Snack Insight: Building a sports predictor game using WordPress multisite

Snack Insight: Building a sports predictor game using WordPress multisite

Back in August, Snack Media’s technical team headed to a WordCamp in Brighton to join fellow WordPress users in an attempt to share their experiences and learn more about the content management system they use day to day.

One of the speakers at the event, WordPress Multisite consultant, Sabrina Zeidan, took an interest in the work that Snack Media’s technical director, Sam Burdge, has been focusing on over the last few months. Sam has embarked on a SaaS venture offering white label products with the use of WordPress Multisite. His work is in partnership with Snack Media’s sister company, Snack Gaming, who design white label gamification solutions to provide fan and audience engagements for clients. The full video interview can be found below and the written version here:



The idea to use the system came out of a need to build a predictor for football fans so that they could correctly predict the score and outcome of every game at the World Cup, scoring points accordingly. Once designed, this white label product could then be rebranded subject to each clients guidelines and assets. The decision to use WordPress multisite was an easy one. Through this system, each client can have a number of different websites for a range of brands all held under one dashboard. They also have the ability to select which game mechanics they desire such as game terms and prizes as well as having an affiliate programme designed for users to invite friends, family and colleagues and creation of Mini Leagues where they can play against each other. The site is also able to be translated into a multitude of languages as demonstrated by the World Cup Predictor which was translated into seven different languages including French, Dutch and German.

One other advantage of WordPress Multisite is that all users are grouped together in one main user table despite being from different websites, clients and countries. The advantage of housing all users together was apparent when it came to other aspects of the project such as customer service. Snack Gaming employees were able to sift through thousands of names in order to deal with specific customer problems in relation to individual accounts. While the system can house all the users across a number of websites it also has the capability of reverting back to their original groups if necessary.

Since the game is based around football matches, timing issues can be very sensitive, so Sam and co-developer Petr Paboucek decided to use server side CRON and the Command-Line Interface for WordPress (WP CLI) instead of the native CRON built into WordPress. They also built a custom system which recognised which site and/or group each user belonged to. As well as this, they created a Single Sign On feature which allowed users to login with their credentials from the client website, as well as allowing for login and registration via social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

On top of the World Cup predictor, Sam has gone on to create a version for the Premier League which has been launched internally as, Premier Picks, and externally with fee-paying clients. This is a clear example of the white label product being tailored to different client needs.

With the team eager to try new products on a regular basis, WordPress Multisite allowed for an easy implementation of the Build-Measure-Learn concept commonly found in startups. By using one single code base for the whole system, the whole network of sites benefit from small adjustments and improvements.

For further information regarding this project, please contact Sam Burdge at sam@sanck-media.com

Sabrina is a WordPress Multisite consultant and entrepreneur. She is tasked with helping entrepreneurs build networks of websites with WordPress Multisite in order for them to get the most out of its varied functionality. To find out more about Sabrina and see examples of her work with WordPress follow the link to her blog: http://sabrinazeidan.com/