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fullname vs username vs first + last name…

  • grosbouff


    Hi; I think that the “Name” field in the Base group of the profile should be changed to Username; because it is a little confusing.

    And then add First Name and Last Name fields.

    It would be great to be able to sort the members with their first or last name !


Viewing 24 replies - 1 through 24 (of 24 total)
  • I find it all somewhat confusing as well… First Name, Last Name, Nice Name, Username, Email… too many options. I think it’s much better from a usability point of view to sign in using your email address… because users don’t remember usernames. But that has nothing to do with BuddyPress. The way login works is a WordPress thing I presume.

    The “Name” field used to be called “Nickname” (I think), back in pre-1.0. You should have seen how much discussion *that* caused on IRC when we were discussing if that should be renamed.

    Ha :)

    BTW… 2 seconds of searching on Google and I found a plugin to allow users to use their email address to login. I’m going to be plugging that in for sure. One less thing for users to have to remember and bug me about.



    @DJPaul : Yes, nickname is a better appelation ! Why does this have change ? And why can’t this field be renamed in the admin (Profile Field Setup) ?

    @David : great ! I’ll use it too.

    But this doesn’t help me for what I want to do : display users in the member component following there name, not their nickname.

    …How could I do ?

    1) Can I change the field name in phpMyAdmin or is it a bad idea ?

    2) How can I display Name+Firstname when listing users,instead of Name (Nickname I mean)

    3) How can I order members in the directory following Name then Firstname ?



    Here’s a piece of code to replace the displayed nickname by name+firstname.

    change $first_name_field_id and $name_field_id to match your fields.




    function user_name_firstname($fullname,$user_id=false) {

    global $bp;

    global $site_members_template;



    if ( !$user_id ) $user_id=bp_get_the_site_member_user_id();

    if ( function_exists(‘xprofile_install’) ) {

    $first_name= xprofile_get_field_data($first_name_field_id, $user_id );

    $name = xprofile_get_field_data($name_field_id, $user_id );

    if ($name) {

    $fullname = $name;

    if ($first_name) $fullname.=‘ ‘.$first_name;


    wp_cache_set( ‘bp_user_fullname_’ . $user_id, $fullname, ‘bp’ );


    return apply_filters( ‘user_name_firstname’, $fullname );


    add_filter( ‘bp_get_the_site_member_name’, ‘user_name_firstname’,9);




    Now I have to find a way to order the directory member results by Name+Firstname… Any idea ?



    just recognized that there is only ONE “Name”-field.

    Why not use “First Name” and “Last Name” ?



    No firstname/lastname because this does not work for a lot of international users.




    so why is “username” , “e-mail” and “password” not sufficient ?

    Why do we need an additional field called “Name” ?

    Sorry, I do not get it…….


    can I skip this “Name”-field from my website or will I run into trouble if I do so ?


    John James Jacoby


    BuddyPress uses the “display name” to know that they have filled out some profile information. It is the only *always* required field inside BuddyPress.

    Because WordPress is centered around the “username” and uses the “nicename” for slug purposes, we’re stuck with those no matter what. I like having my username be short for easy log ins if I can help it of course (sometimes “jjj” is already taken.), but I like my display name be my fullname because it’s how people recognize me.

    I don’t see a way around this any time soon. And like Andy said, internationally sometimes people have 4 or more names. I use my middle name, but having a “middle name” field isn’t always optimal either so I lump it in with my first name. (All those years of my mom yelling “John James you get over here this instant!!” must have stuck with me.) :)

    You can rename the primary name field to be whatever you’d like, which is designed to alleviate some of the confusion. It lets you decide what that field means to your users. The “username” is the only thing they can’t change, so they’re using that for life. :D



    Thanks JJJ,

    so if I understand correctly, I could tell my users to insert “First-name and Last-name” into the field called “Name” ?

    Would this work technically ?

