Can WordPress be used for Intranet websites

WordPress is very popular CMS for making websites, but WordPress in its core default functionality is not suitable for creating an intranet so how well does WordPress perform as an intranet? Let's check.

Your intranet website would probably need such features or sections:

  • Login and manage users roles for private use only.
  • Collaboration tools, like chat (forum, discussions) and common file sharing.
  • Private news or announcements.
  • Knowledge or information (posts) posting.
  • Messages or notification system.
  • Maybe also learning content like videos and so on.

Steps to make WordPress as Intranet system

To customize a WordPress website for intranet usage, here are some steps you can follow, that would include finding and installing more plugins for WordPress:

  1. Install WordPress: First, install WordPress on your server or hosting account.
  2. Choose a theme: Choose a theme that is suitable for an intranet site. There are many themes available that are specifically designed for intranet usage. Read below for theme suggestions.
  3. Restrict access: Restrict access to your site by using a plugins or webserver config, which allows you to restrict access to your site to registered users only.
  4. Set up user roles: Create user roles for your employees, such as administrators, editors, and contributors. This will allow you to control what each user can do on the site.
  5. Add custom content: Add custom content to your site, such as a welcome message, company news, and important documents, events.
  6. Set up a file sharing system: Use a plugin like WP File Download or WP Document Revisions to create a secure file sharing system where users can upload, share, and collaborate on files.
  7. Add communication tools: Consider adding communication tools like a messaging system or chat feature to your site so that users can easily communicate with one another.
  8. Add or extend core functionality by installing needed plugins.
  9. Ensure security: Make sure that your site is secure by using a security plugin like Wordfence. This will help protect your site from hackers and other threats.

Essential plugins that could help you make Intranet website

  1. All-In-One Intranet for WordPress ( https://wp-glogin.com/all-in-one-intranet/ )

    With one simple checkbox, you can make your entire site private to anyone not logged in. You can set any page or URL as the first page visited after logging in. Easily set a time interval for inactivity, after which users will automatically log out, protecting your sensitive company information. Intervals are set by minutes, hours, or days. Multisite support in premium version.


    More usage cases for intranet along with google service in their blog: https://wp-glogin.com/blog/

  2. BuddyPress (or alternatively BuddyBoss see below)

    It converts your WordPress website into a social network. BuddyPress is open source and can do:

    🍪 Invite users to register on company intranet
    🍪 Users will be able to create extended user profiles
    🍪 Activity streams allow users to follow latest updates like Twitter or Facebook
    🍪 You will be able to create user groups to sort users into departments or teams
    🍪 Users can follow each other as friends
    🍪Users can send private messages to each other 🌑

  3. bbPress

    Allows you to build forum or old style discussion board with themes and replies system.

  4. BuddyPress Docs

    Document sharing and upload, and for easy Frontpage document editing.
    http://github.com/boonebgorges/buddypress-docs

  5. “the Events Calendar” or “Events Manager” or “EventsON”

    Create and manage an events/events booking/calendar on your WordPress site. “the Events Calendar” is the most popular plugin (see https://theeventscalendar.com/knowledgebase/guide/the-events-calendar/), but It could be not the “best” one available. See a review of some most known: https://www.hostinger.com/tutorials/best-wordpress-calendar-plugins

  6. rtMedia

    adds missing media rich features like photos, videos and audio uploading to BuddyPress, Albums – Organise media into manageable collections. BuddyPress Group albums support collaboration.

    Album Slideshow (Lightbox), video player, uploads work on mobiles & tablets. Support for swipe guestures. Privacy – Control who can see media files, albums and BuddyPress activities.

  7. Echo Knowledge Base

    for adding prebuilt knowledge articles and categories in already organized manner

  8. Other plugins like custom Charts (using Charts.js or Highcharts ), Better Messages for realtime private messaging system for WordPress, Polls or Quizzes plugins, Available Jobs listings, LearnPress LMS, LearnDash or Sensei LMS for putting courses and selling them

Themes/Framework libraries that could help you make Intranet website

In fact any highly customizable theme can be used for making Intranet, like Avada / Divi / Astra, or themes with full Elementor builder support like Royal Elementor Kit but you'll have to design everything by yourself. Also there are several WordPress themes that are specifically prebuilt and already designed for intranet usage. Here are a few options to consider:

  1. BuddyBoss: BuddyBoss is a popular WordPress theme + plugin that is designed for building online communities and intranet sites. It includes a range of features such as user profiles, activity feeds, messaging, and more. Some features/sections it allows to do:
    Can work with Elementor builder also.
    💡Info: BuddyBoss is similar to mentioned above BuddyPress plugin, but now is a separate theme-plugin-framework library, it is not open-sourced plugin – built by separate developers, therefore has many more additional features, like media (photos), forum, search, support, and is ready to use out of the box, but has paid plans. BuddyBoss Platform started as a fork of BuddyPress and bbPress, so all the compatibility with the existing BuddyPress plugins remains. Comparing both.
  2. WOffice: WOffice is another popular WordPress theme that is designed for intranet usage. Can work with Elementor builder. Provides layout and design for creating an intranet website. Woffice theme is compatible with popular plugins like bbPress, BuddyPress. Events Calendar added, included AJAX live chat, fonts and color adjust. It comes with project management tools, Wiki knowledge, Calendar & schedule, files management, directory extension, in-built Slack extension, widgetized dashboard, and much more. Has comprehensive online documentation.
    WOffice theme

