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!).
BuddyPress Xprofile Custom Fields Type is a BuddyPress plugin that adds a variety of field types to the BuddyPress Extended Profile.
bbp Toolkit is a plugin that allows the site admin to make various styling changes to a sites bbPress forum pages plus more besides.
BP Profile Search is a plugin that can integrate an advanced profile search feature into your Members Directory page that searches through all or selected profile fields.
BuddyPress Group Email Subscription does what it says. It gives your group members the option to be sent emails based on group activity. It allows group admin to set a default subscription level, which is applied to all new members and it also allows group members to set their own choice. This plugin provides a full range of options both to members and managers alike.
bbp Style Pack is a huge styling plugin for bbPress and more besides. Using bbp Style Pack you can change the look and feel of just about any element of your bbPress forums, for example you can control the colours and font sizes of all elements of your forums listing page, you can do the same with each individual forum topics list page and you can control the same elements for the individual topic and reply page.
The main BuddyPress Forum component is bbPress. This is a core piece of software created by the creators of WordPress and it is pretty much fully integrated into WordPress and BuddyPress. With bbPress you can create two types of forum in a BuddyPress context – Site-wide forums and Group Forums. Site-wide forums have to be setup by the site admin whilst group forums are optional aspects of groups that are enabled by the group creator.
BuddyPress Activity Shortcode is a plugin that allows you to display activity items on any page you like.
BP Create Group Type is a BuddyPress plugin that uses the new Group Types feature in order to create a range of admin defined group types for selection by the group creator. Once selected the group type is displayed in the group cover area of the groups pages.
BP Better Messages is a BuddyPress plugin that turns BP Messaging into a threaded instant messaging type communication tool. You can disable the requirement for a subject line and also enable name search and file attachments.