February 4, 2015

BuddyPress - A Guide for converting WordPress site into social network

Being familiar with the commendable offerings by social media, who wouldn't want to take an advantage of the same? Yes, social media is indeed one of the most powerful online platforms for gaining the spotlight you've always dreamt of. Well, if you've settled on WordPress as your website's CMS and are planning to convert your portal into a social network then choosing from a collection of WP plugins is perhaps the route you need to take.

Over the past couple of years, WordPress community has been busy developing plugins that can serve as handy tools for WordPress users who intend to migrate to a full-fledged social network status for their existing website. One such WordPress plugin which has received immense appreciation from global WP users is BuddyPress. Today, through this post, I intend to share with you the features and strengths of BuddyPress which allows you to build a social network with your WordPress portal.

An overview on BuddyPress

Specially designed for WordPress.org powered websites, BuddyPress serves as an excellent plugin that allows you to take your site/blog to a whole new level via incorporation of impressive social network features such as: user groups, activity streams, user profiles and many more. Just like WordPress, BuddyPress is also free to download and install. So, if you're thinking about setting up an internal communication tool for your enterprise, a focused social network for a newly launched product/service or a niche social network for a particular topic of interest; installing BuddyPress plugin would help you achieve your goal faster and effectively.

Some amazing features boasted by BuddyPress

1. Over 330 BuddyPress plugins are available for download

BuddyPress has been a regular favorite among the WordPress Plugin Development community. Today, there are more than 330 BuddyPress plugins which can be conveniently installed on the WordPress dashboard to take complete advantage of BuddyPress features.

2. BuddyPress offers collaborated power of social network and protection of a private network

If you're a business owner struggling to share information about your current/upcoming projects and campaigns via emails and intranets, then installing BuddyPress in your website can turn to be the right step. With BuddyPress, you can share all the business information via a password-protected approach, offering access to team members only. To put it simply, you can serve threaded articles, comments and status updates, while maintaining complete confidentiality of every piece of data that you choose to share.

3. BuddyPress supports internal messaging

With BuddyPress installed in your WordPress blog, you can easily send and receive private emails from members who have been registered in the friends list available within your private messaging panel. All members within your friend list will have their own Inbox, Sentbox and Drafts folder and they will be notified about a newly received message via a new message count and/or email notifications.

4. BuddyPress supports user groups

BuddyPress offers you the flexibility of gathering friends by creating a private, public or a hidden group. By becoming the group admin, you can invite friends to join your group, approve requests to join a private/hidden group and also incorporate innovative features into the existing group.

5. BuddyPress offers eight absolutely stunning widgets

BuddyPress is equipped with eight handy widgets which allow you to perform vital tasks in a convenient manner. To activate a widget(s), just go to your WordPress admin dashboard-> Appearance-> Widgets. The eight useful widgets available with BuddyPress include:

  • Members- This widget allows you to view the list of members as per three categories viz: recently active, popular and newest members.
  • Recently Active Members- This widget when installed in your site will display the avatars of all the members who have performed some or the other activity on your blog cum social network.
  • Who's Online- With this widget installed in your WP site, you'll be able to view the avatars of all the members who are currently online.
  • Groups- This is a widget which allows you to view a dynamic list of newest groups, recently active groups and the most popular groups for your WordPress website/social media platform.
  • Recent Networkwide Posts- With this widget activated for your BuddyPress enabled WP site, you can view a list of all the recently published posts from all the network.
  • Friends- Installing this widget in your WordPress blog will let you see a dynamic list of newest friends, recently active friends and popular friends for a particular user. Do note that this widget is visible only while viewing a member profile.
  • Sitewide Notices- As the website administrator, you might feel the need to share some important information with everyone who's listed in your friends list. It is here that the Sitewide Notices widget plays its role. Just install it in your site and you can easily publish notices that can further be displayed across the website.
  • Log In- With this widget activated for your WordPress site/blog, you can show a 'Log In' form to all those users who've logged out of your website/blog. Plus, you can also display a 'Log Out' link for all the logged in visitors members of the website.

6. Extensive Theme Compatibility

If you're about to delve into integrating BuddyPress with your WordPress website, then you'll be delighted to know that this WP plugin is compatible with nearly all WordPress themes. The best part of BuddyPress is that you can easily override its templates just the same way as you do it for your WP theme via a WordPres child theme. With BuddyPress, you're provided with a base template file which can be further customized to enhance the visual appearance of your WordPress website as per your specific requirements.

Wrapping Up

It's hard to deny the fact that BuddyPress has indeed played a vital role in helping WordPress blogs evolve from a mere online portal to an eye-appealing and fully-functional social network. Here's hoping the BuddyPress details covered above would have encouraged you to install this very cool and trendy plugin in your WP blog/site right away.

This post is brought to you by Samuel Dawson, working as front-end developer for Designs2HTML Ltd. a leading PSD to HTML conversion company and he shares concrete information, latest trend on conversion of worpdress into social platform & tips on front-end development technologies.


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