Using BuddyPress for Social Networks

Managing BP

One of the first major issues that hits anyone who has set up a public social networking site with BuddyPress is the about of spam that you have to deal with. Unless you have taken steps to prevent spammers getting access to your site then your life could be hell! This article explains how to configure your WordPress/BuddyPress site in order to avoid the maximum amount of spam.

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With WordPress/BuddyPress typically problems arise from three areas – Plugin conflicts, Theme issues and Software Bugs. if something is not working then typically you would take the following steps:

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The load time for your page will ultimately determine how many people visit and more importantly return to your site. If people find your site to be slow then they will look for alternatives.

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A critically important aspect of your BuddyPress Social Network is the performance of the system you have put together. Page load times is something that you need to keep an eye on since adding extra plugins to any WordPress site often results in additional Database look-ups per page, thus slowing down the page load time.

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Another aspect of managing your site is to make sure all of the various emails that BuddyPress sends out are right for you. These email templates are located at Dashboard>>Emails and it is here that you go to edit their contents.

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This article will show you how to change labels and messages used in BuddyPress and introduces the WordPress way to perform language localisation, in this case we will be localising your own local language.

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The information that is displayed in Sidebars is an important aspect of your website, one that can be tailored for each individual page if you wish, though this aspect is one that will tend to make your site setup more complex. In my search for better ways of displaying more relevant information with each page viewed what I have settled upon is a solution using two sidebar management plugins, these are Content Aware Sidebars and Display Widgets.

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Possibly the most important task in setting up your BuddyPress Social Network is with regards to how you configure members and their profiles. This article attempts to describe the basic steps required in configuring BuddyPress ready for your new membership. Of course the exact details will vary from site to site however there are common factors that affect all sites.

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There is a way of getting a basic level of association between specific blog categories and Groups by using the Blog Categories for Groups plugin, and you can make it that comments to those blogs appear as topic replies in that particular groups forum.

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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.

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