WP Symposium is a premium plug-in for WordPress that can turn your blog into social network with few clicks.
WP Symposium development started in 2010, this premium plug-in offer excellent support and constant updates.
As WP Symposium is plug-in for WordPress, system requirements are similar, but this also depends on number of members and traffic, as the nature of social network kind of websites, it is highly probably to experience traffic spikes and many connections to database.
WP Symposium Packages
The review of WP Symposium will start with plan comparison, there is a free option that offers basic features (core features) like forum, group, member and member profiles are free, for additional features there are 3 different paid plans – Bronze, Silver and Gold – respectively at $39, $99 and $299. Please refer to the following page for more informatio https://www.wpsymposium.com/membership/.
I personally would recommend to test the free version before buying some of the premium packages.
WP Symposium Installation
Installation is very simple, the same as installing any WordPress plug-in. As the developer have stated on the official websites, the steps are two. Though, I would say 3 steps as good practice is to back-up your files and database before installation.
WP Symposium Setup
Most basic setups are working out of the box or can be activated/generated with few clicks. There is a detailed documentation, so I would suggest you check it. WP Symposium is very flexible and experienced developer can easily customize everything, as there are many hooks, classes and filters in addition to good documentation and support.
No doubt, to create a full-fledged social network, you will need to switch to some of the paid plans that offer event, Facebook shared status, albums, chat, etc... These are absolutely necessary features for every social network.
WP Symposium Pros and Cons
work out of the box
doesn't require specific theme
it is paid plug-in
not all features are included in free version
On many blogs you can read that WP Symposium is alternative to BuddyPress (read BuddyPress review here), but I don't think that this is accurate statement. WP Symposium is completely different and have its advantages over BuddyPress.
We haven't test WP Symposium on heavy loaded social network, but from what we have saw on our test server, it seems that what is written in the promotional material and developer website is true. This plug-in work out of the box and even inexperienced user can handle it. It is strong and well supported plug-in that worth testing.
Probably one of the easiest way to add forum, profile and group features to your WordPress blog.