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Global Build is a WordPress theme crafted towards building services of any kind: architecture, construction, plumbing, carpentry, remodeling services etc. How to use WordPress as a SaaS platform that uses custom post types, custom themes, s2membership access control to build and sell web applications like Hello Bar.
Yes, you read that title right: WordPress as a SaaS (Software As A Service) application platform. With s2Member installed, we had a turn-key solution to subscription management, payment processing, brute force login security, as well as diverse page access restrictions for multiple user tiers and capabilities. WordPress is the perfect system for a publicly accessible website, but it requires a little customization to lock it down for use as an application platform. While community plugins got us up and running quickly with a platform base, we eventually needed to start writing our own code to customize our application’s experience.
Allow users to enable, disable or non-destructively delete Hello Bars just by changing the post entry’s published status. To keep our application running smoothly as we got things started, we created a custom plugin that would require users to be manually approved before they could access the website. We later expanded on the capabilities of this plugin by adding a viral sharing component to it through a secondary plugin. Besides the Beta Key plugin and its viral sharing add-on, being a design company, we also wanted to have a little more granular control over how the registration and login process looked. We love WordPress, but this was an application, not a blog or website, so we need to customize the experience to reflect that. Once we had our WordPress environment customized to our liking, it was time to create the application interface itself. To output interaction areas for users, we took heavy advantage of WordPress’ theme template engine and Shortcode API. So, as you can see, WordPress provides lots of great tools and turn-key offerings to get your SaaS application up and running in no time.
Got any questions about how we used WordPress to build Hello Bar or how we got over any hurdles I may not have addressed?
The above details about wordpress plugins and website design details are very useful for who are learning wordpress. The amount of time it takes to change these paths initially is not that much, however it can cause problems if you use other plugins that depend on the paths. You’ve nailed it with your topic, but the Hello Bar case study barely scratches the surface of the potential and current usage of WordPress as a SaaS App Engine. Matt Mullenweg featured a heap of other great applications built on WordPress in this year’s State of the Word (jump to around 35 mins in). We are building a database and service site for my association, and among the data we would like to store our members info.
In viewing the dirfnfeeces between the way this plugin differs from the wordbooker plugin, I think I like the wordbooker better even though it has tons of settings that I don’t completely understand. Your means of explaining all in this article is actually nice, every one be able to simply understand it, Thanks a lot. When looking for a WP theme for Saas product are there any suggestion or criteria that we should either avoid or look for? I need to build something that operates like this, can you give any pointers or tutorials by chance? As the Lead User Interface Developer, Dave uses his development and interaction design experience to help create the most usable and innovative web interfaces. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Media Arts with an emphasis in Web Design from Platt College of Graphic Design, San Diego and graduated with honors at the top of his class.
The various components can be turned on off at will, so you are flexible to restrict your site’s features to only those that your members will use.
WP Symposium also has a strong support community, a helpful wiki, and a help desk for members who require professional assistance. WP Mingle is also known to work well with both Wishlist Member and Affiliate Royale if you need to integrate a premium membership option with your Mingle community. I actually tested both Buddypress and Symposium a few months ago for a project and while both seemed to work great at what they are meant to do with only minor issues i eventually settled on buddypress due to the amazing ammount of existing plugins that were available. Moving onto WPSymposium I was quite dismayed to find that with the free version you only get four Social benefits.
Also it appears from the WordPress Forum that WPSymposium more or less mimicks BBPress….So guess what I have chosen?
WordPress is one of the most popular applications in the web design community not only for its ease of use as a blogging platform, but for its versatility in any kind of content managed website. This thorough 11 part tutorial series takes you through every detail of creating your own WordPress theme from scratch. Sam Parkinson takes us through the process of building this custom blog theme in his tutorial on Nettuts+ and describes the use of each template file along with code samples. Another tutorial that I remember being really useful was Chris Coyier’s video screencast series. Oneextrapixel hosts a more up to date WordPress theme tutorial that explains some of the newer features and functionality such as custom post thumbnails and the revised method of calling the whole comments list and comment form from WordPress 3.0 and beyond. Chapter two of the complete WordPress theme guide on Web Designer Wall focuses on the building of a custom theme. Dan Walker’s tutorial on Wptuts+ not only covers the basic how-to of building WordPress themes, but also includes tips on creating public themes. The complete code samples in this tutorial from Developer Drive makes it easy to see how WordPress template tags are combined with HTML to provide that dynamic functionality, as well as being easy to copy and paste straight into your working files.
