BuddyBoss Developer Explains...
BuddyBoss Is the Perfect Solution for the Right Small Business
The BuddyBoss Theme and Platform is a great solution for adding community features to your learning environment, but it isn’t the right solution for everyone. Let me discuss what the BuddyBoss provides and when it is best for your project.
BuddyBoss: What exactly is it?
Let’s answer that question by going over a little bit of history. Before they brought us BuddyBoss, we had BuddyPress. BuddyPress was, and still is, an open-source WordPress plugin to add features like forums to your WordPress site. You can use it to add member profiles and member-to-member messaging to the site. The solution does a lot, but configuring it to work took some effort. You would install it with a list of other plugins which together gave you what you needed.
A group of of those experienced BuddyPress developers left and they launched BuddyBoss which delivers two product packages sold as one. The products are BuddyBoss Theme and BuddyBoss Platform Pro. Visit their website and read the description of their pricing page. You’ll see both are listed as parts of what you are getting. They are designed to work together really well. It gets you:
- A platform for building your own mini-Facebook site. It includes social media features like member profiles, private groups with their own feeds, member-to-member messaging, like and friending features, etc. (NOTE: If you are building a learning site and you do NOT need these features, don’t go with BuddyBoss. You won’t be using most of what BuddyBoss offers and it will make configuring your environment that much harder.)
- The ability to sell online courses on your membership site.
- Straight-forward gamification features.
The BuddyBoss Platform works well, but it isn’t very attractive. You can use any WordPress theme with BuddyBoss Platform. However, it really works well with BuddyBoss Theme.
BuddyBoss and LearnDash, our preferred learning management system, go well together. When BuddyBoss was originally launched, they had a version called the BuddyBoss Social Learner for LearnDash. We started our agency as an Infusionsoft / Keap experienced team. From early on, we used BuddyBoss and LearnDash together to provide highly functioning learning sites.
Using membership plugin Memberium, the site makes use of Infusionsoft / Keap for selling and controlling course and membership access. In addition, you get powerful marketing automation features. For those that aren’t needing the Infusionsoft / Keap features, we’ve had great success using WooCommerce for e-commerce and MemberPress for controlling access. This is a very useful WordPress-centric solution that is highly functioning and flexible.
Given this product stack, BuddyBoss Theme and BuddyBoss Platform can easily be used to build learning sites with e-commerce features for selling all sorts of products in addition to selling memberships and online courses.
Because BuddyBoss integrates so well with LearnDash, the platform is perfect for:
- building online courses from scratch,
- organizing course content,
- giving students assignments and quizzes,
- awarding badges and certificates,
- enabling instructors to interact with students, track student progress in a course or series of courses, and
- a lot more.
Because LearnDash has a strong set of addon vendors, Uncanny Owl and WisdmLabs being really good ones, LearnDash provides some really good features.
LearnDash was recently acquired by StellarWP, the company that brings you Liquid Web. We are keeping a close eye on that since we are expecting some investments to grow and enhance the product.
You can get the BuddyBoss Theme for their yearly price of $228. Of course, there are many free themes that will provide you with a very nice visual design for making your online courses and site look really good. If you are wanting to build a site with community features, the price is more than worth given all the BuddyBoss Theme and BuddyBoss platform provides.
You should keep in mind that BuddyBoss has enough complexity that using an experienced team to get it working is highly advised. If you are new to online course and membership site building, you should consider bringing on a sharp team. You can benefit from the experience a team can provide you so you not only learn the best practices, but you avoid expensive trial and error that can be really time consuming.