10+ Essential BuddyPress Extensions for Building a Better Social Network

10+ Essential BuddyPress Extensions for Building a Better Social Network

Today we are going to be taking a look at some of the best plugins for BuddyPress, the free plugin for WordPress that allows you to turn your website into a social network or at least add some social media features to your site.

Although we’ve already compiled a great list of the best BuddyPress themes for WordPress, in this post we will give you an overview of the the most impressive add-ons for this plugin.

If you want to ensure your social network is success, the plugins featured here today should help you achieve your goal.

BuddyPress Plugins

The Best BuddyPress Plugins

Although BuddyPress is a plugin, it’s one that has many plugins of its own, which are often referred to as extensions or add-ons. After installing BuddyPress, these extensions can then be added to your site, allowing you to add even more features to the core functionality.

Welcome Pack

This free plugin from the creator of BuddyPress allows your website to automatically send new members a welcome message and even redirect them to a custom page of your choice after they’ve signed up. This page they are sent to could be a ‘start here’ type page, a newsletter optin form, or any type of content appropriate for your website.

If you want to help your members get off on the right foot on your site, this plugin is well worth considering.

Find out more about Welcome Pack

Activity Privacy

BuddyBoss Activity Privacy

This free plugin adds privacy controls to BuddyPress that enable your users to choose who can see their activity posts.

The range of options this plugin brings to BuddyPress that are available to users as they share an update include:

  • Anyone
  • Logged in Users
  • My Friends
  • Those Mentioned
  • Admins Only
  • Only Me

The plugin is very easy to setup and add to your site, and using it is as just straightforward. Whenever your users share something on their activity stream they can use the dropdown mention to choose the appropriate level of privacy.

Members can also change the privacy of a posted activity after it has been posted, should the need arise.

This free plugin adds a much needed feature to BuddyPress in a way your users will appreciate and find easy to use.

Find out more about BuddyPress Activity Privacy

BuddyPress Extended Friendship Request

BuddyBoss Extended Friendship Request

Ever want to send out a friend request on your social network of choice but aren’t sure if the recipient will remember you? Well by installing this free extension you can give your members the ability to include a personalised message with their friend request on your BuddyPress powered social network.

There isn’t much to this plugin and once its enabled on your site, when a user clicks on the add friend button, a small popup is displayed that includes a message field for adding their optional introductory note.

Any feature that makes it easier for your users to make connections and form online friendships is only going to help your social network grow, and in turn become more useful and a great success.

Find out more about BuddyPress Extended Friendship Request

BuddyPress Social

BuddyBoss Social

This free plugin will help bring more traffic to your social network by adding share buttons to each item of activity. This includes member updates, group updates, media uploads, and more.

Users can then click on the share buttons to promote that item on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or use the email button to send it to a contact. This all helps your content catch the attention of those who aren’t yet members of your site.

While the BuddyPress Social plugin will inherit the colours of your theme, you can also override them using the colour picker included in this package.

Find out more about BuddyPress Social

WPMU Chat

This is a premium plugin but it’s a well featured option for adding live chat or messaging to your WordPress site. The plugin offers full BuddyPress integration so you can now add this pretty much essential mode of communication to your social media website.

Features of this plugin that help make it one of our recommended BuddyPress extensions include displaying the user’s name and avatar, viewable chat logs and archives, and support for group chats.

While this emoticon-enabled chat plugin is a premium option, it is available in a package of over 350+ plugins and themes for just $39 per month, or on its own for $19, making it an affordable option.

Find out more about WPMU Chat

BuddyBoss Media & Wall

BuddyBoss Media

This plugin from BuddyPress developers BuddyBoss makes it very easy for users to upload photos to their profiles or to groups. BuddyBoss Media includes additional support for smartphones so your members can share their best photos on the go.

BuddyBoss Wall

This premium plugin works great with the BuddyBoss Wall add-on which turns the standard activity stream into a super interactive wall that resembles the format of Facebook. Your members will then be able to write on each other’s’ walls, like their posts, and upload images using the Media plugin.

Find out more about BuddyBoss Media

BuddyPress Groups Extras

BuddyPress Groups Extra

This free plugin enhances the key BuddyPress groups feature. Once installed on your site, your group pages can now contain more information by using the custom fields that are added to the group creation screen.

With BuddyPress Groups Extra you can also create additional pages for your groups, including a more detailed description, a FAQ, an events page, or whatever information you think will better support your group.

If you want to get more out of the groups feature in BuddyPress then this plugin should be of use to you.

Find out more about BuddyPress Groups Extras

BP Profile Search

The BP Profile Search plugin is a handy tool that makes it possible for your visitors to search the member directory on your social network.

The search field can be added to your site in any location, from there users can then enter their search query. The results are displayed on the members directory page, and the results are divided into a list of all members and a list containing the searchers friends.

This member profile search plugin for BuddyPress is a popular extension with a 4.9 out of 5 star rating and almost 50,000 downloads.

Find out more about BP Profile Search

BuddyPress Security Check

BuddyPress Security Check offers a free and effective way of preventing automated spambots from registering accounts on your website.

When a visitors attempts to register they are presented with a simple maths sum to answer before they can proceed. The sum is composed of an addition or subtraction of two numbers between 0 and ten, so your visors won’t need to be a maths genius to complete their registration.

This free anti-spam plugin for BuddyPress is a nice alternative to the often frustrating captcha form option.

Find out more about BuddyPress Security Check

BuddyPress Links

BuddyPress Links

When sharing a URL or link to a website or file in Facebook, the platform does more than simply display that link to users, instead it grabs some content from the link destination and inserts it into the post.

The free BuddyPress Links plugin brings that kind of functionality to your social network and makes the act of sharing and posting links a much more rewarding experience for all users.

The built-in privacy settings give users full control over who can see the links they post, while the plugin also makes it easy to keep track of any links that are posted by adding a new tab to the activity stream.

As well as auto-embedding rich media from sites like YouTube and Flickr, this plugin also lets users comment and vote on links that are shared to add an extra layer of interactivity to your BuddyPress website.

Find out more about BuddyPress Links

Invite Anyone

This simple but effective free plugin is great for anyone who wants to encourage more members to join up at their social network. It is also a good option for helping the individual groups on your social network grow in membership too.

After the Invite Anyone plugin is activated on your site, members can then enter the email address of a contact they would like to invite to also sign up. The plugin can also be used by group members to invite other site members – even if they aren’t their friends – to join that group.

One nice feature of the plugin is that it adds an auto-suggest search box to the screen to make it easier to find the members to invite, as opposed to scrolling through a long list.

Find out more about Invite Anyone

Conclusion

There you have a good selection of useful extensions for the BuddyPress social networking plugin for WordPress.

These add-ons should add some helpful features to your website to make it easier to use and more attractive to your members. While you might not need all of them now, it’s a good idea to pick a handful and start adding them to your site to see how they can enhance the social networking aspects of your community.

If you are looking for more recommended plugins, the BuddyPress website has this list of well used options.

What features would you like to see added to BuddyPress? Leave a comment below.