In a previous article, we went over how to build a private community. Well you’re probably wondering how to make a public community. You may want to begin a small social network, a fan club, a discussion community, etc. and want the general public to be able to access it. There are a few options out there for WordPress users.
The plugin itself works on the WordPress user system. Users become members and can become friends with other members. They also maintain an activity stream, similar to Twitter’s profile. Users can join user groups to interact more easily with their niche.
WP Symposium is an extremely feature-rich social network plugin. One of it’s most appealing features? It melds with your theme, eliminating the need for looking through themes for a compatible one.
Of course it includes the standard member profiles and activity streams. Members can friend or follow each other. Private messages can be sent, but there’s also a site-wide chat room included. To see who’s online or to chat with friends or the whole site, users just need to access a single panel. Real-time notifications show up in the menu.
Users can see who else is on the network with a member directory. They can also set up public or private groups with their own activity streams and forums. There is also a main forum where users can post topics. Users can post sticky posts, upload images and videos, etc. Voting and likes can also be used.
Events can also be set up with an included booking facility. You can ask users to pay for the event.
Members can upload and create photo albums with the ability to comment on them too.
WP Symposium is compatible with CubePoints and Cometchat. There are hooks, filters, and development classes to extend WP Symposium.
There are a few other options available, such as WP Mingle, but these are the two best options out there. They should both be very easy to set up as there are many tutorials and help articles available on the web for them.