Using BuddyPress for Social Networks

Before installing BuddyPress it’s best to get your basic WordPress installation configured correctly, this in itself can be quite a complex task and there are going to be many aspects of this that I will not have space here to go into in detail but what I hope to achieve in this post is to give you a basic idea of what is needed and to get yourself in a position to run and install BuddyPress on a firm platform.

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There are a lot of things that happen by default in BuddyPress that you may have a need to change. For example the types of activities displayed in the activity pages, how many activity items are displayed per page etc. These things can be changed, but you will need to have some knowledge of coding, or be applying a code snippet that you’ve been given.

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A theme is essentially a design for a website, it defines the page layout as well as items such as colours and fonts. Themes work by using templates which create each page on your site. When we talk about BuddyPress themes then this means that BuddyPress functionality has been added to the theme in additional to what is offered in a standard WordPress Theme.

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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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