BuddyPress VS bbPress

BuddyPress VS bbPress – Which is the Better To Create a Community with WordPress?

WordPress is slowly becoming the quintessential standard for the web, and I might be overstating the importance of WordPress, but statistics doesn’t lie. With more than 33% of the web made in WordPress website, it is here to stay and the upcoming days are looking bright for the platform.

WordPress with its array of plugins and themes can help you create almost anything, including social networking features. The two main plugins that are popular among the social networking arena for WordPress is BuddyPress and bbPress. Sounds Similar? Don’t worry, we will go in depth of each of these articles and understand why and how they can be useful to you as a website owner or developer.

Nowadays, social networking websites are booming, a prime example being Facebook. With Facebook and Google+, there is seldom a need for other social networking site or features. But, there are instances, when a website or community can take advantage of creating a personal social network using networks already available in the market. Examples would itself includes the forums of WordPress website, which runs on the bbPress.

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So, the real question arises. Which one to choose? Which one is better for you? We will go through all the questions one by one, exploring the differences and similarities of both the platform.

Here is a great summary from one of our readers:

If you want social network like facebook kind use BuddyPress, if you want forums use bbPress. Both cores are different and have different features but to call BuddyPress a forum is a little much, which it does not the same as bbPress. To call BuddyPress a forum when it is all by itself without bbPress is not right.Awesome Bryner

Let’s go through those two plugins one by one.

BuddyPress — Key to Social Network Creation

BuddyPress Plugin

Social Networks are booming, so does the chance for you to create an incredible social network around your website. And, if you are looking to create a social network, then BuddyPress is a perfect choice.

BuddyPress is the work of Automattic, the team behind the WordPress platform, and this ensures that it integrates seamlessly with the WordPress ecosystem. BuddyPress, itself has become one of the finest ecosystems for social network creation as it comes with hundreds and thousands of plugins that makes websites created using BuddyPress more functional and impressive.

To add value to the BuddyPress platform, it comes free of cost as does most the other services that are released by Automattic. So, what makes BuddyPress great? It’s features. Let’s list few of its major features.

  • Account creation by users.
  • Activity Stream similar to Facebook.
  • User Accounts can be filled with information and are interactive.
  • Private and public message sending.
  • Group creation.
  • Facebook like network creation.

And much more. The BuddyPress platform is rich and can offer tons of other add-ons. Some of the popular add-ons are BuddyPress Activity, Invite Anyone and more.

bbPress — Forum based community

bbPress plugin

Another community-based plugin for WordPress that has been developed by the Automattic and yes it is free to use. The main purpose of the plugin is to create discussion boards on the website and extend the functionality of the website with the integrated interface and WordPress like feel.

The bbPress plugin is also blessed with add-ons that improve its functionality and comes with lots of features. They are as follows:

  • Extremely easy installation.
  • Have tons of add-ons to improve functionality.
  • WordPress user accounts can be integrated to bbPress users.

bbPress is best suited for forums based community, and it can improve on its add-ons. So, if you are looking for anything for your bbPress, then you might not be disappointed as someone has taken its time to release an amazing plugin for your problems.

BuddyPress VS bbPress – Which is better software to create a community with WordPress?

Similarities between bbPress and BuddyPress

Even they are different plugins and are developed for different purposes. They do have some similarities, and we will try to list some of them below:

  • Both of the plugins have a simple requirement, i.e., WordPress. The similarity is obvious, but the CMS does play a role in their functionality. WordPress is a great platform, and this enables both the plugins to take advantage of the core capabilities of the WordPress.
  • The same team develops both the plugins, and this adds a significant amount of value to the plugin. The support for both the plugins is great, enabling you to focus on creating something valuable instead of focusing on the issue during installation, maintenance and other forms of working with the plugin.
  • Both the plugins have one unique aspect; they build community, it can be either a forum based or social networking based.

Now, let move to some dissimilarities between bbPress and BuddyPress

Dissimilarities between bbPress and BuddyPress

Even with much core similarities, both of the plugins are made for different purposes. Let’s list the difference between bbPress and BuddyPress.

