What if you could create a dynamic social platform on your WooCommerce site that looks very similar to Facebook? And not only that, but it has so much of the same functionality?
It could be your store, membership site or any other way you might be selling services or products using WooCommerce.
I can honestly say that I can still recall even years ago occasionally having someone approach me and ask, “Can you design my new store? I want to also be able to add a Facebook community around my product.” Well, with PeepSo, I would certainly respond differently now.
A Social Network on Your WooCommerce Site
There are many reasons anyone might want to create a site that either revolves around this plugin or simply adds to an existing site. PeepSo integrates with some of my favorite plugins, including WooCommerce which I will focus on a bit later in this post as we first want to show you the core features of this plugin.
The free version is the foundation that lets you add other plugins as needed to build your community. You can go all out and get their Pro Bundle, or, buy exactly the plugin that fits you needs. In this post, I will be incorporating all of these plugins.
In addition, I will be using their theme, Gecko which was designed perfectly to extend all of their plugins and the support of the other plugins I will mention later. You may have your WooCommerce store theme already chosen, but this is just another option.
I am going to show you the settings, configuration and options you will have to create your community. I feel strongly that giving you a glimpse of these backend settings allow you to get a better understanding of what you can do with this plugin.
At the end of this post, I will send you to their demo where you can get a feel for how this works on the front end. Here is the main stream of the site on the demo.
There are quite a few things you can toggle off and on globally in this setting around comments, login, username, registrations, security, privacy, etc. Also, you can see the extras I have activated as well.
These options are not adjusting styles, but actually giving you more control of the appearance of the community elements. You can choose what is displayed in member listings, user profiles, avatars and cover images.
Also, setting up how registration displays as well as some other general settings that would affect appearance.
Style here is limited to color scheme and corner shapes. Also, you will notice that if you are using Divi, you can turn that compatibility option on.
The stream is where things are happening and where users will spend a good part of the time seeing what is going on in the community.
There are several settings here, including hashtags, which are commonplace in platforms like this, and what community members might expect.
The option to let your users create content using markdown:
You can allow your users to share blog posts they would create on your site, and include them in the stream.
There is a significant number of emails that will be used not only around registration, but to keep members informed. Here you can customize those emails that are sent.
Here is an example:
You can also edit these emails:
- Activity Notice
- Like Post
- User Comment, User Reply Comment and Like User Comment
- Wall Post and Share Post
- Forgot Password and Password Changed
- Like Profile
- New User Registration and New Content Reported
- User Mentioned in Post and User Mentioned in Comment
- Export Data Complete
- Fail Login Attempts
- Digest Email
- Friend Request Recieved and Friend Request Accepted
- New Post in Group
- New Group Created
- New Message Email
- Like Photo, Like Comment Photo and User Share Photo
- Like Avatar, User Comment Avatar and User Share Avatar
- Like Cover, User Comment Cover and User Share Cover
- Like Album, User Comment Album and User Share Album
- Like Video, User Comment Video, Video Conversion Complete and Video Conversion Failed
This is all the settings to manage your navigation and the shortcodes you can use to add into your navigation menus.
Gives you more control on how often a user will experience updates in the stream. But you will want to read the documentation to make sure you stay away from high -server load unless you using a robust hosting service who you have talked with about this.
There is a variety of advanced settings here for you to peruse.
Audio and Video
As much as giving your community members the opportunity to upload video, you will want to follow the instructions here as it’s still in the BETA phases and since you have probably been warned, video uploaded to your site and server can suck up a lot of resources. So as suggested, you will want to test this and clearly read their instructions.
People are used to chat, so depending on your community, you can offer it and add a bit of control.
Again, as your community grows, the ability to let members create groups is a feature that is popular in social platforms. As with a lot of these configurations, you are given several options on how you would like groups to work and how members can use groups.
Likely, you will want members to be able to share photos and images. In the general settings you can define the parameters easily. And without burdening your own server, you can connect this to your AWS S3 storage, which is slick and your best bet if you are allowing any larger number of image uploads.
Again, a popular feature you may want to include for the members of your community:
This is an interesting option. First off, you can add an existing user here and anytime a new member registers, the names listed here will automatically create a friendship between the two.
Also, if you want, once you have added a name here, you can have them connected as a friend to all existing members.