Just in case you’re new around here, I also have a bunch of WordPress theme tutorials.
One of my more popular WordPress theme tutorials here on Line25 was my guide to creating a basic portfolio theme. Iggy is a designer who loves experimenting with new web design techniques collating creative website designs. Hello, I'm contacting you because we are looking for website developers, web designers and graphic artist. We are now doing partnerships with web designers that would include a kickback for every client brought to us. Awesome suggestions.Nothing like some work along tutorials and hands on action to learn faster. Now, if this post actually went into some detail about which one was the best to read and why, it would be worthwhile.. Excellent, we are in process of renewing our theme for a custom theme in WP and this info will be helpful, of course.
Line25 was built in March 2009 as a place to share web design ideas and inspiration through articles, tutorials and examples of stunning site designs. This course will show you a step-by-step system to build a professional Wordpress website in just 7 days.


This course will show you a step-by-step system to build a professional WordPress website in just 7 days.
The theme is easy operated and easy customizable which makes it a perfect option for your business.
But wait… WordPress is a blogging platform right – what’s this about building applications?
Some very talented developers have created thousands of plugins that elevate and expand this little CMS platform lightyears beyond just being a blog. WordPress’ built-in user system coupled with a good membership plugin saved us a lot of setup time and provided us with nearly all the functionality we needed with little effort. Knowing this, Automattic set WordPress up in a way that all of these customizations (most of which are free) are readily available in the plugin community. WordPress’ powerful APIs for building plugins, shortcodes, themes, and widgets, it’s highly configurable and flexible code, and its database architectures all gave us a powerful set of tools to accomplish what we set out to do.
This plugin also enabled users to enter unique beta keys either at registration or post registration to activate their accounts. This secondary plugin hooked in via actions and filters into the initial Beta Key plugin and allowed approved users to share beta keys with their friends. While s2Member did provide some basic login and registration page customization capabilities, we wanted to go a little further. To start, we didn’t want users to even realize it was WordPress they were using, nor did we want to expose any administration interfaces that would take them out of the application’s simple and streamlined experience. We created a few Page entries and utilized the public pages for Hello Bar’s custom post type entries for editing interfaces.
We created page templates and custom styled both a logged in and public experience within a single theme thanks to the Multi Header capability of get_header() and Multi Footer capability of get_footer().
Using its powerful API system, plugin architecture and community created plugins you can build an application and start making money in no time. We honestly didn’t know if WordPress would be able to handle what we were trying to throw at it, but it turned out pretty well.
I run the tech side of things for a membership site built on WordPress, and we’re looking at adding some features that make it more app-like. Each custom post is then owned (the post_author field) by a user (associated by their user_ID when creating the post). I’m curious about performance – how well did WP perform at serving up the JS, and did you run into speed bumps as more customers signed up?
When a bar was saved, it was baked to a flat JavaScript file and subsequently served via Nginx. We are talking about 7000+ people, and since the subscription is yearly we also want to save a stripped down version of these data for historical memory.
I’m in the middle of testing custom post types, templates etc in WordPress, I literally have notepad++ open now and came across a small problem on the single post template. More than I could possibly express in words on a comment, but great job on Hello Bar, anytime you get tons of people copying and replicating your product, your doing great.
He works closely with the development, design, and marketing teams to strategize the most effective interface layouts.
