BuddyBoss in a Nutshell
The BuddyBoss Theme transforms your site into a fully functioning social networking platform similar to Facebook, complete with private messaging, private and open groups, and deep integration with LearnDash LMS or Learning Management System.
BuddyBoss Ease Of Use
While there are various moving components, you will find the theme to be really straightforward to use, owing to the fact that everything is handled on the front end. If you are capable of using Facebook, you are capable of using this.
BuddyBoss Price and Value
While more expensive than standard WordPress themes, the value you get here is huge, since you are practically purchasing your own Facebook, complete with round-the-clock customer support.
Personally, I've had an excellent experience with assistance. I've found them to be both eager and ready to handle each problem or feature request I've made.
BuddyBoss Theme Pros & Cons
- Awe-inspiring system for private messaging.
- Contemporary forum design.
- Email notification system with templates using modern design.
- Integration and enhancements to LearnDash.
- Social media platform that is fully integrated.
- The front end is where everything is managed.
- Could benefit from additional styles, including a dark version.
- Lacks hooks for dynamically inserting content.
BuddyBoss Theme: An Overview
If you've ever desired to develop an online community for your business or organization, the BuddyBoss Theme is all that you will ever need to invest in. It's a one-of-a-kind theme in its own right, plus it includes a complimentary plugin known as the BuddyBoss Platform.
When combined, the BuddyBoss Theme and Platform enable anybody, even non-techies, to create a social networking site on par with contemporary social networking sites. You'll get access to sophisticated features often reserved for premium themes, and you'll be able to combine it with a wide variety of WordPress plugins as your requirements increase and change.
We're going to discuss the following in this review:
- A Brief History of the Buddy Boss Theme and Platform
- What the Buddy Boss Combo Can Do
- Configuration of the Buddy Boss Platform
- Components of Online Community
- Theme Customization
- Theme Options
- BuddyBoss + LearnDash: Sell Your Content
- Connect to Additional WordPress Plugins
- Pricing for BuddyBoss
- BuddyBoss Support Options
- Things I Like About BuddyBoss
- Things I Dislike About BuddyBoss
- BuddyBoss Review: Concluding Remarks
Buddy Boss Theme and Buddy Boss Platform: Brief History
Let us begin with a brief history of the BuddyBoss Theme and Platform.
Buddy Boss is a theme and platform that serves as an alternative for BuddyPress, a popular WordPress plugin that enables you to establish a social networking site. Although innovative, BuddyPress has a number of restrictions and relied on a large community of third-party add-ons and plugins for advanced functionality such as forum creation. Utilizing a large number of add-on plugins complicates matters and increases user fees.
Thus, the designers of BuddyBoss Theme reasoned, what if we could combine all of these advanced features into an one package? That might alleviate some of the complications!
Which is precisely what happened. Now, with the BuddyBoss combination, you can develop much more than just a social networking site; you can also host forum debates and social groups without the need of an extra plugin, as well as offer free and paid courses.
I want to explain what each of them does at this stage. The BuddyBoss Platform extends WordPress's functionality, making it simple to construct an online community. This includes the ability to establish social groups, user profiles, forums, and email invitations, among other things.
The BuddyBoss Theme ensures that everything is presented in a professional manner. While you may use any WordPress theme along with the BuddyBoss Platform, it will not look as well as the BuddyBoss Theme.
For instance, this is how a user profile appears when the BuddyBoss theme is not used:
You may still build a user profile using Buddy Boss Platform, but it will not look nearly as nice.
Now compare that to the appearance created by the Buddy Boss Theme:
That now resembles a genuine social profile.
To summarize, you can construct a social networking site using the Buddy Boss Platform, which happens to be a free plugin, but it's recommended to utilize the BuddyBoss Theme if you want everything to appear nice and lovely out of the box. Both are closely connected, allowing you to adjust your site's appearance and other options in a single location.
They're also compatible with the original BuddyPress, which means that migrating social accounts and other data will go smoothly.
