If you’re new on WordPress then bbPress & BuddyPress is very confusing. The fact is they both start with the same letter and end with the same. With its wide range of plugins and themes, WordPress can help you create almost everything, including social networking functions. BuddyPress and bbPress are the two main plugins which are popular in the WordPress social networking arena.
Today, social networking websites are booming, Facebook is a prime example. With Facebook and Google+ other social networking sites or features are rarely required. However, there are instances in which a website or community can benefit from the creation of a personal social network using networks that are already on the market.
Examples would include the WordPress website forums, which run on the bbPress.
The real question therefore arises. Which one should you choose? Which one would be best for you? We will examine all the issues one by one and explore the differences and similarities between the two platforms.
bbPress — Forum based community
bbPress is a community-based plugin for WordPress that has been developed by the Automattic and yes it is free to use. The plugin’s main purpose is to create website discussion boards and extend the website’s functionality with the integrated interface and WordPress feel.
Add-ons that improve its functionality are also blessed with bbPress. Some of the best examples include Better bbPress Signature, bbPress New Theme and more. bbPress provide the following features:
- Single site and Multisite Forums
- Customizable Templates
- Have tons of add-ons to improve functionality.
- WordPress user accounts can be integrated into bbPress users.
- Lightweight and Fast.
BuddyPress — Key to Social Network Creation
BuddyPress is the work of Automattic, the WordPress platform team, which ensures its seamless integration into the WordPress ecosystem. BuddyPress is itself one of the finest ecosystems for the creation of social networks, with hundreds and thousands of plugins making websites created using BuddyPress more functional and impressive.
In order to add value to the BuddyPress platform, it comes at no cost, just like most other Automattic services. So, what’s great about BuddyPress? It’s characteristics. Let’s list some of its key characteristics.
- User Account Settings and Profile Extension
- Activity Stream like Facebook.
- User Accounts can be filled with information and are interactive.
- Private and public message sending.
- Group creation.
- Facebook like network creation.
BuddyPress vs bbPress: Similarities
Even they are different plugins and are developed for different purposes. They do have some similarities, and we will try to list some of them below:
- Both plugins have the same requirement. The similarity is clear, but CMS has a role to play in its functionality. WordPress is a great platform and allows both plugins to benefit from the core WordPress capabilities.
- Both plugins are developed by the same team, which adds significant value to the plugin. The support for both plugins is great, allowing you to concentrate on creating something valuable rather than focusing on the problem during installation, maintenance, and other plugin work.
- Both plugins have a unique aspect; they create a community that can be a forum or a social network.
BuddyPress vs bbPress: The Difference
Both the plugins made for different purposes. Below is some point which shows the difference between BuddyPress vs bbPress.
- bbPress is great for the community- based forums, but if you’re looking for more features like private message exchange, group creation, BuddyPress is a great option.
- The number of BuddyPress plugins is greater than the number of bbPress. Both plugins are popular in their respective segments, but it appears that BuddyPress has more developer lovers. BuddyPress currently has over 500 plugins, while bbPress only has over 150 plugins.
- bbPress offers a simple solution for building a community; the only features you don’t get with bbPress are the tradeoffs— this makes it easier for administrators to maintain.
The choice of the plugin depends entirely on the requirements. If you address a small to a medium audience and want only a functionality based on the forum, then bbPress is for you. It is not a tough call after all to find the best software to create a kick-ass community, whether forum base or more social.
If, on the other hand, you speak to a large number of visitors, BuddyPress is for you. The reason is better control over various functionalities and also provides a diverse audience with features.
Both plugins have the same core functionality but separate as soon as they have more to offer. For small and medium-sized websites, bbPress is the right choice.