In his off-time Dave enjoys spending time with his wife and when occasion permits, visiting the land of Azeroth on the back of a flaming hell-steed - a unique juxtaposition to his off-line life. If you’ve settled on WordPress as your CMS and want to build a social network or add community features to an existing site, you actually have a decent selection of options for making your site more interactive. BuddyPress has an active, thriving community with new open source plugins being contributed by members every week to extend the platform.
Many BuddyPress users have a difficult time getting their WordPress themes to be compatible with the plugin. If you like quick releases with quick bug fixes, instead of long waits between major releases, then WP Symposium might be a great option for you. The plugin aims to provide a social experience where users never need to see the WordPress login or admin. So did a number of WordPress users, some mentioning that they had been locked out of their WordPress backend and had to removed the folder via FTP. Building custom themes for WordPress is pretty straight forward, making it one of the easiest templating systems to master. The series begins with a look at the structure of a WordPress theme before taking a close look at each of the various template files.
I remember reading this WPDesigner post back in 2007 and using it myself to get the hang of building WordPress themes. This three part tutorial takes a live look at building a WordPress theme, which gives that extra insight you just don’t get from a written guide. The initial overview of features alone is useful for anyone creating a generic theme to sell or give away. This recent tutorial takes you through the process I used to create my Typo WordPress theme. This tutorial covers the usual template tags, but also explains how custom page templates can be used to tailor the blogging platform into more of a content management system. Every subscriber gets a free pack of 100 HD Blurred Backgrounds + bonus 10 realistic web shadows. Check out Iggy's design tutorials and articles at his Web Design Blog or follow his daily findings on Twitter. Also, we work with several clients looking to have websites built, so we would be referring clients to you. The best part of this CMS is that they have number of plugins inbuild in the which makes the management of entire website as an ease. As it provides the same tools as wordpress, it is just easier to set up and manage on a day to day basis. Be the first to see new posts by subscribing by RSS, have new content delivered by Email, or join Line25 on Twitter.
Designed to help businesses and private individuals alike discover the incredible simplicity of the Wordpress platform. Designed to help businesses and private individuals alike discover the incredible simplicity of the WordPress platform. A full pack of shortcodes and custom widgets contribute a lot to quick and easy content and layout management. What lies beneath the two ominous buzzwords is not some secret game-changing technology but rather a new approach at forming relationships with your audience in real-time. This availability of quality, pre-built plugins and the fact that we were already very familiar with the capabilities of the platform itself were some of the primary reasons we chose to build Hello Bar using WordPress. We evaluated quite a few plugins out there including WPMU Membership, WishList Member, WP E-Commerce Membership and s2Member amongst others.
Even with the free version of the plugin we were able to get all of the previously mentioned capabilities as well as integrate a free PayPal account and accept payment subscriptions.


This provided us with the ability to use many of WordPress’ built in functionalities for the CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) actions surrounding the data. We utilized WordPress’ action and filter API system to hook into the user login and registration processes to enact our own status policies and authentication policies in addition to WordPress’ giving us finer control over who and how many people could access the system. This grew Hello Bar’s popularity significantly and created a lot of buzz around it, driving the community’s desire to get into our exclusive application.
This allowed us to easily lock down access to those areas using s2Member’s access restriction system. For self user management, s2Member provides numerous shortcodes for users to update profile data, cancel their paid subscriptions, sign up for a new paid subscription, or upgrade an existing paid subscription. Next article I’ll talk about how we setup our server(s) to handle the service of our application to our users. How you write your own code, how you organize things and handle memory usage in either platform will be the primary factor in determining speed. There are some different decisions I would have made about how we architected it looking back on it now that would have allowed it to scale a little easier (such as taking advantage of WordPress’ Network installation capabilities), but with the right setup I have no doubt it could scale enough to function as a long term solution.
Adding custom post types for users (in Hello Bar’s case) was largely a manual process.
Before a user is allowed to do any CRUD operations on a Hello Bar custom post, a thorough check of the logged in user, and subsequently the post owner is done. After analyzing the traffic that was hammering us, we discovered that CSS Mania had put a RSS bar on their home page that was showing the latest post from their blog.
