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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Tips to Get Started with BuddyPress to Build your Own Social Network

We have harnessed the potential of WordPress in almost every way possible. We have used it as a Content Management System (as they were meant to be), as an online shopping portal, for B2B marketing, to find affiliates, as a blog and what not! And now, it’s time to capitalize on its social networking functionalities. Yes, we are going to turn our very own WordPress website into a social networking platform with a simple tool known as BuddyPress. So, given below is a tutorial that demonstrates this.

BuddyPress & Its Installation:

To transform our WordPress website into a social networking hub, we will be using this simple tool called BuddyPress. It is not a script or web-designing related element that requires comprehensive knowledge, but is just a simple plug-in that can be installed on a WordPress site. The installation procedure is very simple, and note that it can be installed over a multi-user blog as well. Installing this on a multi-blog will further allow the different users to interact with each other.

The installation & configuration procedure is given below.

I. Once you login to your WordPress account, reach your dashboard and select Plug-ins. Select the add-New-Button and look out for the BuddyPress plug-in in the search toolbar. In the search results, select the right plugin and click Install.

II. After the installation is complete, the BuddyPress wizard appears in your WordPress’ dashboard. from here you can configure your BuddyPress website at any time.

III. The first step in the wizard requires you to specify the features you want to use with BuddyPress. by default, all the boxes are checked, and offers the optimum set of features and convenience. You can even modify and remove the features you don’t wish to use by un-checking the boxes. It all depends on your usage and requirements!

IV. The next step will be to specify the number of pages you wish to display in your social networking platform. Since it uses WordPress pages to showcase content, you can now efficiently change the names of the pages or even move them to a sub-page. In this stage, you can either select the existing pages by yourself, or let the plug-in create new ones for you.

V. The next step in configuring BuddyPress is setting up permalinks. If you haven’t used permalinks before, reach the Navigate option and select Permalinks, and set the one according to your preference.

VI. Now select the theme for your BuddyPress site. But the limitation over here is that the number of themes available depends up on the number of themes you have earlier installed in your WordPress website. And if its BuddyPress that you’re installing for the first time after a fresh copy installation of WordPress, make sure you choose BuddyPress theme. This is responsive in nature and offers a number of convenient features. There are also several premium BuddyPress themes that you can purchase online.

VII. Select the option Finish. You will see a new menu in the wizard now that will allow you to configure you settings whenever you want.

Some of the major advantages of BuddyPress include its ability to create additional profiles, messaging options, an option to add friends, groups (public and private), have forums and add friends just like Facebook and others. It is a great way for people to interact and establish a nic(h)e connection with their circles. So, install it today!

This is a guest post by Jena Branch of Buycox.com, a site that offers savings and current information on cox cable packages.

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