Converting Your WordPress into a Social Network

BuddypressBuddypress is a free plugin for WordPress that gives you a lot of functionality you find on social networks like facebook, twitter, and myspace.  You can only use it on a self hosted WordPress site, because if you have a blog on WordPress.com there’s currently no way of installing plugins.

Group Discussion ForumsBuddypress allows users to have profiles, create and join groups, participate in discussion forums, have blogs, add friends, and much more.  I love this plugin, and have just recently implemented it on my music production blog.  You can customize BP to your hearts content, and add additional compatible plugins as well for features like Facebook connect, like buttons, media sharing, and more.  Any of the components can be used or not depending on the nature of your community site.  It’s just a matter of checking or unchecking a box.

In order to use Buddypress with WordPress, you need to activate a Buddypress compatible theme, or customize your existing theme to make it compatible.  There’s a plugin called Buddypress Template Pack that assists in the process of converting an already existing theme.

In conclusion, if you’re looking to start a niche community then Buddypress plugin for WordPress is the best option I’ve discovered to date.

Learn more about Buddypress here.

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