As a popular social networking plugin, BuddyPress has been widely used by a lot of webmasters, communities, organizations, and companies to set up a communication platform. It is open source and free of charge, and is 100% compatible with WordPress.
To be honest, this tool is very powerful and useful for setting up the forum, online discussion board or dating site. Thus, we’d like to present a detailed BuddyPress tutorial, with which you can install, set up, and configure this software for better performance easily.
At present, the latest version of BuddyPress is 1.9.2 that has been released since February 5, 2014. You can download it from BuddyPress.org. Simply click the red Download button the navigation bar of the official site, then you can be directed to BuddyPress WordPress plugin page. After clicking the Download Version 1.9.2 button with the orange color, you can upload it to your WordPress site with ease.
In addition to this method, you can also download it from your WordPress dashboard directly. You click the Plugin tab in the left-sided bar, and click the Add New button. After entering the term of BuddyPress into the search box and clicking the Search Plugins button, you can see your target being displayed at the search result page. Then, simply click the Install Now button.
Next, you will be directed to an activation page. You only need to hit the Activate Plugin button, then you can use this tool immediately.
Configure & Set Up BuddyPress
After activating BuddyPress successfully, you need to make some configurations at the setting page. There will be a notification appeared at the top of your dashboard. You can click the Installation Wizard link to go for the setting page. If you fail to find this notification, you can also go to Dashboard < Settings < BuddyPress. Firstly, you can configure the component part. By default, all the listed components are checked, but you can uncheck some specific options to meet your explicit needs and preferences. Note that the disabled components will no longer be accessible to anyone using your website.
In the following, we’d like to introduce some basic components that you’d better enable.
- Extended Profiles – You can use this component to customize your community with editable profile fields.
- Account Setting – This allows your registered users to modify their account directly from their profiles.
- Friend Connections – Your users can make connections with other people and track the activity of others they care about the most.
- Private Messaging – Registered users can talk to other users directly and in private. The messages can be sent to a lot of people at one time.
Next, you’d better focus on the page configuration. The Directories part associates a WordPress page with each BuddyPress component directory, including Activity Streams, User Groups, and Members. The Registration part contains the configuration of Register and Activate.
Now, it’s time for Settings. You can decide the setting for toolbar, account deletion, avatar uploads, profile syncing, group creation, and blog & forum comments. All of these can be configured based on your ultimate needs.
In fact, in the new version of BuddyPress, there is also a Forum option integrated. This part comes with a a version of bbPress for forum building and management. You can choose to install group forums or site wide forums as you wish.
- Forums for Groups – This option gives every individual group its own discussion forum. Thus, if you are going to keep the conversion of each member private and separated, you can choose group forums.
- Site Wide Forum – This allows a central forum for your website that can create a public discussion area, but not an isolated discussion board for a specific group.