Tankavara gold Mining Finland

How to build a Intranet/Extranet with WordPress

WordPress has come a long way since the beginning of just being a blog platform, with the community of theme and plugin developers, you can now do anything with the WordPress platform, you can create e-commerce, Intranet/Extranet, community and eLearning sites.

I’m all about minimalism, in selecting IT solutions/services for the small/medium size companies, non-profits that need a digital space. Would it not be cool to run your CMS, Intranet/Extranet, E-Learning on the same platform, it will save you money, time, resources to use a common solution across your organization.

Why Use WordPress?

A lot of times having a CMS, intranet or E-Learning website is about having easy access documentation, announcements, blogs, external information and training materials.

Which can be easily accomplished with a WordPress multi-site installation. WordPress can even match some of the more advanced features of fully-fledged intranet and extranet services/platforms.

Such as:

  • Providing a company directory
  • A company calendar
  • collaboration tools
  • Private social networking
  • Downloadable company documents
  • Project management
  • and more

The advantage of a WordPress installation, it will save you cost, you basically just need to pay for your startup costs–which include hosting, theme, and plugins. With dedicate intranet services/platforms, you are likely to pay per user, per month fee and it can easily add up.

How do you get started, first you would need to find a hosting provider or if you have an internal server, then you will install WordPress, which is just 5 minutes of work?

You need to set up your WordPress for Multisite

WordPress multisite allows you to create an unlimited number of WordPress sites under just one install of WordPress.What that means is that you can have your corporate website, your intranet, your extranet and your E-Learning on one install of WordPress. It even gives you the freedom to add other micro-sites depending on your business model.

WordPress multisite is a great way to give specific subgroups and teams their own space while keeping everything tied together and manageable by a single super admin and sub-admins.

Finding the right Theme

Depending on your requirements, there are several themes to choose from, it’s all up to you if you want to put an emphasis on documentation, or an internal social network, or a forum, or announcements, or any number of other things.

Here are a few specific themes that you could choose from to get started:

Thrive Intranet/Extranet WordPress Theme

thrive wordpress theme

You can launch Social Networking, Forums, Online Shop, Project Management, or even E-Learning. It also helps you build a WordPress based intranet for your company so that your staff and members can easily share information, files, events, docs, tickets, messages, and forms

Woffice – Intranet/Extranet WordPress Theme

w-officee wordpress theme

A Multipurpose Intranet WordPress theme, fully adaptable to a wide range of applications including Business & Government Intranets / Extranets, School Networks or any Community Network and Associations/Charities. Demo

Events Theme

If you are hosting events you would need to choose the right events WordPress theme, to be able to promote your event online and create a resource that makes it easy for your target audience to see why they should register for your event. The folks over at athemes, have a comprehensive article about 33+ Best Events WordPress Themes 2019 that you want to read before you choose the theme for your event website.

Adding Intranet Features with Plugins

You choose a theme, now you need to choose the plugins that will give the functionality that makes your intranet stand out and provide the functionality with your users’ needs. Here is a list of plugins that are useful to add functionality to your WordPress intranet.



It helps you build any type of community website using WordPress, with member profiles, activity streams, user groups, messaging, and more.



A BuddyPress plugin that uses WordPress built-in features for the management of its post attachments to allow the members of an intranet, community to share a file or a list of files thanks to the BuddyDrive folders.



Adds collaborative workspaces to your BuddyPress community. Part wiki, part document editing, part shared dropbox.



Lets you add Photos, Music, Videos & Albums to BuddyPress. Supports mobile devices (iPhone/iPad, etc) and automatic audio/video conversion.

Knowledge Base


Simple and flexible knowledge base plugin for WordPress

Revolution Slider


A responsive WordPress Slider Plugin that displays your content. Whether it’s a Slider, Carousel, Hero Scene or even a whole Front Page

Visual Composer


A page builder plugin for WordPress build any layout you can imagine with intuitive drag and drop editor.

Visual Form Builder


Visual Form Builder is a plugin that allows you to build and manage all kinds of forms for your website in a single place.

Project Management

WP Project Manager

WP Project Manager is a web-based project management software for WordPress, that comes with file sharing, frontend feature, task list, calendar, milestone, private messaging and discussion features. It also has some add-on to enhance more functionality.

WP Polls

WP-Polls WordPress Plugins

WP-Polls is extremely customizable via templates and CSS styles and there are tons of options for you to choose to ensure that WP-Polls runs the way you wanted. It now supports multiple selections of answers.

The Events Calendar

The Events Calendar WordPress Plugins

Create and manage events with ease. Get professional-level quality and features backed by a team you can trust. The Events Calendar will help take your site to the next level.


bbPress forum wordpress

bbPress is forum software, easily setup discussion forums inside your WordPress.org powered site.

All-In-One Intranet

All-In-One Intranet WordPress Plugins

Provide a single sign for intranet privacy. It doesn’t really work if just anyone can view and/or login to your WordPress site.


WordPress is a great platform for creating an organizational intranet, extranet or a community site. With the plugins and themes available to WordPress there’s really not much it can’t do.

Are you interested in using WordPress as an intranet? Need help setting one up? Get in contact or comment below.





8 responses to “How to build a Intranet/Extranet with WordPress”

  1. russ668 Avatar

    What about SSO to Active Directory? Can WordPress do that? Any plugin’s or resources for that?

    1. torbjornzetterlund Avatar

      I have found two plugins that can be used to login with credentials in Active Directory that are in active development.

      The plugin OneLogin SAML SSO, provides single sign-on via SAML and gives users one-click access to their WordPress accounts from identity providers like OneLogin.


      LDAP/Active Directory Login for Intranet sites, that allows you to login with user credentials stored in Active Directory, OpenLDAP and other LDAP.

      There may be other plugins, these are the ones I have heard about.

  2. Abdusalaam Avatar

    please i have download the required plugins for my intranet site. now i want to use the intranet offline on a local network, please how can i point the remaining system on the network to the server. the server ip is
    1. should i install wordpress on all other systems
    2. should i install apache also on them

    1. torbjornzetterlund Avatar

      What Operating system are you using, for MAC you can use MAMP so you get a Mysql/PHP/Apache for a Windows server you my want to install a LAMP, even for linux LAMP is the solution. When you have Apache/MySql/PHP installed, you can install WordPress and then the plugins. To access you would use http:/// and if you configured WordPress as a sub directory, you would http:///

      I hope that helps.

  3. saeed Avatar

    Your contact page is not working

    1. torbjornzetterlund Avatar

      Thanks for letting me know, I have fixed the problem.

  4. Baba Avatar

    Hi Torbjorn,

    Thanks for sharing your advice. I’m about to launch an extranet for a co working company and find your recommendations useful. Since I already have a theme on the company’s own site, I will build it from here (Enfold).
    I’ve been looking around but I didn’t find exactly what I was looking for:

    A professional looking directory. Something that looks more like a list of contacts (think Outlook) with a tiny pic of the contact.
    A professional looking document library. Where I could file, rank filter and search documents in an easy way. Something like WooCommerce but for Pdfs. I was actually going with WooCommerce, but I need something that will enable to search through the PDFs and show their cover/first page as well.

    If anything comes to mind, please let me know.


    1. torbjornzetterlund Avatar

      Hi Baba,

      You could check out Business Directory – https://wordpress.org/plugins/business-directory-plugin/


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *