Pretty often, I’m asked what powers this or that feature on DevPress. This is the ultimate breakdown to answer all of your questions. And if you don’t want to or know how to do it yourself, hey, you can always hire me.
Behind the Scene
DevPress is a members only themes club and social network. That makes DevPress.com much more complicated than 90% of WordPress powered sites out there. Let’s address the most obvious down to the nitty gritty.
s2Member for Membership Management:
I use s2Member because it’s free and it automatically handles PayPal payments with refunds and cancellations in mind. The DevPress Club page is the first step of the membership process. s2Member lets you generate PayPal buttons, set your price, and set the terms of membership. For example, do you want to make people pay a one time fee or subscribe weekly, monthly, or yearly? The PayPal part was a bit confusing to set up because I was not familiar with some of the extra settings, but it was just time consuming, not difficult.
s2Member is a bit limiting because the default set up is it restricts members by levels. For example, Level 4 members get access to everything available to Level 1 members. Sometimes, you need two groups of exclusive members and that’s when you want to start looking into other solutions. For now, s2Member is perfect for DevPress.
Email Log for Accuracy:
s2Member sends confirmation and account information to your members. To keep track of those emails and make sure emails were sent. I use Email Log.
WP-Mail-SMTP to avoid being marked as spam:
Telling your members to check their SPAM folder for confirmation emails is a bad for business so I use this plugin to tell email hosts messages from DevPress isn’t spam. Sometimes, that’s still not good enough so you just have to some email hosts directly for them to whitelist your website.
BuddyPress for Social Network
Adding other members as friends, private messaging, and being able to create/join groups are all thanks to BuddyPress.
bbPress for Forums or Message Board
Although BuddyPress has group forums, I don’t have it enabled on DevPress. It’s because I prefer having a central forum for interaction and support instead of having a forum for each group. When DevPress get to 10,000 members or more then it would make sense to turn on group specific forums. When nurturing a community or social network, it’s important to make your site not feel empty. Only when you have more members than you can handle do you let everything go wild. But before that, you need to have one central place for member interaction.
Jigoshop, e-Junkie, or a combination of both for selling individual items:
Although Jigoshop and e-Junkie isn’t active on DevPress anymore. Jigoshop is an e-commerce plugin and e-Junkie is a third party shopping cart. I will soon bring back Jigoshop on DevPress to manage themes organization and filtering.
Gravity Forms for Form Creation and Management:
For all other interactions via forms and emails, I use Gravity Forms to manage and keep track of it all, like the form on my contact page. Everytime I receive an email through the contact page, not only is it in my inbox, it’s recorded on DevPress as well. So if I accidentally delete an email, I can always go back to DevPress’s records to track it down.
With so many plugins, pages, and settings to manage, it gets tiring to manage everything manually so I use the following plugins to help me:
- Revision Control to limit the amount of revisions saved to DevPress.com’s database.
- Plugin Garbage Collector to clean up unused plugins.
- Exploit Scanner to make sure files on DevPress aren’t compromised.
The Pretty Face
This is what you actually see while using DevPress, which is currently a black and yellow design from the Fanwood theme. Fanwood is a multi-purpose, mobile friendly theme that I created for myself actually. I needed quite a few different layout options, BuddyPress, bbPress, and Jigoshop integrations among other smaller features so I built it and named it Fanwood.
Note: I’m in the process of redesigning DevPress.com.
A complicated site like DevPress.com might seem impossible to someone who doesn’t have the experience, but it’s actually easy and for me it’s getting easier by the day. I saved everything I’ve designed, coded, and figured out. The next time I need to set up a mobile-friendly, members-only, social network with e-commerce and payments management, I’d simply go to my resource folder.
That’s pretty much it to DevPress. Now go build your own awesome website!