Is WPMU with BuddyPress and Membership plugin the best option? how to fix?

I joined wpmudev and am working to set up a wordpress multisite that will do the following:

-Allow invited members to create a blog
-Blog will have common pages to allow consistency between members. Example: a 'what I like' page and a 'what I need' page. The idea is to foster collaborations between similarly minded groups
-Allow members to have subscribers to their blog (paid or unpaid)
-allow content from member's blogs to display on our main site
-allow features to be turned on and off based on the subscriber's level.
-allow communications between 'users' or subscribers of individual blogs within the WPMU as well as communications with users from other blogs under our same domain
-Limit access to the ability to post comments, etc to those who are users on any of the sites under our domain to help eliminate spam

I started with WPMU and Buddypress and I have been going through the setup. I can now add 'sub' blogs (xxx.mycompany.com), but there seems to be overlapping functions within BP and WPMU. For example, a blog can be added by the wp-admin or by the BP dropdown. Is this creating the exact same thing in the same database, or is it different?

I have added the membership plugin and have been going over the instructions at https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/membership/installation/. However it seems like some thing are not as presented in the instructions-as if it hasn't kept up with the new features and ways the plugin uses.

So, my questions are:

1. To meet the needs above, what is the best minimal setup I should use? WPMU obviously, but should I use BuddyPress as well? Should I use membership plugin? what else?
2. How does BP and WPMU work together? It looks like you can add a sub-blog in either. Are blogs added by each the same?
3. I would like to create a template setup for new users under our domain in order to get consistency in layout so members from any sub-site can quickly find info in another. Where should I look to find out how to do this? I was thinking that modifying a template may be the best way and making this template available over the entire site. Is this the best method an if so what do I need to do to get up to speed on this the quickest?
4. Ideally this will be a referral only site where existing members bring in new ones based on the topic. Similar to what facebook and google did to start. Are there any plugins or methods that would help me in this direction?

  • DavidM

    Hi sfc and welcome to WPMU DEV!

    For your initial question, yes all those blog creation options all amount to the same type of data added to the database, so you can use any of those means to create sites, all entailing the blogs get added in the same general area in the database.

    I'll take a look at your further questions inline.

    1. To meet the needs above, what is the best minimal setup I should use? WPMU obviously, but should I use BuddyPress as well? Should I use membership plugin? what else?

    It sounds like one of the main plugins you'll want to use is the Supporter plugin as follows:
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/supporter

    And just to mention, you might instead want to get started with the forthcoming update to that plugin, Pro Sites, which is currently available in release candidate form in the following thread.
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/pro-sites-supporter-30-beta-7-release

    With that, you'll be able to create multiple levels of Pro sites, where you can specify various plugins, themes and various other capabilities to be available to the sites on your network, on a subscription basis.

    You can use Membership, of course, but from your description, it actually sounded like Supporter/Pro-Sites might be more fitting in this case.

    Also of interest given your description, the Post Indexer plugin and its suite of accompanying plugins will help to provide you with various ways to highlight blogs on your site, perhaps letting you easily feature blogs, or search through sitewide content.
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/post-indexer

    2. How does BP and WPMU work together? It looks like you can add a sub-blog in either. Are blogs added by each the same?

    Yep, blogs added by each are exactly the same. Basically, BuddyPress simply provides an easy way for users to access many of the Multisite features, like blog creation.

    3. I would like to create a template setup for new users under our domain in order to get consistency in layout so members from any sub-site can quickly find info in another. Where should I look to find out how to do this? I was thinking that modifying a template may be the best way and making this template available over the entire site. Is this the best method an if so what do I need to do to get up to speed on this the quickest?

    The New Blog Template plugin sounds like exactly what you'd need!
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/new-blog-template

    With it, you can setup a template from one site, and use that template for the creation of news sites, essentially cloning that site. It's highly customizable too, letting you optionally copy over plugin and theme settings and even content!

    4. Ideally this will be a referral only site where existing members bring in new ones based on the topic. Similar to what facebook and google did to start. Are there any plugins or methods that would help me in this direction?

    I believe the Signup Code plugin should do the trick!
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/signup-code

    Cheers,
    David

  • Mason

    Hiya,

    As we haven't heard back from you we're going to assume the problem was sorted out and mark this ticket as resolved.

    If it wasn't resolved, or you have any more questions related to this thread please feel free to post them below and tick the 'Mark as Not Resolved (re-open)' box below the post area (or else we'll miss it!)

    Otherwise, thanks for using the forums, and for being a member of WPMU DEV, it's a pleasure to help you out and we look forward to being of assistance in the future.

    Thanks!

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