Using BuddyPress for Social Networks

Welcome!

Welcome to my BuddyPress Blog. I go by the name Venutius and I’ve been spending a lot of time working out how to get the best of WordPress and BuddyPress in order to create the best social network possible.

Emulating Ning

I have to admit that the model I have been trying to emulate has been that of Ning whom I consider to be the best off the shelf hosted social networks, however this platform is expensive, too expensive for me, so I set about trying to see how much of the Ning 2.0 features I could recreate, for minimal cost.

WordPress/BuddyPress

The great Beauty of the WordPress/BuddyPress combination is that these core building blocks come free of charge, thus it is possible to build a basic social network purely for the cost of hosting and your domain name, for the most part the additional plugins that you need to enhance this basic combination are also free, which is a great starting point.

One point to note however is that free also means there is an obligation on you to do a lot more testing, and to work with quite a large number of developers to try to get the features and bug fixes that you require, also, do you really expect people to work for free? Almost every WordPress plugin is built based on revenue from donations. If you end up using WordPress I strongly recommend that you make donating to plugins a habit.

Structure of the Blog

Over the following months I intend to put together a number of tutorials and Plugin reviews together with some code snippets that I have found useful in putting together my own social networking sites. I’m not a coder and this blog will be aimed at people who have very little coding experience, the objective will be to get the most out of what is available without having to pay developers large sums of cash in order to get the features you want. Of course you can go down this route if needed, the money you save not paying social network providers like Ning could allow you to develop your own “killer features!”

This approach inevitably means there will be trade-offs and compromises, some will be decisions whether or not to “Go Pro” and pay for premium plugins rather than sticking to the base features offered with free plugins and others will be due to inherent differences between Ning type platforms and that of BuddyPress., these will be described as we progress.

Am I an expert?

I don’t consider myself an expert, I’m someone who started out with a paid for platform which got too expensive and had support issues and found myself pretty much forced to seek an alternative, I’ve spent over two years trying to make BuddyPress my perfect platform, one which I have total control over. This is still an ongoing job and now I would like to consolidate my knowledge by sharing what I have discovered with friends online.

So stick around, sign up to my mailing list and be informed whenever I publish a new blog. This blog will be solely about BuddyPress social networking, if this is what interests you then this blog is for you.