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Re: A fork or WPMU that integrates BP and has simpler useability for end users

Roger Coathup



Yes, usability is a big challenge.

Here’s my 10 cents worth. Note: I come from the perspective of generally seeing BuddyPress as a tool to implement vertical social networks that would typically connect with / enhance Facebook and other social platforms.

What you are saying is very reasonable to debate. I’m not sure it’s a role for the core BuddyPress project (or a fork thereof), but can certainly see the need for it in a large number of BuddyPress based sites.

The Challenge

To build the system you suggest, the remaining challenge is how to handle blogs whilst appearing not to give the user a separate admin system (the rest is all handled by the front end already).

I understand where you are coming from, and also have clients for whom this is a major headache.

The core BuddyPress / WordPress needs to be a broad flexible system, to allow us to build as wide a range of systems as possible (as our clients / users demand). Unfortunately, as you point out, for a lot of developments this provides a lot of ‘excess interface’ that leads to end user confusion.

Our challenge as developers is, therefore, to build on BuddyPress (or take away from BuddyPress) to ensure we present a clean consistent interface to users in our finished developments.

Dealing with blogs

If the site is going to give end users a rich blog feature set (e.g. choosing themes, positioning widgets, and creating category structures), then I don’t see how we can avoid exposing the wp backend.

In this situation though, you could perhaps re-theme the admin backend to ensure a consistent look and feel with the front end. This is a lot of work, and we don’t go this far with our own site developments, instead we opt for the very partial solution of just rebranding the backend (using plugins from WPMUDEV).

If you are only going to allow the end users to have minimal blog features (e.g. posting a story), then a clean front end only solution is more viable (have you looked at plugins such as: ?)

Or, if we are not going to offer blogs, then simply turn them off.

I thought I’d read something on ‘post from frontend’ features in WordPress 3.0, but might have been dreaming it.

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