Coding a social network and
online community forum from the ground up

Social Network & Forum Development
For a Niche Audience

In the summer of 2012, a client approached with a front end development project., a real estate investing blog, wanted to expand their website to include a social network & forum for investors to share stories & tips, while also remaining friendly to the new investor that wants to ask questions about the trade. They were already using WordPress as a content management system, so we were given the task to configure the network/forum.

Before we started building the custom experience and add-ons to their site, we took a look at website traffic and how visitors were behaving on the website. After thoroughly grasping what the client envisioned, we were able that information with the data to determine the best steps moving forward. We wanted to make sure we coded the client’s vision while not conflicting with what we learned from the data. The first step was to add to the homepage to create click-throughs and calls to action that direct the user to the new forms (the header search bar was the first BIG step):

Real Estate Forum

Building custom themes, plugins & functionality for WordPress websites is one of our web development specialties. We leveraged bbPress & Buddypress to get the initial framework integrated. We coded custom PHP/HTML, CSS, Javascript & MySQL queries to build an experience tailored to our client’s objectives based on the data we reviewed.

(Screenshots from our local staging site)Forum Development

After building a functions forum, full with profiles & functionality for users to post & connect with each other, we coded the actual forum experience. We wanted to make sure forum posts (real estate investing questions & answers) were easy to read & easy to follow for the user. Here’s a look at how the posts looked:

Forum Design

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