Is it Worth Upgrading to BuddyPress 2.0? Short Answer: Yes

Is it Worth Upgrading to BuddyPress 2.0? Short Answer: Yes

Amongst the hullabaloo surrounding the release of WordPress 3.9, BuddyPress 2.0 was quietly shipped with a bunch of cool, new features.

Dubbed “Juliana” after a Brooklyn pizza joint where BuddyPress developers regularly pow-wowed, the latest release offers some of what developers asked for in the 2014 BuddyPress Survey – better administrative tools, performance improvements and updates to the activity stream.

The release comes after the social networking plugin recently crossed 2 million downloads, and almost five years since BuddyPress 1.0 was released.

BuddyPress improvements
BuddyPress 2.0 is faster than previous versions.

What’s New in BuddyPress 2.0?

New Administrative Tools

Admin xprofile
BuddyPress 2.0 helps you better manage user data

New tools have been built into the software that simplify and centralize common admin tasks.

Profile editing – There’s a new “Extended Profile” tab in Dashboard > Users Interface where you can manage profile data, avatars and user status.

Spam User Management – The capabilities to manage spam users in Multisite have been brought into non-Multisite installations.

Pending Users – A new “Pending Users” tab in Dashboard > Users lets you to see a list of signups that are yet to be activated and allows you to do things like manual account activation and resend activation emails.

Repair Tools – A new Tools screen allows admins to manually reset BuddyPress friend counts and other days that can get out of sync.

Performance Improvements

One of the big changes in this release is to performance, particularly for queries relating to Members and Activity directories.

Some of the most problematic queries have been streamlined, shaving up to 95 per cent of the query time off certain individual queries.

The overall number of queries has been dramatically reduced so that single page views access the databased up to 50 per cent less than in BuddyPress 1.9.

If your site uses advanced caching systems like APC and Memcached, you can also expect better performance with 75 per cent fewer cache misses on costly queries.

Improved Activity Stream

The activity stream now lets users know automatically when new items are ready to be loaded. It’s also better integrated with blog posts.

Load activity stream
The activity stream now prompts you when there is new activity.

Comments on blog posts and on blog-related activity items now appear on activity streams to help users keep track of conversations.

Phrases in the activity stream have also been improved to allow for easier translation. Download BuddyPress 2.0 today from the WordPress Plugin Repository or from the WordPress dashboard.

What’s in Store for BuddyPress?

While the BuddyPress roadmap for future versions remains blank, the recent 2014 BuddyPress Survey results offers some insight into what users want from the software.

A total of 338 developers from 52 countries filled in the survey. The top 10 most requested features were:

  • Group enhancements
  • A new Media component
  • Activity Stream improvements
  • A BuddyPress theme
  • Membership add-ons
  • xProfiles additions
  • Improved documentation
  • Easy configuration of Profile/Group navigations
  • Performance improvements

Since the survey was conducted in January/February, the activity stream and performance improvements have been ticked off that list, though no doubt more changes are still needed.

Do you use BuddyPress? What would you like to see improved in the next version of BuddyPress? Tell us in the comments below.