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Getting Started with BuddyBoss: The What, Why, and How Explained!

You’ve probably heard all the rage about BuddyBoss, the community plugin. You may have considered using it for your own website, but have some unanswered questions about the plugin, or concerns about the effect it would have on the loading time for your site. Or, you might be scratching your head, wondering “what is BuddyBoss?“. Well, you’re in the right place because we’re going to provide you with a crash course on all things BuddyBoss, plus offer some insider tips on how to make it work optimally for your website!

What we’ll specifically cover in this article:

  • What BuddyBoss is
  • The best use cases for BuddyBoss
  • Notable features of BuddyBoss
  • Potential cons of BuddyBoss
  • The ideal BuddyBoss hosting

What is BuddyBoss?

First thing’s first, what exactly is BuddyBoss? The short version is that it’s a plugin for creating online communities on WordPress.

Sounds great, right? A lot of people agree! That’s why it’s becoming a must have for businesses worldwide, powering over 50,000 online communities, courses, and membership sites. Website owners use this advanced and customizable plugin to develop, sell, and control memberships, courses, trainings, and more through an all-inclusive virtual learning network. Just a few of the standout features of BuddyBoss include:

  • Customizability with your brand
  • Powerful and interactive social features
  • Profiles for members
  • Ability for members to join/create groups
  • Ability for members to upload media
  • Ability for members to communicate directly with each other
  • Discussion forums
  • Activity feeds

Now that we know what BuddyBoss is for and how it’s used, you may be wondering “is this the right plugin for me?”. We’re going to go over the three main use cases for BuddyBoss and you can decide for yourself!

When should you use BuddyBoss?

BuddyBoss for Membership Sites

Do you run a membership-based site? Whether you’re a business, agency, blogger, influencer, club, or association, if your website visitors are required to become members to view and access content, BuddyBoss could be the plugin for you. The BuddyBoss Platform has been developed to integrate with common membership plugins from MemberPress, WooCommerce, and Memberium. By combining BuddyBoss with any of the recommended membership plugins, you can create membership levels and pricing structures based on those levels.

BuddyBoss for Online Communities

Move over Facebook, there’s a new player on the block! With BuddyBoss you can create and customize an entire social network, with a beautiful setup and intuitive design. The BuddyBoss Platform enables members to choose public, private, or hidden social areas with separate activity feeds. Followers and customers can then connect with your business or brand, increasing engagement and retention.

BuddyBoss for Online Courses

Are you a teacher? Coach? Blogger? Influencer? Or anyone who wants to translate their knowledge into a profitable online course? Then the BuddyBoss Platform is here to help you get the most out of it. BuddyBoss uses LearnDash, which is one of the most popular WordPress Learning Management Systems (LMS) out there. According to BuddyBoss:

We did not want to re-invent the wheel, but rather integrate the powerful LMS as a key component of the BuddyBoss solution.

By using BuddyBoss for your online courses, you can create multi-tier courses, advanced quizzing, certificates and badges, user reports, and so much more!

BuddyBoss features

We’ve covered the three main use cases for the powerful BuddyBoss plugin, and now let’s dive a little deeper into its many notable features.

Member Types

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With BuddyBoss, you can easily create, customize, and manage new Member Types. You have the ability to create as many membership types as you want and can either assign the type to a user or allow users to choose the type of member they are by customizing the registration.

Social Groups

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With BuddyBoss, you can set up social groups for members to connect and communicate. These social groups can be public, private, or hidden. You have the ability to create group types, including “Team”, “Class”, “Department”, as well as group roles, such as “Organizers”, “Teachers”, “Administrators”, “Leaders”, and more. You can enable group forums, activity feeds, and messages so group members can interact and engage while learning, and control member privileges through settings.

Plugin Compatibility

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BuddyBoss’s compatibility for over 55,000 WordPress plugins allows you to extend your site’s functionality with limitless options. You can add an online store, mailing lists, pop-ups, and more.

Notable mentions include WooCommerce, which BuddyBoss integrates with seamlessly. BuddyBoss also integrates with the GamiPress plugin that allows you to enable gamification features like rewarding users with points, badges, or achievements to keep things fun, interesting, and engaging.

Branding

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BuddyBoss is a white-label open source solution designed to fully represent your brand. Therefore, customizability and flexibility are part of the design, so you have the freedom to easily control and manage fonts, colors, logos, cover photos, etc., to match your branding. This is particularly fantastic for well-established brands who want to retain their familiarity.

Compatibility with Popular Page Builders

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BuddyBoss works great with popular page builders, including Gutenberg, WPBakery, Beaver Builder, Thrive Architect, and most notably Elementor, the world’s leading WordPress page builder. This enables you to control all components of your website’s pages, customize it to your heart’s content with no coding required, and benefit from Elementor’s features like live design, inline editing, and more!

