Transform a WordPress site into a social platform using BuddyPress

WordPress has amazingly evolved into a web development tool from a blogging platform. While offering outstanding features to bloggers, its overwhelming repository includes numerous resourceful plugins that allow one to integrate almost any function with a breeze. Among these easy-to-install plugins, there are several plugins that augment the conversion of a WordPress website into a stunning social network.

For the folks who want to transform their traditional site into a social platform, they might get confused with the slew of options available out there. To help you out with your decision, BuddyPress makes a much sought after choice for many WP users and developers.

Let’s delve deep into the topic and understand the plugin installation and the WP platform more precisely.

WordPress can deliver a great performance as a social platform

You might have never thought of WordPress as a social platform before this, as by default, it is considered as an astounding blogging platform that comprises comment threads, content and user roles. However, its blissful repository that is maintained and updated by WP developers includes truckloads of awesome themes and plugins. The themes are ideal to create a fabulous look and feel while plugins facilitates one to create a function-rich website. Being an open source CMS, this platform allows one to customize the available themes and plugins to efficiently cater to your business needs.

Earlier people use their documents to convert from PSD to WordPress but now you can use suitable themes and plugins to transform your site into a social network that heightens content sharing via famous social networking websites, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and more.

BuddyPress – A Foreword

BuddyPress is a renowned WP plugin that allows one to efficiently develop a social network. This ultimate WordPress plugin helps one to seamlessly integrate groups, user profiles, private messaging and numerous other features (that are imperative to develop a social platform) into a WP site. It, thus, facilitates the members and visitors to stay updated with the latest developments in the community and share things with ease. While offering these invaluable features, it also ensures a smooth and consistent performance.

This brilliant tool aids one to build a great social platform with an existing WP website. The plugin is lauded for its attributes, like installation ease, usability ease, and customization ease.

Moreover, this plugin comes complete with a plethora of useful extensions that have been developed to offer enhanced functionalities. These are available for free at the WordPress plugin directory. You may choose to install suitable plugins to enhance the overall performance. Here are a few plugins that are supported by the latest version of BuddyPress.

  • BP Labs;
  • MailChimps;
  • BP Group Hierarchy;
  • Wanguard;
  • BP Groupblog;
  • SEOPress;
  • BuddyPress Docs;
  • WebPurify Profanity Filter;
  • BuddyPress Media;
  • BuddyPress Share It;
  • BuddyPress Mobile.

Downloading and Installing BuddyPress Plugin

bb-press
Before installing the plugin, make sure that you have the following prerequisites.

  • A working WordPress installation (manually installed via file manager or FTP)
  • PHP version 5.2.4 or higher
  • MySQL 5.0 or higher
  • The mod_rewrite Apache module turned on.

The process is quite simple, you can easily get started. Here is a step-by-step process.

1. Login to your WP dashboard and click on the Add New option under the Plugins tab. Enter the BuddyPress in the search box. After you get the suitable option, select it and click on Install Now. Once the installation process will be completed, click on the Activate Plugin button.

2. Now, you have a BuddyPress Settings page, featuring the default components. These components are meant to insert some feature to a website. However, you may choose to activate only the desired components, the choice is completely up to you. Though, it is suggested to keep at least the Account Settings and Extended Plugins components. With this, the basic configuration will be over.

3. After this, you will get two new tabs on WordPress dashboard, namely Groups and Activity.

  • The Group tab facilitates one to efficiently create and handle various groups on a website. There are basically three types of groups, namely Public, Private and Hidden. Let’s ponder into the characteristics of each group;
  • Public Group – This group is not hidden from anyone, and thus, all the featured content, group activities, etc., can be easily accessed by any member. Moreover, it allows everyone to become a member of this group;
  • Private Group – Like Public Group, this group is also open to every member of the WP site. The group and names will be visible to every member, but the group membership can be managed; only admin can grant membership to anyone and that too when a request is made;
  • Hidden Group – This type of groups is hidden from the folks who are not the member of the group. Thus, the group names and their descriptions are only accessible to group members. Since, Hidden Groups have not been listed on the website, other site members can’t send a request to the admin for becoming a member of that group. New members can only be added via an invitation;
  • The Activity tab is an active feed that controls activities on your social platform, and only the admin has access to this Setting. Thus, only admin can perform essential actions like he can manage functions to create a group, register new members, etc.

4. Moreover, you will also get a few useful widgets (like login widget) displayed in a new sidebar. You may modify the available options and save every change with a Save Setting button. With this, your BuddyPress setup is configured and ready to use.

BuddyPress makes a great choice for creating an ultimate social network from a WordPress website while ensuring a complete security control on the website. I hope this comprehensive guide will help you convert your existing WP site into a social community with ease.