buddypress themes and Wordpress networking themes

The Best Buddypress Themes And WordPress Social Network Themes

Last modified: September 17, 2018

When you’re looking to create the next Facebook, or a site for a community to interact with, you’ll need a good platform. Luckily, WordPress has one of the best software packages for you to create that: BuddyPress. There are also other options, but BuddyPress is the leading software package. To go with this, you’ll need to use one of the many BuddyPress themes available.

What Is BuddyPress?

If you aren’t familiar with BuddyPress, here’s a quick introduction. BuddyPress is a free WordPress plugin that offers you a lot of social networking functionality. There are lots of features that are similar to Facebook, such as sharing content between contacts, befriending each other, users giving content likes and dislikes, groups for similar interests, user messaging and social profiles.

The fact that it’s free has made it very popular, and the idea of creating a social network has also led to its popularity. But another aspect fueling its use is the popularity of social media. When there are over one billion Facebook users, and high market penetration for other social media platforms, it has become a profitable business to be in.

Recent research has found that more than half of the world’s population are on at least one social media network. That’s a lot of potential customers for you. It also shows you how attractive your social network could be.

There are several ways you can earn money via social media, for example, you can sell advertising from brands looking to interact with your users, sell merchandise, or offer a premium membership service. Lots of the BuddyPress themes included in this list have these compatibilities.

What Kind Of Sites Could You Create With BuddyPress?

There are many different sites you can create with BuddyPress. One of the most basic is a Facebook style website where you offer the same services and experience as the social media network does. This can be lucrative, but it might be hard for your website to compete with.

Another option is to create a social network for a specific community, interest or invited individuals. For instance, you could create a website for family, friends or a university course. If you create one for a special interest group, like movies, pets, historical groups, you can find some great ways to monetize your site through memberships or merchandise.

Finally, you can also create social groups for specific organizations like work. This can be a great way for colleagues to keep in contact with each other if they aren’t based in the same location. It might also be a great way to collaborate on projects.

Why Do I Need To Consider Specific BuddyPress Themes And WordPress Social Network Themes?

BuddyPress offers specific functionality to your website for you to create a social media channel. The best social networking sites have similar features and styles that you can identify in the appearance of the website.

They are all quick to load, look simple, are responsive, and have a strong brand presence.

Not all themes can match these requirements. In fact, there are only a few specific BuddyPress themes and WordPress social network themes that can match these requirements. That’s why you need to look at these in particular before you start choosing your next project’s specific theme.

In the list below we have chosen some of the best themes for your new BuddyPress project. A couple of these are free, but most are premium. It’s important to note that because there are very specific requirements for social network sites, the themes designed for them are often more expensive than other themes. So consider this when starting your project.

So, what are the best BuddyPress themes and WordPress Social Network themes we recommend?

Filter between free and paid

Free
Premium
All

SocialMag - a Free BuddyPress Theme

SocialMag

We start our list off with one of the free BuddyPress themes available from WordPress.org. Although this is a free theme, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come with a host of features for you to use.

There are lots of features to give you an engaging website, including social sharing functionality which can be really great for attracting new users to your project. You can also use a header video for engaging content. Video is one of the most consumed types of content on the internet with over half of all content consumed being video.

For monetization, there’s ad management systems. So if you want brands to promote their content on your site, you have a way to manually manage that. If you want the management of advertising done for you, the site can be integrated with Google Adsense.

This theme is also compatible with WooCommerce, which allows you to sell products and services easily. You can take payments from PayPal and Stripe with WooCommerce.

Customization with SocialMag isn’t a challenge. Most changes can be implemented using the Theme Customizer. There are several colors to choose from and you can implement custom panels.

Benefits of using SocialMag:

  • Lots of customization options for your next WordPress project.
  • Can be integrated with bbPress allowing you to create excellent forums for user interactions and message boards.
  • A free theme so you can keep costs low.
  • Plenty of monetization options to ensure you have an excellent way to earn a living.

The Columnist - Responsive and Young BuddyPress Theme

The Columnist

Another free WordPress.org BuddyPress theme, this is one that wants to place news content at the heart of their business. The Columnist looks like a magazine and was designed specifically for this purpose.

There are four color themes, a responsive customizable slider and content can be displayed in up-to four columns. There are specific styles for BuddyPress and bbPress.

For those looking for a site that can be found via search engines, then you’ll find the code for this is really good. It isn’t too complicated, or bloated by unnecessary code. Instead it’s fairly clean and therefore will perform well on most search engines, as long as you have the rest of your SEO campaign optimized.

Benefits of using The Columnist:

  • Free theme from WordPress.org.
  • Integration with bbPress and other themes available.

Final Thoughts

Choosing between BuddyPress themes and WordPress social network themes can be challenging. There are so many powerful options on the market that you could be stuck. However, there are simple ways you can cut your shortlist.

Choosing Between The Various BuddyPress Themes And WordPress Social Network Themes

To help you choose between BuddyPress Themes and WordPress Social Network themes requires some careful thought, but there should be one focus: the user experience. For you to create a successful social network you need visitors to come back all the time.

For this you need some very specific elements. First, you need to have a site that’s fast. The slower your site is, the more people that will abandon your website. You can loose nearly 75% of your potential audience if your site takes longer than 4 seconds to load.

Second, you need to have a responsive website. Facebook and Twitter have more users on their mobile devices than they do with desktop. Therefore, you need to ensure your mobile site is just as good, if not better, than the desktop version.

Finally, you need to be convenient for your users. If they can use existing social media accounts to log into your network, they are more likely to register and come back. Therefore, social login features could be vital to your success.

In addition, you need to consider the content people want to consume. Video attracts users, so perhaps you need a theme that can support video as well.

Your project deserves the best theme. So look carefully at the options above and choose the one that matches your requirements the most.

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