I write this post because you have probably noticed that my website has been created by using WordPress source code.
It’s why I will explain you that creating your own social media is now much easier that you may think it.
The beginning in WordPress
There is two ways to start the creation of a website by using WordPress source code :
- The easy way is to go on WordPress.com page and choose between four plan, whose the “free plan”, the “personal plan”, the “premium plan” and the “business plan”. You requirely must choose the “business plan” if you want to create your own social media with WordPress code source. Where applicable, you website will be hosted by WordPress.com and you will have to follow WordPress.com Terms of Service. However, WordPress.com rules are much more soft than rules on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and only prohibit spam, incitement to violence and infringments to copyrights.
- But if you have more skills in creation of websites, you can then install WordPress in your computer. This way requires more skills than the easy way, but the advantage is that you can install more extensions that you will not find on WordPress.com, and that you are not submitted to WordPress.com Terms of Service.
Choose the easy way if you are a beginner on creation of blogs and websites and the pro way if you have more skills and want to be independent of WordPress.com Terms of Service. Since WordPress is an open-source software, you can create your own website by using WordPress source code without that your website being hosted by WordPress.com and submitted to its Terms of Service.
Basic extensions that you will need to create your own social media
By default, you can only create your own blog and moderate comments on your posts. However, there are several extensions that you can use if you want to transform your blog into a great social media :
- BuddyPress : BuddyPress is a WordPress pluging that you can install if you look for creation of a “social network software”. With this extension, you can allow each Internet user to come on your website and pass the registration stage by completing a registration form. When you are on your website dashboard, you will find the “users” section with a “profile fields” page. In this page, you will find the “base” section where you can add all required data that will appear on registration page of your social media. Think to add especially the “gender” if you want to know if your users are men or women, the “birth date” to assure that all your users have the minimal required age to use your service, and the “country” to check which countries your users are from. Think also to type “Public name” in primary case of registration form and specify that you allow pseudonyms if you want that your users can be anonymous on your website. Don’t forget to add a link to registration page. If you want more explanations about how developping you social media, you can read the BuddyPress tutorial.
- Theme My Login : This extension is essential if you want to allow your users to register on your website without creating a WordPress account. By default, BuddyPress is limited to WordPress users, but Theme My Login is the solution to this issue. The problem is that if you install this extension, your users will have some difficulties to activate their accounts. You will then have to go each day on your website dashboard and go on “Users” section and “Manage Signups” page to active registered accounts. Don’t forget to go in “appearance” section and “widgets” page, then add the “Theme My Login” widget in your website sidebar.
- Age Gate : This extension will also be essential if you want to allow nudity, offensive language, graphic violence and other adult content in your social media. WordPress.com allows adult content, but requires that this content being placed on restricted spaces that will not be publicly visible.
- Register IPs : This extension will also be essential because if you want that your website remain legal, you will have to cooperate with authorities around the world and provide them basic data from your users, whose their IP addresses among others. If you cannot know the IPs, how could you then cooperate with legal authorities and assure that your social media doesn’t go into illegality. Even ProtonMail, that campaigns against censorship and mass surveillance, is required to collaborate occasionaly with legal authorities.
- BAN Users : This plugin will be essential if you want to ban users that violate your website Terms of Service. By default, you can only delete several accounts, but it’s not recommended if you want to remember that some users have been previously banned from your website (most websites have rules preventing banned users to create new accounts).
- All In One SEO Pack : You should also use this extension if you want to make your website more visible in search engines. By using this extension, when you will publish a post on your website, search engines will be notified and will help your website to being more accessible by Internet users. You can also go in page of any of your past and check “NOINDEX this page/post” and other cases if you don’t want that this post being indexed by search engines. You could especially choose this option if this post contains offensive language and any content that wouldn’t be suitable for childs and any sensitive people.
- BuddyBlock : You will not find this extension in your WordPress plugins list, but it will be essential if you want to allow your users to block other users in case of dispute or harassment. By default, BuddyPress doesn’t allow users to block anyone. But install this plugin will be harder than install other above plugins. It’s why I could recommend you to cooperate with a Internet specialist that could help you to add this plugin in your social media.
