WordPress Plugin: BuddyPress Template Pack

January 18, 2011 | No Comments Yet

BuddyPress Template Pack transforms WordPress themes into BuddyPress-ready ones. This makes getting into BuddyPress a whole lot easier.

Now you can use BuddyPress with your single site installation of WordPress, and you can keep your existing theme. Seriously, could BuddyPress have made it any easier for you to add social networking to your site? I know I can’t wait to try it out this weekend, how about you?

Just follow the steps once the plugin is installed, and if you want to go back, rest assured that none of your theme files are modified. The plugin requires the BuddyPress add-on, which also comes as a plugin. Your WP install should be at least version 2.9.1 too.

Download BuddyPress Template Pack

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8 Free BuddyPress Themes

December 20, 2010 | 1 Comment

Looking for a good, free BuddyPress theme for your site? WPMU.org has compiled a list of the best ones out there. From dark to light to Facebook lookalikes, these free BP themes should get you started on social networking for free:

  • Blogcaster
  • Malleable
  • Unplugged
  • Cosmic Buddy
  • Fishbook
  • Jukt Micronics
  • Jet Green Theme
  • BP Nicey

The pool isn’t so large right now but as with WordPress, expect BP themes to blow up in the next few months and become a thriving business all the way into highly specialized and premium themes. This is only the beginning.

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WP e-Commerce crash course

November 18, 2010 | No Comments Yet

WordPress has been used for any type of site out there, including e-commerce websites, and one of the biggest reasons for that is the WP e-Commerce plugin. If you’re thinking of trying it out but have no idea where to start, this crash course by 1st Web Designer should help.

If you have not ever created an e-commerce website before, then this crash course is best-suited for you. I am considering that you are totally an idiot when it comes to e-commerce websites. At the end we will also talk about how a developer can integrate e-commerce features in his WordPress theme. So I will say this tutorial will take you from beginner level and at the end you can continue with creating e-commerce websites with WordPress as a developer.

It can also give you a good idea of the plugin’s capabilities and limitations—no use trying to force it into submission when there are specialized shopping cart systems that can do the job in a less hacky way.

Still, let’s hope WordPress provides more functionalities that can push it in the direction of creating ideal WordPress-powered online shops in the same way BuddyPress paved the way for a WordPress-powered social network.

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WordPress Plugin: Import from Ning

April 19, 2010 | No Comments Yet

With hosted social network service Ning announcing that it will no longer support free accounts, people are scurrying to find a suitable alternative, and WordPress / BuddyPress is one such example. Seems like a good opportunity to capture that market.

Should you decide to go that route, Import from Ning makes the transition that much easier.

Allows users to import the users of a Ning community into a WordPress installation. When BuddyPress is installed, the plugin also gives the option of importing additional profile data into BuddyPress profiles.

Download Import from Ning

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Premium theme frameworks reviewed

April 9, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Technosailor reviews in depth the four most popular premium theme frameworks: Thesis, Headway, Genesis, Builder. Criteria range from pricing to performance to compatibility with various WordPress (even BuddyPress) features.

[…] based on the stress test and criteria I outlined earlier, the best framework is Genesis with an 84%. Thesis comes in with a 76%. Builder garners a 74%. Headway needs the most improvement and only gets a 55%.

It’s a long read, but if you’re a serious website developer, a good theme framework can make a big difference in getting things done. My only wish is for a matrix comparison of all the themes, not just the conclusion above, so it’s easy to figure out who’s strong in which area.

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WordPress in Google Summer of Code 2010

March 30, 2010 | No Comments Yet

WordPress is once again participating in the annual Google Summer of Code, whose application period just opened. For the unfamiliar, GSoC gives initiatives for student developers to work on open source projects (such as WordPress) in preparation for their foray into real-world software development.

