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Why you should NOT use Buddypress to make your own social network

If you are thinking about starting up your own mini version of facebook or twitter then you should do it with a purpose built script and not with buddypress!

I have used Buddypress for a few different websites for a couple years now and they never really scaled up because of it. Recently however I have moved away from using Buddypress for my new sites and haven’t looked back. One of the main reasons for this is that buddypress is simply not built to be able to cope with more than one user and does not have any modern features that you would expect from a social network in 2020!

Buddypress is a plugin for wordpress that supposedly turns your wordpress site into a functioning social network. However, it lacks so many BASIC features such as image uploads and it takes a lot of custom code and additional plugins to make your site remotely like a social network site. There are plenty of buddpress plugins that will help you build a more functioning wordpress site such as Youzify available on codecanyon. There are also more plugins available on the wordpress repository but downloading random plugins from wordpress.org can be extremely risky and could leave your site vulnerable to being HACKED. Adding more and more plugins also will slow down your site considerably. Even if you do not install loads of plugins your site will still be slow even with expensive dedicated hosting.

WordPress was built for blogs and was never intended to be for making a full scale social network site even with buddypress installed. If you are not using certain blog features wordpress will still load up lots of different libraries and functions every time you load up a page such as the wordpress comment emojis or the Gutenberg library because of the way wordpress was built. This makes your site extremely sluggish especially when there are multiple users logged in. User management in buddypress is a compete and utter mess. A lot of wordpress sites are targeted by spammers who use automated bots that sign up to your site to try to get backlinks for seo purposes.. this means that you will require a tough sign up process to stop this from happening.. but buddypress simply does not have this and it makes it extremely hard to clean up your site if you do get a spam attack.

There are just so many problems with buddypress it would take me all day to list them. My advice to you is if you are thinking about launching your own social network with buddypress is to think again. Just because its free doesn’t automatically make it the best option. There are numerous good quality scripts out there that you can buy that will come with all the features that you will need and will be able to handle more users than buddypress could ever handle. Whatever you do just make sure you pick carefully what script you use because its very difficult to switch to a different one once you get started. This is because the database schema is always different depending upon what script you are using so you cannot simply export your users and content and import into a new script. Currently I’m using ColibriSM for my social network projects and just love it.

Good luck!

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Written by James

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