An Introduction to BuddyPress Conditional Tags

bpAs promised last week, we’re going to provide an introduction to BuddyPress conditional tags. If you’re familiar with WordPress conditional tags, you’ll be able to catch on and customize to your heart’s content. If you’re not familiar with WordPress conditional tags, then make sure to check out the handy reference available in the codex. It will help you in learning how to construct statements with your own conditional tags.

What are conditional tags and how do I use them?

The Conditional Tags can be used in your Template files to change what content is displayed and how that content is displayed on a particular page depending on what conditions that page matches.

These tags allow you to show specific content only if certain conditions are met or if a combination of conditions are met, which saves you from having to create a custom template for each instance. Here is an example of a regular WordPress conditional tag that you have probably seen in use before:

Conditional Tag: is_home()
Example Usage: {code type=php}Welcome

‘; ?>{/code}

You can use these tags to specify what content shows up on specific pages, categories, single posts, tags, specific authors, dates, etc. For example, if you only want advertisements to appear on certain categories and have others ad-free, you can qualify their display using a conditional statement. You can use them in unlimited ways to customize your WordPress templates.

How can I use BuddyPress-specific conditional tags?

The BuddyPress codex has a list of 46 available conditional template tags for BuddyPress 1.1+. This is a great reference to bookmark. Now, using these tags, you can construct statements that will tell BuddyPress to check to see if certain conditions are met before displaying the specified content.

Example 1:

Conditional Tag: bp_is_groups_component()

Let’s say you want to add a prominent link to important Terms and Conditions to the sidebar of groups pages. You would need to add a conditional tag to the sidebar.php file. Here’s an example that says: If this is is a page generated by the groups component, display this link:

{code type=php}Important: Read Our Group Participation Policy!{/code}

This link will not show up on members pages or profile pages or other components. It will only display in the sidebar on pages related to groups.

Example 2

Conditional Tag : bp_is_blog_page()

Let’s look at another example. Perhaps you want to facilitate members getting linked up as friends on your site. Friend requests can get buried if users ignore their notifications. One quick way to bring these requests to the user’s attention is to add new friend requests to the top of the sidebar of the blog home page. If you’re using the BuddyPress default theme you can add a conditional tag in the sidebar.php file that will put friend requests in a more prominent place:

{code type=php}{/code}

You may also want to add to that statement that you only want the friend requests to show if the user is logged in. (If you don’t specify this, it will say that there are no requests for them to respond to, which won’t make sense if they are not logged in users.) If that is the case, you can combine those conditional tags like so:

<?php if ( bp_is_blog_page() && is_user_logged_in() ) : ?>
<?php locate_template( array( 'members/single/friends/requests.php' ), true ) ?><? endif; ?>

Despite the fact that BuddyPress has been in nearly constant transition with an ever-expanding code base, these will still be foundational tools for fine-tuning your BuddyPress site. Developing a solid understanding of conditional tags will offer you a greater level of flexibility and take your theming to the next level. Have fun experimenting and creating with BuddyPress and let us know what you’ve got cooking! We’d love to hear about your latest projects and would be happy to feature new and innovative developments in the BuddyPress world.