BuddyPress is a WordPress plugin that provides an easy way to create a social networking site. Visitors to a BuddyPress website can start interacting groups, post messages, and connect with other registered members.

In this tutorial, we will go over the steps to install, activate and setup BuddyPress on your website.

How to Install and Activate BuddyPress

Go to your dashboard, hover your cursor over “Plugins” and click “Add New” as shown by the red arrow below:

In the following screen, type “buddypress” in the “Term” box and click “Search Plugins”.

Next, click “Install Now”.

Confirm the installation by clicking “OK”.

In the following page, click “Activate Plugin”.

You have now installed and activated the BuddyPress plugin.

How to Setup BuddyPress

Next, you will need to run the installation wizard. You will see a notification at the top of your dashboard screen, click “Installation Wizard”.

In the following page, you will see a list of the BuddyPress components to customize the plugin to fit your own style and needs. Once finished with the customization, click “Save & Next”.

Note: upon initial installation of BuddyPress, all components are checked. Uncheck the features that will not fit your needs. If you change your mind down the road, you can come back to the setup page and reactivate any specific feature.

Do the same for the following 4 pages. On the last page of the setup, click “Finish & Activate”.

Note:

it is important to understand that most themes do not come with the necessary templates to use all the features included in BuddyPress; therefore, you will need to either add the necessary features to your theme, or use a theme that already has the necessary features enabled.

The BuddyPress plugin comes with a default theme that contains all the necessary features. If you’re not sure which theme to use, the default theme makes for a good starting point.

This completes the installation of BuddyPress with the default theme.

On your dashboard, you will see a BuddyPress button that you can use to make any changes to your instance of the plugin.

To change any of the plugin settings, click “BuddyPress”.

To setup your forums, click on “Forums”.

The BuddyPress forums come with a version of bbPress. If you have a bbPress plugin already installed on your WordPress instance, click “Use Existing Installation”; otherwise click “Install Group Forums” if you’re going to run your forums as group specific. If you prefer to run a site wide forum, as opposed to group specific, then click “Install Site Wide Forums”.

On the following page, click “Complete Installation” to complete the forum installation.

The next page will confirm that your configuration settings have been saved.

To allow user registration on your new BuddyPress Site, hover your cursor over “Settings” in your dashboard and click “General”.

In the following screen, check the “Anyone can register” box next to “Membership”, and click “Save Changes” at the bottom of the page.

Note: if you prefer to manually create a new user, then leave the “Anyone can register” box unchecked.

Your website will now display a “Sign-in” and “Sign-up” form.

Congratulations, you have installed and set up BuddyPress on your site.

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