There is no question that social networking sites are the most popular nowadays as they offer all the goodies people like. These are the places on the net where people can come together and share their thoughts, experiments etc. Building a niche social networking site is definitely a good idea considering that it will be a place for people with the same interest where they share and discuss relevant topics, and this means great amount of search engine traffic as well as returning visors and with that great possibility fro monetization. .
Fortunately, building a social networking site is not an unreachable project anymore since there are many scripts for this purpose, you can even build a community site with WordPress and for free. The only software you should use is BuddyPress.
What Is BuddyPress?
BuddPress was developed by the creators of WordPress and allows us to create social networking sites easily. It is a sort of software that expands the functions of WordPress giving the ability to create community sites with the must have features.
As it is built on WordPress it uses the same technologies, and specially built plugins, themes and widgets can also be found for BuddyPress. If you are familiar with WordPress you will not find it hard to use since the usage is the same. You can simply install BuddyPress from the WordPress plugins dashboard, once you do it, you will see the new features within your WordPress dashboard and your social networking site is ready. It even offers a great dashboard to set everything comfortable or to make it compatible with your existing website.
What Sort of Features BuddyPress Offers
- Extended Profile – Members can create a more detailed profile page. They can share many sort of info on themselves. Here they can also change things like notification options and sensitive account information.
- Private Messaging – This feature allows users to communicate with each other privately, or send messages for only those they want.
- Friend Connection – BuddyPress allows members to create their own friend list. This function lets users to make connections and this way they can track the activity of each other.
- User Groups – In order to discuss one particular subject users can set up groups. They can create private, public or hidden groups.
- Activity Streams – This allows global, personal, and group activity streams with single-stream view. It supports threaded commenting, status updates, favorites, @mentions, RSS feeds, and email notifications. This is something like the Facebook wall.
- Multisite Blogging – All users can start their WordPress blog simply with the well-known features. Users can even track new posts and comments across the whole community website. The new posts will be displayed on the homepage, on category and tag pages.
- Forums – It also comes with an easy to use forum for even more discussion.
These are the basic features, but by using plugins we can make them even more powerful or we can even add new ones as well. Plus, in order to give a unique layout for our social networking site we can choose form many BuddyPress themes.
What is BuddyPress Good for
Overall, Buddypress has been developed to create social network sites based on WordPress. There are many ways you can use it effectively:
- You can set up a site for your friends, colleagues in order to have a “private Facebook”.
- Can be used for larger companies in order to make the communication of employees simpler.
- Creating a social network for institutions such as schools, clubs etc.
- Build niche social networking site such as for garden lovers, mechanics etc.
I think, a niche social networking site is much better solution for then a simple site. Since we can have site with a group of people that are really interested in the topic and this makes monetization even more powerful. And buy using BuddyPress we can have one for free.
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