What if I told you that you could create a brand-new WordPress intranet site for your organization within just an hour? In this article, I’ll teach you the 2 most effective ways to build an intranet WordPress site to help your employees at your company be more productive.
That said, let’s dive in.
Why You Need a WordPress Intranet Website For Your Business
First of all, why do you even need an intranet WordPress site for your company?
Well, here are a few reasons:
Easy Access to Company’s Knowledge Base – You can use an intranet website to upload various pieces of information regarding your company. Since the intranet website would be only accessible to your employees (if you set it this way), you can fearlessly share the critical data of your company on that website.
Announcements – An intranet WordPress website can also be used as a way to announce a new project or piece of news regarding your company, that you’d like to share with all the employees.
Communication – Employees can use the private website of your company to communicate with one another. They can create private chats or communicate through groups or forums. You can also devise various groups for the different departments in your company.
Easy Collaboration – Another great benefit of an intranet site would be easy collaboration. You can integrate project management and collaboration tools with WordPress to allow your employees to work more productively and help your business grow faster.
Easy File Sharing – The website can also be used to upload and share files with employees and colleagues. Be it the guidelines for a certain project or your company’s working policy, there can be various uses of document sharing.
How Different is an Intranet Site From a Regular WordPress Website?
An intranet WordPress website is not much different from a regular WordPress website. The WordPress tool and its functionality essentially remain the same – so, you can access almost all features within the WordPress of your intranet website that you could, from a regular WordPress site.
That said, what differs an intranet WordPress site from an average WordPress site are:
- the tools/plugins you’ll use to power up your intranet website, and
- the way you choose to make your website private.
The Plugins and Themes You Need to Create a WordPress Intranet Website
When you’re creating an intranet website for your company, you’ll need various tools (WordPress plugins) for its functionality. For instance, you may be using a communication WordPress plugin to make it possible for your employees to collaborate.
Similarly, the WordPress theme you pick will determine your website layout and the features available. The intranet-focused themes generally come with intranet-centric tools that help employees to enjoy a more productive work environment.
So, let’s take a look at the plugins and the WordPress theme you should use to create your WordPress intranet website.
Best Plugins for Your Intranet Website
Below are the plugins we recommend for intranet websites. You may install these plugins on your WordPress intranet site depending upon your situation and requirements.
All-In-One Intranet for WordPress
With All-In-One Intranet for WordPress, you can keep your company safe and turn WordPress into a secure corporate intranet in seconds.
The All-In-One Intranet plugin includes all of the essential features you’ll need to secure WordPress and convert it into a safe haven for your employees.
- For social networking and team collaboration: BuddyPress – BuddyPress is a social networking software that lets you create separate profiles for your employees. It also allows group discussions, private messaging, and forum discussions to help your team collaborate at their best. Furthermore, BuddyPress is open-source open source and anyone can install it on their intranet WordPress website.
- Best for knowledge base: Heropath – Heropath is a time-saving knowledge base that makes it convenient for company managers to deliver content to the employees. It turns out to be effective for businesses that want to share information with their employees quickly.
- For different groups in company departments: WordPress Multisite – WordPress Multisite is not an essential plugin but a built-in feature you get with WordPress installation. It lets you establish various groups for the different departments in your company.
- Best for forms: Gravity Forms – If you are a large company looking for an easy way to automate employee applications or polls, then a form plugin like Gravity forms might be effective. It lets you create various types of forms on your intranet WordPress websites, within just a few clicks.
- Best to book meetings: Booking Calendar – Booking Calendar allows employees to book meetings conveniently. There’s an easy-to-use portal that lets users select the day and time for the meeting and enter the details of the participants. It may also be useful for employees to determine if a colleague is attending a meeting currently or not.
With that out of the way, let’s explore some WordPress themes designed for intranet company websites.
Best Themes for Your Intranet Website
WordPress offers over 11,000 free themes available for installation, with the click of a button. You can pick any of them for your WordPress site.
However, choosing a dedicated intranet theme would come with built-in features for organizations like Calender, employee profiles, upcoming events, polls, and so on.
Therefore, our WordPress experts recommend installing an intranet-central theme. Wooffice and Alliance are great, to name some top intranet WordPress themes.
Best Overall: Wooffice
After a detailed review, we’ve chosen Wooffice as our top pick for intranet themes. It offers a wide range of powerful features designed for organizations in mind – be it a Business, Government, Community, or School.
The standout benefits of Wooffice include the live demo it offers. Furthermore, Wooffice lets you create various employee profiles to organize a team. It also has a built-in messaging feature to offer collaboration to employees.
Best for File Sharing: Alliance
Alliance is a powerful alternative to Wooffice and is also designed for intranet company websites. Its standout features include document storage and easy file sharing which leads to easy collaboration among employees.
