Would like some advice at changing a site into a wp buddy press

I have a site that i am considering moving to a wp buddy press. I would like some advice if this is possible. here is the link to the old site for a client.

  • James Dunn

    Goodday @jock_brocas

    I looked around your client's website and it doesn't look like it would be hard to accomplish that in a WordPress site. I am curious what they need a BuddyPress website for. Are they wanting to set up members only access? Ability for groups to form on the website? What exactly are they wanting to accomplish?

    Regardless, don't be hesitant to tackle this project as a WordPress website.

    This could be accomplished with a two column (right sidebar) theme and several good plugins. I didn't see anything that would scare me away from it. Have you searched around for a theme or framework to begin work from? Or are you considering building it on TwentyEleven or a BuddyPress theme.

    What are your concerns and questions? If you could tell us a little more, I'm certain several people here could give you some excellent suggestions. Looking forward to hearing your response.

    James Dunn
    Athens, GA USA

  • JockBrocas

    there is a members only page to download members books, mp3 and videos, so i am concerned that i would not like to lose this. I want to make the site more user friendly and a social network for members. Its non profit but a small charge would be made eventualy to cover costs of leal 501 c requirements i believe. I ALSO NEED IT TO BE SECURE. Members only with varying degrees of membership levels.

    Can you suggest a theme, i was going to go for one on here such as the social theme or the education one.

  • aecnu

    Greetings JockBrocas and JamesDunn,

    Thank you both for the additional input here.

    @JockBrocas choosing one of the theme here would have the advantage of being supported here of course. What did you have in mind for controlling the members and access to the downloads etc.?

    @JamesDunn thank you for being so helpfuland getting to the link before me looking over his sight and giving the spot on questions.

    Thank you both for being WPMU Dev Community Members!

    Cheers, Joe

  • James Dunn

    Goodday @Joc@JockBrocas

    The hardest thing I've ever tried to do is create a website for someone that had no clue what they wanted, what they wanted it to look like, or what they wanted it to do. I'm now in YEAR #2 of building that website.

    In contrast, I had a client contact me on Thursday evening showing me how a designer had totally missed the mark on a website for him. He asked if we could build him a functioning website to sell his Lightroom Presets (he's a photographer).

    On Friday morning, we started by doing a clean install of WordPress and built his website using a Genesis Child Theme and highly customized it to his liking. By Sunday afternoon late, we had a fully functioning website built and ready to meet with him on Monday morning to review for any changes. We cleaned up some of the graphics that he provided, tested his shopping cart, and finalized some things and on Friday afternoon (a week later) he was up and in business.

    Of course, that week to finish deal is a rare occasion. The client supplied everything we needed within minutes of asking for it, he made decisions quickly and got answers back to us, and he knew what he wanted from the start.

    I've since built about five websites for him and they've been very profitable for him and me. I welcome any idea he brings in the door because I know he's laid everything out and made it easy for me to do the work for him.

    I've written all that to help you understand that without an idea of what your client wants in design, function, even color scheme, it's difficult to offer any advice. I'm more than willing to help out in any way possible, but I do need a little direction here.

    I do understand that you want to protect certain sections of the website - and the membership plugin here may be perfect for that OR it may be overkill for what you need. You mentioned BuddyPress - and that has lots of functionality (and it can protect content to members only). So, if you use BuddyPress, you may not need the Membership plugin.

    As I said on themes, I build using Genesis and child themes, but I would suggest that you set up a WP install, download every theme here in WPMUDev, load them to your sandbox site. Then activate them one by one to see what they look like "out of the box". Next, look at some websites of similar types of organizations to see what their websites look like. I usually find that clients will either tell you what they LIKE about other websites or what they DON'T LIKE about other websites.

    I recently started work with a cabinet shop and they showed me all their competition's websites and told me a dozen or more times that they were unlike any other cabinet shop around. I knew what NOT to show them, so I looked for something different. I presented my concept and they loved it.

    See if you can get some direction from your client, a budget if there is any, and then let's look at what can be done for them.

    Good luck with this.

    James Dunn
    Athens, GA USA

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