Buddyboss Review - Is It Worth It In 2021?

Published: 2 weeks ago

The dawn of social networking is here, with thousands of platforms, apps, and online communities available at the touch of your thumb. If you are thinking of launching your very own social network, Buddyboss can help you get started, even without extensive coding and programming experience.

Buddyboss is an all-inclusive WordPress theme and plugin used for building communities, groups, and entire social networks. Originally launched as BuddyPress, Buddyboss has since evolved into the merging of both the Buddyboss theme and platform. Using Buddyboss is one of the quickest ways to get started with your own online community, whether you are creating a niche community or if you intend to reach an international audience with the use of the Buddyboss platform. 

With Buddyboss, build a social network community of your own, complete with user profiles, photos, live updates, invites, and social media sharing tools. Provide virtual goods, eLearning materials, and even courses or items you plan to sell within the Buddyboss platform. 

Buddyboss is compatible with both Woocommerce and LearnDash, making it easier than ever to launch your eCommerce store directly within your social network. 

Using Buddyboss is simple and straightforward, complete with seamless integration into any WordPress installation you currently have available. From creating a local online community to launching a massive international social network, the options are virtually endless once you have Buddyboss installed and ready to go. 

Buddyboss Features

Whenever you are in the process of developing and building a social network, comparing your options in terms of platforms, plugins, and complete systems is highly recommended. With plenty of turnkey social network options on the market, learning about the features Buddyboss has to offer can help you to determine whether the platform and solution are right for you.

Although Buddyboss is an extension of WordPress and requires WordPress to use, it is one of the most robust and versatile all-in-one systems available for building social media networks individually today. 

All-In-One Social Network Solution

If you have ever envisioned running your own social networking site such as Facebook, Buddyboss is for you. The Buddyboss platform works and appears similarly to Facebook and other traditional social networking sites, but provides you with complete creative freedom and flexibility when it comes to design, layout, plugins, and overall functionality. 

The Buddyboss solution is an all-in-one integrated solution, meaning you do not need to search for additional themes or compatible features in order to get your social network up and running in no time. 

Included Theme

With Buddyboss, not only do you receive the all-in-one social media solution to get your social network functionality installed, but you are also provided with an included Buddyboss theme, formerly known as the BuddyPress theme. 

Frontend Editing

One of the biggest issues for those who want to build a website or launch their own social networking site is that they are unable to program, code, or even create simple graphics. Fortunately, Buddyboss takes these issues and provides a complete frontend editing solution.

Are you tired of outsourcing additional programmers and developers to help build the websites and networks you envision? Buddyboss has a frontend editing system that allows just about anyone the ability to edit and update their website or social network on the fly. From adding new logos and graphics to changing the layout and various locations of text blocks, you have total control over the direction of your social networking site with the use of Buddyboss.  

Private Messaging

If you want to go above and beyond with your social network, you can do so by offering private messaging and a complete messaging system to boot for your users. Buddyboss offers a complete private messaging system that can be easily activated from the backend of your WordPress installation.

Simply navigate to the Components section of your Buddyboss installation to activate Private Messaging. You can also allow advanced options with your private messaging system, such as direct messaging users based on their full name and usernames or sending GIFs, emojis, and personal photos. 

Making Member Connections 

Similar to traditional social networking platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn, Buddyboss allows users to make "member connections", or friend requests with other users. 

Users have the option to accept or reject a request, while those who send requests can also cancel their connection request at any time. Managing connections and friends is easier than ever and is accessible directly from your Buddyboss account once logged in. 

Email Invite Feature

Are you looking for natural and organic ways to help spread the word about your social network and all it has to offer? With Buddyboss, your users and registered members can help you to spread the word about your network with a built-in email invite feature. 

Registered members of your social network will have the option to send email invites to family members, co-workers, and friends. They can send invites directly from their profile by selecting the Email Invites button. From the Email Invites page, users can enter the names and email addresses that they wish to invite to the network to quickly get in touch.

It is possible to allow members of your community to change both the title and body of the email invite they send by accessing the Invites section in the Buddyboss admin area, beyond the Settings panel. 

Forums

Do you miss the old days of the internet and reminiscence about a simpler time where communication between strangers still seemed innocent and enjoyable? If so, don't fret. Buddyboss not only offers a modern social networking solution with private messaging, but also includes a complete message board and forum feature. 

While once only available with the installation of third-party plugins, it is now easier than ever to build and launch your very own forums within your Buddyboss social network itself. Use the forums of Buddyboss to provide a discussion area for your users and members while also optionally implementing a Q&A (Questions and Answers) format to mimic other website formats such as Reddit and 4chan. 