  • The core difference between bbPress and BuddyPress is it’s what they are made for. bbPress is great for forum based community, but if you are looking for more features such as private message exchange, group creation, then BuddyPress is a great choice.
  • The number of plugins for BuddyPress is more than that of bbPress. Both the plugins are popular in their respective segment but looks like BuddyPress have more lovers from the developer segment. Currently, BuddyPress has more than 500 plugins, whereas bbPress has only 150+ plugins.
  • bbPress offers a simple solution to a build a community; the only tradeoff is the features that you do not get with bbPress — this helps easier maintenance for administrators.

Conclusion: So, which one should I choose?

The choice of the plugin completely depends on the requirements. If you are addressing a small to a medium audience and only wants a forum based functionality, then bbPress is for you. Finding the better software for creating a kick ass community whether forum base or more social is not a tough call after all.

On the other hand, if you are addressing a huge amount of visitors, then BuddyPress is for you. The reason is better control over different functionality and also providing features to a diverse audience.

Both the plugins offer the similar core feature but go apart as soon as they have more to offer. bbPress is the right choice for small and medium scale websites.

So, what are you choosing for your next project? Comment below and let us know which platform are you choosing and also share your experience with us!

*last updated 02/24/2019

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at 85ideas is a team of WordPress experts led by Brian Harris. Here to share amazing tuts, guides and collections.

  • Adimin Baik
    Posted at 10:19h, 07 June Reply

    Thanks for Review..

    • Nitish Singh
      Posted at 14:17h, 07 June Reply

      Thanks for the comment :). Keep visiting 85Ideas.

  • Awesome Bryner
    Posted at 18:44h, 21 June Reply

    BuddyPress is a community software not forum software, and bbPress is a forum software. They both work together, and can be used separately. What kind of versus is this when they are different things? I got both and been using both, and I know the difference between the two. One is for social network site which is not a forum at all, and the other makes the forum. Anyone that has used both of them know this. BuddyPress only and you have just a social site, and bbPress only you have a forum site. They both don’t do the same thing. You are comparing them, when they are not even for the same purpose. Both of them together will make the website full. One without the other its missing something. One is not better than the other, because they are for different purposes.

    • Brian H
      Posted at 16:17h, 23 June Reply

      Hi Bryer,

      Thank you for stopping by, you are correct they are different in their own right.

      On BuddyPress, you can create groups which to me acts as a forum you have the ability to limit members from create groups, so there’s sort of an organized conversation. Just as you would have on bbPress, a few years back, I was unsure which of the two to use. These days with plugins like user pro, giving both BuddyPress and bbPress enhanced function and user experience it can be a headache deciding which to build your community around or whether to use both.

      • Awesome Bryner
        Posted at 01:04h, 07 November Reply

        BuddyPress still maybe making groups but it isn’t just groups, its members, profiles, activities and more that is a community network software. Not forum. The only thing out of groups that is forum is if you have bbPress installed then you can created group forums, but if you just have BuddyPress it is just a network for socializing. You can’t even create group forums without bbPress. Like I said bbPress is forums and Buddypress is community social network software. Two different things.

    • RaybanM
      Posted at 00:53h, 07 November Reply

      I found the best information in your first sentence than I did wadding through paragraphs of hyperbole and badly presented and poorly written time-wasting issues. here. thanks dude.

      • Awesome Bryner
        Posted at 01:15h, 07 November Reply

        Finally, someone that gets it.

        • Carlyle
          Posted at 19:14h, 11 November Reply

          Do they have to create a new account for both, or will the original registration work for both?

          • Awesome Bryner
            Posted at 21:59h, 11 November

            The whole registration of WordPress works with BuddyPress and bbPress together. It does offer login widget with BuddyPress and a different one for bbPress but what I mean is like I am using Newsmag theme from tagdiv and it has a ajax login modal and when you click on it, pops up like and register through WordPress and you get email and password and you sign in to change the password. It still has you as a member through both without using the login widgets from BuddyPress and bbPress. The only time you need to use the widgets is if your theme does not have a login model or widget.

