Building an Intranet with WordPress


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A high-level look at what it takes to build a successful WordPress-powered intranet, as presented at WordCamp OC on May 14, 2011.

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  • [twitter]Speaking at WordCamp OC NOW in Room 1[/twitter]
  • [twitter]I love WordPress![/twitter]
  • Keep your cell phones ON (but ringers off)Share your questions and feedback in real-time via Twitter with #intra #ocwchashtagsWe encourage you to share the key points with your network and retweet![twitter]Please retweet key points and share questions and feedback using these hashtag: [/twitter]
  • According to Wikipedia: An intranet is a private computer network that uses Internet Protocol technology to securely share any part of an organization's information or network operating system within that organization.
  • [twitter]What is an intranet good for?[/twitter]
  • Do you have multiple offices? Remote workers? An intranet helps keep your confidential stuff private, but helps keep everyone on the same page.ConsistencyEliminate redundant effortBuild the team[twitter]Intranets are not just for companies. Clubs, families & groups of all kinds.[/twitter]
  • Get all the stakeholders involved and brainstorm what you need. Prioritize to go after the items that will really help – like enhancing communication, improving onboarding for new employees, and strengthening person-to-person connections. [twitter]STEP 1: Know what you want to accomplish[/twitter]
  • Don’t develop on your production server! Get WAMP (for Windows) or MAMP (for Mac). [twitter]STEP 2: Setup dev (NOT on production)[/twitter]
  • Part of this will be a function of the production infrastructure. If you have IT resources that can configure and support a webserver on your internal network, this gives you the greatest level of control (but with the highest level of responsibility). While not technically an intranet, many small-to-mid sized firms use an internet-based web server and simply apply access controls (by name and/or IP address). This isn’t so unusual – you’re really just hosting your intranet “in the cloud.” [twitter]STEP 3: Determine security requirements.[/twitter]
  • It’s not important to get it perfect. Don’t let worry about “getting it right” (or wrong) paralyze you from starting. Concede that you will make mistakes. Learn from them, iterate and keep improving. Enlist the other members of your intranet community to provide feedback and suggestions for improvement. [twitter]STEP 4: Iterate, iterate, iterate.[/twitter]
  • The technology is (relatively) easy. This (the people and culture) is the really hard stuff. “If you build it, they will come…” may have worked for Kevin Costner’s Field of Dreams, but it typically requires something more for an intranet. Look for opportunities to build a “killer app” that really addresses a pain point experienced by your employees. Do this, and they will come. But even then, you’ll need to keep reinforcing this message over and over (and over) again. As you see little “successes” – write about them! People like to hear what other people are doing (and how they might benefit if they did the same). And it provides the reward of recognition to the ones that “get it.” They become your evangelists. Care and feeding of an intranet is much like that of a blog. If you don’t keep it up, it will eventually whither.
  • If you started at Step 1 with clear, measurable objectives, this part should be pretty easy. But don’t overlook it. In the early stages, you’ll be looking primarily at usage statistics; how many people are going in and reading this or that?
  • Demo
  • Hike your own hike?This is Reinhold Metzger. He’s 67 years old and I met him while hiking the 211 mile John Muir Trail last August. My hike was 22 days. He was doing the same trail in 7 days, and previously held the speed record for 4 days, 12 hours and 45 minutes. There is a saying among hikers that you need to “hike your own hike”. The same is true for building an intranet. The specific business needs, environment and culture varies from one company to the next. WordPress could be the cornerstone of your intranet, or simply augment other systems. You need to determine what works best for your company. In other words, you need to hike your own hike. [twitter]Hike your own hike (applies to your intranet, too)[/twitter]
  • [twitter]Want to learn more about building an intranet with WordPress? Contact me. [/twitter]
  • Building an Intranet with WordPress

    1. 1. Building an Intranetwith WordPressJeff HesterWordCamp OCMay 14, 2011<br />1<br />
    2. 2. 2<br />I am passionate about WordPress<br />
    3. 3. 3<br />#intrawc#ocwc<br />@jeffhester<br />
    4. 4. 4<br />What the heck is an intranet?<br />
    5. 5. 5<br />An intranet is a private computer network that uses Internet Protocol technology to securely share any part of an organization's information or network operating system within that organization.<br />Wikipedia<br />
    6. 6. 6<br />So what exactly is an intranetgood for?<br />
    7. 7. 7<br />
    8. 8. 8<br />Intranetsby the Numbers<br />THE SIX STEPS<br />
    9. 9. STEP ONEKnow what you want to accomplish<br />Photo: Alex Osterwalder<br />
    10. 10. STEP TWOSetup your development environment<br />
    11. 11. STEP THREEDefine security and use policies<br />
    12. 12. STEP FOURBuild, Test & Deploy<br />Photo: robynejay<br />
    13. 13. STEP FIVECommunicate,<br />Educate & Repeat<br />Photo: Paige Parsons<br />Photo:<br />
    14. 14. STEP SIXMeasure the results(see step #1)<br />Photo: Darren Hester<br />Photo:<br />
    15. 15. Your WordPress-powered Intranet Toolkit #1 of 3<br />Restricted Site Access<br />Restrict access to named users or Ips<br />White Label CMS<br />Simplify the admin console and brand with your organization identity<br />Avatars<br />Allows users to upload an avatar <br />15<br />
    16. 16. Your WordPress-powered Intranet Toolkit #2 of 3<br />Calendar<br />Provide an event calendar on any page, post or in a sidebar<br />Gravity Forms<br />Replace offline forms with online versions and rudimentary workflow<br />Image Widget<br />Simple way for non-techies to add images to sidebars<br />16<br />
    17. 17. Your WordPress-powered Intranet Toolkit #3 of 3<br />Stray Random Quotes<br />Not just for quotes, but just about any rotating content<br />WP-prettyPhoto<br />Turn the built-in WordPress gallery into something better (among other things)<br />BackupBuddy<br />Automate the backup process<br />17<br />
    18. 18. 18<br />It’s HAMMERtime!<br />
    19. 19. 19<br />Hike your own hike(aka YMMV)<br />
    20. 20. 20<br />Jeff<br /><br />@jeffhester<br />
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