Templates for UGC

Hi all. I am a relative novice at site building. I’ve built maybe 2 previous sites from straight HTML and CSS code using templates. I’ve also built 2 more sites more recently using free WP templates that fit the bill for what I needed. These were straight informative sites and blogs for my businesses. However recently, I have been tasked with what I refer to as a repository of information that is relative to a hobby that will be heavily dependent on UGC. I can best describe it as a focused community site that will serve as a research point and probably a bit of social interaction. I’ve been looking through the UGC templates that are offered through Envato, but have been reluctant to pull the trigger as I don’t want to buy something that does not meet my expectations. It can be somewhat overwhelming looking through the offerings as to what I can narrow it down to, but I’m leaning toward Katya, Uploader, & FacePress. Since most of you here have tons of more experience than I do, I’m fishing for opinions and why you have them. Here’s what my expectations (hopes…lol) are of the theme.

  1. Front-end uploading that is ridiculously easy as my base can be an impatient and somewhat unsavvy lot (drag and drop capabilities would be sweet) . 0
  2. The ability to upload all photographic image file formats that are out there.
  3. The ability to upload all video format files that are out there.
  4. The ability to upload all audio file formats that are out there.
  5. Registration for contributors will be mandatory, but uploads will be available to anyone stumbling onto the site.
  6. The ability to moderate posts as they come in for lower level contributors (Yes, I’d like to have various levels for contributors
  7. Players for the audio and video files that are pretty much universal in compatibility with all of the most used web browsers.
  8. A template that is Gutenberg ready.
  9. Login for users from FB, Twitter, IG, or G+ if that is possible.
  10. RSS that is compatible with all of the above sites, if possible.
  11. The ability to require users to pay a subscription if I decide that it is necessary.
  12. The ability to place targeted advertising on pages as the traffic makes it possible to sell it.
  13. The ability for all users to upvote or downvote submissions, but I’m not so sure that I’m going to allow commentary. My user base can be ridiculously judgemental on submissions and also easy to get butthurt.
  14. The ability to add an e-commerce section down the road to sell paraphernalia related to our field and that is branded.

There’s probably more, but I think that’s quite enough for the moment. This will be a very large site in the number of pages and will also require much on-site storage. I just don’t trust links over time and I want to stay away from them as much as possible.

I know it’s a lot. I would like to find a template that fits these parameters as much as possible with a minimum of add-ons. I’ve just been inundated with them on my previous sites using free templates and themes.

Thanks ever so much for reading this far through if you did and thank you in advance for your valued opinions as to a good fit.

How big is the project?

What kind of traffic/submission volumes are you expecting?

The reason for the above questions is because there are potentially a LOT more considerations as well as the theme you use e.g.

  • the hosting and security requirements that can be needed for this type of site esp. if you plan to have a lot of traffic and/or video uploads, can be very very expensive and complicated.

  • depending where you/the site are located then there may be GDPR and other legal considerations to address in terms of tech and process

  • in terms of the site, can all these features e.g. front-end submissions et.cbe ‘as they come’ or do you need to have branded or more unique/custom looking versions? I imagine if it needs to be as super simple as possible then a custom solution would be better?

Realistically there are a ton of other technical questions someone could ask but, with all due respect, depending on how serious the site is intended to be, you won’t find all this ‘out of the box’ and may well find it more stressful and complicated to hack various things together than to custom build a solution with exactly what you need from the start. That said this is not a small project and you would be looking at well into the thousands of $ to build it, again with potentially some serious running costs involved going forward.

Well…to start with, one page for every state in the USA and one for each territory. Then a page for each location that we will be speaking about. A home page of course highlighting new and popular submissions. Down the road, a page featuring supporters and advertisers. There’s probably a few more to consider as well. Each location page will feature some text describing the location from existing records and maybe even some images and video clips that are public domain. As far as submissions, it’s just what is submitted. Traffic is a big question at this point. I expect between 500 and 1000 contributors within a year. Viewers, I’m not really sure. This is basically a database for recorded and photographed unexplained (paranormal) activity for the entire country. I expect most images to be large upon submission. Video files will likely be as well. Audio will probably be quite small as I expect most to be .wav, .wmv, and mp3.

This does sound like a pretty big job with a lot to consider beyond just the theme.

You won’t find all you need off the shelf. You might be able to get started using a stock theme with some of what you need but the danger is that a solution that works for one part may not be ideal for another aspect hence why if a custom solution is an option then it will, long term, save you a lot of headache

I’ve considered that too. But since I’m already stretched a bit with a team website and my regular business one, and I’m not even 100% sure that this one will cover expenses for a while, I’m not too willing to lay out a bunch for design. Besides, I’ve always done this stuff myself. Hardheaded attitudes run deep in my family. Thanks for the response, though.

As far as GDPR, we should not be receiving any submissions from EU countries, or even anyone while in those countries, and the advertising will be generic in nature. I’ve looked it over and by and large, we’ll be outside of the reach of those requirements. At least for now.