BuddyPress is a powerful, free plugin that adds community features to your WordPress website. Install it on your site, and you’ll have access to handy features like activity streams, user profiles, notifications, groups, and private messaging. But that’s just the base layer of what BuddyPress can do.
bbPress is a forums plugin that is often used in conjunction with BuddyPress. The forums are easy on the eyes, simple to use, and fit nicely with BuddyPress groups.
Extending BuddyPress and bbPress with plugins can bring even more functionality to make your site into a real online community hub. You might be surprised at some of the cool features you can easily add-in.
Here are 10 free plugins you can use to make BuddyPress and bbPress even better:
Free BuddyPress Plugins
Not only will BP Profile Search allow users to search member profiles, but it’s also a quick way to create a member directory. When it comes to search, you can build a custom form to meet your community’s needs. Directories are also easy to customize, with the ability to apply filters and create multiple member listings.
Add the power of collaborative documents to your community with BuddyPress Docs. Documents can be uploaded, assigned to specific users or groups, and edited on the front end of your site. There’s also a revision history and the ability to categorize/tag uploads.
BuddyPress has a default messaging system. But if you want to take things up a notch, BP Better Messages offers an improved user experience. It uses AJAX to power live chat, allows for file uploads and multimedia embeds. Messages can range from a private chat between two users or site-wide notifications.
BuddyPress Group Email Subscription helps keep group members informed of activity. There are five different notification levels members can choose from: No Email, Weekly Summary Email, Daily Digest Email, New Topics Email and All Email. If desired, admins can set a default notification level for users.
Spam bots can hit BuddyPress just like everything else on the internet. BuddyPress Registration Options helps squash spam registrations by allowing for moderation on new user accounts. Email notifications are sent when an administrator either approves or denies a new registrant. This plugin also works with bbPress.
Free bbPress Plugins
GD bbPress Attachments enables users to upload files to forum topics and replies. Administrators can control file size limits, the number of files that can be uploaded at once, and can change things up on a forum-by-forum basis.
Want to change up the look of your bbPress install? bbp Style Pack lets you change fonts, colors, and forum layouts. In addition, you can tweak emails, and add handy features such as an unread topics page. And that’s just the beginning. This plugin gives admins plenty of ways to make bbPress their own.
Take control of bbPress email notifications with bbPress Notify. Easily customize messages sent to users and choose who receives them. The plugin is developer-friendly, with lots of hooks and filters at your disposal.
GD bbPress Tools offers a suite of tweaks for your WordPress forums. Visual changes include the ability to disable breadcrumbs and advanced topic filtering. There’s also a collection of 30 shortcodes that make adding custom functionality a breeze. Unlock even more features with the pro version.
If you’re looking to limit your forums to a specific group of users, give Private Groups a try. The plugin allows administrators to restrict specific forums and topics. There’s a lot of flexibility here when it comes to user permissions – perfect for bbPress installs that need both public and private access. This is a great option for membership websites.
Build Your Community
The combination of BuddyPress and bbPress can help you build a bustling and productive online community. And, because they both take advantage of WordPress, they’re also very easy to use and customize to fit your needs. Experiment with them and see how they can benefit your WordPress website.
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