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BuddyPress in 2020, it’s a wrap!

Mon, 28 Dec 2020 19:29:45

Hello dear members of the BuddyPress community,

For this last day of 2020, we are inaugurating our very first End of Year wrap-up post. We believe it’s a good way to congratulate ourselves (the whole BuddyPress community) about the free & priceless hard work we’ve all put together into our open source project.

There are many ways we are getting involved into BuddyPress and we all know the best way to maintain BuddyPress in the long term is to give some of our spare time to carry on bringing that little piece to the project. Every contribution makes a difference.

Let’s thank us all, the users, the support forum moderators, the documentation writers, the translators, the theme designers, the plugin developers & the BuddyPress Core committers team. We have built great community features all along the 2020 year.

👏

Here are our results:

2020 releases

  • 9 releases (3 more than in 2019)
  • 2 major releases (1 more than in 2019)
  • 7 minor releases (2 more than in 2019)

2020 Tickets

  • We’ve fixed 186 tickets, it’s 62% more than in 2019.
  • The 6.0.0 release (May 2020) was the one which fixed the most tickets for 2 years (89).
  • Comparing to 2019, we’ve increased the fixed tickets per release average from 14 to 23.

2020 Code contributors

  • 7.0.0 gathered the highest number of contributors for 2 years. We were 55 involved into the making of this release. It’s almost twice the number of contributors the 5.0.0 release got in 2019.
  • For each release we are an average of 14 contributors per release. In 2019 we were 9 contributors. Contributions to the BuddyPress project grew by 40% in 2020.

2020 Downloads

  • Most important spike for 2 years happened in 2020 for the 7.0.0 releases: 34.236 downloads on December 11.
  • BuddyPress was downloaded more than 1.257.556 times in 2020 (the year is not finished yet 😌).
  • The growth ratio is 23% compared to 2019.

Here are our achievements:

Acknowledging Polyglots contributions

Making BuddyPress available in as many languages as possible is very important to ensure the best user experience of the plugin features. We are always trying to improve how we credits translators and ease their tasks. During the 6.0.0 release, we’ve reviewed all the strings needing translators comments to explain the meaning of the placeholders we use (e.g.: %s, %d, %1$s, etc.).

We’ve also decided to include, from now on, into major release credits the translation contributor names that have given their times to make sure the development (Trunk) translation is 100% ready once our major releases final string freeze step is over. This work is strategic to BuddyPress users as they will be able to get the new strings translation as soon as they upgrade or install the plugin.

Easing & welcoming code contributions

At the end of 2019, we’ve made available a new plugin to ease beta-testing, this year we’ve added the @wordpress/env package to our development version (Trunk) and wrote a tutorial about how you can easily set up a development environment to play with BuddyPress code thanks to it. We believe it’s an important step towards making contributing to BuddyPress easier and we hope it will increase the number of people getting involved into BuddyPress source code improvements.

Before starting the 7.0.0 development cycle and just like the WordPress Core team does before each major milestone, we’ve published our first “Call for tickets”. We’ll do it before each major release so that you can share with the BuddyPress Core committers the tickets you think should be fixed for the next development cycle. The priorities of the BuddyPress community matter, we encourage you to use this call for tickets to make your voice heard.

Informing BuddyPress Theme & Plugin authors about important changes

During the 6.0.0 development cycle we (re)started to take the time to write developer notes as soon as possible. We also organized these notes into categories according to the version number of the release being built.

  • To prepare 6.0.0, we’ve published 4 notes,
  • To prepare 7.0.0, we’ve published 9 notes.

Our goals doing so is to limit the risk of “breaking” your active theme or plugins keeping their authors aware of changes they should check before a major release is published. It can also help developers to start working early on extending BuddyPress new features. Please do read these notes and share them with your networks to increase their audience and contribute to cover this risk.

Checking how you use BuddyPress and what are your needs:

BuddyPress surveys are back! BuddyPress is about users: we are very happy we could organize the 2020 survey to get you inputs about your BuddyPress usage and about the specific directions for the plugin we are thinking of for its future.

