How to set up BuddyBoss 2.0 series

This tutorial is for BuddyBoss 2.1.9 and below. For BuddyBoss 3.0+ see the version 3 setup tutorial.


1. BuddyPress Setup

Get Reliable Web Hosting

  • Find a reliable web host. My favorite is KnownHost due to their uptime, excellent hardware, great customer support, and reasonable pricing. BuddyBoss is hosted there (SSD-2 option) and we’ve been very happy with them.
  • You can start with cheap shared hosting if you’re on a budget, but BuddyPress queries the database constantly and your site will be slow. You’re much better off with a fast SSD (solid state drive) and a ton of RAM (memory) on your own dedicated virtual server (no other sites sharing resources). It makes an enormous speed impact.

Install WordPress and BuddyPress

  1. Install WordPress.
  2. Install the BuddyPress plugin. Requires BuddyPress 1.6 or above (works with 1.8).
  3. Activate the BuddyPress plugin and follow the onscreen instructions.

Follow Onscreen Instructions

  1. You will be asked to create a WordPress page to correspond with each BuddyPress component (Members, Groups, Activity, Forums, Activate, Register, Blogs – multisite only). Create these pages and link them to each component.
  2. Set up Forums per the onscreen instructions. You have the option to use a forum with each group, or to use a standalone forum that is not related to groups.
    • If you choose to tie forums to groups, make sure “Enable discussion forum” is checked in the Settings section for each group you would like a forum on. The forum for each group will be accessible on that group’s menu and in the top level Forums page.
    • If you choose the standalone option, you will be asked to download the bbPress plugin. You will be able to manage forums via the various Forums settings in the WordPress dashboard.
  3. Create your user profile fields by going to Users > Profile Fields. These are the fields your users will fill out to create their profiles.

Allow users to create accounts on your site

  1. Go to Settings > General. Select “Anyone can register” under Membership.
  2. Go to Settings > BuddyPress > Settings. Make sure “Show the Toolbar for logged out users” is set to “Yes”.

2. Installing BuddyBoss

Note: If you are upgrading from a previous version of BuddyBoss, please refer to the Upgrading to BuddyBoss 2.0 instructions first.

  1. Purchase the BuddyBoss theme.
  2. Upload the BuddyBoss folder via the WordPress admin or via FTP to your wp-content/themes/ directory. Make sure the folder is titled “buddyboss” and not any other variation.
  3. Remove the plugin “BP Template Pack” if you have it installed. This plugin produces error messages when used with a BuddyPress theme.
  4. Log in to your WordPress dashboard and select Appearance > Themes.
  5. Activate the BuddyBoss theme.

3. Customizing BuddyBoss

Default user avatars

  1. Go to Settings > Discussion in your Dashboard.
  2. At the bottom of the page, set Default Avatar to “BuddyBoss Man”. The BuddyBoss custom avatar will replace the default mystery man.

Adding your Logo

  1. Go to the BuddyBoss menu in your Dashboard.
  2. Upload your own logo. Make sure to click “Upload”.
  • If Multisite is enabled: Go to Network Admin (top right) > Settings > Upload Settings and make sure “Images” is checked under Media upload buttons.

Activating the profile “Wall”

  1. Go to Settings > BuddyPress > Components.
  2. Make sure both “Friend Connections” and “Activity Streams” are enabled.
  3. Go to the BuddyBoss menu in your Dashboard.
  4. Make sure “Profile Wall Component” is enabled.

Activating photo uploads in the Wall, and user photo galleries

  1. Go to the BuddyBoss menu in your Dashboard.
  2. Make sure “Picture Gallery Component” is enabled.
  3. Users can now upload photos to their Wall, and any photo they upload is viewable at the new Photos tab on their profile.

Advanced member search

  1. Install the “BP Profile Search” plugin.
  2. Go to Users > Profile Search.
  3. “Search Form Header” can be blank. Whatever you put in there will not be used.
  4. Check all of the profile fields you would like to be searchable.

Custom theme colors

Available in BuddyBoss 2.1.1 and above.

  1. Go to Appearance > Colors.
  2. Click into any text area until you see the color picker pop up.
  3. Click and drag the cursor to your desired color.
  4. Click the color wheel icon in the lower right of the popup to set that color.
  5. Once you have selected all of the colors you want to use, click Save Options at the bottom of the page.
Note: If you get error messages, make sure to set _inc/css/auto.css permissions to be writeable (775 or 777) via FTP.

4. Configure Blog and Homepage

Using your homepage as the blog

  1. Go to Settings > Reading.
  2. Set “Front page displays” as “Your Latest Posts”.
  3. Your blog posts (created at Posts > Add New) should now feed into the homepage.

Using a regular homepage, with blog posts on a separate page

  1. Go to Pages > Add New.
    • Create a page and name it “Home” or whatever you want your homepage to be titled.
    • Create another page and name it “Blog” or whatever you want your blog page to be titled.
  2. Go to Settings > Reading.
    • Set “Front page displays” as “A static page”.
    • Set the home page you just created as the “Front page”.
    • Set your newly created page as the “Posts page.”
  3. Your blog posts (created at Posts > Add New) should now feed into the blog page.

5. Add Widgets

Every page on your site can have a sidebar that you can place “widgets” into. By default, the blog index, blog posts and regular WordPress pages have a right sidebar, and most other types of pages do not have a right sidebar. As you add widgets to the other page template’s sidebars, the corresponding pages will automatically gain a sidebar containing those widgets.

Add widgets by going to Appearance > Widgets and dragging the widgets you wish to use into the appropriate sidebars. When you open any sidebar box it will explain where and how that particular sidebar is used.

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