to my site, that I will have to spend time learning. I just hate this Thesis, no Woo, No Genesis, No Thesis, No Headway, No Genesis, No Frugal, No Genesis types of discussions I have come across.

    I am at the point where i have watched and read hrs of videos/tuitorials/feature presentations and I have no clue what does what :slight_smile:

    I did buy thesis saying F it. Genesis looks like it has better SEO and child creation.

    Timesinks!!! :wink:

  • in-mn

    But thanks again for the plugins, etc. I have to renew my subscription. We used when we deployed a paid member site under WPMU.

    We used a dev. I personally think way too many features/mods were added as "necessary" by said dev resulting in a bloated/slow WPMU. Plus I had no idea what all was done, so adminning it is ..psh.

    Upside its got 30,000 blogs. Downside, 1/2 are splogs

    I better get back to my framing at 9pm. Thanks again for all the plugins. It is so hard reviewing the thousands out there, and more importantly, trusting the ones that are in use.

  • Mason


    I understand your frustrations regarding all the Theme Frameworks available. Most of them are changing rapidly which is awesome in terms of new features for users, but lousy in terms of getting a fair comparison and actively developing on these platforms.

    Here's an article from a few months ago that (at the time) was a very big deal. Breaks down and rates each framework on a large variety of criteria. I'm not sure how it holds up now though:

    Anyway, best of luck getting a good framework - both wp theme and in the basement ;D

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