Introducing new community features to the BuddyPress plugin:

  • The BP REST API welcomed 6 new endpoints to help you build great interactions from your applications about: Blogs, Blog avatar, Friends, Group Cover Image, Member Cover Image, and User Signups.
  • 5 BuddyPress blocks have landed into the BuddyPress blocks category of your WordPress Block Editor.
  • New Administration screens to manage BuddyPress Types (Member & Group ones) are now available within your WordPress Dashboard.
  • Just like Members & Groups, the Blogs component can now enjoy a new default avatar for Sites.
  • A great 2.0 version of BP WP CLI to help you manage your BuddyPress site right from the command lines.
  • And many fixes and improvements about the existing features (See 6.0.0 & 7.0.0 release notes)

Starting side projects:

If one of these projects is interesting you, don’t hesitate to contribute to it.

2021 Goals

Based on the discussions the Core Team had during our development meetings (every other Wednesday at 19:00 UTC in #BuddyPress), here’s a list of directions we mostly agree on about:

  • A fantastic standalone BuddyPress theme.
  • BuddyPress code reference.
  • A BuddyPress Attachments component.
  • Improve ways to get help about & for BuddyPress.

Let’s try to make them concrete in 2021!

Thanks for reading this post and for your involvement in contributing to BuddyPress in 2020. Let’s wish us all a great new year’s eve 🎉. Bye 2020 and Happy 2021, full of great contributions, to the BuddyPress community.


BuddyPress 7.1.0 Maintenance Release

Mon, 21 Dec 2020 21:08:26

Immediately available is BuddyPress 7.1.0. This maintenance release fixes two bugs related to issues introduced in the 7.0.0 release.

  • It makes sure the BP Blogs tools to repare Site icons / Site profile photos synchronization is only available to WordPress multisite configs,
  • It fixes the unavailability of the Groups Admin screen for site networks using the BuddyPress multiblog mode.

For details on the changes, please read the 7.1.0 release notes.

Update to BuddyPress 7.1.0 today in your WordPress Dashboard, or by downloading from the WordPress.org plugin repository.

Many thanks to 7.1.0 contributors 

shawfactor, slaFFik & imath


How BuddyX made its way to the official WordPress.org theme directory

Thu, 17 Dec 2020 18:54:06

We use to feature BuddyPress usage case studies. These are great ways to share with you how BuddyPress can help you achieve your community site projects reading how other buddies did it. The case study you are about to read now is a bit different. It’s about the steps the lovely BuddyX BuddyPress theme had to take to be widely and freely available from the official WordPress.org theme directory. I’m very happy Varun Dubey took the time to write this guest post to share his experience with all of us. My secret hope is that it will inspire as many BuddyPress Theme authors as possible to do the same 😇.

Varun Dubey is a full-stack WordPress & BuddyPress developer. He’s the co-founder of Wbcom Designs, a WordPress themes and plugins development agency in India. He’s also a regular BuddyPress contributor, we often talk with him about the BuddyPress project during our development meetings (every other Wednesday at 19:00 UTC on Slack), he contributes to our development tasks (testing, reporting issues, patching, documenting, etc..) and he still manage to find time to help you regularly replying to your support topics (661 replies so far!). So, once again, many thanks to him for getting involved with BuddyPress 😍.

So let’s learn more from his experience, here’s what he wanted to share with you about it!

I submitted my first theme at WordPress.org, and now it’s live.

@vapvarun

We, at Wbcom Designs, are excited about our achievement to present a full-fledged community theme powered by BuddyPress and WordPress. It took almost a year to work on BuddyX and make it stable enough to submit at WordPress.org. 

The approval process was surprisingly short, approx 6-7 weeks to get it approved after initial submission. We usually had heard that it might take 6-9 months to get the theme live.

Submitting the theme at WordPress.org will increase your reach to all sites which are using WordPress. The WordPress theme directory is used by millions of WordPress users all over the world. The directory themes are available for download from WordPress.org, and WordPress users can also install them directly from their administration screens.

By hosting your theme on WordPress.org, you’ll get:

  • Stats on how many times your theme has been downloaded
  • User feedback in the forums
  • Ratings, to see what users think of your theme.

We have learned a lot about code reviews, code quality, and theme lifecycle during the approval process. I will give a quick glimpse of how it was for BuddyX; it might help others get the theme approved quickly.

How to start with a theme skeleton?

Lots of developers begin the development of a theme from scratch. There are articles and tutorials available on how to start theme development from scratch, and the WordPress Themes development handbook also has a detailed step guide on this topic. 

