IN THIS CHAPTER
What is BuddyPress?
Comparing BuddyPress and WordPress development
Looking at BuddyPress theme concepts
For as long as WordPress has existed, it has been built as a blogging platform. Despite this, savvy developers have used the extensibility of the software to create new concept software around it.
In 2008, one such developer, Andy Peatling, used WordPress to create a social network for a client. The extensibility of the plugin architecture enabled him to create a concept that combined many of the features enjoyed on services like Facebook (
www.facebook.com) into a single WordPress MU (Multi-User WordPress) install.
Soon, Automattic would acquire BuddyPress, and Andy would become their primary developer on the project. Since those early days, BuddyPress has seen a couple of releases and is starting to be adopted as a popular social networking platform.
BuddyPress is a WordPress MU plugin with several components that can be enabled individually or altogether. Each component provides social network-like functionality to users. These features include private messaging, groups, and activity feeds.
By producing a different experience, Automattic implicitly endorses WordPress being used in alternative formats besides blogs. The BuddyPress experience (see Figure 24.1) essentially recognizes that social networking is as vitally important to users today as blogging ...