BuddyPress: Build A Social Network With Wordpress MU

BuddyPress Wordpress Social NetworkIf you have you been looking to start a Social Networking site or maybe already own a wordpress blog and would like more social networking related features for your visitors, BuddyPress could be the version of the popular WordPress blogging system you have been searching for. BuddyPress uses Wordpress MU along with a selection of plugins to transform Wordpress into a fully featured social network for your members.

What Is BuddyPress and What Features Does it Contain?

The idea of BuddyPress is to take a standard vanilla installation of WordPress MU and turn it into something that represents more of a community building tool, or niche social network. BuddyPress is essentially a set of WordPress MU specific plugins. Each plugin adds a distinct feature (or component) to BuddyPress and only handles functionality for that specific component (for example, private messaging). BuddyPress also has a core plugin that all other plugins require, it contains shared functions and performs the basic modifications to the WordPress MU interface.

When using the default theme, BuddyPress will move the main focus of WordPress MU away from blogs, and onto the actual member profile. However, members can still blog and use all the blogging features they would normally expect from WordPress. When someone uses BuddyPress, they will be going there to build or enhance their profile first, and write something on their blog second. The blog is turned into another component of BuddyPress. It should be noted that removing the blog as the main focus is all done in the theme files. Other themes could keep the blog as the focus and still make full use of other components.

A BuddyPress installation will consist of a main community home page, which could either be an actual blog, or a syndication of all the activity of the community members.

The standard features of BuddyPress are:

  • Extended Profiles
  • Personal Blog
  • Private Messaging
  • Friends
  • Groups
  • The Wire
  • Status Updates
  • Albums

As each one is a separate plugin, there is no reason why site admins can’t pick and choose which components they want and don’t want. There is also no reason why additional components couldn’t be written, or other existing WordPress plugins be used alongside.

Avatar Cropping and Uploading
Fully Customizable Profiles
Conversational Messaging

Visit and Download: BuddyPress.org

Install Instructions: BuddyPress Installation Instructions

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Article Details


Author: Lincoln on June 21st, 2008

Category: Wordpress

Tags: , , , ,

  1. andymurd says:

    Nice write up, Lincoln. I’ve been keeping an eye on BuddyPress for a while becuase it has huge potential. I really want to see privacy functionality before I deploy it and I hope they can move forward before Google’s OpenSocial steals their thunder.

    Do you know of any sites using it in anger or is ning.com the best way to build your own social networking site?

  2. Hassan Ali says:

    nice writeup, i was actually trying to understand what does buddypress mean or what it is, this made it very clear.

    thanks again!

  3. bbrian017 says:

    I’m using this software right now but it’s in development still! Overall it’s really nice!

  4. Lincoln says:

    @brian buddypress are also releasing their system for single installs of wordpress, users wont be able to have blogs like they can on the Wordpress MU version but apparently all the other profile and networking features of buddypress will be included. :) will post an article about it tomorrow.

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