    Mike Pratt


    @Erich73 I created a Last_Name and First_Name field so that I could do directory stuff just like you said. The only thing we’re stuck with is the Display name field, which some find annoying and some actually like. Considering all the over the top registrations we have all done before, this isn’t the worst. Facebook has it figured out, using emails as usernames and First name and Last Name when appropriate because it is more conducive to engagement. That’s the most important thing: what gets your users to engage – seeing LadiesMan269 doing an action or John Smith?



    Definitely LadiesMan269.

    There are too many John Smith’s in the world ;) j/k



    Hi Mike,

    I still would like to know whether it would work to tell my users to write their “First Name” and their “Last Name” into ONE field called “Name” ?

    like, e.g. putting the full name “John Smith” into the “Name”-field.

    Typically my users would type “John space Smith”.

    Will this be working technically (including the space) ?



    Hi JJJ, thanks for your explantions.

    I think this is something you could put it the documentation…

    And for you guys, you can check the plugin I wrote.

    My BuddyPress installation will be only for french people so i don’t need “international names”…



    This is my pet peeve with Buddypress! Wasted at least two weeks on this issue last Summer.

    I use the same Beau Lebens email as login plugin that David Lewis found. So I wanted to get rid of username entirely and have basically only real name and email address on my registration form.

    To integrate a mailinglist script I needed separate firstname + lastname. Buddypress doesn’t store them out-of-the-box. This is NOT a WPMU issue; WP/WPMU has firstname + lastname in wp_usermeta, but Buddypress simply refuses to synchronize those fields, so you can’t count on the data being there for other scripts (mailinglist, events, etc.).

    Here’s my solution:

    How to synchronize firstname+lastname between xprofile field_1 and wp_usermeta upon registration


    How to autogenerate blogname (url) from Blog Title (or username from fullname!)

    The Javascript I use for fullname->username looks like this

    function copyinputuser()
    var tmp = document.getElementById('field_1').value;
    tmp = tmp.toLowerCase().replace(/^s+|s+$/g, "").replace(/[_|s]+/g, "");
    tmp = tmp.replace(/[^a-z0-9-]+/g, "").replace(/[-]+/g, "").replace(/^-+|-+$/g, "");
    document.getElementById('signup_username').value = tmp;

    Unfortunately a lot of people sign up with only one name in the Fullname (field_1) field. Question:

    Would anyone know how to validate/check the input for a two-part (minimum) name? You’d probably have to check for a space, make a space required. How would that script look?

    No firstname/lastname because this does not work for a lot of international users.

    Which countries are you talking about?! Name them.

    With all due respect, this is such a bizarre argument. Not only the western world, but India, China, etc. all have no problem whatsoever using two or more names. Countries that use only one name or more than four can write their own plugins, along with the language pack etc.

    More than two names is no problem; separating first and last name is primarily about having a first name available. Users can put their other two, three, four names in the second field.

    If Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. have no problem requiring separate firstname and lastname, why is this such a controversial issue for Buddypress? Why make life difficult for 80-90 percent of Buddypress users just to prevent offense to 10 percent with different customs?



    Is this post by Andy Peatling (“No firstname/lastname because this does not work for a lot of international users.“) still the official position or have things moved on?

    Just want to note that if it is, it seems a bit rash to me. Loads of internationalized websites do have this basic distinction, whole disciplines (academia) are built on it. Besides, alphabetical ordering of members is virtually meaningless without it.



    Here’s my idea on how to “solve” this dilemma.

    1 – Add a field to the base group labeled: “First Name” and order it before the “Name” field.
    2 – Create a function to add the value of “First Name” before the value of “Name” (including it in links) wherever “Name” appears in all templates.

    OK. So #1 is easy.
    Anybody have an idea how to code #2 so that alphabetical ordering will be determined only by “Name” value?



    “Is this post by Andy Peatling (“”No firstname/lastname because this does not work for a lot of international users.”“) still the official position or have things moved on?”

