Online social media communities like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have taken over the world in a storm. From highlighting personal opinions to making brands accessible to the world, social media fulfills most digital needs.The stats speak for themselves. According to the Global Digital Report 2018, the number of internet users worldwide in 2018 is 4.021 billion. Out of these up to approximately 3.196 billion are social media users. This has went up by around 13 percent from 2017. So, social media is undoubtedly the treasure that entrepreneurs are looking for to create online professional community .
Create Online Professional Community
With WordPress, creating any site or blog is neither difficult nor expensive. Similar is the case for a professional online community. WordPress allows you to transform it into a social networking platform with an open source software package named BuddyPress.
Easily customizable and user-friendly, BuddyPress is ideal to create social networks for your college, company, or any niche community. It also supports most social-network features like user profiles, member types, activity streams, user groups and group types.
In simple words, BuddyPress allows users on your community website to:
- Create and update profiles, including the use of profile photos.
- Befriend other users on the same community site.
- Send private messages to each other similar to Facebook.
- Form and join groups under group administrators.
- Follow activity streams of the recent activities within a site or for a particular user.
- Create blogs using a full-featured online publishing platform.
- Participate in forum discussions.
These features are extremely potent to create a professional online community on WordPress. However, to stand out from the crowd, these features are just not enough. You need certain more features and customisations to make a never lasting impact on your future site members.
Do not worry though. There are robust themes like Reign, The Ultimate BuddyPress Theme which let you add other incredible features for the Perfect community website.
Some of the unique features that this theme offers are:
Multiple Member Header Layout
Member Headers are important as they decide how the details of a single member page would appear on your site. This theme offers 3 fabulous layouts to change Member Header Layouts as and when you want with a single click.
Multiple Group Header Layout
Group Headers are important as they decide how the details of a particular group would appear on your site. This theme offers 3 fabulous layouts to change Multiple Group Header Layout too. Select the best that suits your site and make the right kind of impact on your audience.
Multiple Member Directory Layout
Reign is equipped with multiple member directory layout.This allows you to choose among three unique layouts for your member directory. It displays the account details of the individual members on your site. Choose the layout which perfectly suits your community niche and get optimised results for your site.
Multiple Group Directory Layout
Multiple Group Directory Layout lets you manipulate how the details of a group would look like in your site. It is important as it helps members of the group to know the group name as well as the name of its members. Reign offers two completely different layouts that can be used with Multiple Group Directory. Select your type by just clicking on the layout you like.
Avatar is a term used for images used to represent a person in the virtual world. Avatar Thumb Size is used to change the dimensions of user and group avatars in activity, members and group lists. This helps you to optimize your website pages and provide a clean look and user-friendly interface for site visitors. You can change the size from 25 x 25 px to 300 x 300 px. Here
Avatar Full Size is for user and group headers. Like, Avatar Thumb Size, it is also used to change the dimensions of user and group avatars but in the user and group header. These should be set according to the Avatar Thumb Size for better optimisation. You can change the size from 100 x 100 px to 375 x 375 px.
Every user wants their avatar to look cool and unique from others. However, uploading heavy high-quality Avatars is not possible on every site. To combat this, the Avatar Max Size option is there so that you can provide options for users to upload avatars from 320 px to 1280 px as they like.
Default User Avatar option is used to upload a custom image that can be displayed till the time a user adds an image to his personal avatar. It does not look good if there is no custom image for user avatar on your site. Keeping a default avatar for the user avatar makes users aware about the image type to be added.
Like Default User Avatar, the Default Group Avatar option is used to upload a custom image that can be displayed till the time an image is added to group avatar. It does not look good if there is no custom image for group avatar on your site. Keeping a default avatar for the group avatars makes users aware about the image type to be added.
Group cover images appear on the top of a particular group. You can upload the picture of your choice from Default Group Cover Image here. The size of the Group Cover Image can also be changed from 1024 x 300 to 1024 x 800 px.
