How to Turn Your WordPress Site Into a Social Network

Did you know that you can turn your WordPress site into a social network? A WordPress social network allows users to sign up, connect with each other, post messages, and more. In this article, we will show you how to turn your WordPress site into… Read More »

The post How to Turn Your WordPress Site Into a Social Network appeared first on WPBeginner.

Did you know that you can turn your WordPress site into a social network? A WordPress social network allows users to sign up, connect with each other, post messages, and more. In this article, we will show you how to turn your WordPress site into a social network.

Create a Social Network with BuddyPress

Starting your WordPress Powered Social Network

WordPress is the most easy to use platform to build your own social network using the free BuddyPress plugin. It is super flexible and integrates beautifully with any kind of WordPress website.

You’ll need a self-hosted WordPress.org website to start using BuddyPress.

If you don’t have a website yet, then follow the instructions in our how to make a website guide, and you’ll be up and running in no time.

What is BuddyPress?

BuddyPress is a sister project of WordPress.org. It is available as a free WordPress plugin that you can install on your website.

It turns your WordPress site into a social network allowing you to build your own online community. Here are some of the features of a typical BuddyPress powered website:

  • Users can register on your website
  • Users will be able to create extended user profiles
  • Activity streams allow users to follow site-wide updates
  • You will be able to create sub-communities with user groups
  • Users can add each other as friends
  • Users can send private messages to each other
  • BuddyPress functionality can be extended using third-party plugins
  • Works with any standard compliant WordPress theme
  • Can be setup with your existing WordPress site

Setting up Your WordPress Social Network Using BuddyPress

First thing you need to do is install and activate the BuddyPress plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation you need to visit Settings » BuddyPress page to configure plugin settings.

BuddyPress Settings

The settings page is divided into different sections. You’ll first see the components page which shows you currently active BuddyPress components on your site.

The default components would work for most websites. However, you can activate or deactivate a component by simply checking and unchecking the box next to it.

Don’t forget to click on the save settings button to store your changes.

Next, you need to click on the Pages tab. Here you can select the pages you would like to use for different BuddyPress sections on your site.

By default, the plugin will automatically create pages for you. You can change them and use a different page if you want.

Setting up pages

If you don’t see the option to select registration and activation pages, then you need to enable user registration on your WordPress site.

Now, you will need to switch to the ‘Options’ tab.

BuddyPress options

Here you will find different settings that you can turn on/off in BuddyPress. The default settings will work for most websites, but you can review and change them as needed.

Displaying BuddyPress Pages on Your Website

If you visit your website after setting up BuddyPress, you’ll not see anything new added to your site. To change this, you need to add BuddyPress pages to your WordPress navigation menu.

Head over to Appearance » Menus page. Select the BuddyPress pages from the left column and click on add to menu button.

BuddyPress navigation

Don’t forget to click on the save menu button to store your changes.

You can now visit your website to see the links in action.

BuddyPress links

Clicking on a link will take you to a BuddyPress page. For example, the activity link will show you what’s going around in your BuddyPress social network. You can also post a status update from this page.

Activity page

BuddyPress works with all standard compliant WordPress themes. It also comes with its own templates to use in case your theme doesn’t have BuddyPress specific templates.

If your theme isn’t compatible with BuddyPress, then checkout our list of the best WordPress themes for BuddyPress.

Managing Your WordPress Social Network in BuddyPress

Building an online community requires a lot of active participation by the site admins. You would want to combat spam and moderate user generated content.

If you are already using Akismet, then BuddyPress will use it to catch spam. However, some unwanted content may still slip away.

BuddyPress comes with built-in tools to deal with that.

Head over to the Activity page in your WordPress admin area, and you will see recent activity on your website with different actions.

Managing user activity in BuddyPress

You can sort the activity items by action, delete items, or mark them as spam.

Similarly, you can go to Users page to manage user accounts. You can delete users, edit their profiles, or mark suspicious accounts as spam.

Managing user accounts

You can manage new users by visiting the manage signups page. This allows you to directly activate new users, resend them activation email, or delete spam accounts.

Manage new signups

Creating and Managing Groups in BuddyPress

BuddyPress allows you and your users to create groups. These groups act as sub-communities on your website. Each group can have it’s own members and activity streams. Users can join these groups, invite other users, post messages, and more.

To create a new group, you can head over to the Groups page and click on the add new button at the top.

Add new group

This will bring you to the add new group page. First you need to provide a name and description for your group. After that, click on the ‘Create group and continue’ button to proceed.