Customizable Learner Dashboard

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BuddyBoss really takes your learning platform to the next level with incredible and customizable Learner Dashboards. Here, students can easily and conveniently view all relevant content they need, and can jump back right where they last left off. They can also view and pick up on their last conversations, community activities and interactions, and have course or lesson progress, achievements, rewards, and activities on full display.

Potential cons of BuddyBoss

We’ve gone through what makes BuddyBoss unique through its various features. Now let’s have a look at a few of the potential drawbacks of the plugin.

  • Sensory overload: Too many options/features may seem like a strange thing to complain about, we know. But for someone just beginning their journey of offering online courses or trainings, BuddyBoss can really overwhelm—or intimidate—at first glance! It can feel like trying to navigate through a sea of information, and may make the features of the plugin seem more complicated or non-beginner friendly than they really are. If you are in this boat and feel a bit lost, we recommend watching the many helpful video tutorials that explain the different components of the plugin that really do help simplify it all. Take your time and have fun with the learning curve!
  • Limited customer support: BuddyBoss does have many video tutorials to help customers and a support team available 24/7 for assistance. However, a notable drawback is the lack of a real-time live chat option. They do not offer support through any of their channels such as email, phone, or social media platforms. Instead, users must create new tickets from their respective account areas through the Help Desk for assistance.

The perfect BuddyBoss hosting and server setup

An important thing to take into consideration when choosing to use BuddyBoss is that it’s not compatible with all types of hosting. As BuddyBoss retrieves all kinds of dynamic content from databases, when a hosting platform is not powerful enough, the plugin affects site performance and speed—not exactly an ideal situation when you’re trying to grow your business.

We’ll remind you what Google says about slow websites:

  • 53% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than three seconds to load.
  • Low speed scores are a “huge missed opportunity” since when users encounter slow websites they are “much less likely to find what they are looking for or purchase from you in the future.”
  • Advertising and speed go hand in hand, with faster landing pages delivering better ROI.

And, in case you weren’t sure, this is how Google defines speed:

  • 1-49 (over 4 seconds): slow
  • 50-89 (2.5 to 4 seconds): average, needs improvement
  • 90-100 (under 2.5 seconds): fast

So you really should not be compromising your PageSpeed score if you want your website to truly deliver.

So what exactly will allow BuddyBoss to function optimally on your website without negatively affecting speed or performance? Let’s review!

Hosting Recommendations

Your website is only as good as your hosting. And to add a dynamic plugin like BuddyBoss to it, it better be powerful hosting that prioritizes speed. And no, shared hosting is absolutely not going to cut it here.

10Web’s powerful and automated hosting solution is specifically tailored to meet the needs of BuddyBoss, ensuring a smooth and fast performance for your community’s website.

All websites hosted on 10Web automatically get optimized frontend and backend speed, bumping them up to the 1% of the world’s fastest loading websites! You cannot get this with any caching and optimization plugin since backend speed entirely relies on your hosting solution. This makes it ideal for BuddyBoss hosting.

With 10Web’s hosting, your BuddyBoss website will have:

    • A 200% performance improvement thanks to the Google Cloud Compute-optimized C2 servers 10Web provides. Plus, being an official Google Cloud Partner, each site running on our C2 servers is located in one of Google’s multiple data centers and secured behind the Google Cloud firewall.
    • The possibility to handle 3x more requests per second
    • A 3x increase in queries per second The execution of WordPress-specific 1000 queries on 10Web takes less than 0.8s, which is 2-3 times faster than the standard industry average!

We benchmarked BuddyBoss websites on 10Web hosting to compare it with other providers, and just take a look at the results:

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And don’t just take our word for it; read more about the experience of Growth School, a successful community-led live learning platform that uses BuddyBoss:

High uptime for the use of BuddyBoss is so important…that’s what we want and of course that is not something you can get with every host. With 10Web everything is smooth and up and running!

Yuvan Kumar, Lead, Operations and Customer Success for Growth School

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Server Software Requirements

We don’t mean to alarm you, but BuddyBoss does have some server software requirements in order to function properly. There’s…quite a few. The good news? 10Web’s hosting matches all of BuddyBoss’ requirements to function optimally!

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So whether you are now intrigued by BuddyBoss and its limitless possibilities, or have been considering using it but were apprehensive to take the plunge, or are using it but noticing it’s not compatible with your particular hosting, 10Web is ready to show you can truly have it all. You can use an incredible dynamic plugin that creates a professional and profitable learning community, without negatively impacting your website’s speed.

We’ll let Yuvan have the last word:

The speed and optimization that 10Web brings to the table has been very important since we can’t let users wait…if they leave, we will lose a client, lose business, but now with 10Web that is solved – the 1 to 2 seconds loading time is great! As soon as we switched it was just amazing. Before we used to struggle a lot.


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Tigran Nazaryan

Tigran Nazaryan is an experienced science, technology, and WordPress professional. After seeing great potential in the automation of web development, he co-founded and became CEO of 10Web. Tigran is passionate about creating solutions to bring AI automation into web development and turning great ideas into powerful technological achievements.

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