Free Plugin Lets You Use WordPress Multisite to Power Multiple BuddyPress Social Networks

Currently the default support for BuddyPress within WordPress Multisite is only for the main site. But what if you could have multiple social networks running on one WordPress installation, each having its own separate environment? BuddyPress enthusiasts have been asking for this feature ever since the plugin came on the scene. Now there’s a plugin for that!

We recently ran an article announcing Multiple Instances of BuddyPress Coming Soon to WordPress Multisite. One of our WPMU DEV members got in touch with us to let us know about the work he has been doing to make this possible. He has created BuddyPress Multi Site, a plugin which enables you to run multiple instances of BuddyPress on WordPress Multisite.

BP Multi Site is currently being used to power, a place for online collaboration, which includes groups, document sharing, discussion forums, calendars, messaging, profiles, blogging, task management and a host of other features for businesses and organizations. is a great example of what’s possible with BP Multi Site. This plugin essentially allows you to provide a hosted version of BuddyPress for your users to take advantage of for creating their own social networks. Mike, the plugin’s developer, has kindly allowed us to offer the plugin on for free.

We’re happy to offer this plugin for free to our faithful readers. Download your copy of BP Multi Site today to add unlimited BuddyPress communities to your WordPress multisite network.

55 Responses

  • New Recruit

    Sarah Gooding ,

    Thanks for your quick response !

    As main solution for this multisite plugin yet to be released… I have a doubt about that

    Can I install the plugin you given for now and shift to official BP-Multisite later with ease? It would be complicated if I wanted to update to new version of ‘buddyPress Multisite’ after it’s launch as it affect my current users at that time

    Thanks !

  • Oh nice Plugin but..
    if you have not the BP Default Theme active, the Plugin replaces your own Themestyle (with BP Theme Template) with the BP default Theme on subdomains. All other works fine.

  • It seems to work OK but perhaps not if you are using the Networks for WordPress plugin – which, admittedly, is probably not what the plugin author intended to be the scenario.

    It seems not to work with forums under those circumstances and the sign-up link disappears from the sidebar of the sub-sites on the network.

    I am putting this here in case the author pops by and sees it as I cannot find a contact link on the site indicated by the article – but that may just be me not looking hard enough.

    Thanks anyway.

  • My multisite has the main site (BP functionality) a other sites with the subdirectory URL format. Two things:

    1. I would like for my users to create normal sites (non community) and community sites on the same install, but when I activated this plugin it converted all the subsites into BP and it replaced all themes with the BP default theme. It apparently works if you wanr a network of only communities and all with the same theme.

    2. The jetevents for Buddypress was inactive it is like it doesn´t support some plugins.

    It would be great if Mike could explain here what is the functionality of the plugin, what it does and whet it doesn´t. I would be very thankful!!!

    Thank you Sarah for updating us on this issue!


  • I am going to try to create a multisite/BP multisite it would be great to know what this plugin supports. If we see “YourLocal Project” it is a way of reverse engineering to understand, but I´m sure the developer made many adjustments to accommodate everything so, again, it would be great if we could know:

    1. Is only for multisite/multicommunities? no non-community sites are supported?

    2. Does it work only with BP default? if so, how can we adapt it to another theme?

    3. Can members create their own communities? or only the site admin?

    4. What plugins may be used? (Jet Events For Buddypress I think is not supported)

    I know Mike was already very kind to provide this plugin for free I and I think all the community is very thankful for that, and we would be thankful-reloaded if we can have some clarification of the above questions. If not that´s ok anyway! Thx, Donald.

  • This is just what I was looking for :-)

    I installed it but on activation, got a fatal error – permission denied. I got round this by temporarily changing permissions on bp-core.php but am worried about the consequences of this.

    Does anyone have any ideas?

  • Sorry, admin, please delete this and the last post. I had, indeed created the group in the main site, not the subsite. The fact remains, though, it does seem to mess up my subsites, so I cannot use it :-(

  • One more (sorry!) Realised you have to activate at site level (d’oh!). Still worried about the permissions thing but things seem to be working as expected – this is SO COOL!

  • Hello!

    I decided to create a WP/BP/Multisite with the BP Multi Site plugin provided here. To avoid risks I only use the BP Default Theme for all sites (Main and subsites).

    Everything seems to be working fine, but it uses the main site´s name as the name for all sub-sites, it´s like it pics up the site name from the main site settings instead of the individual site which has its own name entered in settings.

    Does anybody have or know of a fix for this? I would like for every site within the network to have its own name…

    Thank you! Donald.

  • @Donald – Yes, I’ve got the same problem (I also use the default theme, partly based on past experience, to avoid problems), which caused me to wonder at first whether it had actually worked properly (especially given my comment above about creating a group at the top level instead of the site level!

