WordPress is popular across the globe as a powerful Content Management System (CMS) empowering millions of websites. It comes with a myriad of features with which you can create any type of website you want.
If you have your business website backed by WordPress, you have probably got to know that it is easy to extend the functionalities of your website using various WordPress plugins. Using the WordPress plugins you can do simple stuff like adding more widgets to your site, to even turn your site into an Ecommerce store.
Currently, there is a big trend in using various social media platforms, and you might want to add these interactive social media features similar to the platforms. For instance, you might have the thought of adding User Profiles, News Feed, and Groups functionality to build a community over your website.
Getting the fresh code written for such features is one way to get these things done. However, it is a highly expensive affair. To make things simpler, there is BuddyPress – a powerful WordPress plugin that can help you add social-media features into your website.
Let’s dig deeper to know more about BuddyPress – the WordPress social media plugin.
What is BuddyPress?
BuddyPress is a free plugin that you can use in your WordPress website to create a social networking platform. It is an open-source plugin, which means you need not pay for it and you can easily extend its functionality. It is a widely known and accepted plugin to add the features of a social networking system into WordPress websites. Currently, it powers more than 2 million WordPress sites.
The most striking thing about BuddyPress is that it is compatible with thousands of other WordPress plugins. It means it won’t conflict with the functional values of the plugins that you have already used in your website.
In terms of website design and appeal, it is compatible with nearly all WordPress themes, both free and paid ones.
Not just that, there are 700+ BuddyPress extensions in the WordPress repository to add exclusive features to this plugin. You can even customize it to develop functionality that you specifically need for your website.
Core Features of BuddyPress
BuddyPress is mainly used to create User Profiles, Direct Messaging facility, Follow/Unfollow peers, Group formation, and more. With BuddyPress is it easy to:
- Create a social-networking platform similar to Facebook
- Create and edit User profiles, Member Directories, and Groups
- As a site administrator, you can set parameters for these profiles to gain full control
- Friend/unfriend each other with friendship requests
- Provide private messaging facility for users just like in other popular social media channels
- Form and join user groups
- Display activity streams Sitewide and in Groups
- Create social forums by integrating with bbPress plugin
What Kind of Sites Can You Create Using BuddyPress?
- Community websites such as in universities, schools or any type of community
- Social platform for an enterprise
- Public/private platform for the groups of people based on a specific interest
What’s in It for Small and Big Businesses?
Irrespective of the size of your business, you can make the most out of BuddyPress in a variety of ways with its community-building features. You can create:
- An enterprise-level social platform to facilitate collaboration between a different team of employees working for you
- Allow users/end consumers to create a profile on your website as a way to interact with you. You can connect with your target audience and clients at a more personal level to understand their needs.
- Build a community on your website to offer immediate consumer support services
Top BuddyPress Add-ons and Plugins
BuddyPress is extremely flexible like WordPress itself, and it can be extended with extensions and other plugin integrations. This flexibility is essential to create a community platform that satisfies your needs.
Here are some of the best BuddyPress plugins you need to build a community site using WordPress CMS:
An appealing user profile is an essential component of every community platform. Youzer is the best plugin for setting these profiles up for users on a BuddyPress website.
It comes with several options to create profile pages, such as 14+ header styles, multiple color schemes, and almost unlimited custom tabs and fields. Using all these options, you can create profiles the way you want, both in terms of function and appeal.
Secure login into a website is something that all users look forward to. These days, social login is quite popular amongst all kinds of sites wherein users can log into a website through their already-existing social media profiles.
UserPro is a premium social login plugin that makes it easy for the users to log into a community site using their social profiles. Using this plugin, you can eliminate the long process of user registration at your site.
Another crucial component of a community website is a user’s wall where things he posts stay for others to see, like or comment. Similarly, there is a news feed in which the users get updates of all that’s happening amongst their connections, followers or friends.