After comparing _s, roots, and other starter themes, we decided to start with the WP rig. WP rig helped get a basic skeleton of the BuddyX using the latest tools, best practices, and coding standards. It helped integrate lazy-loading, async/defer JavaScript enqueueing, component-level pre-loaded CSS, optimized Web Font loading, modular extensions, and a full-featured list of optional template hierarchy files at day one. 

Along with WordPress Code Quality Testing, WordPress Coding Standards integration was also part of it. After getting initial help for the WP rig, we only have to focus on design improvement for BuddyPress Community features.

Early prep of the Theme submission

After the design part gets ready, we have released our theme on our website and make it available for free download to get initial feedback as a soft launch. It received a good response from the community, and we have got some feature requests and feedback on initial versions. It helped us to gain the confidence to submit BuddyX at WordPress.org.

You can follow these steps to check your theme against WordPress requirements before submitting it for review. 

1- Code Quality Check- To make sure your theme code is secure ( using proper escaping functions ), it meets WordPress Coding Standards

2- Theme Check by plugin- The WordPress Theme review team checks your theme using the Theme Check plugin. It will be useful to double-check your theme against it first before uploading it.

Illustration of the screen generated by the Theme Check plugin

3- Theme Requirement Checklist- WordPress Theme review team has published Theme Requirements. You also have to make sure you have gone through all items one by one.

Essential points you have to double-check with Theme requirements are

  • Debug log should be clean; it should not have any PHP or JavaScript errors.
  • All strings should be ready for translation. 
  • Add unminified source files along with minified JavaScript and CSS files. 
  • All functions and Classes should have a theme-specific unique prefix.
  • All js or CSS should enqueue properly inside theme functions instead of hard-coded in the header or footer. 

5- Theme Unit Test XML – You will also have to check with Unit Testing XML data. It will help get proper labels and layout testing on various templates like 404, comments on pages, comments on the post, post format testing, layout, and alignment testing. 

6- Screenshot- It should not contain any branded logo or visible human face.

7- Keyboard Navigation- Keyboard-dependent navigators are also mandatory features now. You can find details at the Keyboard Navigation section of the theme development handbook.

Consider the following non-coding points before submission:

  1. Your website terms and conditions page must indicate that your company has all products under GPL.
  2. All images inside the theme must have GPL.
  3. Make sure you have not disabled any default WordPress features. 
  4. The readme file must have all credit info for used images, libraries, and references.
  5. Theme does not represent anything illegal, dishonest, or morally offensive behavior.

Upload at WordPress.org 

You can upload the theme using https://wordpress.org/themes/upload/, any new revision, and the theme updates. 

After uploading the theme files, it will create a ticket, and you will have to wait for a couple of days before any developer requests to review your theme. All reviewers are volunteers. You can also get an idea of the current theme review team member from the codex page.

You can also check current themes waiting in the queue at https://themes.trac.wordpress.org. It will also be useful to join the Slack theme review channel to discuss review issues in the open channel.

Try to be proactive for any comments and points made related to your theme and submit fixes actively to keep your ticket reviewer.

About BuddyX features

BuddyX is a community membership theme with BuddyPress support. It is a lightweight, fully responsive, SEO optimized, RTL & Translation ready theme. It is a multipurpose theme perfect for all niches, be it membership, social community, corporate, e-commerce, LMS, etc.

The theme also provides support for WooCommerce, WC Vendor, LearnDash, LearnPress, and GamiPress plugins. It is highly customizable and works perfectly with page builders such as Elementor and Gutenberg. BuddyX is perfect for creating social learning, marketplace, and blogging websites using BuddyPress integrations.

BuddyX has the latest best practices for progressive web content and optimization. We have tested it with the latest BuddyPress version and popular BuddyPress addons. BuddyX is developed, maintained, and supported by Wbcom Designs.

We have worked on the following features

  • User menu for logged in members
  • Improved UI for Activity, members, groups directory pages
  • Improved UI for Member and Group single unique layout
  • Both sidebar options for BuddyPress pages
  • Improve sidebar widgets style
  • rtMedia supports to display of single and multiple photos in the activity.
  • Better widgets layout
  • Color scheme options
  • Extensible with plugins

Within the theme, we have overridden several template files to make the above changes.

