BuddyPress is the backbone of WordPress social networking. If you are looking to create a social network (or a community) on your existing WordPress platform, BuddyPress is the plugin you want.
The plugin “unlocks” the social networking capabilities of WordPress. In other words, BuddyPress allows users to register and create profiles, post messages, build connections, create groups and generally socialize.
BuddyPress’ author at WordPress.org says the plugin is “social networking in a box”, and I tend to agree. If you have doubts about the power of BuddyPress, check out the following examples:
To create an appealing and powerful BuddyPress social network, you need a killer theme (or a designer), time, and a couple of plugins that stretch BuddyPress beyond the remits of imagination.
Today’s post will introduce you to ten of the best BuddyPress plugins you must try on your BuddyPress installation. Enjoy and remember to air your views in the comment section at the end
USERPRO SOCIAL LOGIN FOR WORDPRESS
This plugin offers your users the ability to log into your WordPress Website (and your BuddyPress community) with their social networking accounts. There are tons of great options you can activate, and if your visitors don’t want to use one of their social accounts they can always login the old fashioned way.
The plugin does cost $30, but it’s well worth it. UserPro comes with an insane number of options including Google fonts, member search, badges, custom fields, custom icons and much much more.
BuddyPress Social is the plugin you want if you seek to increase user engagement and boost social activity on your BuddyPress community.
The plugin adds social sharing buttons to group activity, all types of media, member updates, et cetera. It supports various social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ as well as email sharing. Your users won’t have a hard time sharing your content on various social networking sites.
BuddyPress social is “smart”, since it was designed to pick up your theme colors and use the same on the sharing buttons. This creates uniformity across your site but you can pick your own custom colors to create contrast and encourage user engagement. The plugin is free at WordPress.org.
WEBPURIFY PROFANITY FILTER
With a social networking site comes all types of users. There are civil users who are cool to hang out with, and then there sploggers, spammers and those who are addicted to profanity.
To maintain a decent social network worth its salt, you will need to catch profanity before it degrades your pages. This is where WebPurify Profanity filter comes in.
According to the developers, WebPurify profanity filter is “…an accurate and efficient profanity plugin…” with a “…profanity list that updates automatically to maximize accuracy”. Additionally, you can add your own words to the blacklist, which gives you even more power to deal with profanity.
WebPurify profanity filter plugin is compatible with BuddyPress and supports several languages including Arabic, Chinese, English, Española, French, Italian, Russian and Thai.
To use the plugin, you need to purchase an API key (license) at WebPurify. The licenses range from $50 to $800 per year depending on the profanity filter plan. They also provide a free 7-day trial license that gives you the chance to test the waters.
ADVANCED WORDPRESS EMAIL DELIVERY
Also known as All in One Email for WordPress, this plugin extends WordPress email functionality by adding features such as:
- Custom “From” fields to replace WordPress defaults
- SMTP support so you can send email from external servers
- Clean HTML emails and templates
- BuddyPress and WP-eCommerce email theming
- WordPress MU (Multisite) compatibility
- WYSIWYG editor and previewer
- And so much more
But even with these exciting features, don’t confuse Advanced WordPress Email Delivery for an email client; it is merely a tweaker that adds warmth and personality to your outgoing emails.
The plugin is compatible with new versions of WordPress, BuddyPress, and works well across all browsers except IE6, which does not support the plugin’s admin panel. Advanced WordPress Email Delivery will set you back $15 bucks, but it is worth every penny.
rtMEDIA FOR WORDPRESS, BUDDYPRESS AND BBPRESS
If you’ve been looking for a feature-rich media solution for your BuddyPress, bbPress or WordPress website, look no further, rtMedia is the real deal.
rtMedia, which was authored by rtCamp and seventeen other developers, allows you to add photo/video albums, setup sharing and privacy preferences, implement front-end uploads, and encode (convert) both audio and video files.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg as the plugin has many other features including a templating system, seamless BuddyPress and WordPress integration, a rtMedia uploader that supports drag-and-drop uploading, featured media, and the ability to attach media to activity streams.
This plugin comes in two versions. You can choose the free version or the rtMedia PRO version that comes with extra features, moderation and priority support. rtMedia PRO goes for $99, but rtCamp advises you to try the free version before making the purchase. They are confident you will like it.