What the Buddy Boss Combo Can Do
- Create a Social Community: Together the Buddy Boss combo can offer a social network and/or a community offering user profiles, timelines, news feeds, social groups, private messaging, member connect, forums, and even the ability to send email invites to non-members. None of them need an additional plugin!
- Offer Your Contents for Sale: Buddy Boss connects with LearnDash and WooCommerce, allowing you to offer subscription-based or one-time-fee courses.
- Create a Website for eLearning: With LearnDash integration, you can create courses, host them, and administer your courses via LearnDash.
- Enhanced Features: Integrate with a wide range of other WordPress plugins for enhancing the member experience, make job postings, and host site-wide or exclusive events, among other things.
Configuration of the Buddy Boss Platform
Due to the versatility of the Buddy Boss combination, the only probable disadvantage is that setting up the entire thing may take some time. The disorganized settings and choices (which I'll describe later) also don't help. However, to prevent getting confused in the backend interface's intricacy, I strongly recommend that you take some time out to watch and follow along with their video walkthroughs here.
These tutorials cover everything from installing and configuring the platform to fine-tuning the theme to ensure that everything works flawlessly and looks fantastic.
I'm going to go over a few of the fundamental things you need to do or know in order to understand how the entire platform functions and how to use it. So, stay with me. It is going to be a little lengthy.
Getting to Know the BuddyBoss Platform
As I previously said, the platform provides a plethora of capabilities, which is fantastic, but some of the settings seem extremely disorganized and disjointed. It has to do with the platform's organization. Enabling a feature, configuring it, and customizing it are all accomplished in many locations.
Consider the login/registration page as an example.
The login/register page may be customized in BuddyBoss > Theme Options > Login/Register. You may upload a logo, adjust the size of the logo, use a backdrop picture, and even add a title and site description here.
However, take note that you may customize the color of the login/registration page under Styling, a sub-menu inside Theme Options.
It seemed intuitive to me to have all of a page's stylistic requirements under one roof, but that is not how the BuddyBoss platform is arranged.
Therefore, allow me to summarize how the platform operates:
As we proceed with this review, you'll see that there will be a lot of back and forth between various regions of the platform in order to modify a certain function. It will first seem overwhelming and complicated, but you will quickly grasp the concept and begin to know it and use it with ease.
Prior to proceeding, you must first decide on the components that your social networking site will have.
Going to the menu BuddyBoss > Components, you'll find a list of available components for your website. You must see this:
Simply check the box next to the component you wish to activate for your website, then pick Activate from the Bulk Actions menu at the top. Finally, hit the Apply button.
For instance, if you desire that the users on your site should be able to send one another private messages, you must first enable Private Messaging. If you want the users to be able to invite non-members to join the social network through email, you may enable that component, and so on.
To adjust the settings for a specific component, click the Settings button right under it. Additionally, you may access the settings through BuddyBoss > Settings.
Component and Registration Page Configuration
Additionally, you should assign WordPress pages to the components' pages that you just activated. To do so, go to BuddyPress > Pages and look for the Registration Pages and Component Pages sections.
For the component pages, these are built automatically by WordPress once the components are activated, so you will most likely not need to modify anything at first. However, if you want to add a new page to the Social Groups section, you may do it by creating a new page and choosing it from the dropdown menu:
Follow the image below:
Step 1: Create a new page & publish it.
Step 2: Select page.
For the Registration Pages, you must develop a page for the ToS (Terms of Service) and a page for the Privacy Statement and link them to the appropriate registration sections. If you're at a loss for what to do at this point, they generously included a video lesson at the appropriate segment of the section:
These instructional links are spread across the platform's many parts, a very good addition that simplifies things for new users.
Customizing Your Settings
Additionally, you'll want to change your settings to manage social groups, user profiles, website access, and other aspects of your account. Navigate to BuddyBoss > Settings and carefully review each option. Begin with the general settings and go through each category.
The following is a snapshot:
Allowing non-members to create new accounts makes sense if you're developing an online community. Additionally, you may select whether or not to enable users to remove their profiles and who will see the toolbar.
