Restricting group creation is something that many, if not most, BuddyPress sites want to have in place right away. Depending on how many options you need, there are a couple of solutions.
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The first and the easiest way is to restrict group creation to site admins only. This is actually built into BuddyPress since version 1.5. You can find it under the BuddyPress » Settings menu:
Simply toggle it on or off. If you need more options than restricting group creation to admin only, then you’ll want to check out the BuddyPress Restrict Group Creation plugin by Rich Fuller.
This plugin extends restricting group creation with the ability to map it to WordPress Capabilities and various thresholds. That means that you can essentially make a user “earn” the ability to create groups. Available thresholds include:
- Forum posts
- Status updates
- Days since registered
- Max Groups Admin
- Max Groups Moderator
- Max Groups Created
- Integration with the third-party Achievements plugin
Check out how many options you can combine when creating a new rule for group creation:
As you can see, even though this plugin has a simple name, it’s much more powerful than turning group creation on or off for non-admins. You can even enable an error message so that if a user is denied group creation, he’ll know what he needs to do in order to earn the privilege.
These options give you a great deal of flexibility to make sure that groups can only be started by your most loyal community members or by user who have been around long enough to be able to administer their own groups effectively. Restricting group creation based on a threshold will inevitably increase the quality and leadership of the groups on your BuddyPress site. If your social network seems like a wilderness of tons of empty groups, consider restricting group creation to users who already have a good number of friends or status updates. That way you know that the groups they create will be more likely to generate content, instead of simply taking up space.
Download the BuddyPress Restrict Group Creation plugin for free from the WordPress plugin repository.