Category: Membership Sites.

buddy-460For this edition of WordPress Wednesday, I want to share with you a great membership plugin called BuddyPress. Perhaps if you have been using WordPress for a number of years, you’ve heard of the term, BuddyPress, because it sounds so much like WordPress. I had heard about it back a couple of years ago, but I never took the time to research and use the plugin until recently. I don’t believe most novice WordPress users realize it exists. To me, it’s the best-kept secret when you want to build a membership community. Did I mention it’s a free plugin? Granted it does not have the multi-level privacy or drip-campaign that WP Wishlist or Digital Access Pass, but you can get a lot of functionality for free.

BuddyPress was built to bring people together in a social community. Just like WordPress, it a open source project. It works great for people wanting to connect and communicate that have similar interests. That is why I highly recommend it for creating a membership community, whether it be a free membership or a paid membership.

Here is an example of how I use the BuddyPress membership community for bringing together WordPress training students. You can click on the screenshot below and it will take you to my BP WordPress student member site.

buddypress-site-thumb

Here are just a few of the features that you can get from using the BuddyPress plugin:

  • Multiple activity streams with a single-stream view
  • Unlimited user groups with custom public or private access to these groups
  • Multi-site blogging capability
  • Friend connection functionality (much like Facebook)
  • Discussion forum module for each group set up
  • Extended profile module available
  • Private messaging to friends

And below are a few resource links to visit and do your homework on using BuddyPress if you choose to build or host a membership site. Note: There are some themes that are BuddyPress-compatible. The Builder themes by iThemes.com is one example of compatibility. Another theme set that is compatible with BuddyPress is Headway Themes.

BUDDYPRESS THEME RESOURCE SITES

http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/search.php/page/2?q=buddypress

http://buddypress.org/extend/themes/

http://wplift.com/free-commercial-buddypress-themes/

http://premium.wpmudev.org/buddypress-themes/

http://www.buddyboss.com/live-demo/

BUDDYPRESS PLUGINS & ADD-ON PLUGINS

BuddyPress Plugin

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/buddypress/ 

BuddyPress Group Documents

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/buddypress-group-documents/

BuddyPress Album

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/bp-album/

BuddyPress Group Email Subscription

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/buddypress-group-email-subscription/

Invite Anyone

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/invite-anyone/

Welcome Pack

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/welcome-pack/

If you have any questions or comments you want to add about using BuddyPress, please feel free to leave one in the Reply box below. I’m happy to answer back. Or if you are interested in having me build your BuddyPress membership site, you can check out my design build plan HERE.

Until tomorrow…

Warmly,

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Membership sites have become very popular in the last few years because it provides a community feel for business owners that want to offer memberships to clients or customers and be able to create a passive income generated from these membership sites.

If you are hosting a WordPress site, there are membership plugins available and I want to share with you the three top plugins that work really well on a WordPress blog or website.

BuddyPress

Of all the membership plugins for WordPress, BuddyPress is my favorite plugin to use for managing membership sites, plus it’s free!

Here are just a few of the features that you can get from BuddyPress:

  • Multiple activity streams with a single-stream view
  • Unlimited user groups with custom public or private access to these groups
  • Multi-site blogging capability
  • Friend connection functionality (much like Facebook)
  • Discussion forum module for each group set up
  • Extended profile module available
  • Private messaging to friends

There are additional plugins you can use for BuddyPress that allows for additional features when you are customizing your membership site experience. You can find a comprehensive list of additional plugins HERE.

One of the things that BuddyPress does not have is the ability to accept payments for a paid membership, but there are numerous cart platforms you can use to accept payment, then have a thank autoresponder message in place to direct the purchaser to sign up for a BuddyPress membership once they have made payment. I use the WP eStore plugin for my cart purchases.

WP Wishlist

I have used WP Wishlist in the past with client sites and my own WordPress training sites, but the one thing it lacked that BuddyPress has is the ability to have a forum module associated with it. You would have to install and configure a separate forum plugin to run alongside the WP Wishlist plugin, but I find the separate forum plugins sometimes cumbersome and they may be limited to what you can offer in a forum/membership site. However, if you decide you want to use WP Wishlist for your membership site, then the Simple:Press forum plugin (free) would be the one to use with it.

Some of the other features of the WP Wishlist Membership plugin are:

  • Unlimited membership levels
  • Flexible membership options
  • Sequential content delivery
  • Shopping cart integration (for 1shoppingcart, PayPal, Clickbank and others)

You can find additional features for the WP Wishlist plugin HERE.

Digital Access Pass (DAP)

The Digital Access Pass plugin has become very popular over the past couple of years, but just like WP Wishlist, you have to pay for this plugin. Matter of fact, it’s more expensive than WP Wishlist at a cost of $167.00 for a one-site license. More multiple sites, you will pay a price of $297.00. I personally have not used the DAP on any of my membership sites, but it handles a lot of the “drip” release of material that you would offer if you have multi-level memberships you want to offer. These would be the “paid” memberships, of course!

Here are some of the features of the DAP plugin:

  • Sequential content delivery
  • Drip-feed all types of content
  • Built-in file and download protection
  • Built-in, free shopping cart
  • Integrates with PayPal, Authorize.net, 1ShoppingCart, Clickbank and others

You can find additional features for the DAP plugin HERE.

Be sure to review the plugins above before you decide if you need a free membership plugin or a paid membership plugin. Each one of the plugins has more features than the other one does, but if you feel you only need aplugin that provides a free membership, then I would recommend you start out with the BuddyPress plugin first, then decide later on if you want to invest into a paid plugin that has a lot more automation features associated with it.

Until tomorrow…

Warmly,