You may limit access to your website to just logged-in members under Privacy, but the login and registration pages will remain available to everyone.
Another intriguing option is to make specific URLs public. You may choose to make some webpages, such as marketing pages, publicly accessible; to do so, just put the page URL into the Public Content box and click Save Changes.
Additionally, you'll discover settings for enabled components such as profiles, forums, groups, media, activity, invitations, connections, and search in this area.
Generally, here is where you can control what people can do on your website. For instance, if you want them to be allowed to submit a profile picture and a cover photo to their respective profile pages, just go to BuddyBoss > Settings > Profiles and tick the appropriate option.
Data Import for Demo Use
Additionally, you should import sample data before experimenting with the theme. The website will be empty out of the box, and there will be no example user profiles or social groups to experiment with. It's preferable to import demo data to check how things appear on the front end.
Navigate to Buddy Boss > Tools to import demo data. After that, you'll see a list of Default Data that you may import. Demo users, groups, and forums may be imported. To facilitate future work, I recommend that you import all available demo content at once. Select each box and then click Import Selected Data.
After that, you'll be presented with several demo social groups, forums, and user profiles to work with.
The following are some instances of demo social groups:
Components of Online Community
Now you're ready to begin building the online community of your dreams. As I previously said, the BuddyBoss combination has tremendous tools for establishing complex online communities similar to those found on Twitter and Facebook.
According to my own experience so far, it is unquestionably easier to construct a social networking site using BuddyBoss. None of the features need additional plugins. Additionally, they provide extensive video walkthroughs on configuring each function, so you're not left to fend for yourself.
BuddyBoss has the option to personalize user profiles. That can be done from BuddyBoss > Profiles, where you may add more information such as contact phone number, email address, and birthdate. It's entirely up to you and the information you want people to disclose about themselves.
Things get a bit confused here since you may add fields to user profiles through the backend, but you must go to Profile Navigation for changing the items in a user profile.
When you click the Profile Navigation, a new tab is opened, and you will be sent to the frontend customizer for the theme. This is troublesome if you are not interested in leaving the page for backend settings. I would personally like that the page opens in a new tab instead. It would have been better, that this option was available right within the backend editor along with other settings.
Additionally, you may allow private messaging if you wish people to communicate with one another. Simply go to BuddyBoss > Components and turn on Private Messaging.
Private texting contains a number of sophisticated features. For starters, users may instantly put a name into their inbox, allowing them to send a message to anybody without leaving their own profile.
Additionally, they may exchange photographs, emoticons, and GIFs through private chat, but this option must be enabled first. Simply go to BuddyBossy > Settings > Media to activate it. There, you'll see the following options:
Ensure that all of these boxes are checked and that you save your modifications.
What I appreciate about the private messaging option is that the UI is fairly similar to that of other popular messaging apps, which allows people to use it immediately without having to spend too much time figuring out how things operate.
Users may simultaneously pick numerous photographs, search through messages, and utilize built-in emoticons. Additionally, I like the ability to customize the skin tones of the emojis.
The only thing that I believe would enhance it further is for users to be able to search for an emoji just by typing.
Another little annoyance I discovered is that you cannot send a message simply pressing enter. You must actually click the Send button, which is inconvenient if you're working on your desktop and don't want to use a trackpad or mouse.
Additionally, I'm not sure if it's just me, but the GIFs are not loading on my end.
Another interesting feature of BuddyBoss is its ability of building social groups based on the interests of members.
To activate this functionality, go to BuddyBoss > Components and check the box next to Social Groups.
In case you are importing with demo data, you should already have some sample groups displaying on the frontend. The directory looks something like this:
Additional configuration options for this functionality are available in BuddyBoss > Settings > Groups. Allowing all users to form social groups, allowing administrators to post a cover picture and avatar, and enabling group types are all available here.
Additionally, you can customize the default cover picture for social groups and even play with the width and height of the cover image, under BuddyBoss > Theme Options > Cover Image.