Creating a new group in BuddyPress

On the next page, you can select group’s privacy settings and who can invite other users to the group. BuddyPress allows you to create public, private, and hidden groups.

Group privacy settings

Public groups are available for all users to join.

Private groups are listed in the groups directory, but users will have to request to join. If approved, then then they will be able to view its contents.

Hidden groups can only be seen by members who are part of the group. These groups are not listed in the groups directory, and they do not appear in search results.

After setting up privacy options, click on the next button to continue.

Now you can provide a photo to be used as group’s profile photo.

Profile photo for the group

Next, you need to add a cover photo for the group and click on the next button.

Lastly, you can invite other users to join the group. You can only invite users you’ve added as friends. If you haven’t added any friends yet, then you will have to wait for users to discover the group and join it on their own.

Invite users to join group

Click on the finish button and BuddyPress will now setup your group.

Users can view groups by visiting the groups page on your site which shows the directory of groups on your website.

Groups directory

Clicking on a group name will show the group’s page where users can join a group, post updates, and follow group activity.

Group page

Managing Email Notifications

Email notifications are the only way your BuddyPress site can alert users about new activity in their social stream. To encourage user participation, you may want to customize those email messages.

BuddyPress allows you to modify email notifications sent by your WordPress social network. This helps you change the messages to match your site’s branding and tone.

You can visit the Emails page to see the list of default email notifications. You will see the email title, and the situation when the email is sent to a user.

Edit email notifications in BuddyPress

You can click on the Add New button at the top to create a new email notification. You can also click on the edit button below an email message to change it.

Editing email notifications

Lastly, you can also use the email customizer to modify the email colors, header, and footer areas.

Customize emails

Troubleshooting BuddyPress

Many of the issues you’ll come across with BuddyPress will be similar to WordPress issues. Make sure you check our list of common WordPress errors to see if it’s listed there.

If your users are unable to receive email notifications, then follow the instructions in our guide on how to fix WordPress not sending email issue.

For all other issues, check out our WordPress troubleshooting guide to understand what’s causing it, and how to find a solution.

That’s all for now.

We hope this article helped you turn your WordPress site into a social network using BuddyPress. You may also want to see our ultimate step by step WordPress security guide for beginners.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Turn Your WordPress Site Into a Social Network appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Turn Your WordPress Site Into a Social Network

Did you know that you can turn your WordPress site into a social network? A WordPress social network allows users to sign up, connect with each other, post messages, and more. In this article, we will show you how to turn your WordPress site into… Read More »

The post How to Turn Your WordPress Site Into a Social Network appeared first on WPBeginner.

Did you know that you can turn your WordPress site into a social network? A WordPress social network allows users to sign up, connect with each other, post messages, and more. In this article, we will show you how to turn your WordPress site into a social network.

Create a Social Network with BuddyPress

Starting your WordPress Powered Social Network

WordPress is the most easy to use platform to build your own social network using the free BuddyPress plugin. It is super flexible and integrates beautifully with any kind of WordPress website.

You’ll need a self-hosted WordPress.org website to start using BuddyPress.

If you don’t have a website yet, then follow the instructions in our how to make a website guide, and you’ll be up and running in no time.

What is BuddyPress?

BuddyPress is a sister project of WordPress.org. It is available as a free WordPress plugin that you can install on your website.

It turns your WordPress site into a social network allowing you to build your own online community. Here are some of the features of a typical BuddyPress powered website:

  • Users can register on your website
  • Users will be able to create extended user profiles
  • Activity streams allow users to follow site-wide updates
  • You will be able to create sub-communities with user groups
  • Users can add each other as friends
  • Users can send private messages to each other
  • BuddyPress functionality can be extended using third-party plugins
  • Works with any standard compliant WordPress theme
  • Can be setup with your existing WordPress site

Setting up Your WordPress Social Network Using BuddyPress

First thing you need to do is install and activate the BuddyPress plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation you need to visit Settings » BuddyPress page to configure plugin settings.

BuddyPress Settings

The settings page is divided into different sections. You’ll first see the components page which shows you currently active BuddyPress components on your site.

The default components would work for most websites. However, you can activate or deactivate a component by simply checking and unchecking the box next to it.

Don’t forget to click on the save settings button to store your changes.

Next, you need to click on the Pages tab. Here you can select the pages you would like to use for different BuddyPress sections on your site.

By default, the plugin will automatically create pages for you. You can change them and use a different page if you want.

Setting up pages

If you don’t see the option to select registration and activation pages, then you need to enable user registration on your WordPress site.

Now, you will need to switch to the ‘Options’ tab.

