There is no doubt that WordPress is one of the most renowned CMS platforms available. One of the reasons why WordPress is so popular is the sheer amount of plugins which will help you build almost any type of website you wish to build. WordPress enables you to build websites from simple blogs to enterprise level.

One of the best things about WordPress is it helps you to build a social network website with the help of BuddyPress social plugin. As a business owner, if you want to create platform where your employees can interact and exchange ideas then BuddyPress can be the key player.

BuddyPress claims to be a “social network in a box”. You can use this plugin to create a community website with features similar to a Facebook. Visitors can register and have member profiles where they can enter their personal information. Members can share status updates, create groups and chat with other members. There are various add-ons through which you can enable members to upload files, collaborate on documents and projects, like the posts and a lot more things. You can even integrate the plugin with bbPress and extend the forums as a natural extension of your community to provide support or simply allow members to have longer discussion on the interested topics. The best thing about BuddyPress is that it works efficiently with any theme and it integrates directly with your existing website.

BuddyPress Features

BuddyPress allow users to build fully featured social networking websites that are totally customizable. It comes with lots of features resembling Facebook and Twitter. Some of the key features of BuddyPress are:

Users can create and update profiles

Once user registers, they are given their own profile which they can control from the admin area. Aside from the regular profile options, each user can access the Extended Profile settings if you enabled it in the previous step.

Users can enter as much information about themselves as they want to. You can create different profile fields under Users > Profile Fields to allow your users to enter their name, birthday, a short biography, links to their other profiles, and more. You can also group various profile fields to organize them better.

Users can send private messages

It comes with a robust private messaging system, similar to that found on Facebook. Users can choose whether or not to receive an email notification when someone sends them a message.

Users can form and join groups

If you selected the Groups component then you and your users will be able to create groups. Groups can be set to be public, which allows anyone to join the group. Public groups will also be visible site wide and their activity will be displayed in the Activity feed.

Private groups require users to request membership and they will be visible sitewide. The activity of a private group, though, is only visible to group members.

Users can follow activity streams

BuddyPress activity streams provide a quick digest of the recent activity going on within a site or with regard to a particular user. Global, personal, and group activity streams with threaded commenting, direct posting, favoriting and @mentions, all with full RSS feed and email notification support.

Users can create blogs

Capitalizing on the full functionality of WordPress, the most popular blogging platform in the world, BuddyPress gives administrators and users a full-featured online publishing platform. Give blogging abilities to your members and turn your community into a content producing the machine. Your members will love having the ability to blog and manage their blog. You will enjoy keeping your blog alive thanks to your member contributions.

Users can participate in forum discussions

Full-powered discussion forums built directly into groups allow for more conventional in-depth conversations. BuddyPress is fully integrated with bbPress, a slick forum system.

Plugins for a Complete Community

Though BuddyPress comes with all the required community features, it is not enough to create a successful social networking site, and you will need the support of other plugins to enhance your community. BuddyPress has great plugin market where we can enhance the website further to offer solid platform for users to build strong community.

Great support for email template

BuddyPress 2.5 introduces a customizable email API. After updating or installing BuddyPress 3.1 you will find a new top level admin menu item “Emails”. Under this menu item is where you can customize, edit or add new emails. Previous versions of BuddyPress would send emails but there was no UI exposed to edit the content of the email or no user friendly way to create new emails.

If you want to build a true community around your website, consider integrating BuddyPress. You can quickly create the type of network that will benefit your site the most such as a company intranet, a support site for your customers and clients or a fully featured social network.