Activity Compotent – 

buddypress/activity/entry.php
buddypress/activity/single/home.php

Members Component –

buddypress/members/members-loop.php
buddypress/members/single/cover-image-header.php
buddypress/members/single/home.php
buddypress/members/single/friends/requests-loop.php
buddypress/members/single/groups/invites.php

Groups Component – 

buddypress/groups/groups-loop.php
buddypress/groups/single/cover-image-header.php
buddypress/groups/single/home.php
buddypress/groups/single/members-loop.php

rtMedia plugin –

rtmedia/main.php 

We have picked the Nouveau template for BuddyX for various reasons as following.

  • Nouveau delivers modern markup with fresh JavaScript-powered templates.
  • Nouveau provides vertical and horizontal layout options for BuddyPress navigation.
  • Provide a grid layout and a classic flat list.
  • Minimal styling for better theme compatibility.
  • Consistent and flexible PHP template functions.
  • Customizer compatibility.
  • Better differentiation of content types.
  • A rethought Messages component.

Summarizing features for BuddyX, you can check a detailed overview at buddyxtheme.com.

  • Multiple Header option
  • Polished member and group directory layout
  • Three variations for member and group header layout
  • Color Scheme and Typo options
  • RTL and translation ready
  • AMP ready
  • Gutenberg ready
  • WooCommerce ready with multivendor using WC vendors, Dokan support in the development queue.
  • bbPress Forums Support
  • Optimized Mobile Menu Panel
  • LMS support: Learndash and Learnpress support included; we will add dedicated support for other popular LMS plugins incoming updates.

We have prepared a couple of demos; you can try the BuddyX demo as a member login.BuddyX is available at WordPress.org for download to create your community; we will appreciate any feedback to improve BuddyX features.


BuddyPress 7.0.0 “Filippi”

Wed, 09 Dec 2020 19:27:14

This major release introduces new administration screens to manage your Member & Group Types 🙌

We are very excited to announce the immediate availability of BuddyPress 7.0.0 code-named “Filippi“. You can get it clicking on the above button, downloading it from the WordPress.org plugin directory or checking it out from our Subversion repository.

👉 If you’re upgrading from a previous version of BuddyPress, it’s always a good idea to back-up your WordPress database and files ahead of time.

You can review all of the changes in this 7.0.0 release in the release notes. Below are a few of the key features we believe you are going to love!

You can now manage your Member Types and/or Group Types right from your WordPress Dashboard

Illustration showing how to access to the BP Types Admin areas.

Playing with BP Types just became much easier! The Member Types and Group Types were primarily introduced in BuddyPress as features for advanced users, just like the WordPress Custom Post Type feature. Thanks to the two new WordPress Administration Screens, adding, editing and deleting Member & Group Types has never been so easy! Now you can set up BP Types using custom code or by simply using the Administration interfaces.

Let’s watch a demo about how it looks like for Member Types!

Fullscreen

3 new BP Blocks for your WP Posts & Pages

Illustration showing the BuddyPress Blocks category inside the Block Editor Inserter.

3 new BP Blocks are now available via your WordPress Editor. From the BuddyPress blocks category of the WordPress Block Inserter, you can pick a BP Block to feature a list of members, a list of groups or embed a public BuddyPress Activity into your post or page. Read more about it in this development note.

Here’s a quick video showing you how to insert a list of Members profile images into your home page.

Fullscreen

A default profile image for the sites of your network

Illustration of the BuddyPress Sites directory
Follow the white arrow to discover the new default profile image for sites.

The Site Tracking component now has a default profile image it can use to make your Sites loop prettier if some of them have not customized their WordPress Site Icon. Multisite WordPress configurations will be able to find it when displaying the Sites directory. Read more about it in the development note.

BP Nouveau is ready for Twenty Twenty-One 🎨

Fullscreen

You love the latest default WordPress Theme, so do we! It’s important for us to make sure the BP Nouveau template pack looks great in the default themes included in the WordPress package. This is the first of the many improvements we are bringing to our default Template Pack.

BP REST API improvements

The Developer documentation has been updated according to the latest improvements we’ve brought to the BuddyPress REST API.

To name two: get the groups the logged in user is a member of, and create a blog when BuddyPress is activated on a network of WordPress sites. Read this development note to learn about all the others.

