This FAQ provides quick and clear answers to the commonest BuddyPress questions!
For more detailed information refer to our comprehensive BuddyPress Manual!
What is BuddyPress?
BuddyPress is a suite of plugins for WordPress that transforms into a fully functional social network platform.
When installed on WordPress MultiSite it provides features that lets your members socially interact with each other within a multi-blogging platform environment. It provides all the features that allow you to build a community on your network.
See Also: BuddyPress suite of plugins
How Do You Install BuddyPress?
Installing BuddyPress is as simple as:
Install WordPress (with or without Multi-Site) as specified on BuddyPress Download page
Use a FTP Client to install BuddyPress (same as you would install any plugin)
Log into your Site and go to Plugins > Installed Plugins to activate your BuddyPress plugin
Upload your Default BuddyPress theme (or another BuddyPress theme) and activate it
Please Note — The BuddyPress plugin only runs on one blog on your site which is normally your main blog.
- Installing WordPress Multi-Site
- Using a FTP Client to install BuddyPress
- Installing and activating your default BuddyPress theme
- Letting people register
How Does Buddy Press Work?
On a BuddyPress network you have the BuddyPress plugin activated on one blog — normally your main blog.
BuddyPress aggregates all the members’ blog content pulling them onto the main blog and providing the other social features so members can easily connect, communicate, collaborate and create with each other.
- Connecting and blogging on a BuddyPress Network
- About The BuddyPress Admin Bar
- Working with Extended Profile
- Sending Private Messages
- Making Friends
- Using Wires
- About Activity Streams
- All about Blog Tracking
- Enabling and Disabling BuddyPress Social Features
What Are BuddyPress Groups?
Groups work like the group features on Ning, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Any member can create their own public, private or hidden (invitation only) group(s) on a BuddyPress network where they can share info on topic areas that interest them.
Besides an activity stream, members list and ability to send invites groups can have their own:
- Wire -great for quick short messages members want to share with the entire group
- Forum – ideal for more in-depth discussions and excellent for sharing the conversation with the entire network (via the Forums page)
How Do BuddyPress Forums Work?
BuddyPress forums are similar to Ning forums except:
- Nings have a discussion forum for their entire ning network and then separate forums for any groups. To post in a group forum you must join that group.
- BuddyPress forums are designed to allow groups to create and manage their own forums; it doesn’t provide a discussion forum for the entire network.
However, members can easily search all public forum topics using the BuddyPress Forums page. Any member can post reply to a forum post or start a forum topic in any public group, even if they aren’t a group member — adding a post or replying will auto join them to that group.
Forum topics don’t displayed on the Forum page until a group has been created and a forum post has been added to the group
- Working with Forums
- Installing BuddyPress Forums
- Working with a Group Forum
- Managing Groups using the Admin Page
What Do I need To Know When Using BuddyPress Themes?
The two main points to consider when using BuddyPress themes are:
- BuddyPress themes should only be used on the blog running the BuddyPress plugin (which is normally the main blog)
- Only enable BuddyPress themes for the blog running the BuddyPress theme (follow instructions here!) — don’t provide access to these themes sitewide
NOTE: All other blogs on your site should be using themes suitable for WordPress.
The main blog on your site is the only one that uses a BuddyPress theme because it’s required to support all the different BuddyPress social pages.
Your members socially interact with each other via the social features (using the BuddyPresss theme) on your main blog.
- About BuddyPress Themes
- Overview of BuddyPress Widgets
- Adding Widgets To Your BuddyPress Front page
- Installing and Activating New BuddyPress Themes
- Overview of Premium BuddyPress themes
What Regular Plugins Can You Use on a BuddyPress Network?
Regular plugins are located in the “plugins” folder; they can be activated and deactivated on a per-blog level inside your blog dashboard via the Plugins page.
While there are over 4,000 regular plugins most of these don’t work on WordPress MU and BuddyPress sites.
Blogs on a BuddyPress site are just regular blogs with no fancy BuddyPress features. So if a WordPress plugin works well on WordPress MU site it’ll be fine on a BuddyPress site.
While there’s Plugin functionality which allows you to search and install plugins from within your dashboard it’s best practice to manually install all regular plugins.
- Using regular plugins on BuddyPress
- Installing regular plugins on BuddyPress
- Enabling Plugin access Site Wide
- Activating and Deactivating Plugins
How Do mu-plugins work?
Mu-plugins, on the other hand, are the plugins located in the “mu-plugins” folder; these are activated by default affecting all blogs on the installation.
- Not all mu-plugins from Premium plugins are compatible with BuddyPress.
- Always check the ‘compatible with’ section in the box on the right side of each plugin page (refer to Supporter plugin page as an example)
- Premium Avatars isn’t compatible with as BuddyPress has its own inbuilt avatar system!