Skip to:

Missing sidebar and layout issues with BuddyPress 1.8.1 and my WordPress theme

  • santanin



    Thank you for your continued hard work on such an amazing system like BuddyPress. I just created a brand new website with the latest versions of WordPress and BuddyPress (WordPress 3.6.1 and BuddyPress 1.8.1). I purchased a popular theme from ThemeForest (over 10,000 purchases) and installed the BuddyPress 1.8.1 plugin. However, there are two major formatting issues that I am hoping someone can assist me with.

    First, the sidebar (left, right, or both depending on the setting I choose in the Theme Options) does not appear on any of the BuddyPress pages, such as the Member page. The sidebar displays fine on all other non-BuddyPress pages. On the BuddyPress Members page, it looks like page is full width, even though I specified the BuddyPress pages to have a right or left sidebar. So it seems the BuddyPress Members page is ignoring the theme’s setting to make that page have a sidebar. And second, the search and sorting elements on the Member Directory page is laid out very messy.

    I read pages and pages of documentation on this site explaining how this can be fixed with theme compatible packs when BuddyPress was in version 1.7.1. But now that Buddy Press is in 1.8.1, the documentation said I should not follow the steps discussed to get the theme working with BuddyPress 1.7.1. Now that BuddyPress is in version 1.8.1, and I am still having problems with the BuddyPress Members page styling and having a missing sidebar on the BuddyPress Members page, I do not know what to do. I cannot find any documentation that explains how to fix this. I really want to use BuddyPress, but if I cannot have a sidebar on the Members page, then I cannot use BuddyPress.

    I would rather not provide a link on a public forum because the website is for a client and is in a testing URL, unless you absolutely need to see it.

    Any help, advice, or suggestions would be very much appreciated.


Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • No the current theme compatibility documentation is up to date and doesn’t say don’t follow 1.7 steps. 1.7 introduced theme compat, 1.8 just extended the template hierarchy, you need to follow the steps outlined for creating child themes, creating a buddypress.php file based on page,php and then that buddypress file will need to updated to work correctly with your theme which sadly, as a lot of themeforest themes are is not compliant with the standard WP template system that BP works through.

    So use those guides they should put you on the right lines and if this is client work then oughtn’t to be too hard to figure out.

    P.S I note that you say told the theme that bp pages should have sidebars, so is this actually a BP ready /enabled theme ? If so and things aren’t working then you’re best of speaking to theme author or their support channels as they will no best how their theme is constructed and offer far better help.



    Thank you for the quick response! My apologies, I thought I read a comment by a moderator from a previous post that said not to follow the instructions about 1.7.1, but I was mistaken.

    When you say to follow the 1.7 steps, I assume you mean the information contained in this codex:

    If not, can you list the codex that contains this information, or can you recommend any other BuddyPress Codex you feel would help if I read?

    The user “mercime” helped another user get BuddyPress to work on the theme I purchased, but it was using the BP Template Pack, which I know I cannot obtain anymore with BuddyPress 1.8.1. Those instructions were in this post

    Thank you again for your help!



    To answer your P.S. question, no the theme is not BuddyPress ready. It’s a regular WordPress theme. I just really liked the way it looked for my website, and I was unable to find a BuddyPress enabled theme that fit the style I was looking for.

    So you couldn’t have been telling the theme to use sidebars on BP pages? It’s not BP aware, BP still works on the principle of a blank placeholder page with a name i.e ‘members’ but it renders that screen view via page.php if it doesn’t find other file names first (as outlined in the codex)

    The template pack post is now outdated, don’t follow, you need to re-factor a file to handle BP screens, there are two codex articles currently dealing with theme compat use those for guidance, further ones may follow but will be generic in nature in that it’s difficult to give specific advice on a per theme basis.

    Also be aware that all template pack plugin really did was copy over files to your theme and enqueue the scripts and styles, essentially it did very little from a developers point of view that they couldn’t do manually, you still have the option of copying files from bp-default theme to your child theme and sorting out the styles and scripts required in your own functions file, the templates then would be re-factored broadly along the lines that mercime outlined in that post, however we are trying to steer everyone towards theme compat as the norm now for either creating themes of creating child themes from parents.



    Okay sounds good. Thank you again!

    just updated my last comment as you do have a choice to still follow older principles in building BP themes.



    Thank you again for your posts and advice. It is very much appreciated.

    I read more documentation and re-read your posts, and I have taken two steps so far, however I have hit a wall with what to do next.

    Here is what I did:

    1) Created a child theme following all instructions from the official WordPress Codex (, loaded the style.css file to my child theme’s directory, and successfully activated my child theme.

    2) Made a copy of the parent theme’s “page.php” file and renamed it “buddypress.php” and placed it in my child theme’s directory.

    For the next step, are you suggesting I only need to make some edits to the “buddypress.php” file until I achieve my desired results? I noticed in mercime’s post assisting the user in making the BP pages all have full width for my theme, that mercime recommended taking a copy of the “header.php” file and renaming it to “header-buddypress.php” as well as creating a new blank “sidebar-buddypress.php” file, and adding some code to each file. Do you think I would need to do something similar for my situation for having the right sidebar appear (versus having the pages be full width as mercime figured out?) Or would I only need to modify the one “buddypress.php” file to achieve my results?

    Thank you again!

    No what you are describing having started is a theme compat approach renaming page.php to buddypress.php ( that can be located for neatness in /buddypress/ or /community/; mercim’s post directly related to using the now older bp-default theme files copied over now you have started on theme compat stick with it, your issue is going to be that the theme does something to mess up page.php BP needs that file to adhere to WP template principles you must have a proper loop with the_title() and the_content() tags in place

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • The topic ‘Missing sidebar and layout issues with BuddyPress 1.8.1 and my WordPress theme’ is closed to new replies.
Skip to toolbar