Do you know how to create a social network, an online community on WordPress? The social network on WordPress allows users to register, connect with each other, publish articles and more. In this article, we will show you how to turn your WordPress site into a social network.
Watching: What is Buddypress
Start your WordPress powered social network
You can build a very simple social networking community using the free BuddyPress plugin. It is a super flexible plugin and can integrate beautifully with any type of WordPress website.
You will need a website with your own hosting and domain name to start using BuddyPress.
What is BuddyPress?
BuddyPress is a sister project of WordPress.org. And here is a free WordPress plugin that you can install on your website.
It turns your WordPress website into a social network that allows you to build your own online community. Here are some features of a typical BuddyPress website:
Users will be able to register on your siteUsers will be able to create extended user profilesActivity streams allow users to follow site-wide updatesYou will be able to create subcommunities with usergroupsUsers can add each other as friendsUsers can send private messages to each otherBuddyPress functionality can be extended using third-party pluginsWorks with any standards-compliant WordPress themeCan be set up with Your Existing WordPress SiteSet Up Your WordPress Social Network Using BuddyPress
The first thing you need to do is install and activate the BuddyPress plugin.
Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » BuddyPress page to configure plugin settings.
The settings page is divided into different sections. You will first see a components page that shows you the currently active BuddyPress components on your site.
The default components will work for most websites. However, you can activate or deactivate a component by simply checking and unchecking the box next to it.
Don’t forget to click the save settings button to store your changes.
Next, you need to click on the Pages tab. Here you can choose the pages you want to use for the different BuddyPress sections of your site.
By default, the plugin will automatically create the page for you. You can change them and use a different page if you want.
If you don’t see an option to choose registration and activation pages, then you need to enable user registration on your WordPress site.
Now, you will need to switch to the ‘Options’ tab.
Here you will find various settings that you can enable/disable in BuddyPress. The default settings will work for most sites, but you can review and change them as needed.
Display BuddyPress pages on your site
If you visit your website after setting up BuddyPress, you will not see any new content added to your site. To change this, you need to add BuddyPress sites to your WordPress navigation menu.
Go to Appearance » Menus . Select BuddyPress sites from the left column and click the add to menu button.
Don’t forget to click the save menu button to store your changes.
You can now visit your website to see the links in action.
Clicking the link will take you to the BuddyPress page. For example, the active link will show you what is happening in your BuddyPress social network. You can also post status updates from this page.
BuddyPress works with all standards-compliant WordPress themes. It also comes with its own templates to use in case your theme doesn’t have a specific BuddyPress template.
Manage your WordPress social networks in BuddyPress
Building an online community requires active participation from many website administrators. You will have to fight spam and censor user-generated content.
If you already use Akismet, then BuddyPress will use it to prevent spam. However, some unwanted content may still exist.
BuddyPress comes with built-in tools to solve that problem.
Visit the Activity page in your WordPress admin area and you will see recent activity on your site with different actions.
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You can sort active items by action, delete items, or mark them as spam.
Similarly, you can visit the Users page to manage user accounts. You can delete users, edit their profiles, or mark suspicious accounts as spam.
You can manage new users by visiting the subscription management page. This allows you to activate new users directly, resend activation emails, or delete spam accounts.
Create and manage groups in BuddyPress
BuddyPress allows you and your users to create groups. The This group acts as a sub-community on your site. Each group can have its own members and activity streams. Users can join these groups, invite other users, post, and more.
To create a new group, you can go to the Groups page and click the add new button at the top.
This will take you to the add new group page. First, you need to provide a name and description for your team. Then, click on the ‘Create group and continue’ button to continue.
On the next page, you can choose the group’s privacy settings and who can invite other users to the group. BuddyPress allows you to create public, private and hidden groups.
Public groups are available to all users to join.
Private groups are listed in the groups folder, but users will have to request to join. If approved, then they will be able to view its contents.
Hidden groups can only be seen by members who are part of the group. These groups are not listed in the groups directory and they do not appear in search results.
After setting up the security options, click the next button to continue.
You can now provide a photo to use as your group’s profile picture.
Next, you need to add a cover photo for the group and click the next button.
Finally, you can invite other users to join the group. You can only invite users you’ve added as friends. If you haven’t added any friends yet, then you will have to wait for the user to discover the group and join the group on their own.
Click the finish button and BuddyPress will now set up your group.
Users can view groups by visiting the groups page on your site, which displays the groups category on your site.
Clicking on the group name brings up the group’s page where users can join the group, post updates, and follow the group’s activity.
Manage email notifications
Email notifications are the only way your BuddyPress site can alert users to new activity in their social stream. To encourage user engagement, you may want to customize those emails.
BuddyPress allows you to modify the email notifications sent by your WordPress social network. This helps you change the message to match the brand and tone of your website.
You can visit the Email page to see a list of default email notifications. You will see the email header and the scenario when the email was sent to the user.
You can click the Add New button at the top to create a new email notification. You can also click the edit button below the email message to make changes.
Finally, you can also use the email customizer to modify the email color areas, headers, and footers.
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That’s all for building a social network on WordPress.
We hope this article helped you turn your WordPress site into a social network using BuddyPress.