BuddyPress options

Here you will find different settings that you can turn on/off in BuddyPress. The default settings will work for most websites, but you can review and change them as needed.

Displaying BuddyPress Pages on Your Website

If you visit your website after setting up BuddyPress, you’ll not see anything new added to your site. To change this, you need to add BuddyPress pages to your WordPress navigation menu.

Head over to Appearance » Menus page. Select the BuddyPress pages from the left column and click on add to menu button.

BuddyPress navigation

Don’t forget to click on the save menu button to store your changes.

You can now visit your website to see the links in action.

BuddyPress links

Clicking on a link will take you to a BuddyPress page. For example, the activity link will show you what’s going around in your BuddyPress social network. You can also post a status update from this page.

Activity page

BuddyPress works with all standard compliant WordPress themes. It also comes with its own templates to use in case your theme doesn’t have BuddyPress specific templates.

If your theme isn’t compatible with BuddyPress, then checkout our list of the best WordPress themes for BuddyPress.

Managing Your WordPress Social Network in BuddyPress

Building an online community requires a lot of active participation by the site admins. You would want to combat spam and moderate user generated content.

If you are already using Akismet, then BuddyPress will use it to catch spam. However, some unwanted content may still slip away.

BuddyPress comes with built-in tools to deal with that.

Head over to the Activity page in your WordPress admin area, and you will see recent activity on your website with different actions.

Managing user activity in BuddyPress

You can sort the activity items by action, delete items, or mark them as spam.

Similarly, you can go to Users page to manage user accounts. You can delete users, edit their profiles, or mark suspicious accounts as spam.

Managing user accounts

You can manage new users by visiting the manage signups page. This allows you to directly activate new users, resend them activation email, or delete spam accounts.

Manage new signups

Creating and Managing Groups in BuddyPress

BuddyPress allows you and your users to create groups. These groups act as sub-communities on your website. Each group can have it’s own members and activity streams. Users can join these groups, invite other users, post messages, and more.

To create a new group, you can head over to the Groups page and click on the add new button at the top.

Add new group

This will bring you to the add new group page. First you need to provide a name and description for your group. After that, click on the ‘Create group and continue’ button to proceed.

Creating a new group in BuddyPress

On the next page, you can select group’s privacy settings and who can invite other users to the group. BuddyPress allows you to create public, private, and hidden groups.

Group privacy settings

Public groups are available for all users to join.

Private groups are listed in the groups directory, but users will have to request to join. If approved, then then they will be able to view its contents.

Hidden groups can only be seen by members who are part of the group. These groups are not listed in the groups directory, and they do not appear in search results.

After setting up privacy options, click on the next button to continue.

Now you can provide a photo to be used as group’s profile photo.

Profile photo for the group

Next, you need to add a cover photo for the group and click on the next button.

Lastly, you can invite other users to join the group. You can only invite users you’ve added as friends. If you haven’t added any friends yet, then you will have to wait for users to discover the group and join it on their own.

Invite users to join group

Click on the finish button and BuddyPress will now setup your group.

Users can view groups by visiting the groups page on your site which shows the directory of groups on your website.

Groups directory

Clicking on a group name will show the group’s page where users can join a group, post updates, and follow group activity.

Group page

Managing Email Notifications

Email notifications are the only way your BuddyPress site can alert users about new activity in their social stream. To encourage user participation, you may want to customize those email messages.

BuddyPress allows you to modify email notifications sent by your WordPress social network. This helps you change the messages to match your site’s branding and tone.

You can visit the Emails page to see the list of default email notifications. You will see the email title, and the situation when the email is sent to a user.

Edit email notifications in BuddyPress

You can click on the Add New button at the top to create a new email notification. You can also click on the edit button below an email message to change it.

Editing email notifications

Lastly, you can also use the email customizer to modify the email colors, header, and footer areas.

Customize emails

Troubleshooting BuddyPress

Many of the issues you’ll come across with BuddyPress will be similar to WordPress issues. Make sure you check our list of common WordPress errors to see if it’s listed there.

If your users are unable to receive email notifications, then follow the instructions in our guide on how to fix WordPress not sending email issue.

For all other issues, check out our WordPress troubleshooting guide to understand what’s causing it, and how to find a solution.

That’s all for now.

We hope this article helped you turn your WordPress site into a social network using BuddyPress. You may also want to see our ultimate step by step WordPress security guide for beginners.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Turn Your WordPress Site Into a Social Network appeared first on WPBeginner.

