If you are a frequent user of the internet, you cannot disregard the importance of online community websites. Online communities can be considered the best thing on the internet today as they not only help you collect information that you need but also provide you with the ability to connect with other people online. Communities can be public, private, big, small, business or personal communities. And all these online communities can act as a medium to personalize and group effective content.
Moreover, there is not one but many reasons why online communities are an essential part of a business or the best thing on the internet.
Communities like Facebook, Brainstorms, DeviantArt, have created a safe space for people to explore and express themselves without having to be judged by anybody.
Thus, there is a reason why online communities are gaining importance and people are willing to interact in these communities. In today’s article, we will explain how communities have gained importance on the internet today.
Why Are Online Communities Best Thing On The Internet?
1. Improved Communication
When it comes to communicating online, you will find multiple ways to do so including social media, forums to sending texts to each other, sending emails or using WhatsApp groups. However, all of this is not as effective they should be. Opting to WhatsApp groups or emails for conversing with others can be a lot distracting thus keeping you away from creating meaningful conversation. Here is where online communities can come to play and tackle such issues in many ways.
Firstly, an online community offer a safe space for people to connect with each other via private messaging and discussions. Moreover, they are away from the clutter of groups, emails, forums and also happen in real-time.
Secondly, online communities are built keeping in mind specific conversational topics and people who are interested in such topics, join the community. Thus an online community is a stage for you to share your opinions with the right people rather than hoping for the right people to hear you.
Thirdly, an incredible upside of an online community is that they bring the right knowledge and conversation to you, instead of you searching for a place to connect with others. Moreover, with such knowledge and common interests, you will extract a lot of meaning from such a conversation to let you learn and develop quickly.
2. Expressing Oneself
Back in the 2000s when Facebook was launched, people were not much into interacting with each other and expressing themselves online. Instead of joining our favorite groups, none of us could communicate or connect with each other. However, Facebook did one good thing and that was to offer us an identity of our own and some degree of self-expression which was still limited.
This is no more the situation today. People from all over the world are joining groups which they are interested online as well as offline. These groups give them the power to express themselves, develop an identity and feel validated. Moreover, to connect with like-minded people and receive unbiased feedback from them can be a great step towards improved self-expression and self-esteem.
3. A Sense Of Personalization
Meeting the needs of customer’s through effective communication was a far-sighted thing in the past. Organizations had to work hard to push people towards innovation, ideas and new products. However, as the times changed, the need for personalization has become successful because nowadays every online customer has different needs, tastes, likes and preferences and believe them to share with other online. Online Community websites can be ideal for this as these communities are built specifically to cater to collective wants and needs of the users no matter what topic it relates to.
Online communities also offer a personalized system that adapts to individual needs and wants. Moreover, in online communities users can also create groups and events around various relevant topics.
4. Healthy Relationships
Another very essential benefit of a social network is it connects people from all over the world by giving them a starting point of connection. Moreover, online communities can transform a weak connection which is just through comments, likes and brief interactions into a strong one. This happens by offering frequent engagement, time spent together, more in-depth interaction that results in the development of healthy relationships. Such strong relationships offer value, support and comfort to users. Moreover, online communities offer a safe space for people to receive support from others throughout the community.
5. Beneficial For The Business World
When it comes to the business world, online communities have also proved their mettle. Business is involving themselves in creating an online community of their customers as well as employees. These social communities not only help a business in giving an identity to their customers but also reduce their marketing expenses and drive their sales by helping customers through various online forums and discussions in such communities.
Moreover, giving customers a platform to express their opinions, and likes becomes even better in knowing their behaviour.
How You Can Create Your Own Online Community?
If you are impressed now and want to create an online community of your own, go through this step by step guide to create a lively online community website of your own. We will tell you how you can create an online community website with the most popular platform, WordPress and BuddyPress social networking plugin.
Steps To Create An Online Community Website:
1. Get Appropriate Domain Name And Web Hosting
The first thing you need to do is get a domain name and a web hosting for your online community. A domain name should be that represents your community or business or the niche you want to create a website for. You can know more about domain names here. Once, you are ready with your domain name, you will be required to sign up for a hosting plan with a hosting provider. Know more about the best hosting service providers of 2020.
2. Install WordPress Platform
Next up, you will be required to install a platform on which you will host your website. Though there are many platforms available online, we would suggest you go with WordPress as this platform allows you to create any type of website with full ease. Moreover, WordPress is a free platform and lets you create a website without having to resort to a single line of code.
3. Install Relevant Plugins
Once you have installed WordPress, you have a basic structure of website ready with you. Now, you will need the desired community functionality which can be acquired by installing certain plugins that are free and easily available in WordPress.
First, you will install BuddyPress social networking plugin which is the most popular and free plugin offering core community features such as activity streams, friend requests, groups, private messages, member profiles and a lot more. This plugin once installed lets you select the components that you want to show on your online community.
If you also want to include a forum functionality to your community through which you can involve your users in fruitful discussions, you should install bbPress WordPress plugin which is another free plugin to let you add a forum feature to your community website.
You now have a community website of your own with WordPress.
4. Install A Dedicated WordPress Community Theme
Having a website that offers the required functionality is not enough. You also need a design that displays your website in a user-friendly manner and attracts visitors.
A theme should also be so that gives you the freedom and flexibility to design your website and works well with the plugins that you are using.
Our choice would be to go with a highly flexible dedicated community WordPress theme, Reign BuddyPress. This theme offers inbuilt support and design for the BuddyPress plugin and lets you showcase your community in an engaging manner. Few amazing features of this theme include:
- Multiple Header Variations
- Multiple Member & Group Directory Layouts
- Multiple Member & Group Header Layouts
- BuddyPress Customization Options
- Inbuilt Social Profile Module
- Responsiveness For All Major Devices
- Compatibility With Popular plugins like Elementor, Paid Membership Pro, WooCommerce Support and more.
All you need to do is install this theme, replicate the demo and change the content as per your needs. With Reign BuddyPress theme, you can easily make use of Elementor Page Builder to design your site with easy drag and drop options.
Way To Go!!
Your own online community is ready to take your business to new heights. With your online community, you can easily engage your users in fruitful discussions, give them their identity to express themselves, as well as a platform to create strong relationships online.
We hope you found this article informative. If you have any suggestions for us, let us know in the comments section below.
Interesting Read: Importance Of Building A Social Community Of Volunteers For Your NGO