          • Carlyle
            Posted at 00:11h, 12 November

            Perfect! Thanks for the quick response.

    • Brian H
      Posted at 18:28h, 11 November Reply

      You are right, I too have been around wordPress for years and have used both.

      Just because you and I get it, do not assume others will too.

      This is the type of question we get on a regular basis to users new to both plugins.

      Yes, we could have written one paragraph but of those wanting more information it doesn’t help that much.

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

      P.S. I have included your summary within this content for those wanting a quick overview. Again thank you for your contribution 🙂

      • Awesome Bryner
        Posted at 18:55h, 11 November Reply

        Yes, but the article title is still calling BuddyPress a forum. That right there is going to make the people not understand the difference when BuddyPress uses groups forums only when bbPress is installed. You won’t have any forums on BuddyPress at all if bbPress is not installed. I was only try to get the wrong title of the article to not say BuddyPress is a forum, when it isn’t. It is changed now but it was saying which is the better forum. Good it is changed. The only reason I came to the article because it confused a long time user like me.

  • Awesome Bryner
    Posted at 01:10h, 07 November Reply

    If you want social network like facebook kind use BuddyPress, if you want forums use bbPress. Both cores are different and have different features but to call BuddyPress a forum is a little much, which it does not the same as bbPress. To call BuddyPress a forum when it is all by itself without bbPress is not right. Like I said before. You can’t create group forums without bbPress, because it is using bbPress to create them. You need both for group forums.

    • DoubleTapper
      Posted at 21:58h, 19 November Reply

      I was a blogger, and now have 300k fans on my facebook page. Facebook limits my post engagement and blocks my fans from seeing the majority of my posts. I want to move my page off of facebook and take my fans onto my own domain.
      My goal is to recreate the facebook look and feel, allow the use of facebook login and give my fans a place to interact where I can more closely control the content as well as monetize the environment,

      I have a hosted domain with wordpress installed.

      What software/plugins should I be using?
      Is there a guide I can read on how this is done????

      • Awesome Bryner
        Posted at 22:53h, 19 November Reply

        buddypress.org will help you from their website. I am not sure about ads on buddypress but it is for member engagement, profiles, groups and activity with blog posts and comments. bbpress.org is the forums and that website is from the same people that does WordPress.org and buddypress.org. Those three links will help you figure what you need.

  • Andre
    Posted at 04:00h, 09 May Reply

    Nice article. Even though people here saying “Everyone knows the difference”, most people don’t. “Poor written” – i’m not a literature criticist. Thanx for information, peace from Siberia/

  • Dennis James
    Posted at 12:24h, 24 May Reply

    Took the plunge with SimplePress instead of BBPress and we’ve been very disappointed in the results. While the SimplePress Support team have been responsive, it’s simply not as “simple” to integrate it into our (very current) Theme and a month into the process, we’ve been forced to simply give up and look for alternatives.

    • Editorial Staff
      Posted at 21:22h, 25 May Reply

      Sorry to hear that! We’ve had nothing but good luck with BBPress so far. What was the issue that caused you to finally quit?

  • TheBlaCkCoDeR
    Posted at 21:05h, 23 July Reply

    i will use BuddyPress =)

    • Editorial Staff
      Posted at 02:23h, 28 July Reply

      Either way, you’re making a great choice! However, BuddyPress is our “go-to” platform when creating community sites

  • samson
    Posted at 19:13h, 23 January Reply

    You analysis for the two software is amazing. I didn’t know buddypress is more powerful but clearly it’s the right option for a huge community.

  • Davids
    Posted at 17:31h, 03 April Reply

    Perfect article, it did help so much

  • ghd-hairstraightener
    Posted at 23:43h, 29 October Reply

    I pay a quick visit daily a few web sites and sites to read articles, but this blog provides quality based articles.

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