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How to integrate my Ning site & WordPress seamlessly?

  1. Hi There,

    I started a new Ning Community site a few weeks ago. I am not very knowledgeable with HTML, but I have been learning fast when it comes to customizing my layout to fit my needs. I am trying to figure out how I can integrate wordpress into my Ning site, without it looking like the user is leaving the ning community to come to wordpress? Is this possible? I am trying to make an online "news source". Its somewhere in between an online newspaper and a magazine.

    The problem with Ning alone, is they only have one massive Blog, and one massive Forum to use for the whole site. I want to be able to link certain categories to specific blogs and forums, rather than every post going to one big blog. For my site, that would not make any sense. Since they are all very different "news" topics. You can see what I have right now here: http://unleashheart.ning.com/ Hopefully you will understand what I am going for from viewing the site (it is still being built, by the way...lots of pages are blank) The Art & Music news are "blogs" I created with html coding pasted into the "page" body. This will not be a realistic game plan for every post I will ever submit in the future, it is very confusing.

    I asked the ning forum about this, but I don't think they understood what I was looking for. So, if anyone has ANY advice, tips, or tutorials on adding wordpress to my ning without it looking like a different site (and how I would do that) that would be AWESOME!! I have been going nuts with this.

    Thanks!
    Tara

  2. Because Ning has its own user system and such, a seamless integration isn't really possible.

    You could make the links between them less aesthetically jarring, however, with a bit of massaging on the WP.com end. I would recommend checking out:

    * Custom headers
    * Custom CSS (you can do anything with this, but it's technical)
    * A theme with custom menus, which you could use to replicate the menu on Ning

  3. I suppose you won't want to go to all this work again, but Drupal integrates really well with WordPress. In fact, most of the Drupal developers I know have their sites in Drupal and their blogs within those sites on WordPress.

  4. Thanks Matt. That helps, especially the custom menu idea..if I understand this correctly. So would it be like a wordpress menu above my ning menu? Kind of like this: http://community.wholeliving.com/ It looks like on this is two websites in one, because once you start reading the articles, the ning menu disappears. I guess if Martha Stewart's designer couldn't figure out how to integrate all of these elements in one site, I definitely won't!!

    Thanks for your help!

  5. i will check out drupal, thanks. But you are right, I have done so much work on the ning site so far, I feel like it will be too painful to start over.

  6. Hi Tara,

    Just joined your Ning. I think the Martha Stewart site may be one to model. I don't know how they do that header with the other menu bar. Also, the stinky thing is that the Ning people may not have WordPress login to comment so the comments wouldn't flow back and forth. Are her articles able to be commented on?

    Drat! I also want seamless Facebook integration (seems like neither WP or Ning is quite there yet). I may get on Ning and play, but now this other post above has me thinking I should be looking at Drupal. Can't really make heads or tails of that site and not sure they have what I'm looking for.

    Have you thought about just creating a FB fan page? (I've spent a lot of time working on just figuring that out, but I guess thinking through your intention, maybe you can get something going there.) Easy to do until you try to do something specific. Also have to figure out the newsfeeds. Basic stuff doesn't require html. We feed our WP blog over there and people click to come over. PROBLEM: many FB people don't have WP logon and by the time they click back or figure that out, I would be over commenting or figuring out how to do it. Also, you seem to be looking to monetize. Not sure how to do that. Hmmm....

    PM me on your Ning if you want to be friends on FB. Maybe we can share what we find out in this crazy journey! Angela

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