    WOffice theme

    Several paid plans available with more added addons. Visit Website.
  3. BuddyApp is an interactive WordPress intranet theme with three different demos to choose from – an online shop, a creative agency, or a private community. This theme comes with a lot of features – one of them is the drag-and-drop page builder
  4. Kleo: Kleo is a WordPress theme that is designed for many different roles/templates but has intranet preset also. It includes features such as custom user roles, private messaging, and file sharing. Link.
  5. Aardvark: Aardvark is a versatile WordPress theme that can be used for a variety of purposes, including intranet sites. It includes features such as custom user profiles, activity feeds, events, and messaging. Many customization options for header and footer, has several demo sites to quick import and use. Includes and works in WPBakery Page Builder.
    Aardvark theme sells* for 69$ single website lifetime.
    Aardvark theme home page view in Network preset

    Aardvark theme home page view in Network preset

  6. Alliance, Anesta or Micro-Office: These 3 themes are all made by the same dev -themerex.net and friends. Alliance is a great WordPress theme best suited for those who want to improve their office work productivity, office communication and need a fully functional office website.

    Dashboards: post your events, notifications, calendars, corporate graphs.
    Community: integrated with BuddyPress and bbPress plugins allowing to build community, organize in groups and departments, and communicate.
    File sharing: share documents, reports and any other files, Knowledge Base for Documents and FAQs. Polls: you can run internal polls and research, share results using various graphs.

    This theme allows you to create a list of departments, booking appointments, and a lot more.
    Available: Media and file sharing, 3 variants of dashboard, Built-in users directory, Document storage, Customer support section, Wiki, Polls, Corporate timeline, and Infographic elements. Dark/Light Mode. Elementor builder also supported.

    Alliance - Intranet theme

    Alliance – Intranet theme

    Purchase Alliance on Envato* for 69$ single website for lifetime
    Demo: https://alliance.themerex.net
    Documentation: https://alliance.themerex.net/doc/

  7. Anesta: Intranet, Extranet, Community and BuddyPress WordPress Theme with the accents on performance and usability. Elementor builder also supported.
    Layout Features: 100% Responsive & Mobile-friendly, Boxed and Fullwidth, customize Header and Footer, Advanced Blog Settings: Multiple Blog Styles, 20+ Post Animations, Related Posts Section, Powerful Theme Framework: setting Inheritance and Override System, 750+ Customizer Options, Custom Post Types, Custom Widget Sets, Custom Shortcodes, Custom Theme Options Panel, Google Fonts and Charts engine, Dark Light Mode.

    Anesta on Envato* for 69$ single website for lifetime

    Note: Anesta is very similar like Alliance theme, though this theme oriented towards teaching/learning and courses.

  8. Micro Office: This intranet/extranet WP theme is optimized for mobile display and has a one-click demo content import to help you quick-start your site. Also bundled Revolution Slider & M Chart will definitely make your project attractive.
    The same features as Anesta and Alliance, but this theme only built with WPBakery Page Builder and uses ThemeREX Utilities plugin.
    Micro Office theme on Envato* for 69$ single website for lifetime.
  9. Cera theme: has light and dark theme presets to import. https://cera-theme.com

Extending WordPress Intranet

Consider adding other WordPress plugins to improve/extend its functionality:

Secure Intranet website

Most businesses deal with sensitive information, including client data, private company guides, and more. Naturally, you don’t want that information to fall into the wrong hands, and you need to secure it.

WordPress already enables you to upload any file you want to your website. However, it doesn’t provide you with the option to restrict access to specific users.

Restricting access
Wordfence security

To prevent from hackers and check vulnerabilities in your site can help a plugin Wordfence.

HTAccess edit

Also if you are running a WordPress intranet on local server, then you can secure it by limiting access to internal IPs in your .htaccess file.

Conclusions

Building your own WordPress intranet system is possible and that might look like an attractive option, but there are some things to consider though, and all in it depends on what features you would need:

  • You will probably need several plugins, as default WordPress functionality is lacking, so that might add to total cost.
  • You would need a WordPress developer to set up this kind of advanced configurations, as it’s not basic WordPress functionality. Deploying your WordPress as intranet can be time and labor intensive.
  • If you need it totally private on premise You will need your own hosting solution (probably, also you can host it on cloud).
  • You will have to take responsibility for the management, security and maintenance of both the intranet and the hosting.

* Some links may be affiliate links, which means if you click it, and you decide to purchase that product, I might get some cents if luck happens.

Share This Story..

About the Author: markoze

I'm an exploring artist, illustrator and creator of digital media (2D graphics, illustrations and 3D designs). I share my works, tutorials, tips, free art, items and tools. I also create websites (and apps) for organizations, communities, groups, people movements, faith organizations and more.
Published On: March 31st, 2023Categories: Blog, Wordpress
Review of Wordpress plugins for Surveys, Polls, Forms
Free resources for artists

Products, addons and solutions I recommend

  • Disclosure info: images and links here maybe affiliate links and promotions.