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5 Mistakes First Time BuddyBoss Builders Make and How to Avoid Them – Part 1

My team and I have been working BuddyBoss projects for a long while. We work with online course owners looking to add community features to their learning systems. Since we've become a very experienced BuddyBoss expert team, biz owners come to us looking for guidance.

Now many that come to use have spent a good amount of time, energy and money before they find us. They have encountered roadblocks that keeps them from moving forward so they are stuck. Some work with a sharp Wordpress developers that haven't worked with BuddyBoss before. They soon discover that the site the got built falls short and the are looking for guideance. Others just plain realize it's more work than they want to take on themselves and working with a BuddyBoss expert team might be an option that gets them the results they want.

In this article, I'm reviewing the mistakes we typically find when we take on BuddyBoss projects that isn't quite finished. They are mistakes that are made often for lack of experience using the platform. If you aren't really experienced with Buddyboss, you might want to read my, "What the Heck is BuddyBoss and When Is It Best to Use It?" article to understand what BuddyBoss is and that parts that make it up.

BuddyBoss Expert on Mistake #1 - Turning All BuddyBoss Components On

The BuddyBoss Platform and Platform Pro bring you a list 13 different components. These are the 13 major feature that make up the solution. When you turn them all on, and most of the people coming to us for guidance have them turned on, you can easily get overwhelmed. They provide so many community features and it's difficult to understand all they can do for you. BuddyBoss provides a large number of community building features, but what we have found is that no one site owner needs them all. You have to wade through them and decide which ones are for you given your requirements.

Let me give you some examples of several BuddyBoss components that are available:

  • Many community sites want to allow members to upload videos, photos and documents for others to see. BuddyBoss has their Media Upload component that allows for that.
  • Some community sites want to to encourage members to invite the people they know to the platform. BuddyBoss has the Email Invites component you can turn on for that.
  • Some community sites want discussion forums or Facebook like activity feeds. BuddyBoss provides their Forum and Activity Feed components for that.
  • You may not want members to message each other. You can optionally require members to approve connections before others can message them. BuddyBoss has the Private Messaging and Member Connection components. They have a Notification component too that provides some additional functions for members when they are messaging each other.

Each one of these components can be turned on and off. What we find when you turn all of these on without exploring your need for them, you make so many options available to your users that it overwhelms them. It can also be overwhelming for the site administrators t understand.

This is just the on and off feature for each component. Then for each components there are configuration settings that need to be set based on what you want. This can be daunting.

Reviewing the purpose and function provided by each component is important so you limit the site to the feature you are needing for your community.

BuddyBoss Expert on Mistake #2 - Using Out-of-the-Box Default Menus

The BuddyBoss Theme comes with default menus that provide you with the menus you'll find in the BuddyBoss provided demo site. (Check out the demo site if you like.)  This includes the left BuddyBoss Panel menu that appears on all pages of the site. It includes the top menu expected on most websites. It also includes a dropdown right menu. This extensive array of menus is valuable, but it may not be necessary for your site. It can be overkill.

This is made worse if you have mistake #1 in the works with all components turned on. Each one adds options to these three menus. When everything is turned on, the right dropdown menu has 13 menu options each with a few submenus. The left BuddyBoss panel menu gets you another 8 to 10 menu items. This is WAY TOO MUCH for a starter site first using BuddyBoss.

For many site builders, we recommend turning off the left BuddyBoss panel menu alltogether. It's not needed. Use the top menu like you would on most website and keep the right dropdown menu to the 3 to 5 menu items you typically need which typically includes a Logout option.

Check out part 2 of this article where I describe the remaining 3.