Best BuddyPress Plugins to Build Your Own Social Net

I have been playing around with BuddyPress for the last few days. As some of you might know, BuddyPress is an extension of WordPress that will let you create your own social network. They call it, social networking in a box.

BuddyPress - SocNet with WordPressBuddyPress is simply a WordPress Plugin, so for it to work you need WordPress or WordPress MU to be installed already. Initially, BuddyPress worked with only MU, now (thankfully), it works with the standard WordPress as well.

BuddyPress is a total package

Users can sign-up and maintain a profile. There are activity streams or Status Updates (just like Facebook). Other users can reply to someone else’s updates. They can make Groups, Forums and Blogs. And with plugins, you can take it to any level you choose to.

I am trying to use BuddyPress to build a social network for my class mates, now that I am graduating this year. (Details on the project and link later, stay tuned)

BuddyPress Plugins

Once installed, BuddyPress takes over WordPress. It has its own features, its own themes and even its own plugins. BuddyPress is still in its infant stage, and there are just 141 plugins out there made for it right now.

I read the descriptions of all of them and test-drove a good share. Here are the ones I picked for my project along with some cool ones.

Best BuddyPress Plugins

Installation and activation of BuddyPress plugins is just like any other WordPress plugin. They reside in the same directory as WordPress plugins. Meanwhile, other plugins for WordPress, like Akismet, Contact Forms etc will work here as well.

(btw, out of the 141 plugins, some wont work with WordPress, but only in WordPress MU. So when you decide between SU and MU, you might have to check with the plugins first. All plugins listed here works with SU)

Recommended BuddyPress Plugins

Check out the full list of BuddyPress plugins here. Here are my recommendations:

SEO For BuddyPress

This seems to be the only SEO Plugin out there for BuddyPress, so we got no choice. Its a good one, but sometimes too much options make things worse. Its not any easy as the All in One SEO Pack, but its a promising plugin. (I will write a tutorial for BP-SEO soon)

Download SEO For BuddyPress

BuddyPress Group Documents

This plugin lets users upload files into BuddyPress groups. A simple, install-and-go plugin. You can specify what file formats you accept via the Plugin options. Handy.

Update: This one is no longer available. You can download an old version here. Download the zip, Rename the folder to buddypress-group-documents (from messo-buddypress-group-documents-db47c2b) before you install the plugin. Once installed, go to the folder on the server and create an “uploads” folder inside the plugin folder, it would look like wp-content/plugins/buddypress-group-documents/uploads.

Now this plugin doesn’t show up on the front end. You need to use the free Activity Plus plugin for this to show up on the front end.

Update 2: An awesome user stergatu has updated the Group Documents plugin to work with BuddyPress 1.5.5 and WordPress 3.3.1. You can Download it here.

Activity Stream as Blog Comments

When a new post is made to the Blog, it is posted to the activity stream so that every other users get to see it. It would read something like, This-User posted This-Post on the Blog.

This plugin, picks up the replies to this post on the stream of other users and posts them as comments to the blog posts there-by syncing both the stream and the blog.

(for a better idea, think of importing the facebook replies to a post that you shared as comments to the post on the blog)

Download Activity Stream as Blog Comments

BuddyPress Album+

This is another install-and-go plugin. This lets users upload photos and maintain photo albums. And the best part, just like in Facebook, the plugin can automatically post a activity stream update when someone uploads an image, with the thumbnail of the photo.

Users can also specify the privacy of the uploaded image. Comes with lots of options, very cool plugin.

Download BuddyPress Album+

BuddyPress Chat Component – Ajax Chat

Chat is an area that needs to see a lot of work in BuddyPress. I couldn’t find any cool plugins. This one works, but its not that cool. Does the job.

Download Chat Component

BuddyPress Like

Once installed, this adds a button that reads Like to all activity stream updates. Just like in facebook, users can like the update and a list of people who likes the update can be seen.

The Like can be changed into Dig or Love or anything else via plugin options. Very cool.

Download BuddyPress Like

Facestream

The ultimate Facebook integration Plugin for BuddyPress. Allows users to connect their Facebook account with their profile and import Facebook updates into the stream. Lots of per-user options. If you are thinking of Facebook integration, look no further.

Admins can limit what is imported and how many updates are imported per day. Need to register for a Facebook app first.

Download Facestream

Tweetstream

From the same author as Facestream, this is yet another ultimatum. If you are looking for Twitter Integration to your BuddyPress site, you can stop googling now.

