WP Symposium is a great idea with a host of great features. And once you get into the admin side of the fence, the plugin is incredibly easy to use for even the most technically challenged of people. With that said, the execution of that idea is where you’ll find flaws.
For example, when uploaded, images are displayed as thumbnails opposed to full-sized images. Although support for GIF files is advertised, they are displayed as still images when uploaded. No animation or movement. In addition, videos open and play in a separate tab opposed to directly on the user’s profile or group page. Link previews are sometimey. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they just display random error. etc. What may have been small nuances a few years ago are a big deal in an era where visual content is so critical to user engagement. I discussed these concerns with the creator, who revealed that there were no plans of addressing them in future updates any time soon.
In essence, basic WordPress features have been scaled back in the WP Symposium. I
imagine some of these limitations were enforced with resource management in mind, but it’s very frustrating when your hosting platform is equipped to accommodate much more. Unfortunately, WP Symposium, while very useful, comes off as an outdated application that is more suited for the MySpace days than today’s visually stunning social web. As such, I’m currently considering making the switch to BuddyPress in hopes of finding something with more media-friendly flexibility. After a year of building everything around WP Symposium, I can’t say I’m looking forward to it.
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