With the advent of social media, our lives have changed drastically. The ways of communicating, socializing, marketing, education, and many other aspects of our lives are directly affected by social media in many ways. Anyone who wants to sell a product or service effectively will use social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, etc.
If you want to succeed personally or professionally, you have to be active in social media and make several contacts. Therefore, people incorporate membership elements and social network features such as activities, group chats and debates, buddy lists, and more into their websites these days. It makes no difference what kind of website it is; whether it’s an e-commerce platform, a professional page, or an eLearning platform, you may create a mini social media or community interface within it. This will not only help the platform development, but it will also give users the essential pleasure.
Building and maintaining a website is difficult enough; connecting it with a social networking platform, while appealing, is challenging to accomplish. But let me tell you, you can easily do it without having much technical knowledge about website coding and designing. Moreover, you don’t need to hire expensive agencies and spend thousands of dollars per year for doing so. The platform we are talking about is the World’s Best Content Management System (CMS) WordPress.
WordPress services are used by several famous companies, including Microsoft, TechCrunch, Facebook, and a slew of others. WordPress now powers more than 40% of the internet, and this number is steadily increasing.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a free, open-source platform for building websites. WordPress is a CMS developed in PHP and MySQL databases on a more technical level. WordPress is the most user-friendly and powerful blogging and website-building platform available today. WordPress is an excellent platform for a wide range of websites. WordPress is a flexible CMS that can handle everything from blogging to e-commerce to commercial and portfolio sites. WordPress is a wonderful choice for large and small websites since it was created with usability and flexibility in mind.
Now, as we know, that WordPress platform is free, but when we create a website, there are some costs that you have to incur. For creating a social media website, these costs are:
- Domain name
- Hosting service
- Plugins and addons (free and paid)
- Themes (free and paid)
What do plugins and addons do in WordPress?
A WordPress plugin is software that adds new functionality to your WordPress site or expands current functionality. Plugins can change your site in a variety of ways, from minor tweaks to major overhauls. For creating a specific type of website, we have to integrate specific types of plugins and addons into our websites.
It is possible to accomplish whatever you want with your WordPress site. If the functionality isn’t built into WordPress by default, there’s almost definitely a plugin for it. Some of the top-rated WordPress plugins are:
- WooCommerce for ecommerce integration
- bbPress for forum integration
- GamiPress for website gamification
- Gravity Forms for creating forms
- LearnDash for eLearning solutions
- Elementor for website page designing
Here, we are trying to create a social media website, so let’s talk about WordPress community plugins. Some top-rated social media plugins are:
Some of the features to look at in a WordPress community plugin are:
Members are people who contribute to the creation of a community website. On a community website, members are at the heart of everything. Therefore, a community plugin must allow members to share personal information through customizable profile areas, allowing you to tailor your community.
Members can send a friend request to each other and grow as a community.
With many activity feeds and member listing choices, members may effortlessly organize themselves into public, private, or hidden social zones.
Members can chat and send messages to each other, either in a group or privately.
The Member Dashboard aids in the customization of users’ first impressions and concentrates on the most important areas of the members’ area. In addition, members can also get a bird eye perspective of recent conversations and activities.
Members may use a specialized notification bubble toolbar and email to observe all relevant and connected activities. Members can also tailor their notification preferences.
Using the activity stream, keep your pals up to date on what’s going on. We can create different activities and ask others to join them.
Members may search the whole network for postings, posts’ kinds, and persons using a single search bar.
These are some of the basic features that every social media plugin must-have. Now, some of the plugins named earlier have all those features but have some differences among themselves.