Here is this year’s list of ideas for WordPress:

  • BuddyPress
  • GlotPress
  • bbPress
  • Media
  • Widgets
  • Blog Import/Export
  • User Roles
  • Template Versioning
  • Comment Moderation
  • Move WordPress
  • Enhance Profiles.WordPress.org

The WP GSoC also gathers some of the biggest names in the community to act as mentors to the participants. IRC chats will be held on March 31, April 3, and April 7 to interact with them.

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WordPress & BuddyPress Plugin: Facestream

March 24, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Facestream synchronizes Facebook and BuddyPress streams, including posting, replying, and filtering abilities. “Everything is designed for easy-intergration, easy-setup and easy-usability. With a lots of admin and per user settings.” WPMU.org has a nice walkthrough on setting it up.

The plugin requires WordPress 2.9.1+ and BuddyPress 1.2+. Also check out Tweetstream, which does the same thing for a BuddyPress install, but this time for Twitter.

Download Facestream

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BuddyPress 1.2 installs on WordPress

February 17, 2010 | No Comments Yet

BuddyPress Test Drive site

The biggest roadblocks to adopting social network software BuddyPress have finally been eliminated. With the latest version 1.2 coming out, you can now install BuddyPress on WordPress and not just WordPress MU. That goes for any WP version. Consider this the official way to run BP following this one.

Another highlight of this release is a quicker, simpler installation process: just 3 steps detailed in the download page. Simply add BuddyPress from your plugins page and activate a theme for it.

Probably the most exciting part of this release is a new default theme, which you can see running on the official site and the BuddyPress Test Drive site. BP is looking cleaner and more flexible than ever—you can create child themes with BP too.

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Add Google Buzz to WordPress & BuddyPress

February 15, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Google Buzz Logo

WPMU.org lists 5 different ways you can integrate Google Buzz into your WordPress and BuddyPress site. Aside from a the Buzz This WP plugin and the Digg-like button, you can also display your Buzz stream and share BP profiles to Buzz.

  1. “Buzz This” Plugin for WordPress
  2. Make Your Own Button to Add Anywhere in Your Template
  3. Share Your Google Buzz Posts on Your Site with Google Buzz ER Plugin
  4. Add the Ability to Share BuddyPress Profile Links With a “Buzz This” Button
  5. Add “Buzz This” to Individual BuddyPress Activity Stream Posts

Although Google Buzz is facing controversy right now for privacy issues, it could become a huge social network overnight since it’s built right inside Gmail, and bloggers will definitely want to take advantage of that audience.

Update: see also this post by Mashable.

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BuddyPress can now run on WordPress single user

January 5, 2010 | 1 Comment

Great news for everybody itching to run BuddyPress but are still having second thoughts running WordPress MU: BP no longer requires WPMU! The latest trunk version can now run on single-user WordPress (that’s the original flavor of WP we all know and love) and these are all you have to remember:

  1. Install WP Single User.
  2. Make sure Pretty Permalinks are turned on.
  3. Download the BuddyPress Trunk here.
    Scroll down to the bottom and grab the zip archive.
  4. Unpack it and upload to your wp-plugins directory.
  5. Make sure you move the bp-themes folder to the wp-content/themes directory and you should be good to go. The BP theme folder shows up automatically in the Appearance tab in WP 2.9.

I didn’t expect that this would happen before the WordPress-Wordpress MU merger, so this is a pleasant surprise. Read more details on this forum thread.

As an aside: this is the first time I’ve heard of WordPress being referred to as “single user”. Of course, this is just the counterpart to the term “multi-user” for WPMU, since we all know WordPress can have multiple users/authors in one installation.

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An early look at WordPress.org Profiles

September 4, 2009 | 1 Comment

WP Tavern reports on the first instance of BuddyPress running on an official WordPress site: WP Profiles.

While we briefly talked about this during episode 70 of WordPress Weekly with Andy Peatling, today during the early part of the WordPress developer chat, Jane Wells passed on a link to http://profiles.wordpress.org which is the first public instance of BuddyPress in action on the WordPress.org domain

On the front page is a list of the recently active members. Click on one of them to view his/her profile, which lists contributions to the WordPress project, particularly the following sections: Plugins, Support forums, Ideas, and Trac. From that you can deduce that if you have an account at WordPress.org, you can login to WP Profiles.

