Displaying a user’s friends in the sidebar is something that simply makes sense for a lot of community sites. Although there are widgets available for showing members, recently active members, and who’s online, BuddyPress does not come packaged with a widget for displaying a logged in user’s friends in the sidebar. If users are easily able to see their friends when they log in, they are more likely to check up on each other and start interacting. I wrote this little plugin last night for WordPress 2.9.1 and BuddyPress 1.2. Last week Damon Cook made a BuddyPress widgets pack using a couple of our tutorials here at WPMU.org, so I took some inspiration from his idea and made some more widgets that I think you will find to be very useful. This is my first plugin, so if you see anything wrong with how it’s written, please leave a note in the comments. I submitted it to the WordPress repository so hopefully it will show up there soon, but you can download it right here for now.
BuddyPress My Friends Widget comes with two widgets for displaying a logged in user’s friends. The small size displays 40px avatars and the big size displays 82px avatars, as you can see in the screenshots. If the user is not logged in, they will see a message that says “Login or Register to make some friends!” In the near future I will add the ability for users to select how many avatars to display in the widget options, but for now it’s set at 20 for the small ones and 10 for the big size. They are your basic drag and drop widgets – it’s so easy, even a girl can do it! ;)
Step 1: Download the BuddyPress My Friends Widgets Plugin.
Step 2: Upload to the Plugins Directory.
Step 3: Activate the Plugin.
Step 4: Navigate to Dashboard >> Appearance >> Widgets and drag and drop them where you want them.
I always wondered why there wasn’t a widget to easily show your own friends in the sidebar. Now there is! If you give this plugin a try, please let us know how it works for you and what improvements you’d like to see for the next version. :)