Improved support for WP CLI

WP-CLI is the command-line interface for WordPress. You can update plugins, configure multisite installs, and much more, all without using a web browser. In 7.0.0, you will be able to use new BuddyPress CLI commands to manage BuddyPress Group Meta, BuddyPress Activity Meta, activate or deactivate the BuddyPress signup feature and create BuddyPress-specific testing code for plugins.

Discover more about it from this developer note.

Under the hood

7.0.0 includes more than 70 changes such as image lazy loading support, multiple Member Type assignment, a Docker ready development environment to improve your BuddyPress experience as users, and as contributors to our project.

Many thanks to the 55 contributors who helped us build & translate BuddyPress 7.0.0

Adil Oztaser (oztaser), Boone B Gorges (boonebgorges), Brajesh Singh (sbrajesh), corsky, Dan Caragea (dancaragea), David Cavins (dcavins), devnik,Dilip Bheda, Dion Hulse (dd32), dragoeco,Erik Betshammar (kebbet), etatus, Didier Saintes (ExoGeek)诗语 (f2010525),George Mamadashvili, Giuseppe (mociofiletto), Hareesh,iamthewebbJavier Esteban (nobnob), Jb Audras (audrasjb), John James Jacoby (johnjamesjacoby), Joost Abrahams (joost-abrahams), k3690, Knut Sparhell (knutsp), Laxman Prajapati, Lidia Pellizzaro (lidialab), marbaqueMarcel Claus (geckse), marioshtika,Mark Robson (markscottrobson), Mathieu Viet (imath), mercimeMeet Makadia, Michael Beckwith, Morteza Geransayeh (man4toman), morenolq, N33D, oddev56, Paul Gibbs (DJPaul), Petter Walbø Johnsgård (walbo), Peter Smits (psmits1567), Pooja N Muchandikar (pooja1210), Raruto, r-a-y, Renato Alves (espellcaste), scipi, Scott Bolinger (scottopolis), shanebp, shawfactor, sjregan, Stephen Edgar (netweb), tharsheblows, Tor-Bjorn Fjellner (tobifjellner), Varun Dubey (vapvarun) & wp24.cz (podporawebu).

BuddyPress Filippi

7.0.0 is code-named “Filippi” after Filippi’s Pizza Grotto in lovely San Diego, California, USA. The “Grotto” is in the back room of an Italian grocery and butcher shop in Little Italy. Tall pizza lovers will have to watch out for the Chianti bottles hanging from the ceiling, but the red-and-white-checked-tablecloth atmosphere and piled-high pizza is worth it!

Feedback is always welcome 😍

Receiving your feedback & suggestions for future versions of BuddyPress genuinely motivates and encourages our contributors. Please share your feedback about this version of BuddyPress in the comments area of this post. And of course, if you’ve found a bug: please tell us about it into our Support forums.


BuddyPress 2020 Survey results

Tue, 08 Dec 2020 05:30:00

The BuddyPress 2020 survey was published the same day we released BuddyPress 6.0.0 “iovine’s” (May 13, 2020). Now that we are about to release our next major release (7.0.0 will be delivered in the coming days), it is time to share with you the survey results.

First, many thanks to all the respondents who participated to this survey 😍. Doing so you contributed to give the BuddyPress Core Team informations about how the plugin is used, could be used and how its usage is evolving. Some of the questions we asked are directions we’re considering for the plugin (eg: Q9, Q10, Q17), so your inputs are very important to us.

As no questions were required, it’s difficult to be 100% accurate about how many people took the survey. So we were at least (we also took the survey 😉) 483 from all over the world as it’s the highest number a question was replied to.

Most of the questions were leaving participants the choice to select more than one reply, this is why if you sum up the percentage results you’ll often find more than 100% 😁.

When we had data about a previous survey we made in 2018, we compared the 2020 results with them and calculated the differences between both years percentages. We thought it could be interesting to see how some results are evolving.

1. How are you using BuddyPress?

Number of respondents: 483.

Possible replies Years & evolution Results
I use BuddyPress on my own site 2020 72.7%
2018 74.2%
2018 to 2020 -1.6%
I build BuddyPress sites for others 2020 35.2%
2018 32.4%
2018 to 2020 2.8%
I develop BuddyPress themes 2020 13.3%
2018 9.7%
2018 to 2020 3.6%
I develop BuddyPress plugins 2020 15.1%
2018 13.0%
2018 to 2020 2.1%
I host BuddyPress sites 2020 15.5%
2018 14.8%
2018 to 2020 0.7%
Other 2020 9.1%
2018 4.6%
2018 to 2020 4.5%

NB: between 2018 & 2020 the “I build BuddyPress sites, themes, and plugins.” choice disappeared.