Need to register as a twitter app first. Users can import their Twitter updates and Admins can limit how many updates are imported.

Options of both Facestream and Tweetstream can be found under Settings of the user profile.

Download Tweetstream

Invite Anyone

Install and go type plugin for BuddyPress that lets users invite other users to the network. He can attach a personal email along with the invitation. Invitation can also be sent for groups as well.

Admins can limit how many invitations are sent at once and choose not the let users edit the invitation messages.

Download Invite Anyone

TDLC Birthdays

This plugin ads a new widget to the widgets collection. When the widget is displayed on a sidebar it will show a list of members whose birthday is coming up. Also displays the avatar. Works like a breeze, comes with some options as well.

Download TDLC Birthdays

Thats it, more plugins would be out soon, stay tuned!

[Updated] More BuddyPress Plugins

BuddyPress Toolbar

A simple plugin that adds lot BuddyPress related resources to youradmin bar. Links to all setting/ tab pages of the plugin are added making managing the network a lot easier.

Download BuddyPress Toolbar

Achievements for BuddyPress

Make your community more engaging and interesting with this plugin. Your users could earn points for simple tasks such as commenting on posts or uploading a profile picture and so on. The healthy competition can keep the community alive :)

See the video on the download page, skip to minute 6 to see the plugin at work!

Download Achievements for BuddyPress

Welcome Pack for BuddyPress

When a user registers on your site, Welcome Pack lets you automatically send them a friend or group invitation, a Welcome Message, and it can redirect them to a Start Page. You can also customise the emails sent by BuddyPress so that they match your site’s brand, in plain text or rich HTML versions.

Download Welcome Pack

These three plugins were suggested by Mason James @masonjames :)

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Million Clues! is a blog on WordPress, Blogging Tips and the Web. It also covers Reviews on Softwares, Websites and Tools. - http://millionclues.com/about/

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43 Comments.

  1. Awesome post buddy, Now i feel like trying my hands on buddy press. if possible please keep a delicious icon down the post. So that it could be easy for me to bookmark killer post like this one.

  2. You seem to be experimenting a lot with BuddyPress of late.. I guess, there’s an untapped opportunity there to build something collaborative. I am not aware of any other similar platform. Are you?

    • There is a plugin for WP called Mingle that could be used to build something similar. But its not that good as BP, the work from Automatic is that good :)

      You can see it from the plugin count, just 141 plugins so far and most of them are in early Alpha Beta stage. BuddyPress is an interesting niche to work on. Loving it, and yes, I am on it :)

  3. Bill Dwyer says:

    Quite frankly, I think there are better chat plugins, I use Pierre’s Word Spew, seems to work just as well and fits in the sidebar! You have to remember, a lot of regular WP plugins will work with BP.

  4. Sriraj says:

    Nice looooong post.
    I didn’t try BuddyPress but while reading this, I get the feeling that there are lot of similarities between BuddyPress and upcoming WordPress 3.0, the main theme being community building

    • I test drove WP 3.0 and didn’t find any community building elements with it. Things are getting very easy for the end user, now everyone can blog :)

      • Sriraj says:

        Yeah, a simple install of WP 3.0 beta1 doesn’t give you any of the new features.
        You should have known this before, in 3.0, WordPress and WordPress MU are merged and you can create you own community of WP blogs under your domain.
        You need to make few Technical changes though. Follow these instructions and you’ll love your 3.0 test drive.
        And yeah ‘every one’ can blog these days :D

  5. Kashish Kaushik says:

    Planning to Build your BuddyPress Community? :)

    Awesome Post. Retweeted and Bookmarked!

  6. Nathan says:

    Thanks for this list, very helpful. Just one question, is the All in one SEO plugin not compatible with Buddypress?

    • Yes, All in One SEO works with BuddyPress. But it can do SEO for only the blog part. There are other pages like Profile Pages, Pages for the Status Update and such things. AIOSEOP cant SEO any of that. :)

  7. Elvizy says:

    Awesome post! hi am working on a social network in my community, molyko. The buddypress site is molyko.com, can u help me find a good full ajax chat plugin or an sms text messaging script?

  8. khaiyong says:

    I love u man! I have been searching for facebook integration with buddypress. gonna try it on my blog soon :)
    cheers!

  9. rabbi says:

    thanks for the plugins i will be using them on my site

  10. Peter says:

    Good post! Thank you man! :-) I will try them on my new site.