Default Profile Cover Image and Image Size
This option is similar to the Default Group Cover Image option explained above. The only thing that is different under this option is that it is used to upload the Profile Cover Image instead of Group Cover Image. The size of the Profile Cover Image can also be changed from 1024 x 300 to 1024 x 800 px.
Inbuilt Social Profile Module
The Social Media Links option under BuddyPress includes spaces to place your links for your business’s Facebook, Twitter, Google and Linkedin accounts by default. These options allow you to link your social media accounts to your site efficiently. There is also an option for ‘Add New Site’ for sites other than Facebook, Twitter, Google and Linkedin if you want to explore wider audiences.
BuddyPress Extra Widgets
BuddyPress comes loaded with many useful widgets. These can be added to your theme’s widget areas. Some of these widgets are (BuddyPress) Friends, Groups, Log In, Members, Recently Active Members, Sitewide Notices, Who’s Online and Recent Networkwide Posts. Though if you are looking to extract more than this and need dedicated widget areas for Activity Stream, Member Directory, Group Directory, Member Single Page and Group Single Page, you can opt for Reign theme which offers these BuddyPress Extra Widgets.
- REIGN Groups Widget – You can add this to your widget area to display the list of groups that are recently active, popular, newest, or in alphabetical order.
- REIGN Members Widget – You can add this to your widget area to display the list of members that are recently active, popular, newest, in alphabetical order.
- REIGN News Widget – This widget is extremely powerful if you have a static homepage different from blog posts. You can add this to your widget area to display the latest blog posts.
- REIGN Site Wide Activity – This is the most useful widget of all as you can add this to your widget area to display your complete site activity.
BuddyPress is undoubtedly the best community site development software in the market. However, nothing is perfect. It also lacks a few small features that make management easier and your site more user-friendly. Although, you need not worry. There are additional plugins that enhance your community site experience remarkably. Take a look.
BuddyPress Activity Filter – This plugin helps you to configure default and customized activities to be listed on the front-end.
BuddyPress Activity Social Share – This plugin allows you to share Activity “Post Updates” to other social sites.
BuddyPress Check-ins – This plugin allows your site members to upload and share their location while posting activities. Like Facebook, it helps members to add places they have visited.
BuddyPress Create Group Types – This plugin allows you to categorize your site groups conveniently.
BuddyPress Default Data – This plugin is extremely useful if you require some data for site testing purposes initially. It automatically creates many users, groups, activity items, messages and even profile data. This makes development easier than using an app.
BuddyPress Favorite Notification – This plugin helps you to display activity notifications of members on your social network site. This allows users to turn on their favorite notifications for activities like shares, likes and other notifications.
BuddyPress Group Reviews – This plugin allows your site members to post reviews for various site groups. The review forms can be altered to take text reviews and ratings based on different criteria.
BuddyPress Job Manager – Every social site is connected to people who want and offer jobs. This is an excellent plugin for exactly this purpose. It allows your site users to post jobs and others to apply for these jobs.
BuddyPress Lock – This plugin allows you to block certain site content and activities for users that are not logged in on your site.
BuddyPress Member Reviews – This plugin allows your site members to post reviews for other site members. The review forms can be altered to take text reviews and ratings based on different criteria.
BuddyPress Polls – This plugin is an engagement booster. It allows site members and groups to create polls that can be placed in the main activity stream, in groups and even in users’ profiles.
BuddyPress User To-Do List – This plugin allows your site members to schedule tasks and create To-Do Lists in their own profiles.
Everything explained above may seem to be lengthy but these are the features that make your site unique in this competitive market. Selling a product with the presence of big fishes in the market is tough but if you work wisely on your community site and use themes like Reign that support all these features, it won’t be long before you are one of these. Try the demo if you are still unsure.
We hope that you may be bigger than them and thank us later.
Good Luck for your next community site!