Furthermore, Alliance offers a great page builder that’s easy to use and lets you build & customize your website without knowing how to code. It also cuts down the time it would take to code an entire website.
Now that you know what plugins and themes you can use to make the most out of your WordPress intranet, let’s find out how to create one.
2 Ways to Create a WordPress Intranet Site
As you’ve guessed, there are two different ways to create a WordPress intranet website.
Here is how these methods differ:
- The first one would allow your employees to access the company website (and the intranet you’ve created) only when they’re at the office.
- Whereas, the other one would require them to be in the office to access them.
If you’d like to choose the first method, we recommend going for a hosted WordPress install instead and making your network private by using a tool like All-In-One Intranet.
But if you want to restrict your employees from being at your office to access the website, then you can go for a localhost solution (XAMPP or WAMP are popular ones).
That said, let’s explore these methods in detail.
How To Create A WordPress Intranet Using A Plugin
In this method, you would be installing regular WordPress on a hosted server and using a plugin to add privacy controls and make your website accessible to your employees only.
Our recommendation for such programs is All-In-One Intranet due to its functionality and trustworthiness. Thankfully, its free version has everything you’ll need to create a WordPress intranet website for your business.
Here are the advantages of this method:
- It’s more reliable compared to hosting a website on your own computer as making sure your computer runs off 24/7 can be tricky.
- It’s also more cost-effective as you don’t have to pay lots of extra electricity and internet costs that running your computer 24/7 would lead to.
- Your employees would be able to access the intranet website from anywhere – there won’t be the restriction of being at the office for that.
However, it also comes with limitations like:
- Since your site would be hosted on a public server, you’ll have to be careful about user access permissions.
- Moreover, you’d also have to make sure you choose the Best managed WordPress Hosting.
Step 1: Get Domain & Web Hosting
After reviewing the top web hosts on the market, we consider Bluehost (you can also go with SiteGround, HostGator, Liquid Web, Hostinger) as the top solution for web hosting needs. It’s decent, budget-friendly, trustable, and easy to use.
You can get away with the starter shared hosting plan at Bluehost as your website (likely) won’t need a lot of server resources (unless you have thousands of employees).
Step 2: Install WordPress
Once you’ve purchased hosting from Bluehost (or another hosting service), it’s time to install WordPress. One of the reasons we recommended Bluehost is because it offers 1-click WordPress installation. So, you can install WordPress with just a few clicks.
Step 3: Configure All-In-One Intranet Plugin
Once you’ve installed WordPress on your website and chosen a theme, it’s time to configure the all-in-one intranet plugin to make your website accessible to users with credentials only.
First, activate the plugin from WordPress and check the box “Force the site to be entirely private”. Then, there will be a few other things to configure, and boom! – your website is now accessible to certain users only.
That said, let’s take a look at the other method you can use to create a true intranet environment and host your website.
How to Create A WordPress Intranet Using WAMP (Or Another Localhost Solution)
WAMP is a popular program for transforming your computer into a temporary server that can be used to host a website. It would create a local environment and usually, only the devices connected to your computer network would be able to access that website.
That said, the first step towards creating an intranet site using WAMP is to install it on a business computer at your office:
Step 1: Install WAMP on Your PC
First of all, visit the WampServer website and download WAMP on your computer. We recommend choosing the latest version of WAMP for top-tier compatibility. Once the downloading is finished, install WAMP on your computer.
During the installation, the Windows firewall may restrict some features of Apache. So, we recommend setting it as an exception in the Windows firewall to avoid any issues.
Once the installation completes, check the box “Start WampServer 2 now” and click Finish. The program will start running on your computer. Left-click WAMP’s icon from the notification area to open it and hit “Localhost”.
If you see a page that gives quick information regarding the Apache and PHP versions of your website, it means that you’ve successfully installed a WAMP server.
Step 2: Complete WAMP Configuration & Install WordPress
Left-click the WAMP icon in the notification area to open the www directory and configure which pages your web server should display. Here, you can put the files you would want your website to consist of.
You can either put the WordPress installation files here or HTML files to build your intranet website. You can start off by using the following code to create a structure of your website’s homepage:
<?php echo ‘<p>Hello World</p>’; ?>
You can write the code on a notepad or a coding platform. Anyway, save the file as index.php inside of C:\wamp\www to transform the code into content on your website. Then, open your website once again to see the changes made. You can reload the page by using the shortcut “Ctrl + R”.
Usually, your website would only be accessible on the computer you’ve installed the WAMP server on. Once you’re ready to share your website with your employees, you can find the IP address of this server and share it with the users.
Next, you can install WordPress on your localhost website to make it a WordPress intranet website.
This article breaks down a complete guide on how to create a WordPress intranet website for your company. I’ve tried to teach you the different methods to creating an intranet website as well as clarify what’s a better option for you.
Until next time, cheers!