There are exciting plans for the WordPress VIP program in 2010. They are introducing a dedicated VIP Hosting portal for WordPress.com VIPs in the coming weeks, with documentation of all the special functions, lots of theme and system info, and best practice coding guidelines for WordPress.com. A bit further out we plan to streamline the support and ticketing system to provide a more complete 360 view of activity across multiple sites.For VIP Support, expect new features and improvements to the private forum which will make finding answers more efficient and provide our team clearer information that will make the interactions better. And starting this year, we now include support for BuddyPress as part of VIP Support, and we are already seeing that become a bigger part of many of the larger WordPress powered sites.
The latest release of BuddyPress finally brings all that social media goodness to standard WordPress installs. With BuddyPress 1.2, it should only take three steps to get BuddyPress working with a standard WordPress install.BuddyPress was initially developed to add social networking features to a site based on WordPress MU (multiuser), and a stable release followed in 2009, but only for that platform. Installing BuddyPress in the early days was not trivial.
BuddyPress boosts the WordPress personal publishing platform (say that four times fast) with a number of social features. In addition to blogging, BuddyPress allows users to have extended profiles, display “activity” streams showing users’ comments and group activity, discussion forums, private messaging, and groups to allow discussions by topic. If you’ve been running a topic blog, BuddyPress is a good tool to extend the platform for discussions and reader interaction beyond post comments.
Features can be turned off, so if there are features like private messaging or group discussions that you don’t want, they can be shut off.
Though integration with standard WordPress blogs is made simple with this release, it may still require some customization — in particular, standard WordPress themes may require some tweaking to make BuddyPress happy. However, the steps required aren’t particularly difficult for anyone with a reasonable amount of experience working with WordPress sites. Or you could use a stock BuddyPress theme or create your own custom theme.
On top of the integration with standard WordPress, this release also brings improvements to the “activity streams” to include permalinks for each action and users can now “favorite” activity items and send @replies to other users.
BuddyPress 1.2 requires an install of WordPress or WordPress MU 2.9.1 or later. WordPress 2.9.2 was released on Monday to fix a problem that allows logged in users to see posts in the “trash” that belong to other users. You’ll also need newer versions of PHP, MySQL (but you already had those to run WordPress) and the mod_rewrite Apache module.