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Buddypress for Dummies – is it worth it, or is the best place to learn online?

  • PJ


    I’ve heard mixed reviews on the BP for Dummies book and was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on if it’s good for an intermedia BP developer to understand the plugin better and be comfortable with modifications. Has anyone read or bought it? What are your thoughts?

    Also, I’ve been extremely impressed with the amount of information available through this site, affinity sites (, and the most visible developers’ blogs and tweets. I’ve gone from novice to (I think?) intermediate where I’m using the site, modifying it, using plugins, troubleshooting but would like to get a stronger understanding of the plugin structure, the core, modifying things, and maybe create a plugin (but it’s a big maybe).

    What are your thoughts? Thank you very much.

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

  • r-a-y


    Now this is just my honest opinion, but I wouldn’t get it (this isn’t a slight against Lisa).

    If you glance the TOC, it’s more of an introduction to BP, which is great if you don’t know anything about WordPress or BuddyPress and you’re just diving in. And, you’re right, you can find most of this info online.

    If you are an intermediate developer (or if you’re experienced with WP), you can learn as you go and dig through the BP code and other BP plugin’s code.

    FYI, is not an affiliate site.



    After a few months of working with BP (with a good background in working with WP in general, and pretty strong HTML/CSS skills), I’m getting pretty comfortable. I’ve found the best for me has been to

    a) set up a localhost install using WAMP or XAMPP that you can play with and wipe easily.
    b) look at what other sites including this one have done, learn and understand how child themes work, try out new stuff with your own child themes, dig into the templates (and bp-core stuff) and see how it’s put together
    c) look at the way plugins you like or think are rock solid are put together.
    d) when you get stuck, ask questions here, the more specific the better.

    For my part, my great weakness is in PHP. What I’ve learned, I’ve learned by fiddling, but basic concepts and stuff, well, let’s say that I fly by the seat of my pants. If working with PHP functions and actions and hooks and filters and arrays and all that kind of stuff isn’t something you’re comfortable with, brushing up on it (or learning by doing and failing, as I have been), is a pretty good idea.

    I’m getting pretty comfortable with digging into the guts of BP now, but I’ve got a long way to go, even as someone who’s been building sites as a hobby with and without WP for many years. Still have an enormous amount to learn, especially about working with PHP, though.



    @r-a-y sorry for the incorrect reference on
    Good point. Most of those concepts I’m comfortable with.

    a) Good idea to have a localhost setup! That might work well if users know how to set it up. I can do that this weekend.
    b) I’ll check that out. I’ve noticed a lot of learning is just trial and error and it’s an extremely well organized and well written plugin. Some sites hide their files so others can’t see it, but if available, it is fun to see how other sites customize their site.
    c) Plugins on a localhost would be fast and easy to add/drop/modify too.
    d) I’ve been extremely impressed with the feedback in the forums. Most people who post clear questions/topics are able to get answers within an hour or a day or two which is a major plus.

    I guess I’m in the same spot. I can modify my themes a bit, move stuff around, but I’m not comfortable with the PHP or programming aspect of the site. Having a testbp site of your own is a great low-risk learning tool and a lot of fun.

    Thank you both. The forums have a wealth of information.



    Buddypress for dummies is not suitable for developers.
    I don’t suggest buying it if you want to develop seriously.

    I just read through it and my hope has turned to despair.
    There is no listing and explanation of functions. There is no explanation of hooks, actions or filters.
    Basically, for the first half of the book (literally) she tells you what WordPress is and how to install it.
    For the 3rd quarter of the book, she tells you what the components are, what plugins are, how to use (wait for it) HTML tags, CSS, and other stuff.
    Also, you learn how to use the admin panel. Yay…
    I really didn’t like it.



    If you’re looking for info on functions, don’t go looking in a `dummies` book. The title of the book should have made it clear to you that it’s probably not the most technical of books ever published and that maybe you don’t fit into the desired audience.



    “There is no listing and explanation of functions. There is no explanation of hooks, actions or filters.”

    LOL, it’s called “dummies” meaning for people who don’t even know how to install WordPress let alone BP. The Dummies book is great for an absolute beginner. If you have moderate experience with WordPress, then no, the dummies book will not do you any good. You are better off reading this forum, going through the developer docs.

    Not to mention, why are you replying to a topic that is 8 months old? Are you a troll?



    Lol, yes, I am a troll.
    I am old and smell funny and live in a cave.

    Look, in today’s economic climate, the job market is pretty much empty, even in Australia. Even if you do get a job with a company, then you’re hard pressed to pay rent and bills, and you can never think of buying a house.

    The only option left is web-development and small business. I’m sorry I got upset about it yesterday, but it’s really frustrating when you get to a golden package like Buddypress and you find that they documentation is really sparse. Then you find that there’s a book out there specifically about the package, and all that’s in it are the installation instructions and how to use the admin panel.

    For the record, there’s a second book called ‘WordPress for Dummies’, so that’s why I thought it wasn’t right that her first half of the book is about WordPress.



    Well, don’t blast something for being exactly what it’s suppose to be. Since BP is a WordPress plugin and the dummies books are for absolute beginners then it makes sense to spend a great deal on the core. Is there room for more documentation? Yes!

    Read the documentation on this site:
    Visit these:

    I’m sure there are more resources out there. Just search or ask.

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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