BuddyPress: This is one of the best community WordPress plugins that is open-source and free to use. It comes loaded with tons of features and supports many addons for added functionality. Some of the addons that add tons of extra functions and must-have for a fantastic social media website for BuddyPress are:
Free BuddyPress Addons
- BuddyPress Post From Anywhere
- BP Modify Member Directory and Profile Header
- BuddyPress Birthday Widget
- BuddyPress Check-ins
- BuddyPress Favourite Notification
- Buddypress Create Group Type
Premium BuddyPress Addons
- BuddyPress Follow & Friend Suggestion Plugin
- BuddyPress Giphy
- BuddyPress Auto Friends
- BuddyPress Status & Reaction
- BuddyPress Moderation Pro
- BuddyPress Private Community Pro
- BuddyPress Profile Pro
BuddyBoss platform: This is a social media plugin based on the BuddyPress plugin. The BuddyBoss platform provides you with a more customized version of BuddyPress with many additional features to integrate with your social media website.
PeepSo: It is a paid WordPress community plugin that provides users with all their social media needs. Using PeepSo might be somewhat expensive in comparison to BuddyPress and BuddyBoss platforms.
What do themes do in WordPress?
A WordPress theme allows you to personalize your website. The WordPress theme controls the website’s design, layout, color schemes, typography, and much more. Themes display the information and data that WordPress has stored in the browser. When you make a WordPress theme, you get to choose how the content looks and is presented. When it comes to you, there are a lot of possibilities.
If we talk about the best social media theme, BuddyX is the answer. This community WordPress theme provides you with tons of features and the support of many out of box WordPress plugins. Some of those features are:
One-click demo import
You can select from many demos and import and install them to give your website a jumpstart.
With the support of page-builder plugins like Elementor and Gutenberg and using the Advance Theme Customizer option, you can create and design pages as you want. Not only that, you can manage color schemes, typography, and much more.
Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian are among the languages that work best with the BuddyX theme. All you have to do now is change the stylesheet to RTL.
Lightweight and responsive
BuddyX is a lightweight, fast and responsive theme that changes to the screen size automatically.
Seamless Form integration
Including a contact form on your website may improve user experience and generate new leads for your company. All popular form plugins, such as Gravity Forms, Contact Form 7, WPForms, and Ninja Forms, are supported by Buddyx BuddyPress.
Multiple Header Variation
Choose from a variety of alternatives and customize your header for your website. You may also edit and upload logos, as well as change color schemes of the header.
Out-of box plugin support
BuddyX themes support many plugins for added functionalities to your website. Some of them are:
- bbPress for forum integration into your website.
- WooCommerce for ecommerce operations and single-vendor stores.
- Multivendor plugins like Dokan Multivendor and WC Vendors for transforming your website into a social marketplace.
- LMS plugins like LearnDash, LifterLMS, TutorLMS, and more for creating an eLearning website like Udemy and edX.
- GamiPress for gamifying your website with rewards and leaderboards.
- WP Job Manager for creating job portals like indeed or LinkedIn.
The BuddyX theme is a free to use WordPress theme, which also comes with a pro version which has a very reasonable cost.
BuddyX Pro pricing:
- Single website: $59/year or $199 for lifetime
- Five websites: $129/year or $299 for lifetime
- Unlimited websites: $399 for lifetime
BuddyX alternative: Reign BuddyPress theme
Reign BuddyPress theme is ideal for creating appealing websites, specialized groups, topic-specific networks, or simply socializing and connecting people. It works with well-known plugins like BuddyPress, bbPress, and BuddyBoss Platform. It also supports many WordPress plugins like LearnDash, LifterLMS, WooCommerce, Dokan Multivendor, WC Vendors, GamiPress, and many more. Overall speaking, it is a fast, UI-friendly, and responsive WordPress community theme.
BuddyX alternative: Reign PeepSo theme
If, in any case, you don’t want to use BuddyPress or BuddyBoss platform and go for WordPress premium community plugin PeepSo, then you can use the Reign PeepSo theme for the optimal integration of the PeepSo plugin. Reign provides specialized support for PeepSo and its official addons, and you can use Reign to build an engaging social network platform on WordPress.
The WordPress platform is adaptable, with a wide range of plugins and themes to assist and support you in creating an easy-to-manage social network or community platform. So, with the support of the World’s largest CMS, take your first step towards the journey you always wanted to start. Then, grow big and cherish it with the community that you build.
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