Buddypress vs. Buddypress with proprietary extensions
When the cost of sophisticated Buddypress themes is factored in, the cost of commercial community building websites seems much more competitive or even a bargain. This doesn’t mean there aren’t other reasons to use the WordPress/Buddypress platform. But cost–as in “free” or even “low cost”–may not currently be sound grounds for a choice. Of course, this could change if free Buddypress themes and plugins become more sophisticated and bug-free. But those currently looking for a powerful, good-looking multiuser WordPress (often supplemented by Buddypress) solution may be increasingly moving to proprietary solutions, which can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year just to subscribe to a theme.
Examples (may not yet support Buddpress):
Kapost: http://kapost.com/plans-pricing/. Its themes range from $29/month for up to 60 contributors, $79/month for up to 200 60 contributors, to $289/month for up to 500 60 contributors.
Buddydress: http://buddydress.com/pricing/. Its price for themes is $49 for the first month and then $9 for each month thereafter.
Woothemes: http://www.woothemes.com/pricing/. $15/month for standard package, more for developers.
Good looks with lots of useful features in (presumably, I haven’t tried them) a bug-free package
May be more expensive than proprietary platforms such as Ning
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