Automattic BuddyPress Review | TechRadar


BuddyPress is a plugin for the self-hosted content management platform WordPress. It allows web developers to build and integrate a social media network into a self-hosted website. It is especially useful for companies looking to create a vibrant online community that promotes communication between their employees and their customers.

BuddyPress is a highly modular plugin. It contains features like activity dashboards, conversation threads, user profiles, and more, all of which can be turned on or off as per the needs of the website owner. In addition, there are a host of themes and plugins specially designed for BuddyPress, allowing developers to further extend its functionality.

BuddyPress is a powerful micro-community plugin that allows every website owner to have their own social network. However, with the arrival of new competitors like WP Symposium Pro, how well does the incumbent compare to the bwebsite builders for social networks? In our in-depth review of Automattic BuddyPress, we’ll take a look at its pricing, features, interface, and support to see if it’s the right plugin for your website.

Buddy press

BuddyPress is 100% free (Image credit: WordPress.org)

Plans and prices

BuddyPress is a 100% free WordPress plugin. All of its core modules and additional features are available free of charge. This is its biggest differentiator among the competition, who charge between $ 99 per year and $ 249 per year for premium features and support.

Components

BuddyPress comes with features like social groups, activity dashboards, and user profiles (Image credit: Automattic)

Characteristics

BuddyPress comes with a variety of powerful features including social groups, activity dashboards, friend requests, user profiles, privacy settings, account management, and more. As the site administrator, it is up to you to decide how much freedom and power you want to delegate to the users of your website.

You can, for example, allow users to create their own groups within your social network. Privacy settings, if enabled, allow users to decide which parts of their profiles will be visible to the public. Users can also send each other connection requests and like each other just like any popular social network.

For developers who want even more from their BuddyPress website, there are a variety of third party extensions and plugins available as well. A good example of this is rtMedia, which is another free plugin that allows users to upload audio and video albums using BuddyPress. BuddyPress Users Chat, on the other hand, is a premium plugin that sells for $ 35 USD. It allows developers to integrate a powerful user chat feature into BuddyPress.

Interface

BuddyPress uses colors and fonts from WordPress.org for its native user interface (Image credit: Automattic)

Interface

After installing and activating the plugin, BuddyPress adds a new page to your WordPress backend under Settings> BuddyPress. This page consists of a tabbed navigation that allows you to configure your social network site the way you want. You can, for example, add activity feeds or login requests to add more spontaneity to your social network.

Tabbed navigation divides the options page into four sections. The first is called Components. Under Components, you’ll find options to enable or disable several of the plugin’s independent modules, such as activity feeds, friend logins, and private messaging. Modules such as extended profiles and account settings should be left enabled by default.

The second section is called Options. This is where you can change your BuddyPress theme from Default to New and enable member-specific features like account deletion, profile sync, and media downloads. These features allow members of your social network to perform specific tasks, such as adding a profile picture or deleting their account without your help.

The third section is called Pages. It contains a list of all the static pages used by BuddyPress. You can customize these options to assign specific pages to various sections of your social network, such as activity feeds or account records. The fourth section contains various credits dedicated to BuddyPress developers.

The overall interface used by BuddyPress uses the default color scheme and font combination used by WordPress.org. This way, the UI integrates seamlessly with the rest of the backend without looking out of place. Overall, it is easy to use and functional.

Support

BuddyPress does not offer individual support (Image credit: Automattic)

Support

BuddyPress comes with a free knowledge base on their website with plenty of instructions to get started. It also offers a community forum where plugin developers and plugin users can communicate with each other and solve simple issues. That said, advanced individual support is not available, as it is a free plugin.

PeepSo

PeepSo is a great paid alternative to BuddyPress (Image credit: PeepSo)

The competition

Thanks to the long list of plugins that come with WordPress, there are more than a few alternatives to BuddyPress on the market. While these are usually freemium plugins that require a paid subscription to unlock pro features, they improve on some of the areas that have yet to be touched by BuddyPress.

PeepSo, for example, is a social networking plugin with private messaging, friend requests, and user blocking. It also comes with a selection of themes and templates for your social network. It is GDPR compliant and fully supports the native page builder called Gutenberg. However, there is no lifetime plan and paid subscriptions start at $ 129 / year.

Another great option is WP Symposium Pro, which offers a free basic plugin with paid extensions that can be purchased as needed. It offers premium support and comes with features. It is also compatible with all WordPress themes.

Final verdict

BuddyPress is a great plugin for developers and website owners looking to build a free social networking site with WordPress. It is available completely for free and has a long list of free and paid extensions that can be used to extend its basic functionality. That said, there are many new competitors in the market, such as PeepSo and WP Symposium, offering a more complete and feature-rich experience, even at a premium price.



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