“Alfano” is our first major release of 2021. It is named after Alfano’s Pizza in Rock Island, Illinois, a family-run pizzeria that’s been around since the 1970s. They know how to keep it simple: there’s nothing on the menu but mouth-watering pizzas and calzones featuring their own made-from-scratch sauce and crust. For the true Alfano’s experience, order a stuffed pizza and dine in with as many friends as you can bring. The massive, two-crust pizza will be brought to the table piping hot, and there will be plenty for everyone!
👉 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 8.0.0 release in the release notes. Below are the key features we believe you are going to enjoy most!
Your current members are the best way to recruit fantastic new members for your community.
Whether public registration is enabled or not, you can activate this great new opt-in feature from your site’s BuddyPress settings; with it, your trusted members will handpick new members who will enrich your community.
Once activated, each member will be able to send new Member Invitation emails and manage the pending invitations directly from his or her profile area.
You keep control of everything thanks to two new screens we added to the BuddyPress Tools dashboard: invitations and opt-outs management.
First, you can select any xProfile field from any xProfile field group to use on your site’s registration form. Second, if your site requires that users accept specific rules such as terms of service or a code of conduct, you can now take advantage of the new Checkbox Acceptance xProfile Field type to record their agreement.
Third, once a user activates his or her account, BuddyPress will send a welcome email to help get him or her engaged with your community. You can customize the content of this email from the Emails menu of your WordPress dashboard. Have a look to this developer note to find out more about it.
WP xProfile field types.
The WP Biography field type lets you include the user’s Biographical Info and thanks to the WP Textbox field you can include the first & last name, the Website URL as well as any of the custom contact methods of your users.
Receiving your feedback and 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.
“Release Candidate” means that we think the new version is ready for release, but with more than 200,000 active installs, hundreds of BuddyPress plugins and Thousands of WordPress themes, it’s possible something was missed. BuddyPress 8.0.0 is slated for release on June 7, 2021, but your help is needed to get there — if you haven’t tried 8.0.0 yet, doing it now is a great idea!
A detailed changelog will be part of our official release note, but you can get a quick overview by reading the post about the 8.0.0 Beta1 release.
Plugin and Theme Developers
Please test your plugins and themes against BuddyPress 8.0.0. If you find compatibility problems, please be sure to post to this specific support topic so we can figure those out before the final release. We strongly advise you to have a look at the 8.0.0 developer notes to figure out what to focus on during your testing.
If you haven’t tested our first 8.0.0 beta release, here’s another opportunity to help us give the final touches to our next major release so that we make sure it will fit perfectly into your WordPress / BuddyPress specific configuration. Beta testing is very important and we need you all, whether you’re a regular or advanced user, a theme designer or a plugin author: please contribute!
First we applied to ourselves the advice we just gave you into the first paragraph of this post: we’ve tested BuddyPress on WordPress 5.8-alpha and on latest stable WordPress & Gutenberg’s plugin. Our goal was to check the very promising Widgets Block Editor that is announced to be part of the WordPress 5.8 release. This helped us anticipate some deprecation notices and prevent an issue to happen into the new Widgets Block Editor Administration screen. If you were worried about losing your favorite BuddyPress widgets once WordPress 5.8 is released: be reassured, we can tell you there’s a back-compatibility mechanism into the Widgets Block feature making sure legacy widgets can still be managed from the new Widgets Block Editor Administration screen. If you’re wondering if we have a plan about migrating these widgets as blocks, we confirm we do and we actually started building these next BP Blocks!
We also tested the Full Site Editing feature. For now, there’s a breaking change preventing our BP Theme Compat API to behave as expected but we’re on it and we’ll make sure BuddyPress is Full Site Editing ready before this feature is merged into WordPress core.
The current target for final release is June 2, 2021. That’s just five weeks away, so your help is vital to making sure that the final release is as good as it can be.
Please note BuddyPress 8.0.0 will require at least WordPress 4.9.
We repeat it each time we announce a beta release : testing for bugs is VERRRY important. Please make sure to test this pre-release using a testing configuration which is very close to the one you are using in production. If you find something unusual (aside from the great new features below), please report it on BuddyPress Trac or post a reply to this support topic.
Here are the three hottest 8.0.0 features to pay close attention to while testing (Check out this report on Trac for the full list).
👫 BP Members Invitations
Whether you allow open registration or not you can use this opt-in feature to let your community grow itself. Once enabled from the BuddyPress Options Administration screen, your members will be able to invite their network of friends, co-workers, students, developers, well possibly anyone, to join your site 📈.
✍️ Selectable xProfile sign-up fields
Until now, only the Primary group of xProfile fields was displayed on the registration form of your community. 8.0.0 gives you the freedom to choose any field from any field group to add to your site’s registration form 💫.
Include WordPress user fields in your BuddyPress member profiles
8.0.0 introduces 2 new xProfile Field types. The WP Textbox can be used to include the user’s first name, last name, Website link or any potential WP contact methods. With the WP Biography field you can display the Biographical Info in the group of xProfile fields of your choice 🙌 .
A vulnerability was fixed that could allow a privilege escalation from a regular user to Administrator, using the BuddyPress REST API buddypress/v1/members/me endpoint.
A vulnerability was fixed that could allow a member to force a friendship on behalf of another member, using the BuddyPress REST API buddypress/v1/friends endpoint.
A vulnerability was fixed that could allow a member to read private messages in a thread they were not invited to, using the BuddyPress REST API buddypress/v1/messages endpoint.
A vulnerability was fixed that could allow a member to invite another member to join a group without being friends when that group restricted invites to friends only, using BuddyPress Nouveau and the BuddyPress REST API buddypress/v1/groups/invites endpoint.
A vulnerability was fixed that could allow a user that has just been demoted from an Administrator role to a Subscriber to add/edit/delete BuddyPress Member Types from the Administration screens introduced in the 7.0.0 release.
The BuddyPress Team also conducted a comprehensive security audit on all BuddyPress REST API endpoints, which led to:
Improving all permission methods to use a WP_Error object as the default return value.
Fixing unintended behavior allowing any member to edit their own Member Type.
Fixing unintended behavior that allowed any logged in member to list the members of a private group.
Immediately available is BuddyPress 7.2.0. This maintenance release fixes six bugs mainly related to issues when the BP Nouveau Template Pack is used with the Twenty Twenty-One WordPress theme. For details on the changes, please read the 7.2.0 release notes.
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:
9 releases (3 more than in 2019)
2 major releases (1 more than in 2019)
7 minor releases (2 more than in 2019)
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.
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 😌).
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.
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)
If one of these projects is interesting you, don’t hesitate to contribute to it.
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.
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!