I know it’s been a long time since I last promised the detailed review of BuddyPress. As I’ve mentioned before, you can create a community with BuddyPress, giving your users a way to get in touch with fellow members that hang out at the same place — your website. You’ve seen how BuddyPress looks when it’s first installed. Now you’ll be able to see how much you can customize the settings for your users.

First off, there are settings that you can enable and disable. Just navigate to Settings • BuddyPress. On the Components settings, you have the option to give your users full control to edit their profile. There’s another option for you as well to allow your users to connect with each other by allowing them to have friends — which basically is like making a mini-social media account.

It’s not difficult for you to understand what the BuddyPress features are. On the screenshot above, you’ll see that each feature of BuddyPress has a short description on what a feature can do. Simply check or uncheck all the features you want to have on your WordPress website. It’s that simple!

There’s another setting called Pages. Here, you’ll be able to change the page where your list of members will be shown and your members’ recent activities will be shown. By default, BuddyPress will create the two pages “Members” and “Activity” for the Directories, as this is is needed for BuddyPress to show, well, your community’s members and activities. There’s also the Registration area where you can modify the registration page — this means that you don’t have to use the default WordPress login page. There’s also the Activate page. The purpose of this page is to have your users be redirected to this specific page once they register. The link for the activate page will be on the registration email to confirm your user’s membership.

The Options on the BuddyPress settings show the other functionalities that you can customize. Here for example, you can allow a member to upload an image associated with him — something like a profile picture in Facebook. If this is unchecked, this will be defaulted to Gravatar. A word of caution — if you allow your users to upload their own images on your website, they will be uploading them to your server. Make sure you find a way to limit the image size upload. If enough members upload high-definition images, you can quickly run out of storage on your server.

If you import your data from another blogging website of any kind, or update your version of WordPress, or even migrate from an old website provider, BuddyPress may get out of sync with the data — the screen below enumerates what data may get out of sync. So BuddyPress gave us the tools to repair your WordPress website. Just check those items that need to be repaired and click Repair Items.

You’re probably wondering, how will my website look for my members? A member can only view your laid-out website. This means that they will not be able to change any of the settings, or see the plugins, themes, and everything else other than your actual website. Check out the sample home page below:

With their login, they’ll be able to view and edit their profile and user settings on your website, all on their own. Basically, you’ll be giving them the freedom to set everything up for their profile and see all the activities they have on their account. They’ll also be able to see any notifications, whether there’s a new message for them or someone commented on a post that they’ve created, and everything else you’ll expect to have on a social media account.

Just to give you a visual on how they see their activity, profile, notifications, and settings, I’ll be showing these pages.

The Activity branch shows their updates on their personal profile, which means their posts. They can also see where they’re mentioned, and their favorite posts.

By default, the fields on a user’s profile are shown as below. These fields can easily be edited on your WordPress website’s Dashboard • Users • Profile Fields. Customize it any way you want. You can add, edit, or delete any fields on a user’s profile.

The Notifications branch will show a count badge where your users see how many unread notifications they have. There’s also an option for your user to look back at their notifications they’ve already seen.

From the Settings menu, they’ll be able to change their password, e-mail, and profile visibility. There’s also an option for them to delete their account, but this can be disabled so that you, the administrator, will be the only one allowed to delete a user.

BuddyPress isn’t difficult to use. Don’t be overwhelmed with the settings it offers! Just be calm — read the description of each setting, decide how you want on those settings, and let BuddyPress do the rest.

Let us know in the comments if you have any questions!


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