BOWOB CHAT FOR WORDPRESS
Boost user engagement on your BuddyPress site with a chat plugin like no other. If you are looking for a chat solution for your community, BoWoB Chat for WordPress offers a range of exciting features such as:
- No server load since BoWoB chat runs on bowob.com servers
- Seamless integration
- Easy to customize
- The chat is failover ready, which means the chat service is always available
- Top-of-the-class performance
The plugin offers you the ability to provide a fulfilling communication experience to your users. The best part is the plugin is compatible with BuddyPress, WordPress and WordPress MU, meaning you can use it on just about every WordPress project. In short, you have to try BoWoB chat for WordPress to get the thrill.
Give your users a better user experience and increase engagement on your site with BoWoB chat. It sells at $8 only.
BUDDYPRESS DEFAULT DATA
If you just started using BuddyPress, you will want to test your platform at some point before launching. The BuddyPress Default Data plugin allows you to populate your BuddyPress installation automatically for testing purposes.
BuddyPress Default Data is easy to set up. Just install and activate, and then access it under “Tools” in your WordPress admin screen. Once the plugin launches, all you need to do is tick two checkboxes and click “Import selected data”. It is that easy.
Your installation will be populated instantly with 25 users and 75 activity items, which are actually quotes from famous personalities. All users have the same password that is revealed to you, so do not worry about that. Moreover, once you test, you can purge your BP site of these dummy users with the click of a “Clear BuddyPress Data” button.
If you ask me, I think it is awesome for testing purposes.
BUDDYPRESS PROFILE STATISTICS
To stay on top of things and run targeted campaigns, you need to understand your users better. The BuddyPress Profiles Statistics plugin promises just that.
With this plugin, you can see the number of users who click AOI (areas of interest) on their profiles. What’s more? You can consolidate stats to put a finger on trends. Additionally, you can tell when users are the most active, see inactive users and users with empty profiles.
The plugin comes with an easy-to-use dashboard that summarizes profile stats as well as show user count. You also get come colorful pie charts and the author promises even more features in the future.
The plugin costs only $11 but you can also choose the extended license that goes for $55. The extended license comes with additional features including first priority support.
Once you start marketing your WordPress, WordPress MU or BuddyPress site, you are bound to attract spammers and sploggers in trawls. It’s inevitable, and there is nothing you can do to stop these undesired users before they get to your website.
However, you can stop them from registering and wreaking havoc in your databases with WangGuard. At the same time, it’s important to note that WangGuard is a registration page plugin, not a comment spam plugin. This means you will need a comment spam plugin such as Akismet to stop comment spammers.
The plugin is free for personal use but you will need to start paying when you start getting more than five hundred (500) registrations per day or making more than $200 per month. The price ranges from $5 to $70 per month depending on the number of queries (registrations) you get per day.
WangGuard conflicts with W3 Total Cache plugin, so if you use the latter, you will need to add your registration page under Performance >> Minify >>Advanced >> Never Minify the Following Pages (in W3 Total Cache), to overcome these conflicting issues.
According to the authors, WangGuard is “…blocking 99.90% of sploggers and unwanted users…” already. So, what are you waiting for?
BUDDYPRESS SOCIAL POLLING PLUGIN
Polls are a great way of interacting with your users, increasing engagement and collecting opinions. The BuddyPress Social Polling plugin allows you to create interesting social polls inside your BuddyPress site.
However, this plugin is an add on, meaning you need to purchase the WordPress Easy Polling plugin or it (BuddyPress Social Polling plugin) won’t work. Both the WordPress Easy Polling plugin and the BuddyPress Add On will set you back $18, which is quite a bargain of you ask me.
The plugin comes with some attractive features such as:
- Social sharing
- Controlled voting
- Ability to change your vote (Your users will love this no doubt)
- Poll statistics
- Lightbox that allows users to see others who voted
Keep in mind the BuddyPress Social Polling plugin is just an extension of WordPress easy Polling plugin and you need both.
OVER TO YOU…
Which plugin(s) do you use on your BuddyPress website? How do they help, and would you like to share your experience? Please feel free to share to your heart’s content in the comment section below. Happy holidays and do not drink and drive!