BuddyPress vs BuddyBoss

January 27, 2024

Are you looking for the best online community platform?

Creating your social website can be challenging. You must integrate features like discussion forms and social share buttons and generate a sense of community on your site.

The two most popular options for creating an online community site in WordPress are BuddyPress and BuddyBoss. However, choosing between these two can be tricky, especially if this is your first time creating an online community or setting up your social site.

In this article, we’ll help you better understand the differences between BuddyPress and BuddyBoss so it’s easier to decide on the best option for your business.

BuddyPress vs BuddyBoss: Overview

BuddyPress is an open-source social network plugin that lets you transform your ordinary WordPress site into a full-fledged social media network.

BuddyPress vs BuddyBoss: Overview

It supports hundreds of add-ons that can be used to add community features to your WordPress site. This way, you can create discussion forums, let site visitors create personal accounts, and keep them engaged with your content.

BuddyBoss, on the other hand, is a fork of BuddyPress that comes pre-built with many more community features and a dedicated theme.


BuddyBoss offers an all-in-one solution for setting up a professional social network site without touching a single line of coding or configuring multiple add-ons. Think of it as a more “refined” or premium version of BuddyBoss. You can also create online courses, offer memberships and private communities, and host online events using the same platform.

BuddyPress vs BuddyBoss: Key features

Let’s compare the key features on offer with both platforms and compare them, making it easier to decide between the two options.

Ease of use

One of the significant differences between the two platforms is the ease of use each one offers its users.

With BuddyPress, you must start building your social network website from scratch, as it does not offer pre-designed templates to set everything up quickly. You have to individually install and configure add-ons to add functionality to your site, which also means there’s a high chance some add-ons might not work together or cause bugs that can lead to your site breaking down completely.

Ease of use

On the other hand, BuddyBoss offers much more ease of use when initially setting up your social network website. Within a few minutes, you can quickly install all the demo data and start configuring parts of your site. In addition to the demo content you get with BuddyBoss, you also have a wide range of customization options that are easy to understand, even if you’re not very tech-savvy.



This means that even if you’re not a developer or have any prior experience setting up social networks, you can create a fully functional website within a few clicks thanks to its simple interface. Users can manage all aspects of their BuddyBoss site from the WordPress admin panel.


With BuddyPress, you must first find a compatible theme that looks good and is fully compatible with the add-ons you need to install. You also have to find and load data to your site, so there’s a high chance that your social network pages might not work the way they should initially. In addition, with each add-on you install on your BuddyPress site, you are also presented with a new interface that makes it complicated to set up multiple add-ons quickly. While most add-ons are optimized and easy to use, some have not been updated for a while, so they can cause your site to break down very quickly.

Another great thing about BuddyBoss is that it offers detailed documentation and helpful video tutorials to create a professional-looking social network site. The documentation is divided into four equal parts that help explain how you can use BuddyBoss to set up each component of your social network site, along with helpful tips for troubleshooting any problems you might face.

With this in mind, it’s much simpler to use BuddyBoss than BuddyPress for creating a new WordPress social network site.

Community features

One of the most critical parts of any social website is the community features it offers to its users. BuddyPress and BuddyBoss platforms have the most basic community features like setting up discussion forums, member profiles, private messaging, activity feeds, and configuring notifications.

However, out of the box, BuddyPress is relatively basic regarding the community functionality of your social network site. You will need to install and configure a lot of additional add-ons to add most of the features that BuddyBoss comes pre-built with.

Community features

With BuddyBoss, you can access many community features out of the box, i.e., you don’t need to install additional add-ons. You can enable photo attachments, let members create photo albums, upload documents, and even animated GIFs. This way, you can engage your community members and offer a more optimized user experience on your social network site. BuddyBoss also has a network search feature that lets registered members easily browse through content on your site within a few clicks. They can search for other members, discussion forms, and replies to quickly navigate to the content that’s most relevant to them. It gives website owners complete control over how their communities look and feel and offers an enhanced user experience for your members or those who pay to participate in your discussion forms.

private community

Additionally, if you’re looking to set up a private community on your social network site, BuddyBoss can help you with this, thanks to its remote network feature. For instance, you can limit access to regular site visitors on your private network and only let users who pay a small subscription fee access premium discussion forms. To achieve the same thing in BuddyPress, you must install a separate add-on, as the plugin doesn’t offer such functionality natively.


As mentioned earlier, BuddyPress requires you to install add-ons to add functionality to your social network site. This also means if you want to integrate any basic or advanced functionality into your site, you can browse its wide range of add-ons and choose the ones that best suit your requirements. While not all add-ons are fully optimized or updated, they work great for adding more features to your social network site without breaking the bank.