On the backend, go to BuddyBoss > Groups to get a list of all social groups. From this page, you may modify, remove, or browse social groups.
Another integrated feature that BuddyBoss offers is the ability to establish forum conversations, which was previously only possible via third-party plugins. Users may communicate with each other in a Q&A style similar to Reddit, which is quite handy if you wish members to assist each other or engage in discussions.
To allow forum creation, go to BuddyBoss > Components and turn on Forum Discussions. When you visit BuddyBoss > Settings > Forum Discussions, you may add additional restrictions such as prohibiting comments or posts editing after a certain time period, or allowing guests to initiate discussions or remark, and enabling users to subscribe to forums.
It really is a fantastic tool that has the potential to elevate your social network to new heights. It's particularly handy for e-learning sites where collaboration on projects is often a great requirement for students.
You may modify forums under Theme Options > Forums by altering the layout, adding a custom banner picture, and adding a topic title and description.
What's especially nice about this is that any social group may build its own forum, or several forums. For instance, they may have a forum conversation for the social group “Graphic Design”:
Members may also connect with one another by issuing a connection request, similar to how Google+ users link with one another or how Facebook users connect with one another by sending requests.
Each member's profile has a Connect button next to their picture. Members may use this button to initiate a connection.
After a member sends a connection request, he or she will have the option of canceling it.
When a member receives a connection request, they will get a notification.
This option may be enabled in BuddyBoss > Components > Member Connections.
Another very good aspect is the network search, which allows users to do searches throughout the whole network using a single search box.
You may choose which categories of postings are searchable. This may be done by going to BuddyBoss > Settings > Search. You may enable search for certain posts or information here, such as members' names, email addresses, usernames, paragraph content, numbers, conversation, and responses.
Additionally, BuddyBoss enables users to send email invitations to anybody they like to add to the network, whether they be coworkers, friends, or family. They just need the invitee's first and last names and email addresses.
Members may issue email invitations in the following manner:
Additionally, you can select whether or not to allow users to edit the subject and text of your email by heading to BuddyBoss > Settings > Invites.
The next step is to begin tweaking your theme in order to make it appear exactly way you want it to. The BuddyBoss Theme has several customization options that enable you to deliver a branded, enjoyable experience to your users.
Creating Menus for Navigation
The first thing you'll want to do is design your navigation menus, since this will be the primary method of navigating the website.
The Buddy Boss Theme supports two primary menu types: the BuddyPanel menu and the title bar menu.
Title Bar Menu
The title bar menu is the menu that sits on the header. To add a menu to the title bar, go to the WordPress backend, select Appearance, and then select Menu. After that, you'll see a space where you may enter a Menu Name. Provide a name for the menu, such as “Title Bar Menu,” and finally, click on the Create Menu button.
You'll then be presented with a list of pages to include in your menu. Select the items you want to show on the menu and click Add to Menu. After that, you'll see bars underneath your menu title that can be easily rearranged by dragging and dropping. Additionally, you may indent the bar for sub-item or submenu creation for each page.
Don't forget to select the “Titlebar” in the Menu Settings section at the bottom.
While most other themes provide you little control over the appearance of the header, the Buddy Boss Theme allows you more customization choices for both the header and footer.
BuddyBoss > Theme Options contains customization options that you can use for customizing the headings. This area allows you to submit your logo, customize the header arrangement, and even alter the color of the header. I'll go into further depth later about the numerous options available in the Theme Options.
The BuddyPanel menu is a fantastic element of this theme that enhances the website's social networking experience. To add this menu, take the path: WordPress Dashboard > Appearance > Menu to build a BuddyPanel menu. Continue by creating a new menu and assigning it a title.
Click Buddy Boss on the left and check the boxes next to the things you wish to appear in the new BuddyPanel menu. Click Add to Menu, and then choose whether or not to display this panel to both logged-out and logged-in users in the Menu Settings. Personally, I believe that creating a separate panel for logged-in and logged-out users makes much more sense.
The BuddyPanel looks fantastic by default, and there is much more customization available.
