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BuddyPress Social Network Plug-in for WordPress

BuddyPress is free plug-in for WordPress that will convert your WordPress website/blog into fully fledged social network.

b2ap3_thumbnail_ByddyPress_Logo.pngBuddyPress is an excellent choice for bloggers that have good knowledge about web development. Even the plug-in is free and open source, there are many things that require some PHP knowledge, WordPress/BuddyPress theme development and extensive understanding of WordPress core.

BuddyPress Features

BuddyPress out of the box features are:

  • user profiles / extended profiles

  • activity streams

  • user groupsBuddyPress Admin Back-end

  • private messaging

  • notifications

It is easy to extend the features with plug-ins which you can download from BuddyPress Plug-ins page:

https://buddypress.org/plugins/. Pay attention on supported version of BuddyPress and WordPress, many plug-ins are outdated and can crash your website.

Here is a link to list of recommended plug-ins, but again keep in mind to check version supported and possible conflicts with other plug-ins:

https://buddypress.org/extend/recommended-plugins/.

Web hosting Requirement

As it is build over WordPress core, system requirements are the same, however keep in mind, that for large social network, you will need at least mid-level VPS.

How to Install BuddyPress

Installing BuddyPress is very easy, the same as you are installing new plug-in for WordPress – navigate to Pluins>Add new and search for “BuddyPress”. Hit “Install” and there you go, BuddyPress is installed.

Important: BuddyPress development is always behind the latest version of WordPress. It is good to check the official BuddyPress website and documentation first for supported WordPress version.BuddyPress User Front-End

NB! Quite often latest version of WordPress is not supported by BuddyPress, the same apply for add-ons (plug-ins) and Themes. BuddyPress work with set of plug-ins that are exceptionally developed for BuddyPress, not all (majority) of WordPress plug-ins DO NOT work with BuddyPress.

BuddyPress Themes

There are so many themes for BuddyPress – free and premium. In current version of BuddyPress, the default theme is deprecated, so installing free theme, can be a problem since all work as child-themes. A way to bypass this problem is to download and install defaul BuddyPress theme from Git Hub:

https://github.com/modemlooper/Buddy-Default

BuddyPress Pros and Cons

This plug-in for WordPress is mature, well known and well supported. It is easy to use when are capable web developer and understand WordPress inside-out. There are many pros, but at the same time any cons. The basic rule of web development is always to keep fresh back-up and this is not an exception, if you would like to turn your blog into social network, the best is to make backup first.

BuddPress Pros

  • It is free

  • Easy to install

  • Easy to configure

  • many free and premium themes

  • many plug-in

  • low server requirements

  • Work with WordPress

BuddyPress Cons

  • doesn't work out of the box

  • require BuddyPress theme

  • require BuddyPress plug-ins

  • possible plug-in conflicts
  • Behind WordPress development

  • many outdated plug-ins

  • require knowledge of theme development and WordPress development

  • leave many footprints

  • vulnerable to spam attacks

You may also take a look at WP Symposium review, which is premium plug-in and good alternative to BuddyPress.

BuddyPress is powerful and very flexible social network plug-in for WordPress, it is free, but it is recommended to be have good web development skills to run successful social network with custom features. It is suitable for small social networks, university networks and small collaboration projects.

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