What is an Intranet?
An Intranet is a local network accessible only to people who are physically present in the area covered by the network. Organizations use Intranet to create a private network where only their members have access. It is a secure way of sharing information rather than using a public network.
Intranets allow employees to access business information on a closed system.
WordPress is an excellent platform to build your organization’s Intranet. You can setup a WordPress Intranet from scratch or if you already have an Intranet or VPN setup and other systems are using it, WordPress Intranet site can be used along with them without any problem.
A true WordPress Intranet (a.k.a.traditional Intranet) which is accessible only by people connected to your local network is created using a local hosting solution. You can use local server tools like XAMPP or WAMP on a Windows, LAMP on Linux system and MAMP if you are using Mac OS.
We will see how to setup WordPress Intranet using local server in the later parts of this article.
Extranet is basically a hosted Intranet. Your WordPress site will be hosted by a webhost just like any other site but will be access is restricted to selected users. You will be able to access your Intranet outside of the office even from anywhere in the world.
This type of restriction can be done using WordPress Intranet themes and plugins, which we will cover in this article.
How to create a WordPress Intranet Website
First you need to install WordPress, then you need to install some other plugins to create an effective Intranet Hub. Read this article to get hosting and install WordPress
WordPress Intranet Plugins
There are several plugins which can be used to setup a WordPress Intranet. You don’t need all of them. Based on your requirement you can install the plugins which solves your purpose.
To create a WordPress Intranet which is accessible from anywhere in the world to authorized personnel, you can use All-In-One Intranet plugin. With this WordPress intranet plugin you can lock down WordPress site and turn it into a secure portal accessible only by your members/staff. It is a perfect tool for creating corporate intranets.
To make your WordPress site private you can just check in to the box saying “Force site to be entirely private” to make your WordPress site into an Intranet site.
HelpieKB Wiki Plugin
Just making your site private is not enough for a company Intranet. There would be many teams and departments within the company and you will need to create a restricted wiki for their respective spaces. Not all of the staff / members could be given equal access. You need to choose who can view, review and approve the content on your intranet wiki.
HelpieKB wiki is the best tool for this purpose. With Helpie you can create an internal wiki restricted for various teams and departments.
WordPress Intranet Active Directory
You could want to company intranet to be connected into the company’s active directory. To do this you can use Next Active Directory Integration plugin to connect your WordPress Intranet site with LDAP server to allow WordPress to authenticate users against the Active Directory.
BuddyPress converts your WordPress website into a social network.
- You will be able to invite users to register on company intranet
- Users will be able to create extended user profiles
- 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
Gravity Forms – this plugin’s flexibility offers up a ton of different use cases for intranets. If you can do it with a form, Gravity Forms can help you do it. Entries made with Gravity Forms are searchable in nature, and the various fields and entry types can be customized as per the nature of the requirement.
Booking Calendar – this plugin can help you let people book meeting rooms or other common areas so that people can always easily check the availability.
Your intranet can keep employees connected by giving each person a profile page. With WordPress, it’s very easy to do this, because the system already has a profile for each person. The plugins below build on this functionality, with additional fields and a layout suitable for intranet use.
- Google Apps Directory : builds an employee database from your Google Apps domain. Includes a search function.
- Employee Directory: includes profiles, search, and additional taxonomies for your profile pages. You can also use sidebar widgets to display featured staff, or recent visitors to the intranet.
WordPress Intranet File Management
You can upload your documents to the WordPres site or you can embed Google docs using the plugin mention below.
- Google Drive Embedder : allows your editors to embed any G Suite document into your WordPress intranet site. This plugin must be used with the Google Apps Login plugin.
- Google Doc Embedder : this plugin uses the Google Drive viewer to embed files into a WordPress site. Optionally, you can also offer the documents for download. A great solution for organizations that are already using G Suite.
- WP File Search: makes all of the files in the WordPress Media Library searchable, using the regular search box. Supports PDF, DOCX and ODT.
Creating WordPress Intranet using XAMPP (Local Server)
If you only want people who are physically present in your location to access the company Intranet you need to setup a traditional intranet.
You a dedicated computer you can use as a server and you’ll just need to set up a local WordPress website to use as the foundation for your intranet.
Video Tutorial using MAMP
Video Tutorial using XAMPP
Set Up A Virtual Host
Next, you’ll need to set up a virtual host in the Apache config file in XAMPP. This lets your web server handle requests for an actual URL – like intranet.local. You can get step-wise process here.
When the website is up, anyone in your network should be able to access it using its LAN IP address.
If you have any questions share it in the comments section.