Now we have WordPress the App Engine – the most exciting times for WP are yet to come. We certainly encourage the use of WP as an app engine, but we also need our peers to keep pushing the envelope so that scaling usage is a bit more predictable from the get-go. We are using WP to build it and at the beginning I was afraid about the scalability of the process, but the comments here make me believe this could be achievable! It was the only plugin available at the time that actually used the built-in WordPress usertable. Not our original exit strategy, but it was a great move for both our customers and us as a company.
He has had extensive experience in front-end scripting, layout architecture, and interface development.
Over the past couple of years, several plugins have emerged as strong contenders for transforming your WordPress site into a full-featured social network.
If you like the security of a large community with lots of options to extend your site with social plugins, then BuddyPress might be the ticket for you. One of the biggest advantages of WP Symposium is that it fits into your WordPress site like a natural part of your theme. The look and layout is a little different from the other plugins, similar to the old Facebook or LinkedIn. If you’ve used any of these three plugins, please feel free to leave your personal review in the comments below. This post rounds up 15 of the best WordPress theme tutorials, each taking you through the process of building your own WP theme from scratch.
A lot of features have been included in WordPress since 2007, but the core process of building themes remains the same. Some cool features will definitely be appreciated by both, the business owners an your clients. Using the power of WordPress and the community around it, we built Hello Bar in about 1 month, monetized it, scaled it and eventually sold it. We wanted to get something built with minimal effort, time and cost, but still have a great product in the end. In the end we determined that s2Member was the right combination of features and price to get a low cost application started.
VaultPress by Automattic, while not free, provided us an inexpensive way to keep our WordPress application secure and backed up. Of course, since s2Member only provides account tier level access restriction, we still needed to write our own author level restriction for access to individual Hello Bars and their related pages, but everything else just used the currently logged in user’s information to determine the correct data to display. We liked this model of portable markup deployment and followed it with our own core plugin to provide shortcodes for Hello Bar interfaces. Both platforms will scale quite easily and can take advantage of a lot of the same technologies for doing so (database sharding with WP Network installations, replicated databases, Memcached servers for object, database and output caching, etc.).
Even with a SASS, most of the content will be cached and there’s Memcache for object caching.
My first idea was to use a custom post type like you did, but I haven’t yet figured out an easy way to associate the custom post with the user who filled it out.
If the logged in user shouldn’t be messing with the post in question, they are redirected and shown a message. In this post we’ll examine the strengths and features of each of the top three plugins available for building a social network with WordPress. Amongst those are Calculator and Quote Request form to get a cost of your service, WooCommerce support to build a fantastic store of building equipment, plenty of gallery layouts to display your construction projects. This is the first article in a series where we’ll be exploring how we used community plugins (as well as our own), custom theming, a good server setup and a little automation to build a full subscription based application using WordPress.
Functionality provided by community plugins enabled us to focus on building our application and create a compelling product. A few dollars a month for real time backups of our database, theme, and plugins as well as plugin and theme scanning for malicious code was well worth it.
In addition to locking things down, we customized some of the URL paths by redefining a few constants to obfuscate that we were using WordPress. We used some custom page templates to provide the “wrapper” around the interfaces and then outputted the Hello Bar management table, editing interface, and eventually the statistics summary table and chart detail using shortcode deployment.
The checking functions are mostly manual, and the custom post structure is used to keep things organized and aligned with the WordPress data structure. That way, even a site with traffic like CSS Mania would only hit PHP at most once every 5 minutes. I thought this might be the ID of the post but realized to post then get an ID and add it to the post doesn’t sound efficient. Of course, some plugins didn’t like that we weren’t using standard WordPress paths, so we needed to modify some files manually to make the file paths matched our configuration.
I know the userID is accessible with WP functions, but what other unique ID can I use to append to the post name before the form is sent which would also be unique to each post?
Keep this in mind if you decide to change file paths with your application; it makes things a little hard for bots to find, but it might make some plugins a little more difficult to integrate.



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