    I imagine there’s an easy fix, in fact given the raison d’être of the plugin, it may have been intentional. For my initial purposes it’s not a big deal, but it would be nice to have – Mike, I’ll buy you a beer if you get it done, and I’m sure Donald will too! :-)

  • Arthur, I think we are alone here, Mike was kind to provide the plugin and Sarah is not providing feedback because it is clear that this was like a “favor” to the community. So we need to address this by ourselves, maybe pay a developer to analize the code and tweak it to our needs?

    In my case it is simply to respect the sub-sites´setting (name obviously), but there must be many other settings that it is inheriting from the main site´s setting. Also, I haven´t tested everything: like manually scanning the whole sub-sites to find bugs and glitches.

    What do you think?


  • We seem to be Donald, though maybe we should try in the forums – that would also be the best place to look for a developer. Most of these guys develop plugins for free and hope that enough people will at least buy them a beer! (I don’t know if you’ve noticed but any even have a “buy me a beer” paypal button!) I don’t have a budget for much more at this stage, anyway. But since the plugin is only about 4K(!) I think that it should be easy to get into, even if there is a bit more work to change settings inheritance as you suggest.

    I’ve not done rigorous testing yet either, but setting up groups, forums, etc. seems to work ok. But I’m currently alone on my site as I’ve been getting the basics done. Will start getting others testing soon, though.

    I found this thread over on and posted to it – perhaps we should carry on there and/or elsewhere on the forums.

    May also be worth looking over on to find our friend Mike!


  • First of all, thanks to everyone that has shown their support and enjoys the plugin/ hack!

    @vbk in June 4, 2011 at 11:49 am Not knowing what the new BuddyPress multisite update will look like I cannot be 100% sure what the transition will be.

    @Manish in June 17, 2011 at 8:26 am There are no settings for the plugin. It works by using the ‘new blog template’ plugin. A template blog would be the main blog that buddypress is activated and as new blogs are created the plugin allows buddypress to be active.

    @Donald McIntyre in June 20, 2011 at 12:30 pm I had only created it to function as a buddypress multisite community and did not intend to have other sites as non buddypress installs. I will have to dig around and see if there is an easy fix.

    @Donald McIntyre in June 28, 2011 at 1:59 pm By site name do you mean the meta title for the site because that should work. Works on YourLocalProject.

    @ Arthur Kendall & Donald McIntyre Your right in the since that I released this to the WPMU community to help others in the community. I had it designed to fit my own needs and thought others could use it. I would be happy to have other tweak and update the plugin to fit their needs, just as long as the whole community can enjoy the updates. Feel free to contact me anytime at
    mike [at ] your local Project [dot] com

  • New Recruit

    Mike ,

    I don’t know how to express my happiness towards your support. Till now I worried if I would be alone if any bugs may have. But I am more than happier having your supportive response

    You would get a great response if you have a separate Collaborative/Forum section for the Plugin discussion and support. Many other plugin authors would help you in that

    Thank you!

  • Hi Sarah,

    your info is always top quality, thanks..

    Can you, or anyone else, give guidance on how to enable a multisite within an existing multisite -is that possible..? If I have a network established for example but want one of the network sites to have it’s own network of blogs underneath it – related to it’s principal subject – is that feasible, been done..?

    thanks for any suggestions,

    cheers, imacg

  • Hello Lovely D: this plugin DOES NOT turn your WP/BP/MU into a BuddyPress Multisite. As it is programed, it turns you WP/MU into a disfunctional MU, where every new site created is automatically turned into a BuddyPress Default Theme sub-site and a COPY, not an independent, of the main site´s community. So if you have a main site and create 10 sub-sites, the 10 sub-sites will be a simple copy of the main site, and whatever you do in any one site is copied on all sites. This is NOT a Multi BuddyPress Multisite Multi anything. To make it work my programmer fortunatelly figured out how “YourLocal Project” is programmed with other hacks to other parts of the WP/BP/MU install not related to the plugin that, when in combination with the plugin, really gives you the BuddyPress Multisite functionality.

    I can ask my programmer to write here and explain (I don´t know anything about programming) but I don´t know because he is an independent professional.

    Just let me know…

    Cheers, Donald.

  • @VNU thank and that´s great! if it works then it must have been some problem on my side.

    Sorry VNU and everybody for generalizing whithout checking with others. I take back my comments and apologize again.

    regards, Donald McIntyre.

  • @JB no, it just allows you to create individual installs of BP. They are all independent of each other.
    @Donald It doesnt copy the main site. It will copy any site you set as a template using the template plugin. If your developer did a great job then release it to the community so everyone can take advantage.