It’s interesting to see BuddyPress plugin and theme developers replied more to this survey. Another explanation could be there are possibly more people extending or designing for BuddyPress 🙌.

2. What types of BuddyPress sites have you built?

Number of respondents: 409.

Possible replies Year Results
Academic 2020 33.5%
Artistic 2020 18.3%
Gaming 2020 14.2%
Generic 2020 30.3%
Religious 2020 10.5%
Scientific 2020 14.4%
Sports 2020 10.5%
Other 2020 33.5%

NB: data from 2018 is missing.

The “Other” reply was often chosen. When looking deeply into these replies, we discovered some interesting types, eg: Health / Medical / Therapist communities, Recipe sharing sites, Intranet & Business networks, Non-profit / charity / solidarity / ecological communities, Social Marketplaces, Dating platforms, Local municipality information center / local life / Administration sites and some specific communities like private or restricted ones.

3. How do you host your production sites using BuddyPress?

Number of respondents: 414.

Possible replies Years & evolution Results
Shared Hosting 2020 44.9%
2018 52.5%
2018 to 2020 -7.6%
Virtual Private Server 2020 30.0%
2018 30.0%
2018 to 2020 -0.1%
Dedicated Server 2020 22.2%
2018 18.0%
2018 to 2020 4.2%
Managed WordPress Hosting 2020 23.4%
2018 15.1%
2018 to 2020 8.3%
Cloud-based Services 2020 18.4%
2018 12.8%
2018 to 2020 5.6%
Other 2020 6.0%
2018 3.4%
2018 to 2020 2.6%

Looks like Managed WordPress Hosting plans are increasing 🤔

4. How do you set up BuddyPress in your WordPress installations?

Number of respondents: 427.

Possible replies Years & evolution Results
WP in domain root 2020 68.4%
2018 74.8%
2018 to 2020 -6.4%
WP in physical subdirectory folder 2020 19.7%
2018 15.6%
2018 to 2020 4.1%
WP in physical subdomain 2020 15.0%
2018 9.0%
2018 to 2020 5.9%
WP Multisite in domain root – BP Network-activated 2020 20.4%
2018 11.5%
2018 to 2020 8.9%
WP Multisite in subsite (subdirectory) – BP Network-activated 2020 11.0%
2018 4.7%
2018 to 2020 6.3%
WP Multisite in subsite (subdomain) – BP Network activated 2020 11.7%
2018 4.7%
2018 to 2020 7.0%
WP Multisite in domain root – BP activated only on the main network site 2020 9.6%
2018 3.3%
2018 to 2020 6.3%
WP Multisite in subsite (subdirectory) – BP activated on a subsite of the network 2020 9.8%
2018 4.7%
2018 to 2020 5.2%
WP Multisite in subsite (subdomain) – BP activated on a subsite of the network 2020 9.4%
2018 4.7%
2018 to 2020 4.7%
WP Multisite in domain root – the constant BP_ENABLE_MULTIBLOG is defined in your wp-config.php file to spread BuddyPress on all sites of the network 2020 12.4%
2018 4.7%
2018 to 2020 7.8%

NB: between 2018 & 2020 the “WP Multisite with BuddyPress Multi-Network” choice disappeared.

Multisite configurations are slightly increasing while regular WordPress configurations are a bit less used.

5. What BuddyPress components/features are always or almost always activated in your site/s?

Number of respondents: 428.

Possible replies Years & evolution Everytime Sometimes Never
Account Settings 2020 74.5% 11.9% 4.2%
2018 91.8% 6.5% 1.7%
2018 to 2020 -17.3% 5.4% 2.5%
Activity Streams 2020 64.3% 17.5% 6.3%
2018 75.0% 20.9% 4.1%
2018 to 2020 -10.7% -3.4% 2.2%
Extended Profiles 2020 70.1% 16.4% 4.2%
2018 86.6% 12.1% 1.4%
2018 to 2020 -16.5% 4.3% 2.8%
Friend Connections 2020 73.4% 22.2% 11.4%
2018 62.9% 26.5% 10.6%
2018 to 2020 10.5% -4.3% 0.8%
Private Messaging 2020 55.1% 22.9% 8.6%
2018 67.6% 25.4% 7.0%
2018 to 2020 -12.5% -2.5% 1.7%
Site Tracking 2020 37.6% 24.8% 20.1%
2018 56.3% 25.4% 18.3%
2018 to 2020 -18.7% -0.6% 1.8%
User Groups 2020 55.4% 23.8% 8.9%
2018 64.1% 26.0% 10.0%
2018 to 2020 -8.7% -2.1% -1.1%

I must say I was a bit surprised by the fact the Friends component was the only one which usage increased between 2018 and 2020 😳.