BuddyBoss wall is that one plugin that adds a social media-like wall along with the news feed to your BuddyPress site. It also comes with the required privacy options that the users can control.
Any community website becomes much more interactive and engaging when the users are given facilities to add and share meaningful content.
Using the BuddyPress User Blog plugin, you can add or enable blogging features to your site. Especially for the users who love blogging, the added features will give them the ability to blog. This way, your site will become more like a blog made live through user contributions.
If you want to showcase some of the active members of your website differently, you can use this plugin for that purpose. You may need this feature to either highlight premium members, the loyal ones or the most followed ones too at your website.
As the website’s admin, you get the power to mark the members of your choice as the ‘featured’ ones. You can even display them in a widget on your site.
In your community website, you might have planned to cater to various kinds of users altogether. Managing them all becomes difficult unless you segregate them into different types or classes. For instance, if yours is a job site, you would want users like freelancers, employers and even job-seekers to use it.
Using this plugin, you can manage different member types right from the WordPress backend dashboard. You can check and manage different profile fields of the users and can create multiple user-types as well.
It is a complete media plugin for BuddyPress websites to enable the users to add albums, photos, audio, video in their profiles. It also supports drag-and-drop uploading for featured media and attaching media to activity feeds.
If one of the core features of your BuddyPress website is to enable users to write posts, this plugin can help you do that. You might not be able to update your blog regularly. But if you have users by your user to do that, your blog will become a community blog.
For this plugin to work, you will need a BuddyForms plugin installed in your website.
BuddyPress also has smooth integrations with many popular WordPress plugins. Some of them are mentioned here:
Have you ever wondered if a community website can be used to sell products as well? It is possible by integrating WooCommerce into a BuddyPress website.
Through this combination, you can offer a seamless user experience on your website and even better user engagement too. For instance, you can sync customer’s data and order history to the profiles of your website’s members. This view, you can also get an overview of all the users on your website.
You can integrate WooCommerce to your website for your plans to convert it into a marketplace, membership site or auction site with WooCommerce BuddyPress Integration free plugin.
In the Internet age, it is even possible to offer educational courses online. You need LearnDash plugin to start offering online courses, both free and paid, through your BuddyPress community website. You can easily integrate this highly trusted LMS into your site to add features like:
- Add or sync website members as course participants
- Create private courses for invited members only
- Track course-related activity as a group feed
With BuddyPress LearnDash integration add-on to your website, you can create and sell online courses and reward the participants as well.
Another aspect of creating membership sites is offering paid access to the content to the users, be it to posts, pages, videos or other digital files. MemberPress is a WordPress membership plugin with which you can start charging money to the users to offer access to specific content on your website.
There is a MemberPress BuddyPress Integration add-on that allows your member’s account page gets linked to their profile page on the BuddyPress website. As a result, you can add or remove users from BuddyPress groups based on their membership plans. This integration is highly useful if you plan to sell digital download products through your website.
Have you ever thought about the idea of rewarding users at your website for their online interactions? It may sound weird as well as unique. But it is possible with the help of GamiPress integration to your BuddyPress website.
Using GamiPress BuddyPress integration add-on, you can offer digital rewards to the users at your community website in the points, ranks or achievements. Events like new user registration, profile updates, sending/accepting friendship requests can be associated with rewards.
Also, this integration is quite seamless and can be done in just a few minutes.
A BuddyPress community website is limited in scope if users native to only one language can access and use it. However, you can make your website multilingual with the help of WPML integration. The main advantage of utilizing this integration possibility is to deliver a language-consistent experience. You can give the options to translate website strings into the language based on a user’s choice.
A chat system on a community platform is an important feature with which users can interact with each other in public or private chat rooms. Creating the code from scratch for this feature is a tough task. However, iFlyChat can make that easier for your BuddyPress website.
BuddyPress is a very powerful plugin that has many other uses cases with many other Add-ons, Plugins, and Integrations, that are not mentioned in the article. Before you come to any conclusion do try BuddyPress for yourself!