BuddyPress is a flexible tool that allows you to set up any type of community platform on your WordPress site. It is developed for companies, groups, teams and any other community to hold their exclusive online platforms. Also, with the online communities built using it, you can easily showcase the member profiles, user groups, activity streams and many more. In the following, we’d like to come out a detailed introduction of how to use BuddyPress in WordPress effectively.
In fact, it is easy to turn your WordPress site to a BuddyPress based community due to the existence of the powerful plugin of BuddyPress. Here, we will present the step-by-step guidance of how to use this special plugin to achieve the integration of BuddyPress and WordPress.
Choose the BuddyPress Components After the Installation
You can leverage your WordPress admin panel to install and to activate the BuddyPress plugin easily. After that, you should click the Settings > BuddyPress button, and then, target the Components tab. Here, you can find a long list of BuddyPress components you can add to your online community. And you just need to activate your wanted options. Also, you can add them in the later stage if you are looking to expand the scope of your community.
- The Extended Profiles component displays an editable field for member profiles so that your members can introduce themselves easily.
- The Account Settings component allows your members to check and to modify their own account information.
- The Friend Connection component ensures the tight connection among your members and their friends.
- The Private Messaging component enables your members to talk to other members in a private manner.
- The Activity Streams component showcases all the information displayed on your community.
- The Notification component can notify your members of all the related activities.
- The User Groups component allows your members to group themselves the way they like.
- The Site Tracking component simply records anything happened in your community.
Set Up the BuddyPress Pages
There are 4 must-have webpages you should create and publish for your BuddyPress community in advance. They are the Members page, Activity Streams page, Register page and Activate page.
Here, you have to go to the Pages menu and click the Add New button. And then, you should publish 4 new pages for these necessary BuddyPress webpages. After that, you can go back to the BuddyPress settings page. From the Pages tab, you should choose the right targets accordingly.
Now, you can save the settings and your community will use the corresponding pages to showcase the proper content.
Configure Some Necessary Settings
After choosing your wanted components and the community pages, now, you have to go to the Settings tab to set up some plugin settings.
- Main settings – you have to determine whether to showcase the toolbar for all the logged-in users at the top section and whether to allow all the registered members to delete their accounts.
- Profile settings – you can give your users the freedom to upload their own avatars and enable the WordPress syncing for the profile information.
- Groups settings – you can enable the creation of various groups for all your members, along with the customization of the group avatars.
- Activity settings – you can activate the auto-refresh function for all the new information and the comment function.
Set Up Some WordPress Settings
For the better working of your BuddyPress community, you should also set up some WordPress settings. Firstly, you need to go to the permalink settings page to decide the perfect permalink for your whole platform.
In addition, you should click the Settings > Reading button. Here, you’d better choose the Activity page as your front page. This way, when people enter your community, what they see is the recent update.
Create the Friendly Navigation Menu
Now, you can start creating the user-friendly navigation menu for your BuddyPress community. If your installed template has the proper navigation bar, you can pass this step. Or, you can create one manually that is totally based on your requirements.
For this, you should go to the Menus tab and hit on the Create A New Menu button. Here, you need to give this menu a name and assign it to your primary navigation bar.
Now, from the left-hand side, you can find a special BuddyPress section, from which all the BuddyPress pages are listed properly. If you fail to find this section, you should click the Screen Options tab and check the BuddyPress option.
This way, you can add your wanted BuddyPress pages into the navigation bar for both logged-in users and the logged-out users. Note that you can change the link text for some pages to make them more attractive and clear. For instance, you can change the text of the registration page to Join Us.
In the following, we have displayed the sample BuddyPress community with our preferred navigation.
Add the Useful BuddyPress Widgets
In addition to the navigation menu, you can also add some widgets to your webpage sidebar. The BuddyPress plugin provides 4 widgets that include the Login widget, Members widget, Recent Activate Members widget and Who’s Online widget.
Personally speaking, we recommend you to add all of these available widgets to your sidebar for they are all pretty useful. Here, we need to mention that the Members widget requires you to decide the maximum users to show and the default user status. In addition, the last two widgets also require you to decide how many users can be displayed.
Start the Test for Your BuddyPress Community
In fact, your BuddyPress community now is already set up on your WordPress site. As the new platform lacks for the new users and new contents, you need to use the dummy content to start the testing practice. Note that this step is pretty necessary if you are looking to make your community a general public one.
For this, we highly recommend you to make use of the BuddyPress Default Data plugin. This plugin can automatically create plenty of activity items, messages, users, topics and many more for the testing purpose of your BuddyPress community.
After the proper installation, you should navigate to the Tools part of your WordPress admin panel and click the BP Default Data button. Here, you can choose to import the dummy content for users, for user profiles, for groups, for activity posts and many more.
After targeting your wanted information, you simply need to click the Import Selected Data button. And your community can be filled with the dummy content so as for the easy testing. Here, we need to mention that you cannot import the content twice as this may lead to some issues. In addition, if you feel everything is right and are looking to remove the dummy content, you simply need to click the Clear BuddyPress Data button.
Run Your BuddyPress Community Properly
Now, you can start running and managing your BuddyPress community. Here, we have summarized some useful tips in the following.
- Inform your visitors of the existence of this community. Your social media platforms work fine for this aspect.
- Keep everything updated, especially for your WordPress core and this BuddyPress plugin.
- Showcase the clear guidelines of your community to prevent some bad activities for spam, attacks, trolling and many more.
- Add the moderation system to better control the information published on the community.