Other additionnal extensions that you could use
Besides the basic extensions, there are also additionnal extensions that you could install if you want to improve your social media :
- Social Login : Social Login is a GDPR compliant plugin that you could use if you want to allow users to use your favorite social networks. You will need to create an account on OneAll service if you want to use this extension. Since most social networks require some configurations, you will also need to use your accounts from social media that you use and made these configurations in order to allow Internet users to use these social media to log in your website. This extension will have the advantage to attract users from other social media on your website.
- WhatsHelp Chat Button : If you use this extension, you can choose your favorite instant messaging service and made some configurations in order that a chatting button appears in right bottom of your website. Ideally, I’d recommend you to choose Telegram since this service provides a greater privacy and freedom of speech than other instant messaging services.
- BP Block Users : This extension will be also important if you want to temporarily block some of your website users without permanently banning them. Since permanent banishment can be too radical for users that violate Terms of Service from any website, but are not considered as potential threats to other users, you can then temporarily block them in order to incite them to take a break and change their attitude.
- Easy Username Updater : You could also install this extension if you want to modify usernames of your website users. By default, usernames of registered users cannot be modified.
- BuddyPress Activity Social Share : You could also install this extension if you want that publications posted on “activity” page being shared on your favorite social media. This extension will help you to promote your website in other social media.
- Invite Anyone : This is an another BuddyPress extension that allows your website users to invite persons that they personally know to your social media. Use this extension if you want to let your users the possibility to attract other persons to your website.
- MediaPress : This is an extension for BuddyPress that will add a gallery page in profile page of each user. Each of your website users will be able to add videos, audio, photos and documents.
- Social Articles : Just an another BuddyPress extension that will create in profile page of each user a section where will be classed all posts published by your website users.
- Recently Registered : You should use this extension if you want to know the date when your website users have registered on your social media.
- BP Bulk Delete : This BuddyPress will be useful if you want to bulk delete “activity” publications as on Twitter.
- All-in-One WP Migration : This extension is probably the most important of all if you no longer want to comply with WordPress.com Terms of Service. This extension will allow you to migrate from WordPress.com to another web host server located outside United States. Like that, you will no longer be submitted to US applicable laws.
I also recommend you to install a translate plugin (such as Weglot or Google Language Translator) if you want to traduce your website, and a plugin about GDPR if you want to made your social media GDPR compliant.
If you don’t want to follow WordPress.com Terms of Service
Now, a Twitto has rembered that WordPress.com had recently shut down a number of blogs administred by political dissents, probably for having “promoted conspiracy theories”.
In this case, if you mistrust WordPress and by extension US-based web services, you can be ensured that there is a solution for WordPress users who don’t want to follow WordPress.com Terms of Service.
First, you need to know that there are some differences between WordPress.com (that is a web host blogging server) and WordPress.org (that is the official website of WordPress open source software). These differences can be explained in this article. To better explain, not all WordPress blogs are hosted by WordPress.com and submitted to its Terms of Service, which means that WordPress blogs not hosted by WordPress.com cannot be shut down by this web host server.
But even if you use WordPress.com, there is a solution for those who would want to migrate from its web host server to an another web host server. I specify that my website was formerly hosted by WordPress, but is now hosted by Cloudways, a web host sever located in Malta. I can thank my grand brother who works on Internet, is a specialist to manage WordPress websites, and is one of admins of my social media. I could then recommend you to find an Internet specialist that could help you to assure migration of your website from WordPress.com to another web host server.
In addition, you can also choose a domain name located outside United States (such as .ch for Switzerland or .ru for Russia) if you mistrust Verisign and don’t want that your website being submitted to US applicable laws.
Generally, when a website violates Terms of Service of its web host server, it is given about 24 hours to find another web host provider.
With WordPress, you can do all you want, including create a Tor hidden service, create your own wiki, create several quizzes, surveys and personality tests, create an online dating service and and all unimaginable things that you can have in mind. If you want to improve your website, WordPress is your friend and there will always have more extensions to help you in your issues.
WordPress is an open source software with plugins created by developers from everywhere in world and has been designed for adapt to diversity of cultures, beliefs, opinions and values from around the world.
All that to say that if you need some help to manage a social platform hosted by WordPress.com, I can be your teacher. :-)
PS : A last thing, if you want some help to install WordPress in your computer, you can create an account on Open Class Rooms and follow this course that explains how propel your website with WordPress. Open Class Rooms is an online school based in France, but is available in English language.