6. What theme/s have you activated for your site/s using BuddyPress?

Number of respondents: 398.

Possible replies Years & evolution Results
Free WP theme 2020 37.7%
2018 22.5%
2018 to 2020 15.2%
Free WP theme with custom BP CSS and/or template modifications 2020 18.8%
2018 14.1%
2018 to 2020 4.8%
Free WP theme and I add custom BP CSS and/or template modifications 2020 22.9%
2018 14.1%
2018 to 2020 8.8%
Commercial WP theme 2020 35.9%
2018 32.2%
2018 to 2020 3.7%
Commercial WP theme with custom BP CSS and/or template modifications 2020 32.2%
2018 38.6%
2018 to 2020 -6.4%
I create a brand-new WP theme and write my own custom BP CSS and template modifications using BP theme compat 2020 22.1%
2018 19.8%
2018 to 2020 2.3%

Free WordPress themes without any customizations got the highest result: this proves using BuddyPress out of the box can be enough to power a great looking community site.

7. Which BuddyPress Template Pack is your theme supporting in your production sites?

Number of respondents: 384.

Possible replies Year Results
BP Nouveau Templates (introduced in BP 3.0.0) 2020 63.3%
BP Legacy Templates (introduced in BP 1.7.0) 2020 28.1%
BP Standalone theme like the bp-default theme (introduced in BP 1.2.0) 2020 13.5%
I don’t know 2020 25.8%

NB: this question wasn’t asked in 2018

1 respondent out of 4 don’t know what Template Pack is active on their website. As the BP Nouveau Template pack is used by default, there’s a good chance it’s the one these people are using. FYI: If you want to switch between available Template Packs, you can go into your WordPress Dashboard and activate the BuddyPress Options tab of the Settings > BuddyPress administration page to do so.

8. Which BuddyPress template files do you customize for your own or third-party themes?

Number of respondents: 377.

Possible replies Year Never Sometimes Everytime
Activity templates 2020 36.6% 31.6% 22.5%
Blogs templates 2020 38.5% 29.7% 19.6%
Group templates 2020 32.9% 31.0% 21.8%
Member templates 2020 26.8% 31.0% 30.0%
Stylesheet files 2020 29.4% 26.0% 29.4%
JavaScript files 2020 39.5% 28.4% 15.4%
BuddyPress Email templates 2020 32.6% 30.0% 25.2%

NB: this question wasn’t asked in 2018.

9. What do you prefer: using a BP Template Pack that lets you use most WordPress themes or use a BuddyPress specific theme ?

Number of respondents: 375.

Possible replies Year Results
BP Template Pack 2020 58.1%
BuddyPress specific theme 2020 41.9%

NB: this question wasn’t asked in 2018.

Building a great BuddyPress theme as a replacement to our good old BP Default theme is something we are considering a lot. It’s important for us to remember that a lot of you like the fact BuddyPress doesn’t require a specific theme to run and needs to look as nice as possible inside your active WordPress theme.

10. Would you test/use a new theme made by the BuddyPress team?

Number of respondents: 377.

Possible replies Year Results
Yes 2020 57.2%
No 2020 11.4%
Maybe 2020 31.4%

NB: this question wasn’t asked in 2018

11. What features would you look for in a new BuddyPress theme?

Number of respondents: 380.

Possible replies Year Results
More BuddyPress customization options 2020 85.5%
Compatible with bbPress 2020 51.1%
Compatible with WooCommerce 2020 44.7%

NB: this question wasn’t asked in 2018

Got it! FYI: BP Nouveau has a specific panel into your customizer you should check. One of the comments you made was asking for a way to reorder the Member navigation, BP Nouveau has a section for it 👈.

