Learn Everything About BuddyPress Theme Development From The Scratch

Learn Everything About BuddyPress Theme Development From The Scratch
BuddyPress is an excellent community plugin used on WordPress that gives your site a powerful social networking ability. It has all features that you wanted from any online community, like user profiles, activity streams, groups, notifications, and much more. It helps you create a better website or blog with it is BuddyPress theme customization. The best part is that it is free!

Best features

  • Create and update profile, including profile photos. It is easy for site administrators to set up the parameters of user profiles.
  • Befriend other users and site owner decides what special abilities friends get about one another.
  • Send private messages, and it comes with an active private messaging system, just as in Facebook.
  • Choose if you want to receive an email notification when someone sends a message.
  • Form and join groups and use the groups for a broad range of functions from the website.
  • Follow activity streams that give a quick brief about the recent activity popular on one site or connected to a particular user.

Additional Features

  • Campus-wide social network for your school, college or university.
  • An excellent internal communication tool in your company
  • Niche social networks for every specific interest groups
  • Focus on communities for products & services
  • Integrated with BuddyPress to improve community forums
  • BuddyPress provides users and administrators a full-featured online publishing platform.
  • Moreover, it is entirely customizable

BuddyPress is Powerful

BuddyPress has several components which integrate directly with your website, and even with other plugins.
If you want only some features, BuddyPress shall automatically change, displaying only the menu items, pages, and buttons for those functions that are enabled.

The Team

BuddyPress is a GPL-licensed open-source project created by many contributors from around the world. Patches and RFC’s help and inspires while props are provided and collected for every significant software release.
  • First, buy a secure hosting and HostGator, has prices starting from $5 per month.
  • Then install WordPress. There is an easy one-click install button in HostGator.
  • Next, install the BuddyPress plugin. Check your site’s administration section, and go to “Plugins,” press “Add New,” search “BuddyPress,” and complete the installation.
  • Now get a good theme. BuddyBoss has an excellent premium theme named BuddyBoss. You can use or customize it to your needs.
You are all ready to go. All you need now is to customize the working and design of your BuddyPress site to grow the community.
BuddyPress is an excellent community plugin used on WordPress that gives your site a powerful social networking ability. It has all features that you wanted from any online community, like user profiles, activity streams, groups, notifications, and much more. It helps you create a better website or blog with it is BuddyPress theme customization. The best part is that it is free!

To help you here are some steps:

Those developers who understand the various functions of WordPress will find it easier to develop buddy press themes. Some just hire a BuddyPress developer.
However, once you get the hang of Word Press plugins you can complete your projects fast, and you will start customizing themes better.
Just do the same while using BuddyPress!
I shall explain only about the essential steps for BuddyPress theme development, like the key aspects of Buddy Press API as conditionals, template tags, and loops.
Once you have understood these core functionalities, you can develop your BuddyPress child theme. Hope you use this as only a starters BuddyPress development tutorial.

BuddyPress Template Tags

Template Tags are the focus in theme development. These template tags come handy to customize your themes. Some are the same as WordPress template tags and like I said before Word Press knowledge saves time here! Some template tags from header to footer for your BuddyPress plugin development:

1Header and Navigation

get_header() – similar template tag as WordPress, also contains your theme's header.php file.
bp_get_loggedin_user_nav() - shows logged in users the site navigation links and adds a "current selected" class to that nav item seen. It helps you build custom CSS to transform the display of the list item.

2Post and Content Formatting

Again they are the same tags utilized to display and format content in WordPress. It also operates in the WordPress loop. Check the example of these in action:
  • Open the bp-default theme and open index.php.
  • Lines 15-61 is an excellent example of the WordPress loop working in BuddyPress.
the_content()

the_excerpt()

the_tags()

the_category()

3User and Member Info

To see these tags
open up members/member-loop.php and members/single.php in bp-default.
bp_loggedin_user_avatar() – shows the currently logged in user's avatar.
bp_loggedin_user_domain()- dislays the current logged in user's URL.
bp_member_permalink - shows the URL of a member's profile page.
bp_member_avatar - shows a member's avatar.
These may be used in member loops to build a global collection of users.
bp_get_user_firstname()

bp_group_member_joined_since()

4Groups

View these tags in action go to p groups/groups-loop.php and groups/single.php within bp-default.
bp_group_permalink() – shows a link to a particular group's home page.
bp_group_avatar() - displays a group's avatar.
bp_group_description_excerpt() - shows the group description as specified by the group admin.
bp_get_group_name() -

5 Activity

bp_sitewide_activity_feed_link() - shows the link for the site's RSS activity feed.

6 Search Forms

bp_directory_groups_search_form() – shows a search form that shall search across all public groups and the activity.
bp_directory_forums_search_form() – shows a search form that helps for searches based on forum content.
bp_directory_members_search_form() – shows a search form that helps for searches based on member info and content.

7 Includes

locate_template() - used to include templates as the sidebar & search forms.
To include sidebar:
<?php locate_template( array( 'sidebar.php' ), true ) ;?>
You may also use this template tag to show search form templates. Go to bp-default's index.php file.

8 Pagination

bp_groups_pagination_count()

bp_groups_pagination_links()

bp_members_pagination_count()

bp_members_pagination_links()

bp_activity_pagination_count()

bp_activity_pagination_links()
Along with these, there are different pagination template tags for various types of content.
Just replace the word "groups" in the template tags above with these words: forum, blogs, group_members, or messages, to add the links or count for that particular loop that you are using.
Let’s examine these loops in-depth now.

9 Footer

get_footer()

Working with BuddyPress Loops

Here too you may use the default WordPress loop in the themes to display posts Meta content and post.
BuddyPress also contains its loops where each is liable for showing BuddyPress-centric content types.
BuddyPress has loops for:
  • members
  • forum topics
  • activity stream
  • groups
  • private messages
  • profile data
  • group members
Though every loop is quite similar to the standard WordPress loop, each has its particular variables, which help better customization for your BuddyPress theme design.
Learn about the bp-default theme files for understanding about the uses of loops.
Every content type has a folder with the particular loop file.

An Overview and Some Correct Ways to Customize the Display

1 Groups Loop

The group's loop helps display a list of site groups. Useful parameters for customizing the group's loop:
  • type – by default, which is set to active, and can also accept these: most-forum-topics, most-forum-posts, newest, popular, random, alphabetical.
  • per_page – BuddyPress loop shows ten groups on each page, change that by entering a new number.
  • user_id – by identifying a user id, only groups where the user belongs to is displayed.

2Members Loop

Although BuddyPress has many loops, you can easily customize and understand them.

How does BuddyPress Use Conditional Template Tags?

Conditionals are an excellent way to fast and easy development of custom themes that alter due to certain conditions. These conditionals always start with bp_is_ and they are used to show particular content on individual pages.
Here’s an example, to show a particular only over group home pages, you may use the conditional template tag:
<?php if ( bp_is_group_home() ) : ?> Show this on group home pages <? endif; ?>
Another example of a conditional template tag is bp_is_group_home().
To show something only over user home pages, you can make use the above tag, for the conditional template tag use:
  • bp_is_home
  • bp_is_my_profile

Conclusion

These were the necessary steps for custom BuddyPress development, but if you want you can also use an expert from a BuddyPress development company. Experts may be able to use this plugin better.