Why WordPress is a great platform for building your Intranet

We have already spoken at length about why an Intranet can be great for your business. However an Intranet is often only as good as the content placed on it, after all you want your users coming back to the Intranet all the time for new stuff.

Using WordPress to power your Intranet helps with keeping that content up-to-date as well as many other reasons why it is a great solution for your new Intranet. Let’s take a look at some of the main reasons why WordPress is a great solution.

Built in, out-of-the box features

All Intranets, in fact most websites that are content managed, or that use a content managed system need certain features all the time.

With WordPress a developer, and therefore users and Intranet owners get many of these features out-of-the-box and they are already built for them. They of course may need a little tweaking here and there to make sure they are fully suitable, but the heavy work is done.

Let’s take a look at some of these features that exist out-of-the-box in WordPress:

1. User Management

WordPress comes with user management built in. Users can capabilities that allow them to do specific things in WordPress. This means that certain users can access and change certain content, while other users are locked out.

WordPress also comes with different types of user. These are users that have a collection of capabilities allowing them to have specific roles on the website. By default WordPress comes with Administrators which can do anything in terms of changing settings etc. and Editors. Editors can edit all the content on the site but cannot change the sites settings.

2. Menus

Your Intranet will undoubtedly need a good navigation structure to allow users to find content easily and quickly. WordPress has a built in editable menu system which allows editors to create, edit and publish multi-level navigation menus and place them in different areas of the site. There is no need to contact developers when a navigation item needs changing.

3. Content types

By default WordPress comes with Posts and Page content types. However it is very easy to create other content types (known in WordPress as custom post types) for other types of content such as portfolio, people and department. This easily allows for separation of content both from a front-end user perspective and also and editor perspective making editing content easier and quicker.

4. Template engine (WordPress themes)

Included are a number of default themes (or skins) which are the way your content is represented and displayed to users. However WordPress has a theme templating structure means that custom themes can be built easily to display your content in whatever way you wish.

WordPress has a number of other benefits that make it perfect for an Intranet. Let’s take a look at these.

Open source

WordPress is an open source piece of software which uses the GPL3 license. This means that anyone can anything they like with the software, as long as what they do keeps the same license.

This is great for business Intranets because they are no expensive licensing to pay for software which can save a lot of money. This could be spent instead of making the Intranet even better.

Also being open source means that you are free to use it how you want, on whatever hardware environment you want with worrying about licensing etc.

Extensible

WordPress is built in a very extensible way. What this means is that developers can extend and modify its functionality with breaking the core WordPress product. This is ideal for Intranets as it allows for the development of specific functionality which can be built bespoke to specific clients.

WordPress also has a library of over 40,000 plugins available to add to your Intranet which allow you to include different functionality, anything from completed job boards to simply social sharing buttons.

Single sign-on

WordPress can be adapted to work with your current organisational logins which means users can login to the WordPress Intranet using their organisational account details. This is often a Windows Active Directory system or a cloud based login system such as Office 365 or G Suite. It can also work with any LDAP service. This is great as it means your visitors no longer have to remember another login and password.

Multi-site feature

The multi-site feature allows you to create a complete network of multiple sites using a single WordPress installation. This means that you can quickly create sites as and when you need in minutes.

This features is particularly good if, for your organisation it makes sense to have seperate sites for different areas of the business for example locations or departments.

These separate sites can share the same users, so users have a single sign-on only as well as even sharing the theme they use to output content in a consistent way. However they could include different plugins for different functionality.

About the author

Mark is the lead WordPress developer at Highrise Digital. He has been working with WordPress for over 13 years, way back to 2005. He focuses on back-end development, integrating the website build with WordPress so it can be editable.