On the other hand, BuddyBoss natively offers the functionality to set up a professional social network site so you don’t have to worry about integrating it with additional add-ons or extra plugins. This also saves site owners the headache of setting up multiple add-ons and understanding how each works.

Design features

Another significant difference between the two platforms is the design features they offer by default.

With BuddyPress, you must install a dedicated WordPress theme while ensuring it looks good and works seamlessly with your social network site. While WordPress has many social network themes, finding one that looks good with your site’s layout and features can be difficult.

Design features

Conversely, with BuddyBoss, you have a beautiful pre-designed interface to make your WordPress social network site look and feel professional. This way, you don’t have to worry about finding a separate theme that doesn’t cause problems with the functionality of your site.

Customer support

BuddyPress is an open-source plugin with a huge community and can be an excellent place for you to get assistance with problems with the tool. However, it doesn’t have a dedicated support team ready to help you in any part of setting up your social network site. Instead, you must rely on the developers to reply to your support emails.

However, with BuddyBoss you get 24/7 customer support as it’s a premium plugin so you don’t have to worry about getting stuck somewhere and waiting for the problem to be resolved. You can reach out to the “help desk” by submitting a ticket and expect to receive a quick response so your social network site is always functional.

BuddyPress vs BuddyBoss: Pricing

While BuddyPress is free, BuddyBoss offers a premium plugin option.

BuddyPress vs BuddyBoss: Pricing

The pricing for BuddyBoss starts at $228 per year for a single site license. You can also get access to a free or demo plugin to get started and test it out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the difference between BuddyPress and BuddyBoss?

A: BuddyPress is a free and open-source plugin that allows you to create online communities on WordPress. On the other hand, BuddyBoss is a platform that includes a theme and plugin, providing a more comprehensive set of features specifically tailored for building online communities.

Q: When should I use BuddyPress over BuddyBoss?

A: If you are looking for an essential social networking plugin for WordPress and need to install and set up the features you need, BuddyPress might be the suitable choice. It is compatible with various BuddyPress plugins and offers the essential features for creating an online community.

Q: What advantages does using BuddyPress have over BuddyBoss?

A: By using BuddyPress, you have the flexibility to customize and shape the features and functionalities of your social network according to your specific requirements. It is an open-source plugin allowing extensive modifications and integrations with other plugins.

Q: Can BuddyBoss be integrated with BuddyPress plugins?

A: BuddyBoss is compatible with BuddyPress plugins, making it an excellent choice if you desire additional features and functionalities for your online community beyond what BuddyBoss offers.

Q: Is BuddyBoss leading the development of BuddyPress?

A: Yes, the development of BuddyBoss has contributed significantly to the evolution of BuddyPress. BuddyBoss has played a vital role in shaping the future of WordPress by enhancing the capabilities of BuddyPress and defining new standards for social networking on the platform.

Q: What are the main features of the BuddyBoss platform plugin?

A: The BuddyBoss platform plugin includes features such as activity streams, online community management tools, group functionality, member profiles, and extensive customization options, providing a comprehensive solution for building social networks on WordPress.

Q: How does BuddyPress differ from a BuddyBoss theme and plugin?

A: BuddyPress is a free and open-source plugin for WordPress that focuses on primary social networking features. BuddyBoss offers a platform comprising a theme and plugin with a wide range of functionalities tailored explicitly for creating and managing online communities.

Q: What is the significance of BuddyPress and BuddyBoss in shaping the future of WordPress?

A: Both BuddyPress and BuddyBoss play a significant role in shaping the future of WordPress by providing tools and platforms to create, manage, and customize online communities, thus contributing to the expansion and versatility of WordPress as a preferred platform for social networking.

Q: Can I use BuddyBoss without needing to install BuddyPress?

A: Yes, you can use BuddyBoss without installing BuddyPress, as BuddyBoss includes features and functionalities sufficient for building and managing online communities. However, adding BuddyPress can further enhance the capabilities of the platform.

Q: What essential role does BuddyBoss play in the development of BuddyPress?

A: BuddyBoss has significantly enhanced the capabilities of BuddyPress and redefined the standards for social networking on WordPress. Its platform plugin and theme offer innovative features and customization options that have contributed to the growth and advancement of BuddyPress.


Creating a social network site can help make a sense of community around your brand, offering more value to your target audience and keeping your members engaged with your brand so they stick around long-term.

While both platforms help you achieve the same goal: create a social network, BuddyBoss is more suited for businesses that want to use a single plugin to manage all aspects of their social network site and are ready to pay a premium price. BuddyPress is perfect for businesses that are just getting started and don’t want to invest in a premium plugin but are willing to take the DIY approach and put in the extra effort setting up add-ons.

What features do you look for in a social network plugin? Let us know in the comments box below.

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