Using BuddyPress for Social Networks

BuddyPress

The combination of WordPress and BuddyPress is a powerful and complex mix, it will take you some time playing with all of the features in order for you to come up with your ideal site. In this article I would like to take you through the basics of getting to know your site and customising it for your purposes, in future articles I will cover adding additional features to your site in order to further customise your installation.

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This article is going to take you through setting up BuddyPress for the first time. It is geared towards people trying to set up Social Networking sites with features similar to those available with Ning or other hosted Social Network providers, as such it assumes that you will want all of the features of BuddyPress, plus a few more (well, a whole bunch more!).

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BuddyPress Simple Terms and Conditions is a simple plugin that allows you to add a tick box to the registration page that forces any would be new member to agree to your sites Terms of Service.

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BuddyPress Desktop Notification is a simple plugin that provides a desktop alert for any BuddyPress notifications that would normally be pretty much unnoticeable when only displayed in the site tool bar.

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Within BuddyPress, the Xprofile is the Extended Profile, information from which is what you can see when you view the Members>>Username>>Profile page. It is Xprofile fields that are completed when a member signs up for example. The registration page gathers data for the Xprofile “Base” Field Group. Other Field Groups can be added by Admin which are not set up on registration but will also be displayed on the members profile.

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BuddyPress Instant Chat provides a one to one chat page for members of a BuddyPress social site. You use it by visiting the chat page, searching for the member you want to chat with, and then entering your chat message.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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