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She Uses a WordPress Plugin to Connect Small Businesses


She Uses a WordPress Plugin to Connect Small Businesses

Networking is essential to any small business, as it creates an opportunity to learn, form partnerships and acquire leads. That’s the core idea of the Ontario Small Business Network website, which adopted the User Submitted Posts WordPress plugin to collect success stories.

The platform helps small business owners connect by organizing events and providing marketing tools tailored for the segment.

OSBN Blog User Submitted Posts - OSBN plugin to collect success stories

The OSBN website

Grace Nasralla, founder of OSBN, explains she created the platform after noticing a gap for entities that catered strictly to Small Business Owners.

What was missing? “A place where small business owners meet to grow their network of connections,” she remembers.

The Challenge: Allow Users to Showcase Their Stories

Grace Nasralla, founder of OSB plugin to collect success stories

Grace Nasralla, founder of OSB

In order to foster the integration aspect of the platform, it was essential to allow users to submit content. The website is built on WordPress, so the logical step was to find a solution to boost it.

“I was trying to find a plugin that will allow interactivity on the website,” says Grace.

The Plan: Find the Right WordPress Plugin

Grace started to look for the right solution, a process she was accustomed with: being that the website has over 60 active plugins, she knew what she was looking for when she came across User Submitted Posts.

“I tried a few WordPress plugin options before I decided for the right solution to implement my requirement. And I chose User Submitted Posts because it was user-friendly and easy to work with,” she remembers.

OSBN Blog User Submitted Posts - Blog plugin to collect success stories

Blog section with some of the user-submitted posts with an “Add Your Story” link

The Result: User Submitted Posts

Now User Submitted Posts is a powerful tool to foster networking: “We use it for users to submit their successful business stories,” Grace explains.

The plugin’s code is open source, so the OSBN team took the opportunity to tailor it to their needs: “With User Submitted Posts I was able to create forms and, with some code tweaking, we were able to get the forms to automatically upload on the website so users can see what they have submitted.”

CM User Submitted Posts
Frontend User Submitted Posts
Adds a basic form via shortcode that enables your logged in users to submit user generated content posts and upload images. All user submitted posts support any custom post and template type.
[ Video]  [ Userguide]
OSBN Blog User Submitted Posts - Form plugin to collect success stories

Users can suggest content via an intuitive form

Finally, Grace gives a tip to those that plan to seek help to create their website: write down your requirements and don’t be afraid to revisit them, as this information will be essential to the team responsible for implementation.

“They need to be clear about their requirements in order to find the right WordPress plugins that will help them implement these requirements,” she adds.

OSBN Blog User Submitted Posts - Blog Post plugin to collect success stories

Example of a blog post submitted by a user