In addition to using the traditional features and functions of the forum system provided by Buddyboss, you can also easily update and customize the forums to blend with your theme and branding. 

For those interested in subgroups and allowing various social groups within a network to create their own forums, this is also now possible with the Buddyboss system. 

Social Groups

Social groups have become wildly popular with Facebook Groups, making them extremely appealing to new members of online communities and prospective users who may be thinking of joining your network. With Buddyboss, it is easier than ever to create your own social groups and to allow users the ability to generate and publish their own social groups within the social network themselves. 

Social groups can help with attracting new members while also adding more content and information to your network, which will garner trust and appeal to those who are on the fence about joining. Using social groups is also a way to promote specific types of content without crowding or flooding the general areas of your social network with niche content or highly targeted content designed for specific users or purposes. 

Integrated Search

Any website or social media network without a proper search function is not likely to succeed, especially as more people become well-adjusted to utilizing search engines and networks for specific needs. With Buddyboss, a completely integrated search function already comes included with your initial installation and setup. 

Once you have installed Buddyboss, you can choose where you would like to implement your search function and what type of posts or content can be searched. It is also possible to allow users to search for information regarding other members if you choose to allow this data to be open and available to the public.

The search features and functions that come with Buddyboss are extremely impressive for anyone who is just getting started with their own social network for the first time. If you have ever worked with adding plugins and installing specific features onto a website in the past, you will greatly appreciate the all-in-one system that Buddyboss provides, especially when it comes to search functions and additional features. 

Customizable Theme

One of the biggest perks of using Buddyboss is the ability to customize and edit the Buddyboss theme that is included to fit with your preferred theme and branding style. Customizing your Buddyboss theme is easier than ever once you are logged into the WordPress admin of your social network installation site.

Once you are logged in as the admin for your Buddyboss site, you can navigate to the Theme Options section to begin making changes directly to your network without any programming or coding knowledge.  

From the Theme Options, enable, disable, or upload new logos. Add a header, choose the typography that works best for your network, and even tweak the styling of the overall look and layout of your network. 

Choose Your Blog Layout

In addition to a complete template that comes with Buddyboss, there are also three blog layouts to choose from for your site and network. Customizing your blog layout gives you even more control over the look and feel of your website, especially when sharing updates and even press releases about your social network in the future. 

Ease of Use

Using Buddyboss is straightforward and streamlined for the most part, especially if you are familiar with installing WordPress plugins and/or importing data and content into your WordPress installation. If you are unfamiliar with WordPress, take time to get comfortable with the admin area of your WordPress install to help expedite the process of installing and activating your version of Buddyboss. 

Pricing Structure

Investing in a brand new social networking website from the ground up can cost thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the size and scope of your project. With all of the digital infrastructure required to program a brand new social network from scratch, turning to solutions such as Buddyboss is not entirely shocking.

Buddyboss, while not free, is affordable for medium to small businesses. If you are an individual just getting started with social networking and building websites, the price of the initial investment in Buddyboss may not appeal to you or might be over budget.

However, it is important to keep in mind the total costs of hiring developers by the hour, managing development projects, and even developing additional individual features such as private messaging, searching, and user profiles. 

There are multiple tiers of pricing when investing in Buddyboss. The current pricing structure is as follows:

  • 1 Site: $228 per year: Includes license for 1 site, fully-featured theme and plugin, 1-year priority support, and 1 year of ongoing updates as they are released. 
  • 5 Sites: $288 per year: Includes license for 5 sites, fully-featured theme and plugin, 1-year priority support, and 1 year of ongoing updates as they are released. 
  • 10 Sites: $348 per year: Includes license for 10 sites, fully-featured theme and plugin, 1-year priority support, and 1 year of ongoing updates as they are released. 

One of the benefits of investing in Buddyboss is the ability to obtain and build your own social network with one purchase, rather than investing in individual plugins and additional add-ons later on. 

With each purchase from Buddyboss comes a 100% money-back guarantee within 14 days of your purchase. If you are unhappy with Buddyboss or if you find that it does not deliver, you can easily return the product with no questions asked. 

If you are interested in a full-service solution from Buddyboss, there is also the Buddyboss App, which is available for users starting at $179 a month. Using the full-service solution from Buddyboss is advisable for those who are new to building websites and for those who do not have the time or the resources to manage, update, and secure their networks and websites regularly. 

Using the full-service Buddyboss app service is a way for you to launch your own mobile solution for the social network you are building. For those who want to spread the word about their social networking sites within traditional play and app stores, the Buddyboss app service may be right for you.  

