Skip to:
Content
Pages
Categories
Search
Top
Bottom

How to make my site like Facebook


  • Julia_B
    Participant

    @julia_b

    I hope it’s OK to post something like this…

    I’m brand new to Buddypress and not a professional developer. I’m moving a community from a Facebook group to my new Buddpress site. A lot of my members are not very net-savvy and are unfamiliar with how other community sites/forums work. So, I’m trying to offer familiar functions that they’ve seen on Facebook. The forum is going to be the main hub of the site, so I need to get it look good and easy to use.

    Set up has gone well do far, but the forum is just looking a bit dull.

    Is there a better way I can display the forum to show the activity?

    Are there any other plugins or shortcodes people would recommend to make the forums as similar as possible to what my members have been used to in the Facebook group? (I’m only just getting to grips with shortcodes, so I’m afraid I’d need pretty basic instructions)

    I have a Latest Activity feed on the site homepage which shows all activity:
    This looks a bit more compelling than the forum page, but it would be nice if it could have things like reply buttons or ‘Go to forum’ to make it more obvious how people can get in the conversations.

    I’m also having trouble getting the Private Message function set up. I do have it selected in Buddypress settings, but it’s not working (error page comes up). Any ideas?

    Just one more thing, people are getting confused about how to @mention each other due to @names being different from the usernames which appear under member’s profile photos. Because my members are used to a Facebook group they expect to be able to @ message using user names. At the moment, as a temporary work around, I’ve installed some shortcode which displays the @name below the user name, but it’s not ideal (and also seems to display the ip address which I don’t like):

    Suggestions on all of the above would be great and anything else I can do to make my site’s community elements more similar to Facebook really. Thanks. πŸ™‚

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 44 total)

  • durkk
    Participant

    @durkk

    First and foremost, I am not a buddypress expert, rather someone that went through the same process you are going through now.

    The forum is not easy to customize without coding. There used to be themes for the standalone I believe but that’s all legacy stuff now. If you want to start ‘theming’ bbpress you’ll need to adjust the css to taste. Shortcodes won;t help you with this.

    The easiest solution is buying a theme that has extensive bbpress tweaks. Do a search on Themeforest for ‘bbpress’ and or ‘buddypress’. There’s only a view that did extensive tweaks to the forums tho.

    The IP address is only visible to Admins. As far as I am aware the @ mentions are based on the username, not the display name.


    Henry Wright
    Moderator

    @henrywright

    Hi @julia_b

    As @durkk mentioned, @-mentions work on username and not on display name. So going on what you have in the screenshot, sending a public message to @ Julia Buckley will actually send the message to a user with username @ Julia. This probably isn’t want you want.


    Julia_B
    Participant

    @julia_b

    Hi durkk, thanks very much for the reply. I’m already using a theme meant bbpress and buddypress from Themeforest, it’s called Buddy. I’m generally happy with it and like how it looks (apart from what I mentioned above), I spent a lot of time getting it how I wanted so I’d be very reluctant to change themes. I’m hoping I can find plugins or some css I can drop in to help.

    Good news about the ip names, didn’t think to check if it was just in admin view. πŸ™‚


    danbp
    Moderator

    @danbp

    @julia_b

    be patient ! The upcoming BP 2.1 version brings huge improvement to mentions handling, with auto suggestion.

    BP 2.1 About page excerpt:

    With BuddyPress 2.1, type a @ when leaving a status update or commenting on an activity item or blog post, and the new suggestions panel will open.

    https://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/3278


    Julia_B
    Participant

    @julia_b

    Thanks @Henrywright, I’m not sure what you mean, I have it set up so @usernames appear below the display names like in this forum here. Perhaps it was confusing in the picture because my username and display name are the same? The image was just to illustrate that ip addresses are showing, but it turns out that’s only in admin mode so that’s fine.


    Julia_B
    Participant

    @julia_b

    That sounds promising @danbp any idea when it will be ready?

    Do you have any suggestions that might help with my other questions in my original post please?