This is an option you might consider for admins of the site, or the person running the community. Outside of that, it would be an interesting option to get creative with, while avoiding upsetting any members with automatic friends.
This feature is a perfect example of the options to get all of them in a bundle, or pick and choose as needed.
You are able to set up an email digest that will go out to members. As mentioned, this is useful to keep members aware of what is going on in the community, and hopefully encourage those who have not participated much or in a given time period.
Typically, this is an important piece of any community when it comes to administrating. The options you have here are separated out between what comes with the core plugin vs the add-ons. Since I have all the add-ons installed and activated, you can see how you are able to fine-tune the control for each specific aspect of functionality of your community.
Depending on your community, you may want to recognize specific members as VIP’s. This is typically done by noting them with an icon. And of course you are able to choose from the icons at flaticon.com.
Once you have your VIP icons set up, you will be able to manage those separately.
Again, more of a community preference, but there may be specific words that you want filtered and it gives you a couple of ways to render them, both in posts and comments.
Reactions are obviously the icons used in posts that you find similarly to Facebook. Under your Manage options, you will be able to access those and order them as you would like them to appear on the posts.
In this same area, as you will note in the above screenshot, you will also be able to manage Reported Items, Profile Fields, Group Categories and Groups.
Queues and Outgoing Email
You will also be able to see what outgoing emails are scheduled, and GDPR requests and video uploads that are in the queue.
PeepSo and WooCommerce
Building a community around your store or any other WooCommerce-run site can help you to build your brand loyalty and community at the same time.
PeepSo seamlessly works with WooCommerce to offer cart integration and orders management in the PeepSo user profiles. It also includes purchase and product reviews that can be easily streamed in the community posts.
As you can see, there are some simple settings to toggle the options on or off.
Integrations with PeepSo
Peepso has seamless integrations with some great plugins and services. Each one is an add-on so if needed, you can get only what you require for your community site.
- GIPHY – lets your members add gifs in comments and chats.
- BadgeOS – a great way to offer badges for specific achievements of community members.
- myCred – give your community a chance to earn points for engagement.
Other Ways to Monetize Your Community
Running and managing a community takes a lot of work. You might be considering something like this but also want the ability to monetize it. There are integrations, beyond WooCommerce, that will either add monetization to your site or, add Peeps to an existing monetization model.
Lean Dash – A fully featured, highly extendable learning management system for WordPress. You can build online courses around your community, or add Peeps as a community builder for an existing online course site running on Learn Dash.
Advanced Ads – This plugin is a great way to display ads within your community pages that are similar to the socially targeted ads that Facebook has. It gives you great control over where and when the ads display.
WPAdverts – Extends your ads to offer paid classifieds might be the perfect option for you community.
Paid Membership Pro – This powerful membership plugin is the perfect pairing with PeepSo. You could make your entire site member- only or offer specific member benefits to your community through paid access to content and other features.
You also get a nice variety of widgets that you can use in any widget area.
Gecko, the PeepSo Theme
Although you can use PeepSo with other themes, their Gecko theme is built primarily to work with building your community. I am not going to dive much into the workings of the theme, but I suggest you check it out because of the ease of integration.
There are a few basic settings that come with the theme.
Specific Gecko customizations are found via the customizer.
And if you want to take the design and layout of Gecko a step further, they recommend both Beaver Builder and Elementor.
Frontend Features and Your Community on PeepSo
For every feature I shared with you so far, there are frontend features that play into the power of this plugin. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I wanted to point out admin features to give you a clear idea of what you can do with this plugin when building your community site.
But a lot of what happens of course is on the front end. To go through all aspects of this would make the post even longer.
I would recommend you visit their site and:
A lot of what I have touched on is more deeply explained in their documentation, which is put together nicely. This will also give you a beter idea of how the features mentioned in this post work on the frontend.
Want to pop in the back and get a better feel of the admin? You can easily log in to their demo to do that.
To tie it all together, check out the demo. This will not only give you the experience front and center, but it also lets you dive into more specific parts of the community, such as member profile pages.
As you can see from this post, the PeepSo plugin really does bring a Facebook community feel to your site. it’s really quite impressive.
This might be your chance to build the community you have wanted. It may be around your brand, product, service or some other niche site you have. Whatever the case, it gives you the power to bring the community to your own platform.