Re: Beginners Questions
There are very few premium themes built specifically for BuddyPress – although you can enhance existing WordPress themes. I’ve seen some great looking bespoke BuddyPress sites, but I haven’t seen a generic BuddyPress theme with a design and layout that blows you away.
The difference between BuddyPress and WordPress is the number of options available to you. BuddyPress allows you to build much more complex sites.
Out of the box, BuddyPress attempts to be a generic social network that is all things to all men. Of course, this is not what real world sites tend to need – you’ll find that most of the best commercial developments only use the portions of BuddyPress they need, and bend the core product considerably to meet real world needs.
Whilst it’s useful to have an all encompassing platform, it doesn’t make it particularly suited to premium theme designers – sure, you can make it look nice, but with so many options, and so much tailoring to deliver real world needs, themers face an uphill challenge to produce something that breaks away from the out of box generic set of functions.
A further problem is the make up of the code – BP embeds an awful lot of presentation decisions in the core of the product (activity stream contents, default menu structures) instead of in the templates (where you’d expect them to be). So, again, producing any significantly different can be a real chore.