Front-end Buddypress alternatives

Hiya.

I'm building a site that needs SOME community features:

* Attractive user profiles
* Internal messaging system
* "Friend" capabilities
* Instant messaging

Yes, there's BuddyPress -- but it's a bit bloated with features I don't really need. But most importantly, the profiles look really terrible. (Unless you use a theme specifically designed for Buddypress, which I'm not. Or custom-design some BP templates, which is out of my league right now).

I'm liking the look of the Ultimate Member plugin, and may use that for beautiful profiles. But the extensions are expensive, and I don't want to spend so much for functionality that's free with BuddyPress.

I know WPMUDEV has their own Friends, Messaging, and Communities plugins, but I don't want the backend dashboard to be accessible at all for my users, and these don't seem to have front-end capabilities. Are there other plugins or methods that can make these front-end ready? Oh, and I've used your Chat plugin on other sites with BuddyPress, but don't know how to integrate it well with a non-BP site. I want a way to initiate chats on the front-end!

My dream is to be able to use the beautiful Ultimate Members profiles, but integrate adding friends and some sort of messaging/chat capability ON the front-end for logged-in users. Anyone know if there's a solution for me out there?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

  • Anton
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Thanks @Aicee -

    Though the plugins you listed are mainly for Buddypress, yes?
    I'm looking for Buddypress alternatives, or ways to get some BP functionality without actually using BP. The WPMUDEV plugins like Friends, Messaging and Chat are nice, but they lack front-end only usage.

    Hoping someone has some suggestions! :wink:

  • Anton
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    @Ashok -

    Thanks for the recommendations. I took a look at all of the various BP alternatives, and they all look quite nice.
    Unfortunately the two features I really need (friends and messaging) are all paid features with all of these plugins, and we're trying to get by without having to pay so much. (Our main worry is paying and being "stuck" with something that turns out not to be right in the end...)

    We'd just go with BuddyPress if only their profiles didn't look so terribly plain and ugly -- it's the only reason BP is not an option.
    Any of these alternative plugins have MUCH nicer looking profiles, but much-needed features are way too pricey.
    And it would be great if WPMUDEV's Friends and Messaging plugins had front-end capabilities, but they don't.

    So....I'm really stuck and don't know what to do here. :slight_frown:

  • Anton
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Hi @Vaughan!

    The Private messaging plugin works on the front-end of the site too.

    At one point I thought the Messaging plugin wasn't usable because of the mail icon in the admin bar (which would be hidden for all users), but now I see a front-end "Inbox" page can also be created, which is good.
    But anyway, I had MEANT to say above that Friends and CHAT are my most needed capabilities, and they seem to only work well if there's access to the backend or admin bar.

    Buddypress should be compatible with your theme, they made some changes quite a few versions ago.

    As stated above, I can't really use BuddyPress for various reasons. Mainly the look of the basic profiles is unacceptable (unless you find a premium theme specifically styled for BuddyPress, which I'm not using for this project). Unless someone has some beautiful BP profile templates compatible with the Divi theme they want to share? :wink:

    It seems like there's no way to get what I need without paying an arm and a leg, and still have limitations. I just want good-looking profiles, friends/chat, and everything front-end (no access to dashboard or admin bar) -- that's it! :wink:

    If anyone has some suggestions, I'm all ears!!!! :smiley:

  • Vaughan
    • Support/SLS MockingJay

    Hi,

    the following might interest you.

    http://codecanyon.net/item/user-profiles-made-easy-wordpress-plugin/4109874

    Whilst it's premium plugin, it's $29 so isn't really going to break the bank, but it is quite a commonly used plugin.

    Halo is a great plugin for social media, but has a hefty price tag unfortunately.

    I can't find anything for friends, we do have a chat plugin which works on the front.

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/wordpress-chat-plugin/

    Hope this helps

  • Anton
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    @Vaughan -

    the following might interest you.
    http://codecanyon.net/item/user-profiles-made-easy-wordpress-plugin/4109874

    Thanks, Vaughan. Looks beautiful. And no, $29 isn't too much at all. As long as I won't need to pay a ton for everything else I might need (haven't looked over all the add ons yet).
    Of course I'll need to know if there's a way to connect Messaging/Chat/Friends to that before going with it....

    Halo is a great plugin for social media, but has a hefty price tag unfortunately.

    I actually couldn't even get the free version to work! It had errors on the install, and other people had the same problem. So there's no way I'm paying a hefty price for something that's giving me trouble before I can even test it out... :wink:

    I can't find anything for friends, we do have a chat plugin which works on the front.

    It does, and it doesn't. Like I stated above, it works well if you're using BuddyPress. But I'm not.
    It also works with your Friends plugin. But that's backend only, and so I can't use that.
    And I'm not really interested in Page chats -- I want the Private window chats only.
    Therefore...I can't really use Chat! :slight_frown:
    Unless you know of a way to initiate private chats between users WITHOUT BuddyPress, the Friends plugin, and front-end only??? If you do, please let me know!!

  • Vaughan
    • Support/SLS MockingJay

    Hi,

    Unfortunately, no, whilst it's possible to have private one-on-one chats with the chat plugin, all the users need to be in the chat room already, once in, you can then click on their name in the chat window and invite them for a private chat. But that's definitely not going to work for your scenario.

    I'm not sure what else to suggest on this.

    Thanks

  • Vaughan
    • Support/SLS MockingJay

    Hi anton,

    We are working on improving the chat, but at this time I can't provide any details on it, Front-end for friends is on the features list, but it's not so easy with the current plugin due to the way it's written, so that is not feasible at this moment in time.

    Hope this helps

  • Anton
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    @Vaughan -

    That's a bummer about Friends.
    But if Chat can be used without Friends or BuddyPress, with an easy way to connect to other WP users on the front-end, that would be all I need. I hope this is part of the improvements!

Thank NAME, for their help.

Let NAME know exactly why they deserved these points.

Gift a custom amount of points.