Pinterest has taken over the social web and is now considered one of the hottest sites at the moment. At its core, Pinterest is a visual bookmarking tool equipped with social web features such as commenting, liking, and sharing. All these features are already available to WordPress users and it is easier to create a website using WordPress that has similar features as Pinterest.
We have previously written about some Pinterest Plugins for WordPress. This post is about creating WordPress powered websites with similar features as Pinterest.
First of all if you are going to build a community on your WordPress website you will probably want to allow users to post content to your website. The next step is to present that content in a nice grid style. We will review a few themes that showcase content in the Pinterest like grid. Then we will discuss plugins that allow your site’s visitors to like or favorite a post, bookmark content, and share it.
Pinterest Like WordPress Themes
Gridnik is an awesome premium WordPress theme. It is designed to be a portfolio theme but I don’t think why it can’t be used to build a community website. It is equipped with features similar to Pinterest. It has a liquid layout which makes it look great on all devices. Gridnik handles images and videos beautifully, allows visitors to like a post, and makes it easier for users to share the content.
- Showcases content in a Pinterest like fluid grid layout.
- It has built in Wizy Like WordPress plugin which allows visitors to like or favorite a post.
- It handles images as well as videos very well.
- Powered by Jquery and AJAx, it displays content with beautiful sliders, animations and transitions.
- The themes comes with extensive options panel.
- Extensive video tutorials and documentation accessible right from theme options panel.
Photum is wplift’s free theme; you can read more about the theme here. This theme is basically a theme for Photoblogs, but it can easily be extended to include Like and share buttons on each item. It is easy to use and comes with detailed instructions.
- Photum is an HTML5 responsive WordPress theme which means it adjusts itself beautifully on different devices and screens.
- It displays content in a Pinterest like grid.
- It does not have like, favorite links by default but with plugins you can add these functionalities. We will discuss some of these plugins later in this post.
- Photum makes it easier for photo bloggers to add details about an image. Like the equipment used and other interesting bits. You can use custom fields and taxonomies to add more details to items.
Honestly, I didn’t want to add more than two themes here. But, Gridlocked is such a wonderful WordPress themes that I thought it would be unfair not to mention it here. Gridlock is a portfolio theme for creative types. Let me translate it for you, if you and your community members like to share creative visual content like photographs, images, drawings, videos, then Gridlock is for you. Gridlocked also comes with a built in Like system so no extra plugin is needed for that.
- Layout Shuffling: when a browser window is resized the layout shuffles itself to be adjusted. This is truly nice.
- It has built in “Like” system which makes it easier for visitors to like an item in the grid without opening the item.
- Powered by JQuery, Gridlock uses JQuery to create beautiful modal windows, reshuffling layout. JQuery contact form and nifty animations.
- Supports all default post-formats and handles them pretty well.
- Displays not just images but also video content in the main grid.
Plugins that offer Pinterest Like Features
The beauty of WordPress is that you can extend it to do whatever you want it to do. Like we are trying to build a Pinterest like website, and we have already covered some WordPress themes that provide a layout similar to Pinterest and also some features. But the layout is not the only thing that makes Pinterest so cool. It’s the social aspects of it and now we will look at some plugins that provide these features.
WP Favorite Posts
- Allow users to click on a tiny icon to add a post to their favorites.
- Powered by Ajax so the page does not need to be reloaded.
- Stores data for random visitors in cookie and for logged in users in the database.
- You can create a Favorites page where users can see their favorite posts.
- Most favorite and liked posts widget can show posts with the most Likes.
- Tiny heart and star shaped icon for favorites, you can also use your own custom icons.
One downside of the plugin is that you need to manually insert the function into your template files. Which is difficult for many users. You also need to manually create a page to display favorite posts and add the shortcode to it to display users their favorite posts.
Bookmarks Plugin for WordPress
Another cool feature of Pinterest is that it allows users to curate content they pinned or content others pinned into boards. To achieve the same functionality you can use either of these two plugins
User Bookmarks for WordPress Plugin
This is a premium WordPress plugin which allows logged in users on your site to bookmark a post. Users can view a list of their bookmarks and delete them if they want to. This plugin comes with a widget that shows logged in users their recently bookmarked posts. It also has a widget to display most bookmarked posts. Using shortcode you can also create a My Bookmarks page which will then show each logged in user a list of their bookmarks. The only downside of the plugin is that it displays the Bookmark Link in text format, I was looking for something small a sweet.
WPBookmark is a simple and free WordPress plugin which allows users to bookmark posts on your website. It also creates a page for My Bookmarks which displays all posts and pages Bookmarked by a user. The downside of this plugin is that it does not have a widget that displays the most bookmarked posts on your website. But the good thing is that it does have a small bookmark button.
There could be many more interesting ways to build websites with great social features, not necessarily Pinterest like, but similar. Using different combinations of plugins and themes, WordPress can be used to build highly interactive websites. Please share your ideas in the comments below, what other plugins and themes you think can be used to create such websites?