BuddyPress 1.5 Released: What You Need to Know Before You Upgrade

BuddyPress 1.5, dubbed “Lombardi“, is finally here, after hundreds of bug fixes and many exciting new features. If you’re even a casual BuddyPress user, I guarantee you that you’re going to love the latest release.

The most notable new features of BuddyPress 1.5 include:

  • A completely reworked Default theme – one you may actually want to use!
  • A brand-new installation and update wizard
  • Integration with the WordPress navigation menus and Admin Bar – no more BuddyBar – hooray!
  • A rewritten interface for managing profile fields

The New BuddyPress Default Theme is a million times better than ever before!

BuddyPress theming is truly evolving and with it comes a much improved default theme that you will actually be excited to use. What’s new in the default theme?

  • Five new widgetized areas (one in the sidebar, four in the footer)
  • Featured images (as custom header images on posts and pages)
  • An optional one-column page template with the sidebar removed
  • A stylesheet for the Visual Editor
  • Page header, comment, forum, and activity stream styles have a great new appearance, and content is easier to read.
  • BP Default is now a fully responsive theme, which means that it resizes to fit available space and will look great on mobile browsers. How exciting is this?!
  • New “forums” tab on user profile pages, showing topics the user has started and replied to

This is an absolutely huge release. I’m sure it feels like Christmas morning for all of you BuddyPress fans out there and I know you’re dying to upgrade. But wait… there are a few things you should know before upgrading:

1. Do not upgrade on a live site. This is not a quick maintenance release – there are loads of major changes. It is recommended that you upgrade in a test environment first, in order to see how it goes and work out any issues.

2. Make sure that any BuddyPress plugins critical to your site’s operation have been updated for 1.5. If you have quite a few plugins that will be incompatible with BuddyPress 1.5 then you may want to hold off upgrading until the plugin developer has had a chance update. Our plugins at WPMU DEV will all be up to date within 24 hours of the release. However, you may need to wait on some of the free BuddyPress plugins in the WordPress repository.

There is quite a bit of info on plugin compatibility in the BuddyPress codex. You may still want to check out each plugin individually for all the latest information.

3. Don’t forget your theme! Themes have tons of code in them – it’s not all CSS and background images. ;) You also need to make sure that your theme has an update for BuddyPress 1.5 or else your site will probably be broken when you update. Theme compatibility information is also available in the codex, although your theme’s developer is the best source for the latest updates.

How to Upgrade to BuddyPress 1.5:

This is the easy part. You can upgrade BuddyPress through the WordPress admin plugin’s page just as you would any other plugin. If you have a multisite install, go to the Network admin area. After upgrading, you’ll see the new BuddyPress Install/Upgrade Wizard which will walk you through a few required configuration steps.

For more information, please refer to the new BuddyPress codex article on upgrading to BuddyPress 1.5.

BuddyPress Template Pack 1.2 is Compatible with BuddyPress 1.5:

Many users are out there are using the BuddyPress Template Pack plugin to make regular WordPress themes work with BuddyPress. The good news is that you are not stuck! The template pack has been updated for BuddyPress 1.5 just in time for the release. If you’re using the BP Template Pack, make sure to read Boone’s article on the BuddyPress blog for special instructions on upgrading your templates.

We’ve been preparing for BuddyPress 1.5 for quite some time on our end and are thrilled to see the release available today. If you’re just now getting ready for BP 1.5, make sure to read our recent article that is packed full of resources to help you get up to speed with the latest release:

BuddyPress 1.5 Resources: Tutorials, Videos and Info to Help You Get Ready

Many thanks to John James Jacoby and the BuddyPress development team for all of their hard work on this major release!

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