WordPress serves as a platform for many different kinds of websites, including social networking sites. A good number of these social networking websites rely on BuddyPress for building their community platform. This plugin adds a whole basket of features necessary for social networking capabilities like user registration and creation of profiles and groups. Over and above these features, you’ll find that there are a whole lot of BuddyPress plugins that add functionality to your networking sites.
If you get these tools in place—WordPress installation, BuddyPress, quality BuddyPress themes, and suitable BuddyPress plugins—you can get started on your social networking site. Or else, you can add a social group to an existing site, for instance, a study group on an educational institution’s website or even a dating website with help from some neat dating themes.
As always, with WordPress, you’re almost certain to find a plugin for any function that you need. These free plugins from the WordPress Plugin Directory can enhance user experience on your networking site.
rtMedia for WordPress, BuddyPress, and bbPress
rtMedia can elevate your BuddyPress community experience to a whole new level. On a social networking site, media elements play an important part, and rtMedia can handle these elements efficiently.
There’s not much you have to do by way of configuration with this plugin. The BuddyPress-related settings in the plugin will be turned on automatically once the plugin is in active mode. You’ll not have to worry about compatibility with smaller devices as this plugin adopts a mobile first approach.
When clicked, the media tab that appears on every profile page opens up a number of media options—albums, photos, videos, music, playlist, and documents. Here you can upload media, add comments, and create albums and slideshows. Uploading to BuddyPress Groups is also possible if the Groups are enabled on your BuddyPress.
With the plugin active on your WordPress, it’s possible to attach all kinds of media to any activity on the site. All a user needs to do is attach a file, select appropriate privacy settings, select the group or profile to post to, and then update the post.
In addition, rtMedia offers 35+ premium add-ons for uploading, editing, and managing media on BuddyPress. They include a shortcode generator, sidebar widgets for uploaders and galleries, an extension for Instagram effects, a view counter, and a custom thumbnail for audio/video.More info / Download
BuddyPress Group Email Subscription
Whenever there is any activity in the group, all the group members will come to know about it with the help of this plugin. The plugin keeps all group members in the loop by sending out emails whenever any activity occurs within the group.
The emails will go out automatically to group members at a frequency of their choice. Users can choose from five subscription levels—daily, weekly, as soon as there is any activity, or whenever there is a new topic. Of course, they can also choose not to receive any email at all. When it comes to new members, group admins can select any one of the five options and apply it group-wide.
The daily mail will be a digest of all the emails from the group that the user is subscribed to. The emails will go out each morning, along with a helpful summary for each topic. The summary and the timing of the mail can be managed from the backend. Users can also choose to follow or to mute any discussion.
The group admin has overriding powers and can send out emails to all subscribers irrespective of their subscription status. All these features make BuddyPress Group Email Subscription a convenient option to keep all group members up to speed with group activities.More info / Download
What good is a social network without a chat room? Users or group members ought to be able to enter into a discussion in which other members can participate. iFlyChat is a free plugin that’s perfect for group discussions and chat rooms on a community or social networking site. Further, it allows any two members in the group to enter into a private conversation with each other. Using a shortcode, you can call up the records of a conversation.
Dating sites, online courses, fan clubs, and similar groups will find this plugin useful. Not only that, but you can also configure the plugin to provide online support for any product or service.
Moreover, you need not fear that a heavy volume of chat traffic may slow down your site. All chats are routed through cloud-based servers, and therefore, the response time is fast. By adjusting the settings, you can set up moderation for chat rooms as well as allow participants to chat anonymously. Participants can attach files, share pictures, videos, and URLs, and use customizable emoticons.
If security is your concern, you’ll be happy that chats are automatically encrypted for SSL secured sites. Logged-in users are spared the bother of signing into chat. Most importantly, the plugin automatically integrates with BuddyPress, and users’ avatars and profile links show up in a chat. It can also access the BuddyPress friends list.
For the removal of branding, unlimited chat rooms, and a longer retention of chat records, you’ll need to upgrade to the paid plans.More info / Download
BuddyPress Default Cover Photo
More info / Download
There is no real need to go in-depth with explanation what the next BuddyPress plugin is all about. The name speaks for itself. BuddyPress Default Cover Photo adds a new function to the default profile and group cover settings. Indeed, you can now create custom cover photos and make profiles and groups look even more appealing to the eye. No need to stick to the default settings when you can employ a practical tool that will enhance the web space with ease. And adding custom images is definitely one of the approaches that will help you attain better results. Give it a shot; it is free after all.
