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An interactive blog is much more exciting than a blog where only the blog author speaks. A conversation between two people or a discussion between many readers may interest a larger number of readers. They can receive varying points of view in one place, get to know others who share similar interests, and learn from discussions.
With WordPress, it is easy for blogs to receive feedback, that is, an exchange that characterizes the beginning of a discussion. Two plugins (BuddyPress and bbPress) can do the job very well for WordPress blogs and sites. BuddyPress is a plugin for adding a social network and bbPress will help you add forums. Both plugins are built by the WordPress team, so they are tightly integrated with WordPress.
1 - BuddyPress
With our BuddyPress, you can build your own social networking community. A popular plugin, it currently enjoys over 200.000 active installs. It is an ideal tool to help you build small local online communities like a sports team, a church group, a theater club or a fan club for a music group. It can also be used by large communities.
You can install the plugin directly from your WordPress dashboard. Once you have it installed, you will need to configure its components, pages and settings to suit the particular needs of your own community.
The Components tab
A social network has many parts. And most of these components (10 in number) are present on BuddyPress. You can use these components for:
- Allow any user to register, create an account, modify or delete it - all from their profile.
- Have detailed profiles where users can describe themselves.
- Allow users to connect with and follow other people within the community.
- Allow users to make new friends on the community.
- Allow users to have a private conversation.
- Authorize the creation of groups that users can join and participate.
- Allow the display of the latest exchanges in an activity feed, with RSS feed and support for email notifications.
- Allow sending notifications about any activity, allowing users to customize notification settings.
Most components are enabled by default. However, components for Friendship, Private Messaging, Site Tracking, and User Groups will need to be enabled, if you need them.
The Pages tab
Once you are done selecting the components you need for your community, switch to the "Pages" tab to configure which pages BuddyPress will use. Three are already done for you (members page, activity page and for user groups). You will need to create two more, for registration and activity. Use the page settings in your WordPress dashboard and select pages for each function. Save your settings, when you're done.
The third and final tab is for options and you can enable / disable options that you do not want to use. Subsequently BuddyPress will use the assigned pages to display relevant content for your site.
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If you have a multi-site network, you can choose to activate the plugin across the entire network or only on selected sites. And by activating the multi-blog function, the central data will be used to display the BuddyPress content on all the sites.
Themes and extensions for BuddyPress
BuddyPress works with most WordPress themes. However, if networking between users is important to you, you can choose a theme that is compatible with it.
You will find a variety of WordPress themes compatible with BuddyPress on Themeforest.
2 - bbPress
bbPress adds a discussion forum on your blog. This plugin is also a product made by " Auttomatic ". It is easy to install and use.
You can install bbPress from your WordPress dashboard. After installing and enabling bbPress, go to "ForumsOn your dashboard to create a new forum.
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By default, all forums will be active on the whole site. This means that any member of a group will have access to the forum.
Once you have created new forums, go to "Settings> Forums". Select options to configure forums, and allow or deny user privileges. Allow or prohibit anonymous posting, and assign visitors various forum roles such as participant, moderator, Keymaster or block any user. You can also allow users to mark topics as favorites, subscribe to forums and topics, embed media on topics and answers, review answers and topics, or search the blog.
A number of shortcodes are also available to help you organize the forum as you wish.
Just like BuddyPress there are a number of awesome themes that work well with bbPress.
bbPress also offers hundreds of extensions which can extend functionality. Coincidentally a few are listed here:
- BbPress Moderation - Adds the ability to approve new topics and replies on bbPress. It helps reduce spam by changing a subject's status from "pending" to "approved".
- GD bbPress Attachments - Allows readers to download attachments on topics and answers through the media library. File size may be limited and images may be featured in thumbnails. It is also compatible with buddyPress. A pro version offers improved attachments and additional widgets that can be used.
- BbPress Votes - Allows users to vote positively or negatively on a topic or responses on bbPress. This plugin also works with BuddyPress.
BuddyPress and bbPress integration
Communities that you add to your blog with BuddyPress can allow members to chat on a forum created within the community. You can have many forums within a single community network. To have forums working in community networks, you need to use BuddyPress and bbPress together.
As mentioned earlier, forums can be viewed by any member of any group. To restrict access and organize forums and communities in your blog, you need to:
- Assign the forums to a parent group.
- Allow bbPress to have groups.
Once you have installed, activated and configured both plugins, visit bbPress settings to create a forum for a group or parent for all the forums used by BuddyPress. Set the attribute for the Category and Publish field.
Stay in the bbPress settings, proceed with the BuddyPress integration, and type in the name of the BuddyPress forum you just created. Save the settings. When creating new groups, you must allow each group to set up its own forum.
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If you do not have existing groups, go to " Groups> Add New », And follow the steps to set up a new group. Be sure to check the box that allows the Group to have a forum. For existing groups, see the settings under "Groups Forums" and check the option to allow each group to have forums. Save all changes.
The Group menu now has a Forum option that will allow the admin or members to use it to create new forums on different topics.
That's it for this tutorial. I hope it will help you understand how to integrate bbPress and buddyPress together.