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WordPress

I want to make a site like netflix

Hey folks,

I am looking to create a business like Netflix and the only way i think I could manage to do it at present is with Wordpress, does anyone have any suggestions on which plugins may be required and or themes?

Please let me know,

Thanks!

9 Answers

Zac Gordon
STAFF
Zac Gordon
Treehouse Guest Teacher

Hey Daniele Manca!

Here would be my basic breakdown for building a simple, low cost to develop Netflix type site:

  1. Use WooCommerce and WooSubscriptions to handle membership
  2. Find an existing theme built for showing videos that you can customize. There are tons out there!
  3. DO NOT host the videos on the same server as your website. Use a 3rd party CDN for this.

If you have to build the theme yourself I would ask if you could already do it with HTML/CSS/JS? If not you will have to get to the point where you can design and build the front-end so that it looks and works perfectly with static content. Once you do that, importing it into a dynamic WordPress powered site would be pretty simple.

Based on my intuition it doesn't sound like you're dealing with a project that will have to deal with scaling like Netflix.

Hope this helps :)

+1 for what Matthew Campbell said, except I would go with a more robust video player

Matt Campbell
Matt Campbell
9,767 Points

I should have mentioned that Zac Gordon. In my opinion, any and all websites that host large quantities of images and videos should use CDNs.

If I was to build this, then I would probably either find a basic video player to extend or build my own. The default WordPress video is totally unresponsive and a pain in the ass to make responsive.

Hey Zac Gordon, thanks so much for the info, I was looking forward to an answer from you actually, :)

Right so here is the deal, I am a front end developer and the front end for me is the easy part, in addition I have wordpress experience, the only problem for me is that I am worried I have never worked on something like this before, although I know I need a lot of research before embarking in this project.

Indeed I don't need something of the scale of Netflix, as I am well aware they have their own dedicated dev ops team, however I am looking to have something that works well, in future there will be potential for scaling the product of course, when enough revenue will be generated,

:)

Actually Zac, a further question, would you be able to provide some good source in terms of how I can link videos being pulled from a cdn to the video player in wordpress?

Zac Gordon
Zac Gordon
Treehouse Guest Teacher

Hey Daniele!

Are you using different versions of the videos for different encoding? If not, all you would do is just have a custom field that let you put in the direct URL to the video on the CDN. That would be the simplest approach. If you do have to deal with different video types then we're outside of my area of expertise for this since I've only worked with hosted video solutions that take care of the video players for you.

So have you worked on similar projects before Zac? Could I see any examples please?

If it is something super similar to Netflix, I would say Wordpress may fall pretty short. Wordpress was originally created as a blogging platform, but evolved into a full CMS/Ecommerce solution that powers a lot of sites today. That being said, wordpress is not a great platform to build a custom web application off of. If you are looking to create a video streaming web application, it would probably be better to start off on the right path, maybe looking at something like Ruby on Rails.

Making a huge scale project, like a Netflix clone, will not be easy though. Keep in mind that they have had a full team of very talented engineers across all spectrums of computer engineering to create a video streaming service like that. Maybe spend some time on the business plan first, and focus on what the bare minimums would require for the service to work. Then work on those minimum specs to see if you can get something working and go from there.

Thanks Riley, let me add onto my question:

I want to have a paid membership site, which allows users to subscribe in order to watch the available movies, you reckon this can be done?

Matt Campbell
Matt Campbell
9,767 Points

WordPress could do this and could do it very well. A lot of changes have been made in the last 4 months or so to how WordPress gets data and handles data from the database. As I understand it from what I've read regarding WooCommerce and WordPress itself.

As for building it, that wouldn't be very difficult at all looking at it broadly speaking. You need to prevent users from accessing content without logging in and users can't login without a membership so yes, WooCommerce membership/subscription extension would cover that.

As for the video player itself, WordPress comes with HTML5 video player as of WordPress version 3.6 I think it was back in September 2013. You can work to style it as you please and it handles fullscreen well. There'll be a tonne of work involved to make it responsive.

As for the actual sliders etc, They're not overly complex, I've already made something for something based around the Netflix and Gucci sliders.

There'll be a lot of optimisation involved, certainly not a simple or small project but by no means unachievable. You'll want to get yourself 6 - 12 months solid experience under your belt unless you're looking to hire someone.

Finally what I wanted to hear, thanks Matthew. You said you did something similar to Gucci and Netflix, could I see some link? Also if you would like to speak further, maybe we can collaborate on a project?

Matt Campbell
Matt Campbell
9,767 Points

Fire me an email to matthew@globotek.net

I'd be happy to have a conversation with you on Skype but unfortunately, I don't have the time to take on any projects that aren't paid anymore I'm sorry to say. However, I am more than happy to offer advice and ideas.

Hey Matt,

I have emailed you pal and don't worry, if we work on this together, you are going to get paid for it, have a look at the email I sent you and let me know what you think, possibly asap,

Thanks!

It could probably be done in Wordpress, I know WooCommerce has a subscription service plugin, but I still would not recommend wordpress for a site like this. Hypothetically if it took off, the site performance might have difficulty scaling. It might be ok as a light-weight proof of concept with the idea of re-writing it later into a custom web application through.

James Barnett
James Barnett
39,199 Points

> It might be ok as a light-weight proof of concept with the idea of re-writing it later into a custom web application through.

+1 for a the idea of a minimum viable product (MVP)

Dave Alexander
Dave Alexander
4,894 Points

Hey, I know this is an old post, but comes up #1 on Google for "Create a website like Netflix" :). I have recently developed a plugin for WordPress specifically for creating a video membership website. It uses Stripe Payments and Syncs with Vimeo. (Optional YouTube or custom embed / iframe code)

It uses Vimeo to host your videos, so you do need a Vimeo account. You will need to pay for video hosting one way or another, and Vimeo does a good job.

https://www.wpvideosubscriptions.com

I need to do it with wordpress, because I cannot afford a full stack developer, what i need is a functional product at an affordable price, I really need suggestions from a wordpress expert, as I am aware there are plugins for paid subscriptions and video players, I guess I will need to do my own research...

Matthew Campbell's suggestions were a pretty good starting point.

Matt Campbell
Matt Campbell
9,767 Points

Get that email over to me Daniele Manca.

I've got to build a video library for my website which is going to have several different categories of videos and a lot of them so I can probably help you out and you could fork what I build.

Plus I've already got the Netflix slider built but I've added to it. That's the simple part at the end of the day anyway. It's not a complicated concept or site to build.

Email me, we can talk.

Mathew Campbell, I joined here to contact you in regards to your answer above. But I do not see who I can contact you? How can I email you or Skype?

Matt Campbell
Matt Campbell
9,767 Points

Anyone who wishes to get in touch with me to talk about building Netflix orientated sites, please email me at matthew@globotek.net. We can talk about the project and then get on Skype for a conversation to discuss in more detail. Thanks.

Patrick Cooney
Patrick Cooney
12,216 Points

Really, for a large scale, heavy server load application like you are describing you probably would want to build it with Java (not JavaScript, Java) as it scales very well.

James Barnett
James Barnett
39,199 Points

Java scales but so do a lot of languages ... Ruby, PHP, Python.

Patrick Cooney
Patrick Cooney
12,216 Points

Scale? Yes. Scale well? Not from what I've read. From what I can gather, Java is still the gold standard in scalability. My understanding is Ruby is much better than it used to be but is still not that close to Java.