    Henry Wright
    Moderator

    @henrywright

    In the last screenshot, if you take a look under the IP address it reads: @ Julia Buckley

    Regarding the roadmap, 2.1 is due any time soon. See https://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/roadmap


    Julia_B
    Participant

    @julia_b

    Yes @henrywright, like I said, my username and display name are the same on my site. The screenshot wasn’t meant to illustrate the issue with @ mentions. Here’s another screenshot showing members who have different display names and usernames. They just get confused that they can’t use display names for @ mentions because they are used to Facebook even though the @usernames are displayed below the display names. That’s something they will get the hang of I guess, the other things I mentioned in my original post are more pressing.


    danbp
    Moderator

    @danbp

    FYI here some related topics
    https://buddypress.org/support/topic/how-to-remove-xprofile-names-and-replace-with-username/
    https://buddypress.org/support/topic/sort-user-list-by-last-name/

    About your first post, why don’t you show the site activity by using the topic filter instead of the default “all activities” ?
    https://buddypress.org/support/topic/changing-the-default-activity-filter/

    Or you can try buddypress-wall plugin
    https://wordpress.org/plugins/buddypress-wall/


    Henry Wright
    Moderator

    @henrywright

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding how @-mentions work. The way I see it, if your username is (note the space):

    Jane Doe

    …and I want to mention you in an update, then I’d write:

    @Jane Doe

    But, as you can see there is a problem with that. Jane Doe won’t get the notification because somebody with the username @Jane got it instead.

    Perhaps @danbp can shed some light on this?


    durkk
    Participant

    @durkk

    A guide to theming a bbpress install might be good, but I have not found one yet. Right now there is mostly legacy related stuff popping up. Somehow most theme dev’s don’t do much with the styling the forums either.


    danbp
    Moderator

    @danbp

    i’m not a mention expert @henrywright πŸ˜‰

    in wp_users table we have 3 cols related to name
    user_login | user_nicename | display_name

    in the members admin we have 2 cols related to name:
    username | name |

    Frontend
    On the SWA we see
    @username

    in the member directory we see
    @username

    on the member profile
    @username (near avatar) and first name, last name as page title.

    As example:
    New account for Jane Doe

    if you create the account in the wp admin, you have to enter
    username, first name, last name

    The default registering on frontend
    wp part: Username (aka pseudonym) = Jenny
    bp part: Name (aka first name and/or last name) Jane Doe

    in both case, the db will contain
    user_login | user_nicename | display_name
    jenny | jenny | Jane Doe

    According to bp_activity_get_user_mentionname function, the appropriate user name for @-mentions is user_nicename or $userdata->user_login

    Without forgetting to mention this comment, in bp-activity-functions.php

    	// In username compatibility mode, hyphens are ambiguous between
    	// actual hyphens and converted spaces.
    	//
    	// @todo There is the potential for username clashes between 'foo bar'
    	// and 'foo-bar' in compatibility mode. Come up with a system for
    	// unique mentionnames.

    But don’t ask me what is the username compatibility mode, i don’t know ! πŸ˜‰


    danbp
    Moderator

    @danbp

    @durkk

    you seem to be affraid by the term “legacy”… ?
    Read here some explanation about legacy

    Like BuddyPress, bbPress is only a plugin.
    Generally when you need a theme, you search a theme for wordpress, not for a plugin.

    Of course some a better than other, or better tailored to do something than other, but in anyway, no theme can be perfect for anything.

    And in some case, ready to use is not synonym of adaptable ready.
    If you search forum themes, see first what other forum software have to propose. One of the most popular, phpbb, is desperatly identical from one site to another in 90% of case.

    When you have 1 000 of WP theme and you add a bbpress or a buddypress group forum, you have potentially 1 000 different forum look.

    Basically it’s a grid, so it’s a bit difficult to present a forum in a very original maner. And finally too much work for many users or considered as out of rentability (100 hours to get a nice forum and 3 topics after 2 mounth….search the error ! )


    durkk
    Participant

    @durkk

    @danbp

    Let’s be honest here. Bbpress is designed to be ok with most themes.

    So yeah you are right, in absolute terms. A forum is just a grit. But if we go that route all of this is just 0 and 1’s. It’s not that productive to think like that imo πŸ˜‰ Most people like to have something that looks better than ok for most themes.

    https://devpress.com/?attachment_id=6504 is a theme that is just a regular forum but completely fine tuned to the theme. This is a rarity. Sadly. Some perspective on why this is I guess… https://devpress.com/tickets/social-buddypress-theme/

    Standalone forums most of the time have themes, although indeed phpbb always looks very much like…phpbb πŸ˜€ BUT, it’s a standalone forum and therefore coherently themed throughout.


    Henry Wright
    Moderator

    @henrywright

    @danbp

    Great explanation πŸ™‚

    Regarding mentions, I’m not seeing how spaces in usernames can work. Say hypothetically my username is Henry Wright (note that’s my username and not my display name). How would you mention me in a public message?

