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Home Entertainment network based on WP + Vanilla = how?

Greetings, everyone.

I'm a journalist building a Home Entertainment publication project (if you are familiar with games, we're modeling it after IGN/Gamespot). After trying a full IPS solution, we are switching to Wordpress since it's a much more popular CMS amongst developers/designers and we've been impressed by Vanilla forum solution, which also seems quite easy to integrate via the official plugin.

However, I still have lots of questions. I love the idea of a network integrate at the fullest level (that's why I tried the full IPS route), and I'd like to leverage things like Vanilla's gamification to the website as well - badges, achievements, ranks, linked to products rating/reviews/collections etc.
I'm not sure if I need more of a WP developer or Vanilla developer to do this, though. I've spoken with a couple of WP developers but they don't have a lot of experience with Vanilla. I'll need some heavy WP customization, but likely some decent Vanilla customization as well, and I'm not too keen in dividing this between two different coders - what would you do? What if I chose a company which is both capable in WP and Vanilla, like this one?

I'd prefer to deal with the developer directly, though. Is there anyone in this community with enough WP+Vanilla knowledge to do it?

Thanks in advance.


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    I did a pretty extensive custom project with the IPS suite. While the overall concept of the suite is nice, it fails in the details. Too bloated with too many bad design decisions. I could go on all day about that but I'll spare you :)

    A couple things you should know:

    1. The badges and reactions are not available with the free version, only on the hosted version. This means the only possibility of a custom integration is by using the Vanilla API. I would guess that finding a developer that has experience using that API with badges and reactions would be almost impossible.

    2. Like you, I contacted TMprod about a custom job (this was a couple years ago). They told me they had a Vanilla developer but he had left and they no longer did Vanilla custom work. In fact, I think that developer works for Vanilla now.

    Your ideas are correct - Vanilla has a lot of potential for tight and clever integration with content, but it's not an easy task given that the development community here is very small.

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    AlexiousAlexious New
    edited December 2012

    Thanks for the reply. Yeah, we had many problems with IPS, mostly because no one is really willing to use IP.Content framework (the one to create websites), not coders and even less designers, since there is almost no documentation on it. IPS staff doesn't seem to care either, I pledged to them but they replied they only do custom services for those who indulge in their "enterprise hosting platform starting at $800 per month"...At that point, I pretty much said "well, bye" and turned to Vanilla, which offers much more affordable hosting.

    We're probably starting with Advanced , so that we'll get badges, reactions and everything else. Yeah, Vanilla seems really amazing, even with the comments and stuff; it's a shame that you say the development community is very small, but it was very small with IPS as well, and hostile on top of that. From what I could gather, Vanilla is also generally helpful at least towards those who choose hosting when it comes to custom services.

    But I found a developer who claims to be proficient in both WP and Vanilla, so that would be perfect. I hope so at least!

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    Hi Alexious, I've a PM for you.

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