Using BuddyPress for Social Networks
I've been setting up and managing BuddyPress social networks for a few years. I moved from Ning and other platforms and have come to BuddyPress looking to make sites with similar features to them.
Compared to a platform such as Ning, the BuddyPress Group home page I feel is one area that lets BuddyPress down. By default it actually just displays the activity feed for the group. A Ning group home has extended information about the group, it has a summary of the forum posts and it has a comments section. In this article I intend to show you how by using BuddyPress Group Extras you can have a home page for your groups with all of these features.
I'll look into that once I've completed my current list of future articlesCommented on Planning your BuddyPress Social Network.
BP Auto Group Join is a plugin which allows site admin to configure groups which all existing site members and/or all new registrations will be automatically joined to. The plugin creates in the Dashboard>>Groups>>GroupName view additional options: to auto-join all new registrants, and to auto-join all existing members.
BuddyPress Greeting Message is a small plugin which posts a greeting message based on the time of day, either over or under the posting form of the Activity page, both in the members profile and the main activity page for the site. For example in the morning it will display Good Morning Username!, followed by a message that you can customise, i.e. “Thanks for logging in, have a great day!”. To the right of the message there is also a picture that gets posted appropriate to the time of day (i.e. sunrise in the morning.
BP Avatar Hover is a simple plugin which adds the feature where if the mouse pointer is floated over a users avatar picture then a “bubble” of information will show up, showing that persons friends count, the avatar (and link to) three of their friends and also a link to send a message to that user.
Mass Messaging for BuddyPress by Alkaweb is a plugin that allows for the sending of messages to large or small groups of members. It allows site administrators to send messages to all members, to all members of specific groups and to all members of specific user types.
This article attempts to show what type of modification can be made to BuddyPress in order to allow the novice to begin to customise the look and feel of a BuddyPress installation. It is intended that by working this way beginners to BuddyPress can quickly get to grips with the basics of customisation as well as implementing some pretty cool features.
BuddyPress Global Search is a plugin that can create a unified search facility for your entire BuddyPress site, adding all the BuddyPress components into the search if desired. It extends the functionality of the existing site search.
Content Aware Sidebars is a WordPress plugin that allows you to create page specific sidebars that replace or merge with the default theme sidebars. The plugin comes with built in support for BuddyPress pages. Content Aware Sidebars has been created for those sites that want to create a unique look on some or all pages by allowing for page specific sidebar content.