For starters, you may customize the icon for each menu item under the BuddyPanel's Menu section. To do so, click the menu item's dropdown menu and then the icon.
You'll then get a pop-up window with a variety of icon options. This is a fairly great additional feature provided by the BuddyBoss Platform, which makes customizing your BuddyPanel menu a breeze.
Additionally, you may modify BuddyPanel's color directly from the Theme Options.
Configuring Your Homepage and Blog Pages
After you've completed your menus, you'll want to configure your homepage and the blog. When members check in to your site for the first time, they are sent to the main page. You may select to display the timeline, the news feed, the blog, the members directory, or the list of courses.
To create a homepage and a blog page for your WordPress installation, go to the WordPress dashboard > Settings > Reading. Once there, choose A static page as the homepage and any other page as the home and blog pages.
For instance, if you choose Activity Feed as your homepage, the following is the first thing users view when they log in:
Now you have a Twitter-style wall of activity that is automatically updated with your site's current activity. Members may create status updates and mention others using the @ symbol, as well as submit photos or GIFs and emoticons. Additionally, they may opt to share it on their profile page or in a group. It's rather impressive.
Naturally, you may choose a different page as the top page based on your requirements and preferences.
Additionally, there are a few other things you may do with your main page. When you visit WordPress dashboard and select Pages, you'll get a list of all your pages, including the home page that is presently allocated. To access the Gutenberg or Classic editor, go to that page.
Once inside, select Page Attributes to see a dropdown menu with multiple template options:
The full screen page will eliminate the header and sidebar, and the No Sidebar page will eliminate the sidebar entirely. Experiment with these layout possibilities until you discover one that you like. You may repeat this procedure for all of your other pages. Therefore, if you're looking to design a marketing page devoid of distractions such as sidebars and headers, full screen mode is an excellent choice.
To add a sidebar to your home page (or any other page for that matter), just follow the path: WordPress dashboard > Appearance > Widgets.
Now, drag and drop a widget into a sidebar to add it. You may give it a name and make other changes.
What you will appreciate about this technique is that it does not compel people to adopt an entirely new approach of doing things. If you're already familiar with WordPress, its content editor, and its widgets, the majority of these tasks will come naturally. Although it would be preferable if all of these customization options were included in a single, unified area for each page, at the very least the platform avoids forcing users to learn a new interface.
With regards to the blog page (or other page), you can essentially do the same thing. You may include a sidebar (just one) and use a widget of your choice.
You may also customize the appearance of your blog page, only this time, you need to do that from inside BuddyBoss. To do so, go to BuddyBoss > Theme Options > Blog. Three choices are available for the Blog Archive Layout: Grid, List, and Masonry.
I usually prefer the grid layout or the plain old list layout. But again, that is a matter of choice. Your choice may differ. Just go ahead and try out different layouts and see the outcome.
This is how the grid layout looks like:
You may customize your single blog pages even further. For instance, you may customize the featured image's style, enable or hide the author box, and allow or disable social sharing buttons. This is especially useful since it eliminates the need for a separate social sharing plugin. Even if the buttons themselves cannot be customized, it is better than nothing and takes one problem off your plate.
Simply browse the Blog area of Theme Options, experiment with various options, and determine which ones work best for you.
I mentioned Theme Options many times in the preceding sections; here is where you can dive down into the details and adjust anything from the font to the colors of your site. I'm not going to show you all you can do here because there are tutorials that exist for that purpose; nevertheless, I will provide an overview of some of the most fascinating methods to personalize your theme.
Simply go to BuddyBoss > Theme Options to get the theme modification options.
The part for uploading logos is really user-friendly, since it gives a variety of alternatives. While most themes restrict your choices for altering the logo, the BuddyBoss Theme allows far more customization options.
You have the option of enabling or disabling logos on the desktop and mobile. You may be thinking why such an option should even exist; however, some businesses do not want their logo on mobile since it is much too large and distracting.
If you activate the mobile logo option in BuddyBoss, you will be able to submit an alternative logo with reduced proportions. Additionally, you may alter its dimensions.