  11. Sushyant Zavarzadeh says:

    Is there a plugin for podcasting in buddypress?

  12. Mutuuj says:

    We just launched our site providing premium themes at affordable prices and we are having a special – all our indexed buddypress themes and plugins for $1. Feel free to check it out at Mutuuj.com

  13. Mikey says:

    Lol… interesting, I used All in one SEO for my Social Networking Site. I should’ve known there’s a better SEO plugin for Buddypress. Great thanks for this tip.

    Ajax chat sounds pretty cool, but I can’t seem to find it through the WordPress plugin search engine, I’ll try to download it from the link you provided. Thanks again.

    Anyway, a few months ago, I successfully created a Christian social networking site and I was ecstatic. The whole process was so fun. Okay, hope everyone here successfully create their own sites. bb!

  14. Mikailah says:

    I have tried hard to put together a drupal site, and they have awesome features like a 5 star rating that is really sweet, but Im not a programmer, so the profiles themselves look bad. The photo sits at the end of the line, and the menu bar stretches all across the page.
    Anyway, I am trying a buddypress now on my computer and the really nice features I like are the profiles are layed out so much nicer. Drupal has much nicer themes, really beautiful themes and wish Buddy press had them to offer to each member to swtich their themes on their profiles. Im new at this so dont know if that is possible, but would be really nice. Have some with flowers. Drupal is hard esp if your not a themer or programmer. BP and WP also has games which is one thing I needed for my site. So far I really like BP profiles and layouts. The chat I use on drupal site is called Envolve chat. My members really like it ovr and above FB chat even. You can get it free for up to 25 chatters, then pay after that. It is scallable. I saw a plugin for the Envolve chat in the plug in section. Bowob is another scallable chat.

  15. Foxly says:

    BuddyPress Album+ has changed our name to BuddyPress Media. You can grab the latest version of the plugin here:

    http://code.google.com/p/buddypress-media/downloads/list

    ^F^

  16. Tips Blog says:

    thanks, bro
    it’s great plugins…

  17. Tim Smith says:

    Looks like Facestream and Tweetstream are now combined into one plugin named Buddystream.

  18. Mahesh says:

    I want to know that, How can I enable Mobile chat with BuddyPress? Most of my users are having mobile phones so I want to enable mobile chat so they can chat with their friends directly from their mobile phones.

  19. Thank you.

    I found the “Facestream” plugin very useful.

  20. paul says:

    We are developing a buddy press / Multi-site WEbsite and need the site users to be able to easily select a Theme during their sign up. We also need to purchase a bunch of premium templates for these “Themes” Can anyone comment on what is the best way to provide new sign ups easy options to select a theme (during their sign up process)? And also maybe point us where to buy the themes?

    THANKS!

  21. Hey there,

    I have added three more awesome plugins to the list. Let me know what you think about them as well :)

  22. Roxanne says:

    Hi there,

    I’m currently working on creating my own small and very humble social network using wordpress and buddypress. What I wanna do right now is creating my own share button, like the facebook, twitter or pin it button, users will be able to install it on their sites/blogs to share content from their sites/blog to my site. (Sorry my english is a bit rusty hope you’ll get what I mean). If you install my button on your site next to other social buttons, it will share the content on your “my network” like it does on facebook, twitter,….

    if anyone knows something about creating such things, how to, tutorials, it will be highly appreicated. Thanks guys xx

  23. GkDreamz says:

    nice collection..i downloaded all this thing and implement in my Buddypress site..Thanks for sharing ,,

  24. Gautam Lakum says:

    Thanks for sharing a nice collection.

  25. Shahzad Saeed says:

    Hey Arun,
    We’ve been working on a cool BuddyPress plugin. It adds multimedia features for BuddyPress based site. You can check it out here

    wordpress.org/extend/plugins/buddypress-media/

    While you are writing this post, the plugin was not developed. However, I think it deserves in your list!

  26. eri says:

    interesting..!!, i never though that we can create our own social media easly using wordpress. very interesting!

  27. bobit says:

    iam looking for a doc attachment plugin for buddy press groups

  28. Arjun says:

    Hey everyone,

    Here’s a new plugin that we have just launched in the BuddyPress store.

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/buddypress-virtual-gifts-widget-make-money-boost-social-network-engagement/

    The free GiftBar is the new way to monetize your social network and increase community engagement.

    Have a look and do let me know what you feel about it!

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