One of its more important features is the ability to add oneself to the Consultants List. WordPress professionals can opt to have their names listed in the WordPress consultants list, presumably this page or something similar on WordPress.org. That’s instant exposure for your business, courtesy of the official WordPress site itself!

The WP Profiles site is a good example of taking BuddyPress to the next level with a custom members site, and of course increasing the social aspect of the official WordPress community site. But is this also a hint at the previous cryptic announcement at WordCamp San Francisco that WordPress.org and WordPress MU are going to merge?

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BuddyPress to ship with a theme framework; will WordPress be next?

August 25, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Social networking platform BuddyPress has modified its theme structure to contain by default a theme framework, basically a parent theme which custom themes can override with child themes.

In BuddyPress 1.1 there will be one single theme to handle everything. BuddyPress will ship with a theme framework that acts as a parent theme. The default theme will be a child theme based on this framework and contains only images and css. Building a new BuddyPress theme will be as simple as creating a child theme based on the framework. If you’re not familiar with child themes a quick google search will bring up lots of useful information.

This makes theme development for a relatively more complex CMS much easier. But what’s more interesting about this is there are several WordPress theme frameworks already out there, and it looks like the BuddyPress development team has taken a cue from that. My question is: should future versions of WordPress also ship with a default theme framework just like BuddyPress? For those who aren’t familiar with the benefits:

When building a new theme you don’t need to re-create every template file. You can override specific template files where needed. Most importantly though, your theme will update automatically with the latest functionality when the framework theme is updated.

In the meantime, however, check out these 3rd-party theme frameworks for WP.

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WordPress books ahoy!

July 28, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Three new WordPress books are coming to a bookstore near you (or Amazon):

Just several months back Matt Mullenweg put up a call for WordPress authors on his blog as Wiley is looking to publish WP-related books. And of course we have a whole section of featured WordPress resource books on the official site. Looking to expand your WordPress knowledge? Whether you’re a novice at WordPress or live and breathe it already, there are some things only an elegant paperback can teach.

(Via WPTavern)

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WordPress 2.8.1 & WordPress MU 2.8.1

July 11, 2009 | No Comments Yet

The first official release since the big WordPress 2.8 is finally out. Highlights of the new features are listed in the announcement post, but you can also view the complete list here. Lots of fixed glitches, memory improvements, and improved security:

Core Security Technologies notified us that admin pages added by certain plugins could be viewed by unprivileged users, resulting in information being leaked. Not all plugins are vulnerable to this problem, but we advise upgrading to 2.8.1 to be safe.

WordPress MU also came out with version 2.8.1 a day after. Unlike WordPress, WPMU didn’t have a version 2.8, so this is a big update for all you multi-users out there (including BuddyPress). Download it now!

You can upgrade to WP 2.8.1 by downloading it at WordPress.org or by clicking “upgrade automatically” after following the notice in your administration panel.

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WordPress and WordPress MU to merge!

June 2, 2009 | 3 Comments

Update (06/03/09): Matt himself left this comment:

While WordPress.org-the-website will include more BuddyPress features, that was a separate announcement from the elimination of MU and bringing its code into core WP.

Update (06/02/09): Lorelle VanFossen has a different interpretation of the cryptic merger. It’s anybody’s guess at this point, it seems.

WordCamp San Francisco 2009

At WordCamp San Francisco, where Matt Mullenweg delivered his annual State of the Word keynote, he announced that WordPress and WordPress MU (multi-user) will be merging in the near future. Apparently he told users to “watch out for version 3.0”. There weren’t many details given during the event, which means we’re left to speculate on how this merger will actually happen.

Still, WordPress MU has been less accessible to the ordinary users compared to WordPress given its feature requirements. And BuddyPress, which runs on top of WordPress MU, is a very appealing CMS for those interested in building communities and social networks. So integrating multi-user features into the WordPress is great news.