As I previously said that the header is extremely customizable, and here is the place to do it.
You may pick between three different layouts, which is something that the majority of other themes do not provide. You may position your logo on the left, in the middle, or on the BuddyPanel. If your logo is tall and requires more room, the BuddyPanel is a preferable position for it.
Additionally, you may activate sticky headers, which are headers that remain at the page top as viewers scroll.
Additionally, you may edit the header height, enable shadow or disable it, and customize the buttons shown in the right corner.
The only thing that is lacking is the option to apply a distinct header to each page, since this is something that you may wish to do at certain times.
This is where you may turn on or off the BuddyPanel. It will be shown only if you build a menu for BuddyPanel by visiting Appearance > Menu.
Additionally, you may position it on the screen’s right or left side.
If you wish to adjust the location of the sidebars on individual pages, here is the place to do it. With a single click, you may toggle the sidebar of pages to the right or left.
While many themes need third-party plugins to change the typography of your website, the BuddyBoss Theme has a built-in typography customizer that allows you to pick from hundreds of Google fonts for your site.
You may customize the typeface for the site's title (in the absence of a logo), the body, and headers (H1 through H6). Additionally, you may alter the font's weight and style, as well as its subsets and size. Additionally, since you may specify a distinct typeface for each heading, you get even more customizability.
Styling allows you to modify the color scheme of your website as well as the color of the BuddyPanel, footer, header, and body components. What I enjoy most about this is that you can alter the color of virtually any area of your website, which makes it quite simple to remain faithful to the brand colors.
There is a great deal more you can do to design your website, and I believe you will enjoy exploring your choices. You can access all these through BuddyBoss > Theme Options.
As I previously showed, you can pick between three different blog page layouts. Indeed, there are plenty of other choices for personalizing your blog page. For instance, you may alter the appearance of the featured picture. Additionally, you may disable/enable linked posts, choose the number of visible related posts, enable/disable the author box, and even add a shortcode for newsletter.
While there are several possibilities, certain functionalities remain restricted. For instance, the settings for presenting highlighted photographs are insufficiently customizable. There is no possibility to overlay the featured picture with the post title.
There is no method to modify the spacing between lines, and neither can you alter the width of the text area in the body of a blog post.
Additionally, there is no method to customize how linked articles are presented. As a result, there is no way to show them as a list with tiny featured photos.
Additionally, there is an option for enabling floating social connections, which eliminates the need for a third-party plugin. The only disadvantage is that you will be unable to customize the appearance of the icons. It looks quite great as-is, so it's not a huge issue. However, it would be fantastic if they could expand the personalization possibilities for the floating social buttons.
Another fantastic feature is the ability to modify your login/registration page to fit your brand rather than the standard WordPress login/registration area.
The login/registration page may be customized to include a custom background picture, which looks fantastic. Additionally, you may add a title and text explanation to the picture as an overlay. A restriction of the settings, I believe, is that you may only show the same message on the login page and the registration page, although you may sometimes wish to display distinct messages on these sites. For instance, rather of saying “Join us,” it will be far more logical to say, “Welcome back.”
You can make all the changes from BuddyBoss > Theme Options > Login/Register.
Other things you can do in Theme Options:
- Personalize your 404 page.
- Experiment with the footer (you may add widgets, alter the color scheme, insert a shortcode such as a newsletter registration or social links, or even add white label customization).
- Add your own codes.
- Activate the maintenance mode.
- Configure the user profiles' default cover pictures.
- Personalize forums (add forum title, use banner image, change layouts, and add a forum description, etc.).
In general, the customization options offered via the Theme Options panel are rather complex but yet quite easy to alter. No further plugins or scripting is required to alter your headers, font, or colors.
BuddyBoss + LearnDash: Sell Your Content
Apart from creating an online community, by combining the BuddyBoss Theme with LearnDash, you can also sell your courses directly on your site.
