BuddyPress Plug-In Overview
BuddyPress is a plug-in that adds a suite of social features to a WordPress website. BuddyPress is an official WordPress plug-in and receives support and funding from Automattic. This plug-in has become popular (over 1.3 million downloads) since many developers want to add social features to their WordPress sites. You can learn more about this plug-in from these resources:
- BuddyPress Plugin Page on WordPress
- BuddyPress Development Blog
- BuddyPress Trac
- Follow the three main developers: John James Jacoby @jjj, Boone Gorges @boone, and Paul Gibbs @pggibbs.
Note that BuddyPress is a major plug-in that adds a lot of code to a WordPress site and historically has been somewhat finicky. From about 2011 (Version 1.5) and on, Automattic has pushed hard to further develop this plug-in to make it a solid solution. At the 1.7 release (expected in early 2013), BuddyPress will have a full implementation of bbPress 2.x which will power the group forums. This will also be the first version that will work with a all WordPress themes. Therefore, the smoothest implementation of BuddyPress will be from Version 1.7 and later.
Components of BuddyPress
- Extended Profiles: Customize your community with fully editable profile fields that allow your users to describe themselves. User can also set visibility for all profile fields.
- Account Settings: Allow your users to modify their account and notification settings directly from within their profiles.
- Friend Connections: Let your users make connections so they can track the activity of others and focus on the people they care about the most.
- Private Messaging: Allow your users to talk to each other directly and in private. Not just limited to one-on-one discussions, messages can be sent between any number of members.
- Activity Streams: Global, personal, and group activity streams with threaded commenting, direct posting, favoriting and @mentions, all with full RSS feed and email notification support.
- User Groups: Groups allow your users to organize themselves into specific public, private or hidden sections with separate activity streams and member listings.
- Discussion Forums: Site-wide and Group forums allow for focused, bulletin-board style conversations. Note that the optional discussion forums used in BuddyPress are powered by bbPress another WordPress plug-in.
- Site Tracking: Record activity for new posts and comments from your site.
Overview of the BuddyPress Integration
- Install and configure the BuddyPress plug-in within WordPress
- Disable any links to the BuddyPress registration page in WordPress
- Create BuddyPress groups within WordPress
- Setup/Configure BuddyPress with aMember's WordPress module
- Set up group control within aMember's Protect Content feature.