    @Henry Wright wouldn’t mention me. It’d mention someone with the username @Henry.


    danbp
    Moderator

    @danbp

    That is the BIG question ! If you read the comment i mentionned, it says “converted space”.

    In fact, as stated before, @mention use $username combined with $user_id
    This works in almost every situation, i think.
    If your username (pseudo) is henrywrigth, first name henry, last name wright, the display name would be automatically henrywright. As display_name is the first and last name, not the username.

    Same thing if you chosee HW102 as username (pseudo) and first name henry, last name wright, the display name would be automatically henry wright.

    On frontend, we’ll see HW102 and on mouseover, we’ll see henrywright. (with converted space)
    On backend, we have HW102 (username) and Henry Wright (NAME)

    NAME is the BP combination of WP’s first+last name on a profile.
    And you always mention somebody by the username.


    Henry Wright
    Moderator

    @henrywright

    @danbp I completely missed the comment in bp-activity-functions.php you pointed out! I see there’s a @todo in the source, so I’m sure the core devs are dreaming up a solution as we speak πŸ™‚


    danbp
    Moderator

    @danbp

    Glad you saw it @henrywright ! Fingercrossing that it wouldn’t became a little nightmare πŸ˜‰


    peter-hamilton
    Participant

    @peter-hamilton

    plugins I would recommend:

    buddypress-activity-plus
    This adds images/video/links to your activity wall, which is a facebook-ish function.
    There is another plugin in the making which should be an improved version called BP-attachments

    GD-bbpress-attachments
    Allows people to upload images to the forum, easier then the existing system.

    And ofcourse the facebook plugin.

    These plugins and some playing around with my templates allowed me to make a facebook-ish site.
    BBFacelook

    I also suggest to look into a theme called BuddyBoss, it is a change but this is a very facebook inspired theme.

    Good luck
    P.H.


    Julia_B
    Participant

    @julia_b

    Thanks @peter-hamilton. Your site looks great!

    I already have the GD attachments plugin, it’s a pity it won’t let you embed images inline in posts, but I hear that’s coming.

    I’ll check out the activity plus plugin, sounds good.

    Have you been able to enable users to post directly to the activity wall on the homepage (Facebook style)? That would be nice.

    And what does the FB plugin do? Or is that just to enable people to login with FB?

    Really glad I’ve seen your site, I’m feeling a bit more hopeful about creating something my members will be OK with now. Thanks. πŸ™‚


    Julia_B
    Participant

    @julia_b

    Thanks @danbp showing site activity by using the topic filter sounds good. I went to this link – https://buddypress.org/support/topic/changing-the-default-activity-filter/ – but the posts there were a bit over my head as a beginner to be honest. However, the link in that thread to this article was useful: http://wpmu.org/how-to-customize-the-buddypress-activity-loop/

    Problem is I can’t find the the /activity/ folder in my theme. Where do I need to look for that?

    Also, is there a way I can allow members to post directly to the activity stream from the homepage, Facebook style, and for members comment on each others’ posts from there too?

    I appreciate the help.


    danbp
    Moderator

    @danbp


    Julia_B
    Participant

    @julia_b

    Thanks @danbp I (think I) have successfully set that up – my first bit of php file editing, I’m quite proud of myself! πŸ˜‰

    Any suggestions on how I can allow members to post updates directly to the activity stream from the homepage (Facebook style) and for members comment on each others’ posts from there too?


    peter-hamilton
    Participant

    @peter-hamilton

    Hi Julia_B

    To alter the templates for activity you need to do the following:

    Create a page called buddypress in your root folder.
    Inside the buddypress folder you create another folder called activity and in there another folder called single.

    Now you need to access your existing plugins folder.
    Open buddypress -> bp-templates -> bp-legacy -> buddypress

    Here you will find 5 folders, one is activity, inside this are some php files and a folder called single, inside this single folder is the index.php file that runs the activity.

    I copied all 5 folders to my new buddypress folder in my root and all the files in those folders, with them able to control/change the buddypress layout as I would with a child theme.

    To have an activity wall on homepage you only need to customize the appearance of wordpress in the admin area/backend.

    Go to “appearances” then “customize”, here you can change “front page” to activity and it should work.

    Good luck


    peter-hamilton
    Participant

    @peter-hamilton

    btw, I made a small mistake, do not make a page called buddypress but a folder called buddypress.

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 44 total)
  • The topic ‘How to make my site like Facebook’ is closed to new replies.
Skip to toolbar