BuddyPress Xprofile Custom Field Types
More info / Download
You can now take your BuddyPress members’ profiles to an entirely new degree. With BuddyPress Xprofile Custom Field Types, you add new features to the profile which they can fill out at free will. Regardless of the type of community, you are growing, chances are, additional fields might be necessary. With BuddyPress Xprofile Custom Field Types, you can add them swiftly. Speaking of custom fields, you can now introduce date of birth, image, file, email, website, min/max number values and so much more. Besides, with plugin’s future updates, you can actually expect even more custom fields to be available for you and your members to put to use.
BuddyPress Registration Options
With BuddyPress Registration Options, you have complete control over your users, preventing spam and bot traffic. Upon installation of this BuddyPress plugin, you can manually approve and disapprove new users which will help you keep your community in order. This way, you can create a fully private network of users and members, without anyone accidentally slipping through. Indeed, super convenient if you will.
When approving or denying access, a custom message is sent to the user, letting them know whether they are in or not. Of course, you can fully modify the message and alter it to your themes and topic precisely. There are actually five different messages you can set up and send out automatically. From approved and denied to admin and user pending to name a few.More info / Download
If you would like to connect BuddyPress and GamiPress, GamiPress is the only plugin that you need. It links the two together instantly, without the need to input too much effort on your end. With GamiPress plugin, you add a new set of features and functions to the overall experience, enhancing and improving your network further. To add this cracking BuddyPress plugin to the experience, the activation and installation processes are no different compared to any other tool available on the market. It will be quick and straightforward undoubtedly.
Some of the new events that GamiPress unlocks are account activations, friendship requests, send and reply to private messages, joining private groups and many more in between. Moreover, you can also benefit from the drag and drop selection and specifying which elements to display in activity streams.More info / Download
Verified Member for BuddyPress
When a social account becomes large, an authority, if you will, the network marks it as verified. Not all become a verified member, of course, because not all qualify. If this is something that interests you in adding to your forum or online community, you can now make it a realization with Verified Member for BuddyPress plugin. With the tool, you can now manually verify each user, displaying a “verified” badge in the front-end.
With the quick and straightforward installation and activation process of the plugin, anyone and everyone can take it to their total advantage. There is also an option to choose where you would like to display badges, like activities, profiles, members lists, comments, you name it. A similar blue check badge appears as you see on Twitter, Instagram, or some other social media platforms.More info / Download
Custom Profile Menu for BuddyPress
If you would like to expand your BuddyPress website with more pages in the profile menu, here is a plugin that does just that. Custom Profile Menu for BuddyPress is a nifty and easy to use solution that will help you get the job done without really needing to do much work. You can use it for all sorts of intentions, like adding home, activities, profile and notification pages, to name a few.
The installation of this free WordPress plugin for BuddyPress is also swift and user-friendly. Once you install and activate it (in two clicks!), a new section appears in your admin dashboard called BP Custom Menu. There, you can create new custom pages and publish them as well. You can also create a sub-menu page (mark it as “parent”) and reorder positioning.More info / Download
BuddyPress Global Search
To add a solid search function to your BuddyPress community, all you need is BuddyPress Global Search. This free plugin allows your users to search the entire website, not just the forum or the community section. Meaning, they can also search pages and posts and anything else that you have going on on your BuddyPress website. How convenient! This new feature also beautifully integrates into BuddyPress, appearing as part of the default search. It also supports live search results!
Moreover, once you complete the installation and activation, all it takes is to define which components to include and you are good to go. BuddyPress Global Search supports blog posts, members, forums, groups, activities, messages and custom post types. If you would like to exclude something, now you can, or just tick them all.More info / Download
Sometimes, the simplest things end up being the most practical and impactful. BuddyPress Toolbar is simple and lightweight plugin that adds a whole new set of features to your, well, admin toolbar. You can now access different resources quicker, without the need to click around too much to get to the desired location. Bear in mind, BuddyPress Toolbar focuses mainly on multisite admins and webmasters.