If you're already a LearnDash user, the good news is that BuddyBoss has gone above and beyond to ensure that its platform and theme work flawlessly with LearnDash. This makes it very simple to sell content and establish a community around it.
If you're unfamiliar with LearnDash, it's a WordPress plugin that enables you to create, host, and administer online courses in one location. Now, LearnDash is a premium plugin and you must purchase it separately. You may offer your courses for a one-time price or on a subscription basis by connecting it with WooCommerce.
LearnDash is an incredible plugin in and of itself. It has a robust course builder that allows you to construct courses from scratch, generate quizzes and assignments, and produce custom certificates, among other things. You may provide free courses or charge a one-time or a recurring fee for them. With LearnDash, the possibilities are limitless.
To begin using LearnDash, start by installing the LearnDash plugin by going to Plugins > Add New > LearnDash. Once installed, activate it.
Following LearnDash installation, a new page for the course library will be automatically created using the domain: “yourdomain.com/courses”.
This page is the course library where the users can see all the courses available. I'm not going to go into detail about how to build a course in LearnDash (I will save it for some other day), but I do want to demonstrate how you can alter the design of the course library page and individual pages of the courses.
But before you do anything else, go to LearnDash > Settings and verify that your LearnDash's Active Template is LearnDash 3.0. Avoid using the legacy one. LearnDash 3.0 is a freshly released version that automatically makes each course page appear fantastic, eliminating the need for substantial customization.
Creating a Customized Course List Page
Once you install LearnDash and enable it, you'll see a new area named LearnDash under BuddyBoss > Theme Options.
This is where you may experiment with the appearance of the course list page. You may activate the categories filter so that users can filter courses that fall under a certain category. You may specify whether users will be able to filter using tag or category in the Taxonomy field.
Additionally, you may activate the teachers filter, which allows users to see all of an instructor's courses. If you are the only teacher, this filter is unnecessary.
Additionally, you may select to show the course author and the course creation date, lessons, and subjects.
The following illustrates the appearance of a course index page and the many viewing and filtering options accessible to users:
You will notice that users can check which courses they are registered in and which ones they have not yet begun. Additionally, progress bars are shown.
It's a good idea at this stage to add this page to the menu on the page header so that the members may readily access it.
Customizing the Course Page
Within LearnDash, you may modify the appearance of each individual course page. You may include a title, a brief description, a cover picture, and a featured image, among other things.
To personalize a course page, follow the path: LearnDash > Courses and choose the desired course. You'll be sent to the Gutenberg editor, where you can add or amend the course title and its description. Alternatively, you can add a new course to start building a course:
If you go down on the right side, you'll notice opportunities to add a cover picture and featured image. These are excellent methods for improving the course website and making it more appealing to your students.
BuddyBoss has introduced the option of setting a preview video in place of a featured picture:
Once members start a course, they’ll be taken inside the lessons page. LearnDash comes with a feature called Focus Mode which removes all distractions like menus and sidebars so students can focus on the lesson. This is how the Focus Mode setting looks like:
Once the focus mode is active, users will get the option of switching to distraction-free mode that will make the title bar menu disappear.
Within the lesson page, you'll find a variety of interesting alternatives for enhancing the students' learning experience. They may toggle between dark and light modes to accommodate varying lighting situations and enter full-screen mode for a completely distraction-free experience.
Connecting Courses and Social Groups
Another amazing feature of BuddyBoss with LearnDash is the ability to create a classroom-like environment by linking LearnDash courses to different Social Groups. Thus, a social group may serve as a classroom, allowing users (students) to access courses from a centralized location.
You can easily assign teachers or organizers to individual social groups, and you are free to associate many courses with a single social group.
The procedure is quite basic and straightforward. If you're interested in learning how to use this functionality, you may watch BuddyBoss's full guide.
Connect to Additional WordPress Plugins
Additionally, the BuddyBoss theme is compatible with the majority of well-coded WordPress plugins, providing you with a plethora of options for customizing your website.