    Nothing has changed, so I assume it remains the official Automattic position and have given up on Buddypress. I’ll continue to develop my sites as “custom code” on WordPress 3.0.



    Is any of the buddypress builder an Automattic employee? Or is this project just supported by them? My Idea for the registrar page is to place alot of hlep icons that bring up an IN-PAGE pop up that explains it all.



    me. I think its confusing that when you are viewing the activity stream you see a name. if you want to do an @ in a reply, you have to go to the person’s profile to find their @name and then back to where you were to leave the reply/comment. Anyway ideas to work a way around this without a huge mess? Like maybe a little script/code so a tool tip pops up with the @name?

    Suzan Jasmin O.


    I totally agree with @peterverkooijen and @codeispoetry
    Keymaster @johnjamesjacoby (John James Jacoby) is clearly in another world mushrooming, because of his lack of PHP coding knowledge and world culture giving false arguments. BuddyPress developers years ago came up with this stupid ida of one full name and their DB structure is so messy that they cant be now bothered to change it. on DB structure the user name is not in user column, is just a value like any other form input values. So their change the fullname to firstname+lastname will be a BIG development deal, therefore they cant be bothered with it, so left it as it is. And on support forums like this, they keep defending this silliness by fake arguements like “some cultures use 4 names etc !!!” I guess they are talking about Mexican people have 4-5 names. But their lack of world culture makes them think like it. Mexican, Spanish people has 2-3 first name and then 1-2 last names (surnames), or in Europe some women carry their surnames and as well as their husband’s surname too, so they have 1 or 2 first names and 1-2 surnames. Birth given names are called FIRST NAMES anywhere in the world, and family given or marriage given names are LAST NAMES anywhere in the world. So what BuddyPress could do: Could create 2 name boxes and relevant DB structure, one saying first name (people can enter 1 or 2 or 3 names all around the world people know which ones are their first names and which ones are their surnames unlike the Keymaster @johnjamesjacoby John James Jacoby)) and on the second box they can enter their surname or surnames, thats all. So BuddyPress data would be compatible with all newsletter, emailing softwares and people can search first names or last names etc.. can normalize itself to the world web technology. So if some people dont want to display last names they can, if they want to display the whole full name they can, give people felexibility, instead what they do they behave like dictatorian attitude, they say “take it or leave it” arrogantly, and they keep arguing here with all participants who made BuddyPress this popular, although the popularity fastly going down because of this techology lackings. More importantly culture and attitude and support lackings.



    I’m using BP since <1.0 – So for a long time, now.
    I also was frustrated from the problem, that I always had to say “Hi Joshua-Felix Mustermann”, but I found several ways to solve this at those places, I just want to say Hi to the first name:

    Somehow you’ll have to get the full name and cut it between the names like this:

    $fullname = bp_core_get_user_displayname( $user_id );
    list($fname, $lname) = explode(' ', $fullname,2);

    E.g. I built a Plugin which just takes a look who is logged in, explodes the name and outputs the first name for the short code [name].

    So this discussion will never stop and there are easy ways to resolve it. BTW I edited the registration field name to say “Vor- und Nachname” (Pre- and Surname) and it just works perfect.

    Best regards,


    Suzan Jasmin O.


    Hi Philip
    Thanx for your reply. Where is your plugin please?
    I just need exactly something like this, pls tell me whether your plugin can help me to achieve this, or do I need to modify some files as well, please help I m stuck here, thanx:
    On the small signup form and on the registration form I want 2 form boxes, 1. First Name 2. Last name instead of Full name.
    And also in admin panel in users page, add new user form needs to be like that too (so admin can create some users with First Names and Last Names too.
    And obviously on frontend profile page there should be First Name and Last name boxes should be seperately. Also on search members page there should be option First Name and Last name (obviously on BuddyPress admin page search form elements to choose to there should be first name and last name). Basically in whole site I need First Name and Last name issues. I use the latest WP and BP.

Viewing 24 replies - 1 through 24 (of 24 total)
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