Using BuddyPress for Social Networks

One feature missing from the default BuddyPress installation is media galleries and the ability to allow BuddyPress users to upload their own images to be shared with others. Typical hosted social platforms allow the addition of media in three ways – media can be uploaded to a members personal profile page, for sharing with others and display on their profile page, Media can be uploaded to groups and held in a group gallery and media can be uploaded “to the site” – typically placed in a single collective gallery for all to see and often these images are displayed in a front page slider showcasing the uploads of those members. Sometimes media uploads can be marked as “Featured” and will be displayed in a featured content area in the main gallery.

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So far we have installed our basic BuddyPress install for our Ning style social network, we have done a lot. But still the site we have created lacks features, for example there is no Chat or sharing of photo’s and video’s, it would be nice to have events, the groups are pretty basic as are the member profiles. This article attempts to show you how you can move further towards your dream social site by introducing quite a large number of plugins and giving you basic information about how to install and use them.

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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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