WordPress has made the process of creating and maintaining intuitive websites very easy. There is a reason why over 455 million websites on the internet are made using this site building tool! When it came to designing my own website, I also opted for WordPress. The process was fairly simple, and I was able to create exactly what I wanted very quickly without really needing to perform a lot of coding which can prove to be tricky in most cases.
The great thing about WordPress is that there are hundreds and thousands of plugins and programs that you can use in association to add features to your web applications. In fact, I would argue that there is practically no feature that you could not add using plugins and programs. I have and continue to use a number of different products to add new sections and aspects to my website. One of these is BuddyBoss. Here is how I have been using BuddyBoss for my business and why it may be worth it for you to give it a try as well:
What is BuddyBoss?
BuddyBoss is an open-source program that you can apply as a WordPress theme. It is a complete platform that you can use to design and manage your online website. While you can use it to add features and modify the visual aspect of your website, the main selling point of BuddyBoss is its ability to create virtual communities. You will observe that organisations that offer memberships and courses often use this plugin. That is because BuddyBoss is arguably the best tool to manage such community based activities.
The community feature is only part of what BuddyBoss brings to the table. There are a lot of aspects that I would like to further explore with BuddyBoss when I get the opportunity. Here is a peak into what you get when you commit to BuddyBoss for your WordPress website:
The community features are absolutely amazing. It’s like a full-fledged social platform that encorporates a lot more than first meets the eye. You’ll get access to:
- Activity feed
- Friends & followers
- Direct messaging
- And a lot more…
I love the buddyboss course design. It’s great and provides you with tons of ways to engage and stimulate your students. Especially when you combine it with some other tools. BuddyBoss offers a lot of options, straight out of the box and they are all plug-and-play solutions that only require some basic configuration.
- Quizzes & surveys
- And a lot more…
Prices start at approximately $230 on an annual basis (1 site) for the full deal. In turn you’ll receive the BuddyBoss Platform Pro including the beautifull BuddyBoss Theme. If you only want the functionality of the platform itself, it is a little cheaper. You can check the current BuddyBoss pricing.
They also offer the BuddyBoss App (your website turned into a mobile application!). This is rather expensive but you will have your own mobile app that clients can download.
Alternatives to BuddyBoss
If you are looking for a product that offers similar functionality but isn’t BuddyBoss, here are a few options you can explore:
Mighty Networks is another SaaS platform that is focused on allowing users to build online communities. It is a very innovative product that lets you create courses, monetize services, host virtual events, and perform detailed community analytics. As opposed to relying on integrations, Might Networks prefers to have users utilise native features.
Kajabi is another program dedicated to designing websites for building as well as marketing online courses. It is a good option if you are more focused on the marketing aspect as Kajabi’s toolset for this purpose is quite remarkable. You get to work with a lot of emails, landing pages, and other features that will help you sell. If you want more widespread features, this product may feel a bit too expensive for the native features it offers.
Why should you use BuddyBoss?
At the end of the day, if you are building a WordPress based social networking or membership website, there really isn’t a better plugin for you to use than BuddyBoss. I have first-hand experience using the tool and once you get a hang of it, the central panel is a breeze to use. It feels great to have a single platform that unifies all your site features in one place without compromising on the quantity or quality. Add to that the various integrations you can perform to enhance your experience, and the competition really does fall short. I highly recommend giving it a try.
- Integrates seamlessly with other WordPress plugins, from e-commerce platforms to page builders. A lot of businesses use it in combination with LearnDash because it lets you integrate your courses within the platform.
- It allows you to customise your login page instead of having to use the default WordPress screen.
- As mentioned before, you can create social communities equipped with groups and forums, news and activity feeds, full membership profiles, etc.
- Users can connect and communicate with each other using a built-in private messaging system.
- The platform allows you to send out email invitations to non-members to perform recruitment.
- BuddyBoss also supports gamification via GamiPress to help boost your engagement and encourage member retention. This means you can add a whole points and rewards system for members to earn and display on their profiles based on their activity in the online community.
As is with everything, there are some aspects of the product that can be improved with some work. Here are a few of the downsides:
- My website has a rather light colour scheme, but I have found there to be a lack of options in terms of darker themes. It is definitely an aspect that can be improved in the future with more visual variety.
- While the platform becomes easy to navigate over time, it can be a bit overwhelming to new users at the beginning. BuddyBoss offers a tonne of features, and it can end up doing more harm than good for users only looking for a single, very specific feature.
- BuddyBoss offers some options in regard to font styles and colours etc. but it may feel lacking to more experienced web designers. The lack of customization can be a put-off for some people.
How I use BuddyBoss
I have used BuddyBoss to add a lot of little features to my website. Mainly, however, I have been using it to manage an extension of my main website. With the help of this plugin, I was able to create a new, associated website that is dedicated as a member-only area. While the main website, cryptocommunity.nl, has all of the relevant information and links, the members-only website, leden.cryptocommunity.nl, allows users to log in with their credentials directly and access special content.
BuddyBoss allowed me to make the members-only area a lot more interesting and interactive than it would have been otherwise. It offers a lot of customizability when it comes to making profiles for members which makes the platform feel extremely personalised. It also forms a great system to connect individuals and form social groups. You can organise groups, add and remove users, and monitor activity to get the most out of these little online communities. I was also able to connect BuddyBoss to other plugins like WPFusion, LearnDash and ActiveCampaign to really create a very cohesive and strong membership sphere for my dedicated users.
Thanks for reading and have fun trying out BuddyBoss!