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BP Template Pack integration vs BuddyPress child theme

  • Gianfranco


    I already had a WP site ( for which I wanted to integrate the community features of BuddyPress.

    So I opted for integrating BP with BP Template Pack.

    Now, after a constructive talk with Mike Pratt and some good advise, I am considering to change the whole set up and having BuddyPress running as main installation and integrate the rest of the WP stuff into it.

    First, I’d like to know what are the pros and cons of the two setup.

    And especially, what I should do to change configuration from WP with BuddyPress integrated via BP TemplatePack to BuddyPress child theme with WP pages and stuff (I may use multiple blogs when 3.0 is out to lay out some sections, instead of going with categories and stuff).

    For the moment I got BP running “under” Curemates section in Cueuphoria.

    Now I want to have the homepage with activity streams, Curemates for members, adding Groups and Forums on the main menu, get rid of the previous Forum (already turned it off).

    Any thoughts?

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)

  • modemlooper


    Having done both. I would suggest using a child theme over doing the BP template pack. Sure it’s more work but I feel upgrades in the future will be easier.



    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

    It really depends on your site.

    Creating a child theme off the default is recommended, but doesn’t give you the convenience of using an already-developed and designed WP theme / site.

    Pros of child theme

    -easy upgrading when there’s a new BP release; no need to worry about breaking anything (for the most part)

    Cons of child theme

    -you have to create a child theme (to some this isn’t a big deal, but thought i’d list it)

    –> if you’re going for a completely different design off the default theme, you’ll probably be copying a lot of templates over from the default to the point that it isn’t worth creating a child theme anymore (note that this probably isn’t the case for the majority of BP users).

    Pros of using a WP theme with BP Template Pack

    -integrate BP with an existing WP theme (or site!)

    Cons of using a WP theme with BP Template Pack

    -using the BP Template Pack plugin requires some CSS and template tweaking to make everything look the way you want it (to some this isn’t a big deal, but thought i’d list it)

    -could rely on Andy occasionally updating the BP Template Pack plugin on new BP releases (not saying that Andy is incapable of doing this — far from it — but it’s just one additional step you have to wait on)

    -note you could also create your own default theme or parent-child theme structure, thekmen has implemented Hybrid as the parent theme with a Hybrid child theme designed to work with BP. This is a little bit more complex, but is doable and will probably require a bit of manual maintenance in the future as well.

    I should note that, like modemlooper, I prefer creating a child theme.

    But I see you’ve already dedicated some time to get Cureuphoria up and running, so you might want to stick with what you have.



    Having done both, I can say that it takes me about the same amount of time either way, so it DOES depend on the situation.

    José M. Villar


    Adding to r-a-y’s post,:

    Considering it is Cure’s stuff, I was delighted to discover your site, god, it is wonderful. Brought me back my memories of my first Cure’s concert here in Argentina, back when I was young and innocent…



    @r-a-y Thanks for the good explaination.

    @el_terko good to know you like The Cure, and thanks you for the positive feedback.

    See, guys, the problem I am having here is that I would like to test the child theme option, but I am experiencing all kind of weird things.

    For a start, with the intention of testing the new theme, I did the following:

    1) Duplicated the original theme, called “cureuphoria” (the one with the BP Template Pack stuff)

    2) Called the theme “childtheme”.

    3) In “style.css” I put: Template: bp-default, to make it a child theme of the BP default

    4) Because now “childtheme” got all the folder and files as the bp-default theme (from the BP template pack) I intentionally deleted the “activity-loop.php” file from the activity folder, in order to test that the child theme inherit properly from the default theme (and if it does I would delete the rest of the files that can be inherit).

    5) Installed the User Theme plugin ( so that I can test the child theme while keeping the “cureuphoria” theme active (it allows you to switch theme for a particular user only, me).

    Strange thing is, if I see the site with the user I set in the User Theme plugin, the activity page doesn’t have the loop (it doesn’t inherit it), and the layout is styled by the “bp.css” stylesheet, which I use to syle the BP components.

    BUT: whenever I try to ACTIVATE the “childtheme” for real, on the live site, the loop is there (so id does inherit from the default theme), but “bp.css” doesn’t seem to be active. All the styles are gone.

    In Firebug I see that there are several stylesheets that I don’t know where they come from called activity (I think 1, 2, 3, or something) and some part of the header background comes from the default theme style.

    In CSS Edit I see there is a “bp.css” and when I export it, there is HTML in it. Not CSS.

    It just get crazy!

    Oh, and I deactivated the BP Template Pack to avoid conflicts.

    I’m a little lost. Of from the child theme styelcheet I don’t link any of the deault theme styles, they shouldn’t get in the way, right? And why my “bp.css” file got no effect at all? I call it from the header.php as an external file.

    Oh, AND: all the INCLUDES are broken and I got many for calling several widgets:


    <?php include (TEMPLATEPATH . "/inc/curemates-bar.php"); ?>

    I changed it to something like this, thinking that in buddypress it needs to be that way:

    <?php locate_template( array( 'inc/curemates-bar.php' ), true ) ?>

    But if I am not wrong I got the same function errors.

    Well, what do you think it’s the best way to test a child theme, get things to work properly work as they should?

    Sorry for the long post, I tried to keep it as breif as I could, without leaving anything out that may help get the picture.

    Thanks for your advises.



    I’ve been wrestling this issue as well. How did you work it out? The site looks great.

    I am also curious to learn how you finally managed, cause your site seems to be working great now.

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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