On Monday, April 8th, BuddyPress announced the official release of Version 1.7, which comes with several enhancements as a major upgrade to previous versions. Dubbed “Totonno,” BuddyPress 1.7 enjoyed a large amount of developing contributors who have spent thousands of hours working to ensure a well balanced product that is free to download and use.
To begin with, BuddyPress 1.7 comes with social features that are capable of adding new types of content to your WordPress website such as profiles and groups. Previously, using these features meant that you would have to find a specific theme compatible with BP or do the building yourself; but that is no longer the case. Thanks to the all new theme compatibility, BuddyPress can be used in conjunction with any WordPress theme without the need to make modifications. If you would still like to make changes once you have activated BuddyPress, you may do so using the templates provided for customization purposes. More info is readily available on the BuddyPress Codex.
Group Administration is another new tool for BuddyPress users that is sure to be a hit. The April 8th information post states that “if you’ve run a BuddyPress-powered community site, you know that groups are a powerful way for members to connect. But there’s been no way for site administrators to manage groups. BP 1.7 introduces a brand new set of Group Administration panels on your WordPress Dashboard. Now BP admins can bulk-delete groups, edit group settings, and manage group membership without ever leaving wp-admin.”
BuddyPress fans will notice that the Installation Wizard has been completely removed in lieu of an automatic setup process which can be performed directly from your WordPress Dashboard. Conceived in 2008, BuddyPress has been through a number of major overhauls to ensure that it is not an “all or nothing” download. This means that you can customize your setup to add only the features that you want/need for your website.
You can use it to set up a campus-wide social network or as a platform on office communication in which only employees or relevant project participants have access. If you have a new product that you’ve recently launched, BuddyPress can serve as a way to create your very own social network for that item; with the ability to share news and features among fans. There are also a number of plugins that can be used to add functionality to BuddyPress, such as AtContent, Membership, and BuddyPress Default Data.
Continued Mobile Focus
If you’re an active member of the WordPress community, then you know that Automattic has designated the 2013 calendar year as a time span in which greater mobile device focus will be implemented. This has already shown through via the growing amount of fully responsive downloads that adjust to the screen size of each individual user; regardless of whether he/she is browsing from an iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Blackberry, Android or similar device.
Longform blogging has also been promoted by the company in an effort to ensure article quality in spite of the popularity rise of formats such as Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook in which users often communicate ideas by using very few characters. The balance between smart phone usage and longform writing may take a few years to work itself out, but the general idea is to give Internet users the option to relay information in the way that is most convenient for them while still allowing for detailed explanations when applicable. With the new theme compatibility improvements made for this latest BuddyPress release, WordPress website owners have a wide range of customization options available to them when deciding how to lay out their content.
If you would like to check out the latest version, click the following link to Download BuddyPress 1.7.