As far as core features go, BuddyPress Toolbar sports very many for sure. From four action hooks and eleven additional icons to seven filters and full WPML compatibility, BuddyPress Toolbar is no joke. Moreover, BuddyPress Toolbar is also compatible with the latest trends and regulations, making sure it integrates into the BuddyPress’ interface seamlessly. By the way, this toolbar only appears to those with admin roles.More info / Download
BuddyPress Notification Widget
More info / Download
BuddyPress Notification Widget is a simple plugin that adds – needless to say – a notification feature. All your logged in users can now get notifications about admin mentions, friendship requests, new groups and other useful information. Of course, each user can manually clear all notifications before or after reviewing them. This BuddyPress plugin is a simple widget which you can add to your website by simply dragging and dropping it to the appropriate area. Quick to activate, easy to use and indeed beneficial to the end user. Add more features to your existing web network and offer your users an even better experience engaging with others.
BuddyForms is a drag-and-drop form builder that comes with ready-to-use templates. It automates the process of generating content within a community or a network. The plugin is compatible with BuddyPress and gives you control over user-generated content. Besides the usual forms like contact forms and registration forms, it also supports collaborative efforts. For instance, you can build a showcase where users can submit their products as well or create comprehensive articles with content contribution from many users.
BuddyForms offers a user-friendly interface that helps to build contact forms or any other advanced form without any coding skills. Users can submit content from the front end, and site admins get to moderate submitted content in a streamlined fashion.
BuddyForms is a great option for social marketplaces as it combines well with BuddyPress, WooCommerce, Ultimate Member, and WooCommerce vendors. The form supports multiple field types and allows admins to set validation rules. Forms can be embedded anywhere on the site using shortcodes.More info / Download
You do not have to restrict your search for BuddyPress plugins to the WordPress Plugin Directory. A number of third-party premium plugins are also available. They can add specific functions to extend your BuddyPress capabilities. There are plugins that filter bad language, plugins that play nice with both WooCommerce and BuddyPress to enhance online shopping experience within communities, and many more plugins. Three plugins are featured here.
WP Content Filter
On any social network, you’re sure to run into all kinds of users. While some add value to the site with interesting profiles and discussions, there are others who spam and use swear words. It’s best to catch unwanted and indecent language even before it hits your discussion pages. This kind of language merely brings disrepute to your website.
WP Content Filter is effective in cutting down profanity on your WordPress website. While the plugin can be downloaded for free from the WordPress repository, to filter BuddyPress content, you’ll have to choose one of their paid plans. It also comes with a built-in scanner that sweeps the entire content and makes a report of matching items.
To block select content on your network, you’ll need to make a list of words to filter. That’s all you need to do by way of configuration. However, there’s a whole lot of options that you can alter to control how unwanted content is displayed on your site. You can apply strict or liberal filtering. Strict filtering will blank out the words you specify even if they form part of a bigger word. You can choose the sections of the website that you want to filter. If you wish to blank out words leaving the first letter visible, that’s possible as well.
The database content does not change at all. The content merely passes through the filter before it is displayed on screen. It’s also possible to exclude specific pages and posts from filtering.More info / Purchase
WooCommerce BuddyPress Integration
To know about the shopping habits of community members, you should try WooCommerce BuddyPress Integration. All the shopping data from WooCommerce are integrated into the BuddyPress member profiles. With so much information about each member, you can attempt to personalize their shopping experience. The plugin is easy to use, requiring no configuration.
It encourages members to talk to one another about your products or brand and syncs all WooCommerce data with BuddyPress data. All customer reviews find place in the activity stream. Users can edit their shipping and billing address via their member profile and access all personal information on one screen. Even checkout is possible via the shopping cart on the profile page. With the order ID received in a confirmation email, the members can track the order status on their profile.More info / Purchase
BuddyPress Featured Members
If some members are active on your networking site or if you want to showcase any outstanding member, you can mark them out as featured members and display them prominently on the site. This serves as an incentive to other members to be more active on the site. BuddyPress Featured Members allows site admins to mark profiles as featured and displays them on a list or on a slider.
Multiple members can be marked, and they can be featured with the help of a shortcode or a widget. The members list can be customized as well.More info / Purchase
BuddyPress is a versatile, totally reliable, time-tested plugin that can serve as a secure platform for your community network. It’s compatible with WordPress and has an active community supporting it. While the plugin works just great out of the box, the plugins in this list can improve user experience and help you build a vibrant and active community.