12. When do you test your sites, themes, and/or plugins with BuddyPress releases?

Number of respondents: 396.

Possible replies Years & evolution Results
Trunk 2020 15.9%
2018 11.7%
2018 to 2020 4.2%
BP Beta 1 2020 14.9%
2018 10.0%
2018 to 2020 4,9%
BP Release Candidate 1 2020 11.4%
2018 7.5%
2018 to 2020 3.9%
BP Stable Release 2020 43.2%
2018 55.9%
2018 to 2020 -12.7%
A month after stable release 2020 29.0%
2018 19.6%
2018 to 2020 9.5%
Never 2020 19.2%
2018 15.0%
2018 to 2020 4.2%
Other 2020 8.1%
2018 4.3%
2018 to 2020 3.8%

The results the Beta and RC pre-release got is encouraging. We really need to have more beta-testers to avoid bad surprises when you upgrade BuddyPress. We’ve tried to ease the way you can test BuddyPress with the BP Beta Tester plugin, but I guess we still need to work on ways to help you help us 👩🏻‍💻.

13. If you do beta test BuddyPress, what method do you use?

Number of respondents: 236.

Possible replies Year Results
I use the SVN repo (svn co https://buddypress.svn.wordpress.org/trunk/) 2020 31.8%
I use the read-only Github mirror (git clone git://buddypress.git.wordpress.org/) 2020 46.2%
I use the BP Beta Tester plugin 2020 51.3%

NB: this question wasn’t asked in 2018

Looks like the BP Beta Tester plugin is the most used tool to beta test BuddyPress. This seems great! But the results might be a bit over rated. When looking deeply into it, some of you replied they were never beta-testing BuddyPress while using the BP Beta Tester plugin 🤨. The goal of the BP Beta Tester plugin is to ease the beta/RC testing…

14. If you installed bbPress, how did you set it up with your BuddyPress site/s?

Number of respondents: 311.

Possible replies Years & evolution Results
Sitewide forums only 2020 34.7%
2018 28.3%
2018 to 2020 6.4%
Group forums only 2020 29.3%
2018 29.3%
2018 to 2020 0%
Sitewide and Group forums 2020 55.0%
2018 57.6%
2018 to 2020 -2.6%

15. How do you keep updated with the latest in BuddyPress development?

Number of respondents: 355.

Possible replies Years & evolution Results
Subscribed to bpdevel.wordpress.com 2020 27.6%
2018 23.3%
2018 to 2020 4.3%
Viewed changelog for each release in codex.buddypress.org/releases 2020 47.0%
2018 49.6%
2018 to 2020 -2.6%
Checking buddypress.trac.wordpress.org regularly 2020 25.6%
2018 22.5%
2018 to 2020 3.1%
Twitter: @buddypress, @buddypressdev, and/or @bptrac 2020 23.1%
2018 19.5%
2018 to 2020 3.6%
Slack: #buddypress, #buddypress-commits, #buddypress-firehose and/or #buddypress-newtickets 2020 15.5%
2018 12.2%
2018 to 2020 3.3%
Other 2020 16.1%
2018 11.8%
2018 to 2020 4.2%

NB: between 2018 & 2020 the “Checking buddypress.org/support regularly.” choice disappeared.

16. Case Studies: We’d like to feature how you are using BuddyPress in your current sites at BuddyPress.org. If you’re interested in sharing your BP story, please leave your name, email address, and your BP site URL.

Number of respondents: 40.

Many thanks to the 40 participants who shared their names, emails, and sites URL. We’ll try to contact you to share about your use cases on this website. It’s great to see how you’re using BuddyPress 💪.

17. BuddyPress is a large plugin with optional components (3MB zipped). There’s a proposal to reconstitute BuddyPress as core + members only and improved upon with new functionalities and API’s among others for new BP plugins to hook into. The current optional components like groups, friends, private messaging, etc. can be migrated into separate plugins which can be activated as needed. What do you think?

Number of respondents: 407.

Possible replies Year Results
Keep BuddyPress as is: core + members and optional components 2020 43.2%
Break down BuddyPress: BuddyPress = core + members, optional components as BP plugins 2020 35.6%
I don’t know 2020 21.1%

NB: this question wasn’t asked in 2018

Ok. Thanks a lot for your replies, using optional components as separate add-ons is not something you are ready for 😇.

BuddyPress is used from all over the world!