BuddyPress is a plugin for WordPress that turns your site into a simple social network. It’s a remarkable thing, but I think it is fair to say that while it makes creating a social network easy, creating a good social network is still hard.
At Kind of Digital we’ve built a few BuddyPress sites recently, and we’ve found some other plugins that make life a bit easier, so here’s our list.
If you have any other suggestions, feel free to pop them in the comments!
1. BP Group Management
Enables an administrator to manage groups within BuddyPress by banning, unbanning, promoting and demoting current members of any group, adding members to any group, and deleting groups.
2. BP Profile Search
Adds a configurable search form to your BuddyPress Members directory, so visitors can find site members searching their extended profiles.
3. BuddyPress Extend Widgets
Adds a BuddyPress specific element to all widgets you use on the site. You will be able to select on which users profiles or groups pages you want to display a widget on and so on.
4. BuddyPress Group Email Subscription
A really important one this – it allows users to sign up to email notifications of activity within groups, and also to choose between instant updates, or daily or weekly digests.
5. Buddypress Humanity
A downside of BuddyPress is getting non-existent spam member signing up, who just want to post loads of links to your community and generally ruining it. This plugin adds a Turing type test to new member signups to make it harder for this to happen.
6. Buddypress Sitewide activity widget
Adds a widget you can place in a sidebar or other widgetised area on your site that displays a handy list of the recent activity on your network. If you’re struggling for space on your homepage, this is particularly useful.
7. BuddyPress Topic Mover
Another behind the scenes plugin – this lets administrators move discussions from one group to another. Dead handy if a user has started a conversation in the wrong place.
8. Custom Profile Filters for BuddyPress
Out of the box, BuddyPress automatically turns some words and phrases in the fields of a user’s profile into links that, when clicked, search the user’s community for other profiles containing those phrases. When activated, this plugin allows users and administrators to have more control over these links.
I find these really useful for profile fields that link to social networking profiles.
9. oEmbed for BuddyPress
This enables users to easily share rich media content like YouTube videos on their walls.
10. Welcome Pack
Great for community management activities, this plugins sends new users a welcome message when then join, adds them to groups and sends friend requests – making them feel at home right away!