  • @mike I did what you already did for your site, the plugin by itself is not a complete solution, as you say, a template has to be created for the individual sites to work independently though copying that template site settings. If not they work in a way where at least members and site titles are all the same. This is what I mean by copying the main site if you do not create a separate template site. But like I said before, I don´t know about this, but since you are the creator why don´t you provide the complete information about how to set it up. That would help the community and not a second hand guess from a user.

  • @Sarah as you can see this free plugin was an incomplete solution to what is writen in the article above. It was a very explosive announcement to say that there is a way of creating multiple instances of BP in the same install, but the info and the plugin where incomplete. Many readers followed this info and tried invaine to create their BP Multisite to no avail. Mike was kind enough to provide it, but with no information what so ever to install it correctly. I thank José that finally solved the puzzle. If there are going to be filantropic community loving persons willing to give to the community in exchange for nothing (something hardly seen in the WordPress open/monopololy-source aristocratic community) I suggest that you give correctly and not without disclosure of all the facts, It´s like when chef gives recipies without all the ingredients because he is jelouse of others making his good food!!


  • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    Thanks @ mike per foot to solve one of the great “without
    solve “all the forums BuddyPress.

    I am sure that the value of @ Jose Conti grabs
    to develop, will be much better, stable and secure.

    Please, this is something I’ve been waiting forever @ Mike
    What version of WPMU BuddyPress and work? Because
    altualmente gives me a fatal error with the latest
    versions. Although not as they say this should
    be, I for one am looking forward poerlo up.

    @ Jose Conti please keep us informed as we
    we are only interested in this plugin, but
    BuddyPress entire community.

  • @Javier HP I am using BuddyPress v1.2.9
    @Scott I haven’t tried it with any other template and wouldn’t imagine why it would break other templates.
    @VBK My email address is [email protected]

  • New Recruit

    > I am using BuddyPress v1.2.9

    Then I should say , your plugin is brilliant. Usually other plugins might need latest beta versions which may throw errors. But I believe your plugin don’t give critical errors as it is based on Stable version

    Once again … Good Job and I wish you success with your’localproject’

    Thank you!

  • New Recruit

    The problem with the free stuff is you are doing things without any idea just because they’re free. Don`t know about security issues or how you should keep your stuff safe.

    Please take a look at your great example again!

    ps: Please please please, know what you are dealing with before going to live production. I love WP+MU+BP+bbp and the rest of those good things in WordPress. But when you get screwed, no one says it’s your fault they all going to blame WordPress.

    So know before do.

    • New Recruit


      >The problem with the free stuff is you are doing things without any idea just because they’re free. Don`t know about security issues or how you should keep your stuff safe.

      So, what is your point here? Please be specific when you comment some thing public sites.

      Mike doesn’t force you to use his plugin. He developed it for him-self and his own projects. On the request of WPMU guys he shared with them and they attached it to this post.

      I have checked the plugin and am sure it is well-coded and doesn’t harm your WordPress setup.

      You just commented as there is some vulnerability and didn’t specify what you got. How can you say something like that without motive? So, next time don’t try to hurt other’ s feelings with baseless comments

      • New Recruit


        Mike , gave his code on your request or for Community’s needs. But, some one out there are criticizing the code with out base. It is your responsibility to moderate the discussions with out which fails to prove something that state.

        I advise you to please watch your Blog discussions and let the dedicated plugin authors do their work

        • New Recruit

          Sorry , for typos, I want to rephrase it

          >>>Mike wanted to help with his code. But, some one out there are criticizing the code with out base. It is your responsibility to moderate the discussions of silly commentators who criticize without explanation and fail to prove something that they say

  • New Recruit

    First of all hi!

    Who’s Mike?! what plugin? I didn’t criticized anything here did I?

    All I said was:

    Look at the best example she mentioned in the article:

    Three comments, reply your reply!? yep it’s her responsibility to moderate the discussions here!

    I didn’t know a jack about this plugin and I didn’t say anything about this plugin and its dear author. We all know how they’re working hard to get free stuff to others and let them be happy to having something. God bless them all! Thanks to all Authors.

    All I said if you read again was about not doing things because they are easy and they could be done in 5 minutes! Don’t install WordPress if you don’t know how you should keep it safe!

    After all they’re all gonna say it was WordPress’ vulnerability. But most of the time it’s administrators’ faults.

    So if you don’t agree with this let me know but this time keep it short and reply once!


  • I don’t fully understand it yet, after many many hours :)

    It seems that I have buddypress on a subsite of mine:

    If I create another subsite the Buddypress theme is automatically activated through my ‘cets_blog_defaults’ plugin. However, all Buddypress elements (pages) are gone.. How can I get them back?

    I also wonder how it is possible to seperate the user bases of each Buddypress installation? e.g. I don’t want users or creators of subsite1 to be active on subsite2..


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