Lately I work mostly online. I have become a full time internet marketer and the more business I produce in that arena, the better.
But I still like to consult and take on interesting clients so I thought I'd mention an interesting WordPress project I'm working on now.
What if you want to use WordPress as an intranet? A resource for employees only. What functionality would you provide with it?
Let me run through some of the ideas we've came up with and what I'm working with in case you're interested in doing something like this.
The organization is small, less than 1000 employees. The purpose of the intranet is to provide resources and a communications platform for all the employees.
Privacy and Restricted Access.
The first concern is restricting outside access to the site. Given that all the employees have access to the internal network and/or have a VPN service to connect to it, the site remains only in the internal network.
In the future if the site needs to be made public, we will look at a plugin to make the site accessible only to users with proper credentials.
No plugins required for that.
This is extremely important because it makes everybody's information accessible to the rest of the company. A pie-in-the-sky directory would include photos, contact information, current and past projects and a social aspect.
The WordPress repo has a few plugins that offer some of this functionality but not all. We're looking at BuddyPress to help with this and a few other sections that are part of this project.
No intranet would be complete without a calendar of events. The two main type of events in this case are going to be project related events and social events. So for example, the beginning of a new project or the company picnic.
I've already identified the plugin and it's running already. I think this is easy and done.
Gathering my thoughts
This doesn't seem like a very challenging project. From a technical point of view, it shouldn't be to complicated. The office where the site will be hosted runs on Windows for the most part so if any technical problems arise, I expect that to be a possible culprit.
In fact, I believe I ran into an issue with Gravity Forms and the current server configuration where the WordPress site is installed but we've worked around the problem for now.
The real challenge comes in when considering the audience.
As I search for plugins, solutions and develop this project, I need to keep in mind the audience isn't technically minded.
They work at a professional firm, they have nothing to do with publishing or web design or web usability or standards. The last thing I need to do is add the burden of learning yet a new system. They don't want to learn another system.
Have you tried to build something like this before? Do you have any tips or suggestions?
I have a list of other features and systems that are in the brainstorming phase and I'll update you when I have something a little more solid in paper.