Almost every business constantly seeks for opportunities that helps them increase their brand visibility among a wider audience base. One best way to expand your brand’s voice and content is to set up a social network. Of course, social networks help increase your brand recognition to millions of users, but sometimes the scope that those networks provide can be distracting for some user groups.
So, if you’re already running a WordPress website and want to convert it into a social network for users with a narrow focus, then BuddyPress plug-in is a great solution for you. This plug-in help you turn your website into a social network, having a specific set of membership and publishing rules.
Through this post, I would like to discuss the process of setting up and configuring the BuddyPress plug-in to convert your WP site into a social network. But, if you want to dive into further details let us first look at some of the major benefits that the BuddyPress plug-in offers.
Benefits of BuddyPress Plugin
- Facilitates Power of Private Network: Many companies often struggle to share their critical information related to projects and other business related aspects effectively via emails. But a BuddyPress social network gives you the ability to carry out commentary on your information effectively, as it helps to password-protect your data thereby making it accessible only to your social network members. Put it simply, the BuddyPress plugin gives your site protection just like a private network.
- Better Collaboration in Groups: While exchanging or sharing information, there is a great possibility that you might lose some of your important details in emails, or can only share it with a few users of the group. Thanks to BuddyPress, a special space is provided where all group users can share crucial information about any event or any other aspects for collaboration. This proves a remarkably useful feature for team members who’re working in remote locations or usually have busy schedules.
- User-friendly: BuddyPress allows you to add almost all features of some popular social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. For instance, it comes with a feature named “Friend Connections”, allowing you to create a list of friends just like Facebook and other social network.
Understanding the Process of Setting up and Configuring BuddyPress
#Step 1 – Installation of BuddyPress Plugin
You can download BuddyPress for free from the official WordPress Plugin Repository. To do so, simply open up your website admin dashboard, browse the dashboard menu and go to “Plugins”. And then, click Add New underneath the Plugins menu and the “Add Plugins” screen will be opened. From this screen, search for the BuddyPress plugin. On finding the plugin, just click on “Install Now” and the BuddyPress plugin will get installed. Now you only need to activate the plugin.
Once the activation process is complete, you’ll have to perform the plugin setting up and configuration process.
#Step2 – BuddyPress Setup and Configuration
Before getting started with the configuration process just take out some time and think about the features you’ll want to have in your social network. And when you know the kind of features you wish to have in your social site, begin with the configuration part. For this purpose, from your WordPress dashboard, move to Settings->BuddyPress, and this will open up your settings page. Let us see the things you need to perform on the settings page one by one:
- From the settings page, click on the Components tab. BuddyPress comes with plenty of components that help to embed most of the social network features into your site. This section contains some default components, however, you have the ability to activate or disable the components as per your requirements. Below is a list of some important components that you should consider keeping in your social site:
- Extended Profiles
- Member Account Settings
- Friend Connections
- Activity Streams
- User Groups
- Site Tracking and more.
- Next, click on the Pages tab. The Page section enables you to choose the page you wish to show up on your social network. The section contains two different parts: Directories and Registration. The first part allows you to select the pages that you want to be added to your “BuddyPress Components Directory”. And the second part lets you add a sign-up and activation page to your social network.
- Move on to the Settings tab and make changes to the setup selections as per your own needs:
- Lastly, if you want to have forums for your social network, then move to the Forums tab and choose any of the following:
- Install forums for groups
- Install new site-wide forums (this is an optional step).
Once you’ve followed and performed all the above discussed steps, you’ll have your social network ready to use. You can choose to customize your social network either by adding/removing components or making edits to other settings. Besides this, you can even extend the capabilities of your website by adding more BuddyPress plugins.
Samuel Dawson is a inspired blogger and presently working in Designs2HTML Ltd, Which involves in the process of psd to wordpress conversion. Samuel also shares his knowledge, tips and experience on the web with others.