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BuddyPress 1.0

May 1, 2009 | No Comments Yet

The 1.0 release of the WordPress MU-powered social network BuddyPress has finally arrived. If you will recall we’ve mentioned BuddyPress a couple of times before, and Matt even talked about it during last year’s WordCamp Philippines.

Here’s how Matt Mullenweg describes BuddyPress:

BuddyPress is an official sister project of WordPress. The idea behind it was to see what would happen to the web if it was as easy for anyone to create a social network as it is to create a blog today. There’s been an explosion of social activity on the web, it’s probably the most important trend of the past few years, but there’s been a dearth of Open Source tools that enable the social web.

Download BuddyPress 1.0

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WordPress participates in Google Summer of Code 2009

March 31, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Once again WordPress is participating in the annual Google Summer of Code and is inviting everyone to help out in improving specific aspects of the blogging software as well as related projects like WPMU and BuddyPress.

You name it, we want you to propose it. It’s true, competition is fierce, but hey, if you’re already hacking WordPress, you’re ahead of the pack as far as we’re concerned. Applications are being accepted as of today, and the deadline is on April 3, 2009.

There’s also a list of mentors you can approach if you want to participate in the summer-long hacking. It also helps to check out the suggested ideas section of the website.

Sign up here. Visit the Google Summer of Code 2009 site for more details.

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WordCamp 2008 live coverage

August 17, 2008 | No Comments Yet

WordCamp 2008 is underway right now and Matt Mullenweg recommends ZDNet’s live coverage straight from University of California San Francisco.

Here’s the schedule:

9:00 a.m. The Future of Education and WordPress –
9:30 a.m. SEO Mistakes Most Bloggers Make – Stephan Spencer
10:00 a.m. Open Source Business Models – Stephen O’Grady
10:50 a.m. Andy Skelton – A musical performance
11:00 a.m. LOLcats and the Secret of Virality
11:30 a.m. WordPress & Microformats
12:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. Switching to WordPress Painlessly – Lloyd Budd
1:20 p.m. 450 WordPress Power User Tips – Lorelle VanFossen
1:40 p.m. Hassle-free Upgrades – Sam Bauers
2:00 p.m. State of the Word – Matt Mullenweg
3:00 p.m. Get Friendly with BuddyPress – Andy Peatling
3:20 p.m. Democratizing the Web through Global Voices – Jeremy Clarke
3:40 p.m. An interview with Om Malik
4:00 p.m. Riding the Crazyhorse – Liz Danzico and Jane Wells
5:00 p.m. A musical performance by Chuck Lewis aka SEO Rapper
5:10 p.m. Kicking Ass and Creating Passionate Users – Kathy Sierra

Visit the blog post for a glimpse of what’s to come for our very own WordCamp Philippines. It’s a good read not only for WordPress fans but also for bloggers and technology enthusiasts in general.

See also the live Twitter updates coming in via its search interface.

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BuddyPress is a WordPress MU Social Network Platform

April 1, 2008 | 1 Comment

BuddyPress

If you enjoy all the features of WordPress, particularly its multi-user version WordPress MU, but would like to take it a step further and produce one of the hottest places to be on the web right now, a social network, then BuddyPress might be the solution you’re looking for.

BuddyPress is still essentially blogging software but “removes the main focus of WordPress MU away from blogs, moving it more towards the actual member themselves.” Instead of having blogging as its main feature, it’s now one features in addition to more detailed profile pages, private messaging, friends, groups, status updates, photo albums, and something called The Wire, which is basically where friends can leave messages on one’s profile page ala MySpace comments.

Rolling out a custom social network seems like the next logical step after blogging. In the Philippines, there are a lot of bloggers but there are more of us who more easily understand the likes of Friendster and Multiply. Others believe blogging is the next social network. And that our online social lives can remain scattered across different websites like Twitter and Facebook, too. Will BuddyPress draw in the crowds? Could it equal the likes of KickApps and Ning? We’ll find out soon enough.

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