Social Community - BuddyPress vs PHPFox

Hello All,

I'm trying to decide between customizing BuddyRpess or PHPFox to creating Social Community with Forums. Here is a quick overview about the custom features

Custom Features

- Members can join the group if only if they have complete profile and select a status specific to the group ( Say Yes and No, maybe)
- New Custom Tab to display list of members if they selected Yes and Display average stats of Yes members
- Custom About Page Tab with Description with multiple sub-sections with sub-titles
- Groups specific Blog Post ( in addition to Forums)
- Layout similar to Facebook ( with tabs on left side)
- Members can Follow other members (without friend request)
- Points System

Forum Features

- Forum post or member info highlights based on forum Role ( Author, Expert, Subscriber, Admin)
- Follow User button next to their name in forum posting
- Points will integrate with Forum Activity

I plan to hire a designer and developer to create unique design and development.
WorpdPress - Custom Theme on Genesis. Expected Traffic over 10 Million visitors/year.

I'm split between custom development with PHPFox or BuddyPress. Thanks for your help.

  • Jack Kitterhing
    • Code Norris

    Hi there @rsmb007

    I'd personally you go with BuddyPress, WordPress and BuddyPress are two of the most supported open source platforms on the internet, with some of the best talented developers and designers. There is constant updates and improvements being rolled out that will benefit your community.
    A few of your custom features that you want already exist for BuddyPress such as the point systems etc.
    There's a strong following for WordPress and BuddyPress and if you get stuck anywhere there are a lot of developers out there and many helpful forums.
    WordPress can more than the handle your expected traffic with the right server configuration, a great support member @aecnu runs his own hosting company and may have some advice to do with that :slight_smile:

    One thing I would say is, don't go for the Genesis theme, it doesn't follow the WordPress hooks and filters as nearly every other WordPress theme so there can be problems with plugin compatibility.


    Kind Regards
    Jack (Coding-Monkey).

  • ThePath
    • The Bug Hunter

    Hi rsmb007, hope you are well today.

    It sounds like you have an ambitious project here. If only my sites would get 10mil visitors a year I tell ya!

    Anyway for me there is no choice here. When you are talking about an open source project like WP and BP versus custom software like PHPFox. Open source wins all the time, for a lot of reasons. One of which is you will find far more developers used to and actively developing for the system another is you are not tied to any licensing or reliant upon a small group of people for updates etc.

    There is so much more to consider here than just functionality but hey lets consider that for a moment. There is a vast wealth of plugins for WP and BP that are completely free, also the premium ones arent that expensive. From a quick look through the addons area most of them seem to be premium and some are very expensive.

    The other considerations are of course things like security and the update policy. We all know the Wordpress work tirelessly to make sure WP is solid, secure and bug free. Whats PHPFox's policy on these areas, do they have the manpower WP and BP have to compete.....I think not.

    I think perhaps you are drawn to PHPFox as it looks likes FB, infact it looks like a bit of a rip of FB which brings its own issues I bet FB arent to chuffed about PHPFox's default design. However there are BP themes which look very similar also, so this should not be your deciding factor, plus you've said you are hiring a dev to create a bespoke theme anyway.

    I reckon from the functionality you have listed you can achieve most of this with WP, BP and bbPress. Throw in a few paid and free plugins and a bit of dev work and you are there.

    Hope that the way if you hadnt already guessed my vote is for good old WP and BP.


  • rsmb007
    • Flash Drive

    Thanks to Jack and ThePath.

    I think you have listed the reason hat I wasn't clearly thinking about - The Community with Security features.

    Jack - I haven't had any plugins issues so far with Genesis. I plan to go with Genesis.

    I was planning to start a content in 99Designs and get 2 developers ( Genesis and BP). Do you think that's the right approach or find one company to do all 3 parts?

  • ThePath
    • The Bug Hunter

    Yeh Im also not sold on the whole "Framework" thing. Always feels like you are restricting yourself again. Fair enough if its free and flexible but again I feel it limits things slightly. Just my two cents.

    An Jack is right that any framework you get should follow Wordpress's ways of doing things or this will just increase your Dev costs!

  • aecnu
    • WP Unicorn

    Greetings rsmb007,

    Thank you for the great questions and your input detailing the project you have in mind.

    I have to agree with the all the input you have received form the other folks and also regarding framework themes.

    Framework themes are exactly what they claim for the most part and more often then not require special custom coding to integrate things that are outside of the framework making them part of the framework.

    Thank you for being a WPMU DEV Community Member!

    Cheers, Joe

  • Vaughan
    • Support/SLS MockingJay


    hiya, that's a great question.

    I don't think I could really add any more to what has been said previously. however I will add that PHPFox is a very robust piece of software designed specifically for social type websites like that of Facebook. Don't undervalue it because of it's cost.

    checkout for a good social site built with PHPFox, specifically geared towards tennis enthusiasts of course.

    But also, Buddypress & Wordpress has a lot of custom plugins, a lot of developers, & a whole lot of a community around it with plenty of resources available for free & at minimal cost. PHPFox doesn't have that following yet so you may end up paying a lot more in development costs.

    my choice would be Buddypress. But it entirely depends on how social you want to get, if you want to create the Facebook experience, then your choices are limited.

    hope this helps.

  • ThePath
    • The Bug Hunter

    You could always contact Mark for a copy of FB, Im sure he'd oblige :wink: aye right!

    Also Im sure you have already considered this but if you do expect that traffic you are going to need a lot of quality hosting. Multiple dedicated servers I would imagine......not cheap.

    Good luck with it all though and I hope it works out for ya!

  • rsmb007
    • Flash Drive

    I started to lean towards WP, BP then I read Vaughan's lines

    "But it entirely depends on how social you want to get"

    If I go with BP, I would add these features a plugin, so updating the core will not break the code ( I might have to update the plugin).

    PHPFox developers community is very small. I have posted a job in odesk, but I'm not seeing dedicated developers yet.

  • Vaughan
    • Support/SLS MockingJay


    Don't get me wrong, WP with BuddyPress & it's thousands of available plugins is an excellent system, pretty much 1 of the best platforms out there for general use.

    whereas others which are designed for specific uses, not as a general all-rounder tend to have smaller developers, & high price tags. that's not to say their developers or business models are bad. I'm an open source supporter through & through, I believe in the freedom of choice that open-source gives you, if you want to delve into it and make modifications yourself, you can do, or you can hire someone to do it for you. With Wordpress it has thousands of developers willing to do custom work for free, small prices or high prices (depending on the custom work required) many do release for free.

    But with projects such as PHPFox, the community is small & the development is not as expansive, custom work tends to become expensive if it's not something done out of the box or with the mods made available. & you're always pretty much reliant on them for continued maintenance (updates & newer versions) which can cost you extra as time goes by.

    as @thePath says though, with the amount of users you are expecting, you would definitely require at least 2 seperate servers (both dedicated) maybe more, Ideally you would most likely get better response in those cases by having a seperate & dedicated Database server (MySQL for example), whilst having your site(s) on a seperate server to the DB, this would reduce load on the server amongst other pro's for that setup.

    hope that helps a bit more

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