We’re big fans of WordPress (WP), and it’s popularity definitely hasn’t skipped over the flex workspace and coworking sectors.
From the marketing websites for individual coworking spaces and brands, to powering aggregators and regional alliance websites, WP is almost everywhere and used in many many creative ways.
Whilst we’re in beta, a number of excellent questions have come in from the operators who’ve begun connecting their workspace management software platforms to their own WP-powered sites and other integrated platforms.
1. The Client / Addons structure
Integrating any WP-powered site starts the same, you install the Syncaroo Client plugin.
Then depending on the kind of site you’re running/building and what plugins or themes you’re using, you’d then install addons to enable site-specific functionality.
Syncaroo Client plugin does a number of important things, like telling WP how/where to receive secure update notifications from Syncaroo and ensuring that only authorized users can enable Syncaroo syncing.
The Syncaroo Client however ‘does not do anything’ with the data the website receives via Syncaroo. Instead it prepares and cleans the data before making it available via WordPress actions to be used by other plugins/themes.
Syncaroo Addons are light-weight plugins that then ‘do something’ with the data. Whilst this does add ‘more plugins’ to a site, it does mean that we can all maintain leaner code and site setups for each type of website.
Small Example: Single workspace site vs an aggregator site.
A workspace operators wants to use Syncaroo to get and display their latest C19 Lockdown Status on their homepage and booking pages.
They’d install the Syncaroo Client plugin and just the Syncaroo Ribbon addon, before adding the [syncaroo_ribbon] shortcode to the selected pages.
As oppose to an aggregator site that may be using the popular Listify theme.
They will instead install the Syncaroo Client plugin and the Syncaroo Listify addon. This addon allows for Listify listings to be individually connected to different Syncaroo accounts, giving workspace operators the ability to automatically and securely update their own listings.
In these examples, each site only has the Syncaroo functionality it needs, with no bloat, no extra data processing and no additional data storage that’s not strictly necessary.
2. Feature-driven infrastucture.
Another benefit of the client/addon approach means that we can move fast, mostly without breaking things.
It’s worth keeping in mind that the whole WP ecosystem is just one of the 30+ ecosystems we’re integrating Syncaroo into.
By being able to release new features (for example availability or pricing widgets) or add theme/plugin integrations without pushing larger updates or adding unnecessary code to existing plugins.
This means that webmasters and marketing teams can add and test new or beta addons rapidly too.
3. Developer-friendly codebase.
During beta, web developers and agencies can request documentation and tech support in building their own addons for their clients’ specific site setups.
Once the full Syncaroo service is launched, we aim to open-source the code of our Syncaroo Client and publicly available Addons and have them available via the WordPress.org plugin repository.
We will also publicly share the developer docs, helping even more excellent webdevs to build custom addons or businesses upon our workspace syncing infrastructure.