How to turn your WordPress site into a social
Did you know that you can turn your WordPress site into a social network? The WordPress social network allows users to sign up, connect with each other, post messages and more. In this article, we’ll show you how to turn your WordPress site into a social network
Starting Your WordPress-powered Social Network
WordPress is the easiest way to use the platform to create your own social network using the free BuddyPress plugin. It’s super flexible and integrates beautifully with any kind of WordPress website.
You will need a self-hosted WordPress.org website to start using BuddyPress.
If you don’t have a website yet, then follow the instructions on how to create a website guide, and you’ll be ready shortly.
What is Budipress?
BuddyPress is a sister project of WordPress.org.org. It’s available as a free WordPress plugin that you can install on your website. It converts your WordPress site into a social network that allows you to create your own community nonlinear community. Here are some features of a typical Buddy Press powered website: General Chat Chat Lounge Users can register on your website Users will be able to create an extended user profile Stream Activity Stream allows users to comply with site-wide updates you will be able to create sub-communities with user groups Users can add each other as friends Users can send private messages to each other third, BuddyPress functionality can be enhanced by using third-party plugins Works with any standard compatible WordPress theme you can be set up with your existing WordPress siteSetting Up Your WordPress Social Network Using BuddyPressAll you need to do is install and activate the Buddy Press plugin. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin. Upon activation, you need to visit the Settings »BadPress page to configure the plugin settings.
The settings page is divided into different sections. You’ll first see the components page which shows you currently active BuddyPress components on your site.
The default components would 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 on the save settings button to store your changes.
Next, you need to click on the Pages tab. Here you can select the pages you would like to use for different BuddyPress sections on your site.
By default, the plugin will automatically create pages for you. You can change them and use a different page if you want.
If you don’t see the option to select 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 turn on / off in BuddyPress. The default settings will work for most websites, but you can review and adjust as needed.
Displaying big press pages on your website
If you visit your website after setting up Buddy Press, you will not see anything new added to your site. To change this, you need to add Buddy Press Pages to your WordPress navigation menu.
Go to the Appearance »Menus page. Select BuddyPress pages from the left column and click on the menu button.
Be sure to click the save menu button to save your changes.
You can now visit your website to see links to actions.
Clicking on a link will take you to the Buddy Press page. For example, the activation link will show you what’s going on in your BuddyPress social network. You can also post a status update from this page.
WordPress works with all standard compatible WordPress themes. If your theme does not have Budget specific templates, it also comes with its own templates to use.
If your theme is not compatible with BuddyPress, then check out our list of best WordPress themes for BuddyPress.
Managing Your WordPress Social Network in Budipress
Community Creating a Nonlinear Community requires a lot of active participation by site administrators. You want to combat spam and user-generated moderation.
If you are already using Akismet, then Budipress will use it to catch spam. However, some unwanted content may still be removed.
BuddyPress comes with built-in tools to deal with it.
Go to the Activity page in your WordPress admin area and you will see the latest activity with various actions on your website.
You can sort activity items by action, delete items, or mark them as spam.
Similarly, you can go to the Users page to manage user accounts. You can delete users, edit their profile, or mark suspicious accounts as spam.
You can manage new users by visiting the Managed Signups page. This allows you to directly activate new users, resend them the activation email, or delete the spam accounts.
Creating and managing groups in the Buddy Press
BuddyPress allows you and your users to create groups. These groups act as sub-communities on your website. Each group can have its own members and activity streams. Users can join these groups, invite other users, post messages, and much more.
To create a new group, you can go to the Groups page and click on the Add New button above.
This will bring you to the brand new group page. First, you need to provide the name and description of your group. Then, click the ‘Create Group and Continue’ button to proceed.
On the next page, you can choose the privacy settings for the group and who can invite other users to the group. WordPress allows you to create public, private and hidden groups.
Public groups are available for all users to join.
Private groups are listed in the Groups directory, but users must request to join. If allowed, then they will be able to see its contents.
Hidden groups Only members of the group can be seen. These groups are not listed in the Groups directory, and they do not appear in search results.
After setting the privacy options, click the Next button to continue.
Now you can provide a photo to use as a group profile
Next, you need to add a cover photo for the group and click on the Next button.
Lastly, 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 users to discover the group and join it 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 shows the groups directory on your website.
Clicking on a group name will show the group’s page where users can join a group, post updates, and follow group activity.
Managing email notifications
Email notifications are the only way your big press site can alert users to new activity in their social stream. To encourage user participation, you can customize those email messages.
BuddyPress allows you to modify the email notifications sent by your WordPress social network. This will help you change the message to match the branding and tone of your site.
You can visit the Emails page to see a list of default email notifications. You will see the email title, and the situation when the email is sent to the user.
You can click on the Add New button at the top to create a new email notification. You can also click on the edit button below an email message to change it.
Lastly, you can also use the email customizer to modify the email colors, header, and footer areas.
Many of the issues you’ll come across with BuddyPress will be similar to WordPress issues. Make sure you check our list of common WordPress errors to see if it’s listed there.
If your users are unable to receive email notifications, then follow the instructions in our guide on how to fix WordPress not sending email issue.
For all other issues, check out our WordPress troubleshooting guide to understand what’s causing it, and how to find a solution.
That’s all for now.
We hope this article helped you turn your WordPress site into a social network using BuddyPress. You may also want to see our ultimate step by step WordPress security guide for beginners.