Gamifying User Experience
Gamification is an excellent approach to promote users' continued usage and involvement with your online community. For encouraging users to participate in forum conversations, for example, you might offer points for each comment or debate they initiate. Then you may offer the users some method to redeem these points.
You may combine BuddyBoss with GamiPress to gamify your members' experience. GamiPress is a free plugin for WordPress that enables you to reward users points for engaging with your website, badges for accomplishments, and a ranking system to encourage users to fulfill all criteria.
Job Posting Section
If you're developing a community of professionals in a certain industry or area, including a job board is an excellent way to give value to your members. It's a significant user attraction, and it will encourage people to return to your site.
BuddyBoss may be integrated with WP Job Manager, which happens to be a free plugin, for creating a section for job postings on your website.
After installing and activating WP Job Manager, you'll see a new field named Job Listings in your WordPress left-side panel. You may customize the plugin's settings from that location.
The plugin produces three pages for you automatically: a Post a Job page, a Job Dashboard, and a Jobs page.
If you want candidates to submit their applications through a form, you must buy an add-on. Additional add-ons are available under Job Listings > Add-ons.
Create Event Calendars
If you have frequent community activities, building a calendar listing your upcoming events is a terrific way to keep network members informed. You'll need a calendar WordPress plugin, such as Events Calendar Pro, to build an event calendar.
Not only will you be able to build event calendars using the Events Calendar Pro, but you will also be able to sell tickets and make reservations straight on your website.
Create a Mobile App
You may construct a mobile application for your social networking site by integrating it tightly with AppBoss. All data from the desktop site is synced with the app, so users can start up where they left off in the desktop session in the app. Additionally, you will be able to send push alerts.
This is an excellent solution for e-learning companies who want to make their courses more mobile-friendly and enhance user engagement.
Pricing for BuddyBoss
When you consider the capabilities of BuddyBoss and the pricing, it's difficult not to be impressed at what a deal it is. For a one-time price of $228, you can create a robust social networking website for your business. With an additional $60 a year, you'll be able to establish five sites. Additionally, you'll have access to all of the theme's features – no other plugins required.
If you choose to have your site built, designed, or migrated for you, you must pay a one-time setup cost of $3,000 plus 19 per month billed, but billed annually. If you add a “done-for-you” mobile application, the one-time setup charge increases to $8000 while the monthly fee increases to $249 (to be billed annually).
If you wish to give it a try and discover that it does not match your requirements, you can avail the benefit of their 14-day money-back guarantee.
BuddyBoss Support Options
Support is available solely via one channel, and that is none other than the Help Desk. They do not presently provide support through other channels such as email, social media or live chat, and hence the only option to get assistance is to submit a ticket.
This is quite frustrating, given firms should already have multi-channel assistance that meets clients where they are. For instance, live chat applications enable clients to get assistance much more quickly than sending a ticket.
Thus, BuddyBoss's support capabilities may be significantly enhanced by providing more avenues for consumers to seek assistance.
Things I Like About BuddyBoss
- It unified key social networking platform features such as social groups and private messaging in a single place, making it simpler to create an online community than ever before.
- It seamlessly connects with LearnDash and a large number of other WordPress plugins, including page builders such as Elementor Pro.
- The theme modification options are enormous, much beyond those of comparable premium themes.
- It's really affordable in comparison to the excellent capabilities it offers.
Things I Dislike About BuddyBoss
- It may be challenging to master the ropes, and you'll need to watch tutorials to fully grasp how it works.
- At first, settings are disorganized; you can't seem to locate anything, which adds to the overpowering sense experienced by new users.
- Certain characteristics are not customizable.
BuddyBoss Review: Concluding Remarks
BuddyBoss Theme is without a doubt the most popular WordPress theme for building social networking websites. There is practically nothing else on the market like it.
Its connection with BuddyBoss Platform, a plugin built by the same firm, centralizes all features and components in one location, obviating the need for other add-ons and plugins. If you're seeking for the simplest but most sophisticated approach to construct a social networking site with the ability to grow in the future, the BuddyBoss Platform and the BuddyBoss Theme are all you need.