Plugin Review – BP Group Documents
Version Tested: V 1.2.1
BP Group Documents is a BuddyPress groups plugin that creates within each group a document storage area which includes a list view of all documents and descriptions together with a category search feature. The plugin also includes Widgets that allow for the display of various aspects of your BP Group Documents install.
Installation is a case of the usual Add New from the Plugins directory, searching for BP Group Documents and Installing then Activating the plugin. This create a new page at Dashboard>>Settings>>BP Group Documents. Here you can change the name within each group that this extra page will be called, the default is “Documents” but you might like to change it to something different to avoid confusion with any other group document plugins you are running. You can also decide which file types to support, pagination, default upload permissions and support for categories, icons, file size and download count display.
Once it is installed and configured, BP Group Documents creates a new menu item of Documents (or whichever slug name you chose) within each group. This will contain a list of all documents that have been uploaded, and if enabled allow a category search of those documents. The page also allows for the sort order of the view to be changed.
Adding a new document is a matter of selecting the file from your local storage, entering a name and description and choosing/adding a category for it. You can also choose to make this a featured document. This latter feature is used with the widgets, which can be set to display featured images only.
The group manager gets a Group>>Manage>>Documents page where they can choose the groups upload permissions and add categories. In the version tested, Adding categories in this way did not work and the only workaround is to add the categories as you add documents.
The plugin also adds widgets for Documents in the Group, Popular Group Documents, Recent Group Documents and Group Documents in Your Groups.
One feature I would like to see is for the document library to be an optional feature within each group. Currently installing this plugin works in an “All or nothing” fashion, either it is installed in all groups or none. I find this clutters up groups that do not use it. Another feature would be for the group manager to also be able to choose who can add new categories, I think many would want to have members upload documents but not add new categories.
Another feature I would love to see with this plugin would be for it to include a document search function that makes suggestions from out of its database. I think for larger document stores this would be invaluable.
Overall I give this plugin 8 out of 10, I think it does a nice job of creating a group document storage area that is good for a few thousand documents, beyond that and the lack of structure to the search and no individual document search will start to show.
My Star Rating
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