Support » Fixing WordPress » Really basic intranet using WordPress

  • Hi folks!

    I run a small business with my family, we have about 40 employees right now.

    I decided to build a small and basic intranet using WP. It will be my first WP site. I’ll be building this in the evenings as times short during workdays. That’s why I try to keep this simple and straightforward, but ofcourse I understand that this process involves time and dedication.

    Goals are:
    – Facebook like activity stream
    – Area where people can edit in collabraton a “excel sheet” type table – Really important feature!
    – Wiki or knowledge base area
    – Employee directory
    – Place to download files

    So this is really basic stuff. I would so grateful, if someone could get me to right direction, suggesting plugins and giving some general info to the issue at hand. What would you do and keep in mind if you were building a site like this? Im in the start position now, and ready to make those steps 🙂

    Thanks!

    Best regards
    Nico Jukarainen, Assistant director, Osmotex Oy
    Pieksämäki, Finland

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Well, I’ll suggest you first create a separate install of WordPress for security and optimization. It’s best not to use a public WordPress site install and “piggyback” on that. There are many free plugins at WordPress.org if you search under “intranet directory” or similar which gets you started with employee photos, extended User profile files and a search function. You may have to pay to get a proper wiki or file management plugins however.

    This is a great starter WordPress project. As Chris suggests above, make sure that you have an install that you can protect while you’re working on it – whether you do it locally on your computer or at a hosting provider.

    While you’re getting up speed with WordPress, it would be useful to narrow your scope a bit. For example, make sure you understand how pages, posts, and the Media Library works by creating some part of your website that you can visit right away. You can set up a basic “news feed” of posts that you author yourself, or invite another employee to help you with that.

    Get a handle on how user permissions work, with Editors, Collaborators, etc. WordPress doesn’t have the easy flexibility of a Wiki, where lots of people can edit pages, but you get a more structured site that way, which will be more predictable for your users.

    There isn’t really a “collaborate on an excel spreadsheet together” plugin for WordPress. For this you’ll have to look at something like Google Apps or other collaborative editing applications. Do you have something for this already now, or are you shopping around?

    What kind of employee participation are you hoping for? Are you having different employees managing different sections of the site? Do you already have most of the content you’ll need?

    Hi again, and thanks for the answers you both! Could you please specify, that why should I do a seperate install? Many tutorials in Youtube for example install WP to a host, and then they just start building (As I am doing, right now). It seems Im not getting something, please specify?

    Our employees are scattered accross five cities, so public site with user log-in is what I planned to do.

    All the users will take part of the feed, commenting posts of another people, or starting their own. Some people only are going to edit knowledge base part of the site.

    Secondly, excel type sheet is something I thought would be nice to have, as I have a need to have a “list like” feature of entries that can be created by our staff and then other people can comment on them. I would not think it is a good idea to incorporate a new site for example google docs to do this, as it would create complexity. We dont have anything like this now, it is my new idea to solve one problem inside the company. It would go like this really:
    1. One person creates entry
    2. Second person can check, just check what another has written
    3. Third person can comment the entry “to the same place”
    *A lot of entries like this
    If there seems not to be a solid way to do this, then I will figure out something else, no problem 🙂

    I will be the manager of the site, our employees will just participate in posts feed, collaborate on the above talked feature which is yet to be figured out and then read knowledge base anytime needed in their work. At least this is the starting point. When this thing starts rolling it will then adapt to the needs Im sure, but these are the initial requirements which are the most needed right now.

    /Nico

    A separate install of WP is essential since you will be essentially locking down the entire install behind a login. This can be done with plugins. It will also be important since users in an intranet are uploading and downloading documents, files etc, which is a security risk for a public site. I would suggest you google “wordpress intranet” and look at paid options. Your ideal re Excel editing is not likely realistic within WordPress. I’ve never seen it in fact and I’ve been doing WordPress intranets for 8 years. There are a few good front end file managers for WP which can track changes (Simple Files), and plugins for locking down WP (My Private Site), and activity feeds etc also. I’d choose a basic theme like 2016 to start, a no frills approach.

    I think what Chris means by “A separate Install” is that you shouldn’t try to put the Intranet on the same WordPress install where you run your public site (if you have such a thing). What you have described is what Chris is suggesting, so you’re doing the right thing.

    Let’s explore some more what you mean by “collaborate in an excel-like environment”.

    Are they going to be collaborating on putting numbers in a spreadsheet that needs to do math? If yes, then embedding a spreadsheet into the site is where you’re going. Or a bit of programming.

    Are they collaboratively building a list of content? Or uploading files and commenting on them?

    You might be able to do something like commenting using a theme like P2.

    However, if is this is not the most important feature on your site, don’t get too focused on it now.

    Learn more about how to use WordPress, themes, plugins, and community / commenting, to make sure that this will meet your needs.

    @charlwood, do you have any specific paid intranet plugins to look at? I was a bit disappointed by the offerings on the general WP repository and am in the process of building using plugins like Members, Glossary, etc + some fun custom code to implement some specific features we need.

    Members is a good one but not updated often… Simple Intranet and Simple Files plugins are paid. P2 theme or even the default 2016 theme works too for simplicity.

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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