BuddyPress Hosting - The Best Social Media Tool for WordPress?

Julia

Julia Raznik · 23rd June 2021·Website Tips

BuddyPress Hosting - The Best Social Media Tool for WordPress?

BuddyPress hosting has allowed users to build optimized social media platforms for websites since 2008. Today we’ll walk you through how the platform works, what its best features are, and how you can get the most out of it. Plus, you’ll be able to see the benefits of hosting plans and how your website can be optimized to run unique, in-house social media platforms.

What Is BuddyPress and What Is BuddyPress Hosting?


  • BuddyPress - A social networking tool that’s been built by developers in the WordPress community. It allows organizations to create groups, chat rooms, user profiles, activity streams, and more. It can be used to build a social networking site for company staff, customers, or even a hobby group

  • BuddyPress Hosting - BuddyPress hosting is a type of WordPress hosting that’s been optimized to run the BuddyPress plug-in. It usually comes with unlimited databases, bandwidth, and data in order to grow your online community without hitting any limits

Why Should You Use BuddyPress


Use of BuddyPress

Put simply, the tool is a great way to make connections with people. For companies, this means your staff has a platform to communicate with each other, share ideas, and run projects in a collaborative and relaxed environment.

Or, you could create a networking site for your customers, allowing them to sign up when they land on your website. Users can share thoughts on products and services, provide feedback, and join in on marketing campaigns, increasing engagement across the board. You could use your site as a simple tool to connect those with similar interests too, such as running a hobbyist community.

Whatever you use it for, BuddyPress has some other great advantages. For example, it integrates seamlessly with WordPress sites, has an active developer and support community, great functionality, and a user-friendly interface.

What Does BuddyPress Do?


Buddy Press Features
  • Activity streams - This feature allows users to focus their feeds on specific topics, users, types of posts, or events happening on the site

  • Active support community - The BuddyPress plug-in is incredibly popular, meaning it has a huge developer community all over the world. Users are regularly working on updates, new features, and bug fixes all of the time

  • Directory facility - The directory facility allows users to quickly find the information and groups they need

  • Groups facility - You have huge scope to customize groups in BuddyPress and create them for just about any topic. Managers can create project team groups and companies can build fan groups for certain products

  • User avatars - Users can upload photos, add interesting artistic pieces and generally add a splash of personality to their profiles

  • Achievement badges - Reward users with badges for making posts, uploading blogs, and commenting on content to encourage engagement

  • Friends, followers, and following functionality - Much like Facebook, users can add friends and follow their favorite content streams

  • Private messaging - Not everything has to be posted publicly and you’ll find a private messaging service, similar to those on other social media sites

  • Create blogs - A great feature for user engagement, and one that works in a very similar way to the blog feature found on LinkedIn

  • Forum discussions - Let your users create and discuss any topic they’d like via the BuddyPress forums. You can allow total freedom to post, or have your admins monitor the platform

Options to Look Out for When Choosing BuddyPress Hosting


How to chose BuddyPress Hosting
  • WordPress hosting options - As a WordPress-specific plug-in, you’ll probably benefit from a WordPress hosting package. This way, your BuddyPress social media platform will be optimized to work perfectly with your hosting plan

  • Try a managed service - Opting for a managed hosting service means a lot of the stress of day-to-day website management is taken out of your hands and covered by the data host. Plus, the knowledgeable customer service team will be able to provide specific advice on getting the most out of the BuddyPress tool

  • Try shared hosting - This is a great choice for small websites or those on a budget. You can still build a pretty impressive social media platform, but at a fraction of the cost by sharing server resources with other tenants

How to Extend and Customize BuddyPress Themes


BuddyPress Themes Customization
  • Use a third-party marketplace - You’ll find hundreds of different styles and themes from third-party developers. Some are free while others will come with a small charge. You’ll find designs based around a professional workplace environment, some for specific hobbies, and others aimed at integrating your BuddyPress site with eCommerce tools like WooCommerce.

  • myCred - This customization tool allows you to see how much engagement your BuddyPress site is getting with users. Monitoring statistics can tell you how to improve the site

  • Wise Chat Pro - This neat little tool lets users create their own private chat rooms, inviting friends and followers to join in

  • WooBuddy - Designed to work seamlessly with WooCommerce, this turns your BuddyPress site into a handy sales tool

BuddyPress Alternatives


BuddyPress Alternative
  • Ultimate Member - This platform comes with WooCommerce integration already built-in, alongside an automated email feature. While more feature-rich than BuddyPress, it comes with an annual subscription cost

  • UserPro - A good choice for experienced developers, UserPro has RTL language support and allows you to add shortcodes

  • BuddyBoss - Focused around selling courses and educational content to users in a social media format

Summary


BuddyPress is an incredibly useful tool for anyone looking to enhance communication with staff, customers, or friends. Best of all, the platform is completely free to download so you can get to grips with the software completely risk-free. Plus, it’s been designed specifically with ease of use in mind, meaning it won’t take long for you to learn the basics.

Once set up, there are dozens of customization options too. The tool essentially allows you to build a fully personalized social networking platform in no time at all. Bear in mind there are alternatives that focus on much more specific services, like eCommerce integration and professional internet platforms, but BuddyPress is a fantastic all-rounder.

Frequently Asked Questions


How Much Does BuddyPress Cost?

The base tool is completely free to download and use, but you might pay extra depending on the plug-ins you add. Plus, if you’re planning extensive customization you might need to factor in the cost of hiring a WordPress developer to help out.

Do I Need Extensive Developer Skills to Operate BuddyPress?

Not to get started, no. However, to get the most out of the platform it helps to have mid-level to advanced coding and development skills. The basic package is fairly straightforward to use, but the more features you want to tweak, the more complicated it gets.

How Many Users Can BuddyPress Handle?

This usually depends on the storage and bandwidth allowances from your hosting package. Most options can handle thousands of users, but if you opt for unlimited storage you can theoretically have an unlimited number of users on your site.

Can I Control What My Users Post?

Yes, your system administrators can monitor posts and content to ensure it’s suitable. Plus, you can download various monitoring tools that will filter posts for bad language and unsuitable content. It’s up to you how much freedom you give to your users.

How Secure is BuddyBoss?

The platform has a good reputation for security. The development community regularly pushes out security patches and updates, and you can add varying levels of user authentication to ensure all of your members are legitimate.

How Do I Install BuddyPress?

First, you’ll need a WordPress website to host the plug-in on. Then, it’s an incredibly straightforward two-click process. Once you’ve found it in the plug-in store, click ‘install’ then ‘activate’. That’s it, you’re done!

Are User Guides Available?

Yes, you’ll find an extensive set of guides, installation advice, user forums, and development tips over on the BuddyPress homepage. You’ll find hundreds of articles to help get you started, and advice on how to get the most out of the platform.

Julia
Julia Raznik