20 Best BuddyPress Themes for Your WordPress Website

Are you looking for the best WordPress themes for BuddPress? BuddyPress is a sister project of WordPress. It allows you to build an online social network on top of your WordPress website. In this article, we have hand-picked some of the best BuddyPress themes for… Read More »

The post 20 Best BuddyPress Themes for Your WordPress Website appeared first on WPBeginner.

Are you looking for the best WordPress themes for BuddPress? BuddyPress is a sister project of WordPress. It allows you to build an online social network on top of your WordPress website. In this article, we have hand-picked some of the best BuddyPress themes for your WordPress website.

WordPress themes for BuddyPress

Building Your Online Community with BuddyPress and WordPress

WordPress is already favored by more than 27% of all websites on the internet. That’s all because of the ease of use and flexibility it offers.

BuddyPress is a sister project of WordPress. It allows you to add an online community with social networking features to your WordPress site.

It is available as a WordPress plugin which means you need a self-hosted WordPress.org site to use it.

To start a self-hosted WordPress.org website, you’ll need to sign up with a WordPress hosting company and get a domain name.

We recommend using Bluehost. They are one of the largest hosting companies in the world and an official WordPress recommended hosting service.

After buying hosting, you can go on and install WordPress. For step by step instructions see our how to start a WordPress blog guide.

Next, you need to install BuddyPress plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

That being said, let’s take a look at some of the best WordPress themes for BuddyPress that’ll make your website look great.

Note: This list contains both free and paid themes and all of them are mobile responsive.

1. Black Flag

Black Flag

Black Flag is a modern WordPress theme compatible with BuddyPress. Suitable for content-rich online communities with a magazine / news style homepage. It comes with variety of layouts and styles, smart widgets with flexible sidebars, and a dedicated videos page.

It includes a reviews section as well, which allows users on your website to easily add reviews of products. It also offers built-in support for bbPress and WooCommerce out of the box.

2. Cool Stuff

Cool Stuff

Cool Stuff is a clean modern WordPress theme for BuddyPress, magazine, news, and blog websites. It features a modern homepage with a traditional two-column blog layout. It includes built-in sections to add filterable portfolio, services, events, and members.

It is super flexible and comes with awesome features like social sharing, image slider, contact form, and Google Maps support.

3. Credence

Credence

Credence is a flexible multipurpose WordPress theme suitable for BuddyPress, magazine, news, or business websites. It has multiple layouts and a premium drag and drop page builder allowing you to create pages from scratch with no coding skills.

It is translation ready and can be used to create multilingual websites. You can also use it to add an online store using WooCommerce.

4. Checkout

Checkout

If you want to sell digital downloads on your BuddyPress website, then you’ll like Checkout. It is a BuddyPress compatible WordPress theme designed specifically to work with Easy Digital Downloads, one of the best WordPress eCommerce plugins in the market.

Checkout has a beautiful dashboard for vendors or sellers, a portfolio section, and beautiful typography using Typekit fonts. It comes with a getting started page and works with several popular free WordPress plugins.

5. Noozbeat

Noozbeat

Noozbeat is a modern WordPress magazine theme compatible with BuddyPress. It features a magazine layout focusing on keeping users engaged with your content. It has unlimited color choices, multiple category layouts, and ready to use advertising spots.

Inside you’ll also find custom widgets for social networking, Twitter, Instagram, content discovery, and more. It has a custom theme options panel allowing you to turn elements on or off, add your logo, change backgrounds, and more.

6. No Offense

No Offense

No Offense is a WordPress theme for psychology clinics, therapists, and mental health websites. It supports BuddyPress to easily create your own online community. Featuring a modern business website layout for the homepage, it has flexible options offering lots of customization choices.

It has various shortcodes, 1-click demo installer, Font Awesome icons, and custom theme options panel. It is WooCommerce ready and can be used to create multilingual websites as well.

7. The Core

The Core

The Core is a bundle of 20 WordPress themes packed inside one super flexible theme. All of these themes are fully compatible with BuddyPress. It includes a powerful integrated page builder allowing you to easily create your own layouts if you need.

It has unlimited colors, unlimited sidebars, several custom post types, WooCommerce support, and more. It is easy to use and has a custom theme options panel to help you easily setup your website.

8. Game On

Game On

Do you want to build a fun arcade gaming community with BuddyPress? Check out Game On. It is a WordPress theme for gaming websites with BuddyPress support. It has integrated options to display ads on progress bars during game load and on the game page.

It has flexible customization options with different colors and Google Fonts. It also comes with an step by step theme setup guide and extensive documentation.