The full-service option from the Buddyboss app includes:

  • Setting up the application for you, including installation from start to finish.
  • Helping to integrate your brand and image into the Buddyboss network you set up.
  • Assistance with creating icons, splash screens, and even screen shots for your Buddyboss application in the app store(s).
  • Integration with bbApp for messaging and launching a forum for your online community in addition to LearnerApp for LearnDash. If you are launching an eLearning platform or online community, integrating LearnDash and bbApp into your social network is a must to maximize your reach and appeal. 

Pros and Cons of Buddyboss

Building a brand new social network is not a simple task or one that should be taken lightly, especially if you have lofty goals and wish to maximize your reach online with your network. Whenever you are thinking of building a brand new social network, it is important to take the time to compare and review all of the options available to find one that is not only the most appealing but most functional and budget-friendly.

Comparing the pros and cons of Buddyboss can help you to determine whether the Buddyboss solution is right for you or if you require something a bit more personalized and individualized for your vision.  

Pros of Buddyboss

  • Buddyboss is an all-in-one seamless social networking system that allows anyone the ability to create, build, and launch their own social network site.
  • Using Buddyboss is simple and straightforward for anyone who is even vaguely familiar with WordPress and using the WordPress backend to make updates and edits to their website.
  • Buddyboss comes with a variety of features and plugins that are unavailable with alternative social networking systems and turnkey solutions. With Buddyboss, you can take advantage of private messaging, connection requests, in-depth search, message boards, and even integrated social groups that can be created by admins only or even by other members of the community.
  • Licensing Buddyboss is affordable for those who are already involved in business and even for those who are interested in creating multiple social networking sites for themselves or for their clients. The cost of Buddyboss is affordable for individuals who are interested in all of the features and functions that come with Buddyboss but do not want to outsource and hire additional programmers and developers to get the job done.   
  • Buddyboss has a complete frontend editor, making it easier than ever to update pages and add content to your social network within an instant. Rather than manually editing pages from the backend or manually accessing individual pages and posts from the WordPress admin, now you can easily edit and update information and content on your website with just a few clicks.
  • Easily update your template and theme with Buddypress simply by logging in as the administrator to your WordPress install. Once you are logged in, you can immediately begin editing and updating the current theme that comes with Buddypress, giving you complete control over imagery, branding, logos, headers, footers, and other important content blocks. From adding new content to removing or swapping images and graphics on the fly, it has never been easier than with the Buddyboss system and template. 
  • Integrating Buddyboss is not only seamless with WordPress and Woocommerce, but also with LearnDash for those who are interested in offering eLearning materials and paid courses online. 
  • It is also possible to implement and integrate Buddyboss with additional third-part WordPress editors, such as Elementor. Using Elementor with your Buddyboss and WordPress installations makes editing and updating your social network easier than ever in real-time. 

Cons of Buddyboss

  • Using Buddyboss may not be as simple and as straightforward for some users who are not familiar with using WordPress or working in WordPress with any type of website. 
  • Settings are not always easy to find if you are new to using WordPress or Buddyboss.
  • The Buddyboss system may appear complex at first sight, especially for those who are unfamiliar with working in the admin area of WordPress or working with any type of WordPress plugin.
  • You may need to read the documentation that comes with Buddyboss and/or watch videos to familiarize yourself with the Buddyboss system and how to properly navigate the admin area. 
  • There is a lack of customer support available from Buddyboss, which can lead to frustrations for those who are new to using Buddyboss and WordPress. For individuals who are new to building websites and working with WordPress plugins, this can be extremely upsetting. Before choosing Buddyboss as your one-stop shop for your next social network, it is highly advisable to have knowledge of WordPress and how to work with basic plugins and third-party extensions. 
  • Not all features that come with Buddyboss are entirely customizable, so it is important to know exactly what you want for your network before choosing a system and solution that is right for you. Before choosing Buddyboss, verify that the plugins and extensions you envision for your network are compatible and/or available for the type of system you intend to install and implement. 

If you are new to building a social network and you are unsure of where to begin, turn to Buddyboss. Buddyboss offers plenty of features and functions that are difficult to find anywhere else without spending tens of thousands of dollars. Creating a social network for a local community or even for a niche market does not have to require hiring individual developers and raising millions of dollars in funding. Instead, Buddyboss delivers a solution that is optimal for both small and large creators, regardless of the type of network you intend to launch. 

Buddyboss truly delivers in terms of features and functionality, especially for those who are not only looking for an all-in-one social networking solution, but one that is modern, relevant, and visually appealing. 

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