Keep your company connected! Here’s a roundup of the best WordPress themes and templates for intranets, extranets and community websites.
Intranet and Extranet Explained
Okay, we know–talking about intranets and extranets is not the most glamorous topic in web design. Stick with us.
You may not know, exactly, what these terms mean. And you're not alone. To me, these words feel somehow both outdated and techy (like webmaster and Netscape), but it’s really pretty simple. Here’s how they’re defined:
- Intranet: a local or restricted communications network, especially a private network created using World Wide Web software.
- Extranet: an intranet that can be partially accessed by authorized outside users, enabling businesses to exchange information over the internet securely.
So, an intranet is basically just a a private website for your company, school, business, or other network. An extranet is nearly the same thing, except that some of it is accessible to a section of the public, such as customers or clients.
When Might You Need an Extranet or Intranet?
These days, password-protected company sites may seem a little... retro. Especially when there are other collaborative solutions such as Slack. But somewhere down the road, you’ll probably run into a point where you’ll find that an intranet or extranet site is essential to your business. Here are a few use cases:
- To build professional development resources for your company, such as presentations, training materials, courses, and other materials.
- To post meetings and videos to be shared privately, like recordings of “All Hands” meetings or board presentations.
- To publish blog posts or writing about company stories, notes from the CEO, product updates, or other announcements.
- For company admin and HR purposes, such as to create a library of documents around leave policies or other resources.
- To post job openings and opportunities internally.
- To increase collaboration and communication within your organization.
Find the Best Way of Working
An intranet or extranet isn’t a catch-all solution to all corporate communications, and looking at it from that approach can be a recipe for failure. The most effective companies use a combination of systems and software until they find the right process for their work.
For example, Envato uses a combination of systems for working in the smartest, most agile ways–and it’s always evolving.
There’s an intranet for professional development resources, notes from the CEO, and other announcements; Slack for day-to-day communications and chatting; Trello for project management, onboarding, and to-do lists; Gmail and Google Drive for file sharing, emails, and presentations; and Culture Amp for feedback and reviews.
It sounds like a lot, but every program serves a specific purpose.
Here’s what you need to make your own intranet or extranet site for your company.
Building an Intranet or Extranet Site: the Best WordPress Themes
This WordPress template is the number one best-selling Intranet/Extranet theme on the market. It has a projects manager, a member dashboard, Slack notifications integration, a member directory, a calendar, and more. There’s even an online shop, online courses, and custom login pages.
Modern and easy to use, this intranet theme comes with BuddyPress, a live customizer, messaging, form builders, and even management. It’s compatible with Learning Dash, an online learning and education tool, which is ideal if your focus is professional development or education.
With three homepage variants, Alliance stands out for its high rating and clean design. It also has the capabilities to run polls and quizzes, and it has ten different color schemes to choose from, so there’s bound to be one that matches your business or logo.
A community-focused site, this WordPress theme was built for memberships, online stores, courses, and media websites. It’s designed to work with the Paid Membership Pro plugin, WooCommerce, and BuddyPress. The demo pictured is for the “members directory” site.
Billed as “a social network in a box”, WildCommunity is focused on social interaction and facilitating connections. Designed by Diabolique, this one stands out for its unique look.
6. Micro Office
If you're looking for something that’s part dashboard, part community site then Micro Office has dashboard templates for corporate data—if you work for a company that’s all about the numbers, check this one out. It’s compatible with Visual Composer (which the theme makers say is better than Elementor), and it has online quiz and test functionality.
This theme as a modular design, so it’s easy to drag-and-drop the design components you want to customize your site. It also has private chat, over 40 page templates, drop-down menus, and nine color schemes.
Cera is a WordPress intranet and extranet theme that incorporates almost endless functionality for collaborative working, information sharing, activities, events and activities within a private group of people.
BuddyApp is one of the best WordPress templates for private or public communities, Intranet and Extranet websites. With a Creative design and built with mobile-first approach it's a theme that allows you to build a site that stands out from the crowd.
Free Intranet and Extranet WordPress Themes
Envato offers some of the best WordPress themes for company intranets, there are literally hundreds to choose from.
Sometimes, you might want to get up and running with an idea and a free WordPress intranet template is what you're looking for. Don't forget that WordPress.org is a good resource for free WordPress templates.
Finding what you need on WordPress might not be quite as easy as Envato, but a little research helps. In this example, I searched on the terms intranet and extranet but WordPress returned no results. Searching on the term community returns a number of templates to consider.
Remember, if you're in a hurry or want to get straight to the best intranet WordPress themes or extranet WordPress templates, then be sure to check out the best WordPress templates offered by Envato.
That list should give you enough to get started! If you're looking for more, make sure you browse all WordPress themes on Envato Market, and take a look at the ever-growing collection of WordPress themes on Envato Elements.
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