9. The Columnist

The Columnist

The Columnist is a free WordPress theme for magazine, news, blogs, bbPress and BuddyPress websites. It comes with different layout choices for homepage, archives, single pages, bbPress and BuddyPress.

It includes a responsive slider and four color schemes. Content can be displayed in up to four-column layout.

10. NewsBlok

NewsBlok

Need a powerful theme for your content rich news or magazine site? NewsBlok is theme for magazine and news websites with multiple layouts and several styles. It is fully compatible with BuddyPress and WooCommerce.

It comes with a 1-click demo installer, custom widgets, reviews section, and live theme customizer support.

11. Games Zone

Games Zone

As the name suggests Game Zone is a WordPress theme for online gaming communities. You can easily use it to build your own gaming community with BuddyPress. It has sections for reviews, articles, events, members, and more.

It also offers multiple layout choices, shortcodes, custom widgets, and many more customization options. It has 2 sliders, a simple theme options panel, and 1-click demo website installer.

12. Streamline

Streamline

If video content plays an important role in your BuddyPress community, then checkout Streamline. It is a WordPress theme designed for magazine/news websites with beautiful video embeds.

It uses customizer for all theme options, which allows you to setup your website with live preview. It has custom widgets for featured posts carousel, newsletter widget, videos, and more. You can also change theme colors, backgrounds, layout, and fonts to make it truly yours.

13. Sauron

Sauron

Sauron is a free multipurpose WordPress theme that can be used to build to any kind of WordPress site. It comes ready for not BuddyPress, bbPress, WooCommerce, and WPML for multilingual websites.

Among other features, it has a full-width posts grid, front page builder, fullscreen lightbox slideshow, layout editor, typography options with Google fonts and social sharing options. It is easy to setup and child theme friendly.

14. IndiGamer

IndiGamer

IndiGamer is another great option for gaming websites. With its dark color scheme and futuristic look it gives your site a unique look.

You can further customize this look to make it yours with custom logo, background, homepage layouts, and page templates. It is easy to setup and supports all popular WordPress page builders like Beaver Builder, Elementor, Divi, and more.

15. Arcade Basic

Arcade Basic

Arcade Basic is a free WordPress theme with flexible settings to be used as a multipurpose theme. It is compatible with BuddyPres, WooCommerce, and bbPress. You can use the theme customizer to add your own header image, page layout, site width, and more.

It has a sticky floating navigation menu at top, social media menu, and two column layout for blog pages.

16. Compass

Compass

Compass is a customizable and sophisticated WordPress theme. Suitable for blogs, magazines, and business websites, Compass is also fully compatible with BuddyPress. It has a fully-widgetized homepage layout, which means you can add custom widgets to setup your homepage.

Homepage uses featured images and your content categories to beautifully curate your content. It has a mobile friendly slider and all theme options can be setup in live customizer.

17. Monochrome

If you prefer minimalist style in your design, then you’ll love Monochrome. It features beautiful typography and spacious layout for a cleaner and sophisticated look.

It is built on top of the rock solid foundation of Genesis framework. It also uses minimalism in its approach to theme options, which are fewer but have everything you’ll need.

18. Sufia

Sufia

Sufia is another great option for content rich WordPress websites. It is compatible with BuddyPress and includes features like Ajax based custom login form, user avatar display in menu bar, user submitted posts, and authors list.

It has widgetized layout with 29 custom widgets. You just need to drag and drop them to create your own layout. It has 10 unique homepages, 5 custom panels, and 7 header styles. This gives you enough options to create a unique look for your website.

19. Modules

Modules

Modules is a modern and stylish WordPress theme that is truly flexible and easy to use. It comes with 16 ready-made websites that you can install with the click of a button. You can then replace the content with your own to get started.

You’ll also like modules that come with the theme. These are content blocks and design elements that you can just drag and drop to build your pages. Modules is fully compatible with BuddyPress, WooCommerce, and all major WordPress plugins.

20. Titan

Titan

Most content rich websites need a layout that can showcase their best content. Titan does this well. It is a WordPress magazine/news theme with multiple layouts, styles, and several content discovery features.

It is fully compatible with BuddyPress, WooCommerce, and other popular WordPress plugins. It has several page templates, and you can change layout for each page easily. Theme setup is quite simple and pain free with tons of cool features for you to try on your website.

We hope this article helped you find the best WordPress themes for BuddyPress. You may also want to see our ultimate step by step guide on how to boost WordPress speed and performance.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post 20 Best BuddyPress Themes for Your WordPress Website appeared first on WPBeginner.