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BuddyPress is a free software package that can be plugged in to WordPress to create a social networking website. For newcomers, think of BuddyPress as an out-of-the-box social networking website, complete with an administration area that lets you manage the site.
What is BuddyPress?
BuddyPress is a plugin for WordPress. BuddyPress is set up as a plugin that can be added to a WordPress site. It's a large plugin, and it adds a lot of functionality.
It's free. Like WordPress, it's open-source software, which means you'll never have to pay to download or use it.
It's a social networking system, with features similar to Facebook. In a BuddyPress site, users can create and update their profiles, send private messages to one another, befriend and de-friend each other, form and join groups, participate in forum discussions, and more.
It's a content management system. In conjunction with the WordPress engine that it runs on, BuddyPress lets you create and update content on your website.
It's extensible with plugins. The functionality of a BuddyPress site can be extended with the use of plugins. Hundreds of BuddyPress plugins are available for free in the plugins directory. BuddyPress is compatible with many of the thousands of plugins that already exist for WordPress. If you need functionality that isn't already offered, you can build a custom plugin.
It's designed using themes. Just like a WordPress site, changing the look and feel of a BuddyPress site can be as simple as activating a new theme. Free and premium themes are available for BuddyPress, or you can design a custom theme.
BuddyPress allows people to create fully featured social networking sites that are totally customizable. Out of the box, it comes with a set of features resembling Facebook and Twitter.
Users can create and update profiles, including the use of profile photos. Site administrators can easily set up the parameters of the user profiles.
Users can befriend one another. The site owner can decide what special abilities friends have with regard to one another.
Users can send private messages. BuddyBoss comes with a robust private messaging system, similar to that found on Facebook. Users can choose whether or not to receive an email notification when someone sends them a message.
Users can form and join groups. Groups can be used for a wide range of functions within the website. Administrators can choose to let their users create and join groups of common interest.
Users can follow activity streams. BuddyPress activity streams provide a quick digest of the recent activity going on within a site or with regard to a particular user.
Users can create blogs. Capitalizing on the full functionality of WordPress, the most popular blogging platform in the world, BuddyPress gives administrators and users a full-featured online publishing platform.
Users can participate in forum discussions. BuddyPress is fully integrated with bbPress, a slick forum system.