BuddyPress vs. WP Symposium
Until recently, I only knew of BuddyPress as a wordpress plugin for Social Networking. But I happen to have stumbled upon WP Symposium:
It looks very interesting.
Has anybody used it before, and how does it compare it to BuddyPress?
I setup a buddypress site a while back, and this was not available at the time. However, I would go with buddypress, because the worst thing about setting up a social site is that its soo difficult to migrate off of it if you need to, and you don’t want to build on a platform that’s gonna be gone in 6 months or a year. A lot of plugins lose support because they require constant updating to work with wordpress.
is symposium multisite compatible ? will it eventually have blog integration ?
Hi – Symposium was started November 2010 and has continued at the same pace ever since, take a look at the Stats page, it’s a nice steady download profile.
It is compatible with MS, but depending on how you want to run the site may or may not provide what you want. It’s free from wordpress.org, so give it a go 😉
Blog integration is on the roadmap, and I’ll work with users to define what that actually means – how it will integrate – on the WPS website at http://www.wpsymposium.com
Someone else posted this reply: http://wordpress.org/support/topic/anyone-have-info-on-wp-symposium
I tried Buddypress and found it rather confusing and difficult to integrate into my designs. I got farther in WordPress Symposium within just two days of having it installed than I ever did in a week with Buddypress.
As for concerns of the plugins being abandoned, it doesn’t seem this will be the case, thus far. The home site is buzzing with conversation from active and enthusiastic users, and Simon is very attentive to answering user concerns. The fact he has monetized the software somewhat will also ensure incentive for keeping it updated. I’m going with it!
I have worked with BuddyPress, Mingle and WP Symposium.
Given the fact that Mingle is no longer updated and getting a response from the dev, who also has “PrettyLinks” out, is nearly impossible. The forums for Mingle yield no help at all.
BuddyPress takes over the site, basically and although there are a lot of plugins that contribute to the functionality of BuddyPress, multiple plugins for better functionality have a cost of speed for the site.
WP Symposium is now set up so that it is multisite compatible. I use it exclusively, unless someone refuses to go with anything but BuddyPress.
While there have been a few growing pains with WPS, Simon responds as fast as humanly possible, and addresses most concerns and bugs very quickly. One other note is, Simon is always (so far) nice to deal with.
Anyone looking should really consider trying WP Symposium.
Simon has also put together a wiki where a person can go and find tutorials on how to make new templates for custom layouts of the plugins.. I personally would recommend WP Symposium. It’s been around for a little more than a year now, and it is updated on a regular basis to both improve and to keep up with compatibility issues found by members.. Great Dev. and very active community of supporters.
The world is large enough for all the WordPress social networking plugins like BuddyPress, WP Symposium and Mingle 🙂
The most compelling argument for choosing one over the other is the simple question of maintainability. How long do you have to wait before a plugin is declared compatible with the just released version of WordPress?
WP Symposium’s set of “standard” plugins includes gallery and events; two of the most common requirements for an effective “social” website, IMHO.
The biggest problem I have with these two plugins has already been mentioned: waiting for the update when WordPress is updated. Sometimes the plugin you chose to provide this functionality is never updated. Now you have a dilema: choose a new plugin (lose all previous data) or never upgrade WordPress (sometimes not a choice at all because of security holes).
The second biggest issue is money: the cost of WP Symposium is similar to the cost of ONE additional plugin added to BuddyPress. You begin to add multiple plugins to BuddyPress, your cost will escalate.
Just these two plugin if supported and developed by BuddyPress core developers would make BuddyPress much more compelling.
I am just now trying WP Symposium again and finding the $39 annual subscription much easier to swallow than the hundreds I have paid for other plugins.
That being said, there is room for all; just be sure you have what you need before launching a site based on either one.
I have been using WP Symposium on a Multisite and keeping updated with the nightly releases of WP 3.4 Beta4. It has been working just fine with the the updates. FWIW
Hi guys, thanks for posting here, and for the kind comments – very humbling.
I little update… Over the last couple of months (March 2012 – May 2012) some key changes were made to WP Symposium to make it more akin to WordPress in the way core tables are used (for example wp_usermeta and wp_options).
Things are not back to normal in the way new features (rather than back-end changes) are released. For example, last weekend saw an upgrade to the gallery to allow comments on photos and see all album thumbnails (and remove the reliance on Colorbox that was causing the odd incompatibility issue where site admins also use Thickbox to view images on their site).
This weekend sees multi-line activity boxes that stretch with content, among other small bug fixes (and more probably). The weekly releases keeps things exciting and fresh.
The priority of developments for WP Symposium is set by Bronze members at http://www.wpsymposium.com/voting – I hope that keeps the development roadmap in line with what site admins identify as key.
Regarding the http://www.wpsymposium.com website, it’s full of brilliant people, they make developing WPS so worthwhile. I don my hat to all of them (and send them a virtual hug at the same time!).
Finally to note, as WordPress releases come out, WP Symposium is tested against each to ensure compatibility.
Many thanks again, cheers!
Simon (WP Symposium developer)
Things are not back to normal in the way new features (rather than back-end changes) are released.
Things are NOW back to normal in the way new features (rather than back-end changes) are released.
I especially like Simon’s Sigh’s and ahem’s…
The Dur’s are cool too…
Simon is quite a dev.. I enjoy his forums.
Well, although I appreciate Simon’s helpfulness and great response, I just removed symposium the day before launching my site. All sorts of conflict issues, and I had been having a problem with load speed.
OMG…remove symposium and my page load issues disappeared. I’m sad, I’ve invested a lot of time into working with the symposium…but I would not recommend it for a heavy traffic website.
As to the “forums” on the wp-symposium website, they are useless. It could really do with some sort of member area where it is easy to search for issues and solutions. That is the thing I most dislike about the symposium support area. And the fact that unless you pay for a support membership above and beyond the purchase of the bronze package, you can not get support easily. Simon, I suggest you check out the support area on WooThemes…it’s a good model.
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