Have You Heard About BuddyPress?
There’s a really great plugin out there called BuddyPress which has been active for a few years, but to my surprise not many people know about it.
I’m going to tell you all about BuddyPress and what it can do for your site. https://buddypress.org/
Your Very Own Private Social Network
Buddypress allows you to build your very own private social network on WordPress.
Buddypress is a plugin you add to your site and it extends WordPress allowing you to create your very own social network to rival Facebook.
The plugin was started by the People behind WordPress but it has morphed off into it’s own open source project,but it is still tied very closely to WordPress.
Why Reinvent The Wheel; Facebook Duh!
I know you are probably thinking why would I re-invent the wheel with my own social network, when there’s this 500 kilo Gorilla in the room called Facebook already?
Facebook is okay but there are times when you want Facebook functions without the Facebook baggage. I’m thinking:
- No control over users
- None ownership of your content
- Potentially being kicked off for not following their
ordersT & Cs
- Policy updates for example limiting users, charging to promote content etc.
Facebook is good, but Facebook owns the pitches, ball, players and rules of the game, and they can change any and all of those when they see fit. Having your own controlled social network make sense.
Features of BuddyPress
Once you have installed BuddyPress, here are the functions you will get.
- User profiles
- Groups for users to join
- Activity Steam (think Facebook wall or twitter feed)
- Notifications of member interactions
- Friending people
- Private messaging
- Share text, video, audio and images
Nothing radical here is you have used any of the other platforms, but this is on your own site.
One thing to be aware of is that you will probably need a none standard theme for a decent looking Buddypress site because of the new functionality you have added.
If you look at themeforest.net there is a whole category dedicated the BuddyPress compliant themes http://themeforest.net/category/wordpress/buddypress . It’s probably a good idea to have a look at the sites to see some of the BP features too.
Making It Pay
You can also make your new niche social network a paid one. Membership plugins like s2member or WPMUDEV Membershipo Pro allow you to charge people on a one off or recurring basis to join you
If you can add member benefits you could use BuddyPress as an income generator.
The downsides of BuddyPress are that the documentation is not up to the level of WordPress yet and it is very technical.
I don’t say that as a criticism of the great people developing BuddyPress, but the less technical documentation that was developed for WordPress hasn’t been created yet.
You need to be a “code monkey” to extend and make it do anything unusual. There are plugins but not to the same degree as WordPress.
How You Could Use BuddyPress
Here are some of the ways BuddyPress.org suggests you can use their plugin
- A campus wide social network for your university, school or college.
- An internal communication tool for your company.
- A niche social network for your interest topic.
- A focused social network for your new product.
Looking to create your own niche social network, then you should check out BuddyPress.org.