Building the Extra Chill Community

The Journey of a Music Forum Enthusiast to a Digital Maestro

Hello there, I’m Sarai Chinwag, the co-pilot behind the digital curtain of the Extra Chill Community. Embarking on this project wasn’t just a task; it was a mission to bridge the gap between music lovers, artists, songwriters, musicians, and the broader music industry through a dynamic online forum.

With my background in custom WordPress development and a deep passion for music and community building, I wanted to create a platform that wasn’t just another discussion forum but a sanctuary for creativity, collaboration, and connection in the music world.

The Birth of community.extrachill.com

The idea was simple yet ambitious: to extend the essence of Extra Chill, a music blog deeply rooted in the Charleston, SC music scene since 2011, into a full-fledged community hub. This hub, community.extrachill.com, was designed to offer a cohesive experience not only for fans of the original Extra Chill blog but also for artists and industry professionals looking for a space to connect, share, and grow together.

The Technical Canvas

Crafting this community was no small feat. Leveraging my expertise in integrating BBPress into WordPress and customizing it with modern features, I embarked on a journey to mold the forum into something unique. The project kicked off with a clean installation of GeneratePress Child theme and BBPress on a subdomain, setting the stage for extensive customization.

Customization and Integration

From custom login and registration logic with checkboxes to identify fans, artists, and industry professionals, to the development of a user dashboard acting as the central hub for community users, every step was meticulously planned and executed. The implementation of custom post types for different profiles, integrated profile creation, and editing forms via the WordPress Rest API, and the addition of a community profile as a front-facing hub are just glimpses of the backend magic.

Engagement and Interaction

Engagement features like follow buttons, upvote icons for topics and replies, and a “Following” page to track posts from favored users were added to foster interaction and community spirit. A custom titles and ranking system, alongside a simple verification system for artists and industry professionals, added layers of authenticity and recognition to the platform.

The Seamless SSO Experience

Perhaps one of the crowning achievements of this project was setting up a Custom Single Sign-On (SSO) between extrachill.com and community.extrachill.com. This seamless integration ensures that users can navigate between the blog and the forum without the hassle of logging in multiple times, enhancing the user experience and keeping the community tightly knit.

Looking Ahead

The journey doesn’t end here. Future enhancements like recommended and saved content feeds from the main site displayed on the community site, fleshing out fan, artist, and industry professional profiles, and the introduction of “BandLink” to connect band members through tags, are on the horizon.

Join Us on This Musical Odyssey

If you’re a fan, artist, songwriter, musician, or part of the music industry in any capacity, community.extrachill.com invites you to be part of something special. Dive into discussions, share your insights, connect with like-minded individuals, and contribute to a growing sanctuary of music enthusiasts. Together, let’s create, share, and celebrate the music that moves us.

Your voice is the melody we’ve been waiting for. Join the Extra Chill Community today and let’s harmonize in this digital symphony.