Using BuddyPress for Social Networks

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.

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Mass Messaging in BuddyPress, is pretty much the opposite of the alternative Mass Messaging plugin – Mass Messaging for BuddyPress by Alkaweb. What I mean by this is this; whatever Alkawebs plugin does in the back-end, Mass Messaging in BuddyPress does from the front-end. Both of these plugins allow site admin to send mass messages to all, or groups of users in BuddyPress. What Mass Messaging in BuddyPress does extra, is to provide the ability to allow that privilege to other user types, and also it has the ability to track if the message has been read.

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BuddyPress group Chatroom is a simple chat for BP Groups, it supports the sharing of text and links within a chatroom installed within the GP Group.

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BuddyPress Restrict Messages is a useful plugin for sites that wish to control in-site spam to users. It comes with two modes of operation – Admin control and User control, these allow users or site admin to restrict messaging to friends, followers or just to members of the same groups.

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BP Directory Views turns the traditional BuddyPress Members and Groups directory lists into a smooth grid view. It works with both the Legacy and Nouveau BP Themes and works to maintain a uniform grid – with no untidy gaps in the grid!

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BP Featured Groups adds on the Groups Directory the ability for site admin to select groups as being featured. The plugin includes a shortcode and a widget which allow the featured groups to be displayed anywhere on the site.

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BP Fan Page is a simple plugin that gives group admin the ability to set the group to be a Fan Page. This means that the Group is labelled as a Fan Page and it turns into an announcement only group which means only the group admin and moderators can add new Activity and Forum posts. Other members can comment on these but not initiate a new entry.

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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 Restrict Group Creation is a plugin that allows site admin to be selective over who is able to create groups on their site.

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BP Profile Shortcodes Extra maintains the features introduced in the original plugin, it provides shortcodes to display the username, display name, profile url, avatar photo etc. but in addition it provides the ability to display the users cover image and also a collection of cover, avatar and @username that allows a profile header to be created on any page in your site. You can either specify the member to be displayed or the shortcodes will display details of the user that is viewing the page.

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