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BuddyPress vs BuddyBoss vs WP User Manager – Which Is Best for Beginners?

Iain Published on March 9, 2021

No matter how large your internet enterprise is or how small your food and travel blog is, WordPress is the right tool for you. Because of its power, WordPress now dominates both the website design tool market and the CMS market. 

If you know the first thing about WordPress, you’ll know that the thing that enables the smooth, malleable operation of this tool is its community. And how does it do that? Through the use of plugins, of course.

In this post, we’ve explored and compared three of the most popular user management plugins for WordPress. We’ll give you a detailed explanation of all three, a comparison between them, and help you decide which is the best option for creating a site that allows users to register, have their own profile, edit their account and more.

What Is BuddyPress? What Is It Used for? Is BuddyPress Any Good?

BuddyPress is a user-friendly, open-source social media plugin for WordPress. While this might sound a bit confusing, it doesn’t turn your website into a Facebook clone – it just gives your website attributes and elements usually found on social media platforms.

Think of BuddyPress as a collection of intricate tools that will give your website a sense of community rather than a simple WordPress plugin.

BuddyPress has reached the peak of the social media software plugins because it’s easy to use nature, simple GUI, and moderately powerful capabilities. Its sophistication can add a sense of community to almost any WordPress-based website, and it’s even used for learning.

Since BuddyPress has been around for over a decade, it’s safe to say that the software package has undergone many changes, fixes, and patches, which all contribute to its current state, which is on par with the best tools on the market. 

Perhaps one of the most appealing aspects of BuddyPress is that all of its compelling features are completely free for commercial application. You’re essentially getting a high-quality tool for basically nothing – all you need to do is implement it.

While we’re on the topic of implementation, you’ll be happy to know that using all the intricate features that BuddyPress brings to the table is a walk in the park. There’s a massive community behind this plugin, so if you get stuck anywhere, you can expect fantastic support.

It’s not like you’ll get stuck anyway, as this plugin has been well-optimized. It comes with an easy to use GUI interface that makes implementation as easy as entering values, dragging, and dropping. 

You don’t need any prior programming skills to master BuddyPress for all it’s worth – all you need is some time, effort, and minimal WordPress experience.

Primary Features:

  • Completely free
  • Profile creation and updates
  • Groups
  • Blogs
  • Activity streams
  • Forum discussions
  • DM system

Pros:

  • Completely free
  • A lot of community support
  • Compatible with other plugins
  • Adaptable to popular themes
  • Very easy to use

Cons:

  • Poor integration with third-party plugins
  • No iOS and Android support

What Is BuddyBoss? What Is It Used for? Is BuddyBoss Any Good?

Unlike BuddyPress, which is just a plugin, BuddyBoss is a unique theme and plugin.  BuddyBoss was created as a replacement for BuddyPress, and the two share quite a lot of features.

The theme approach is far easier to use than just the plugin, as it requires little to no meddling or implementation. Just a couple of clicks and you’re well on your way to creating a state-of-the-art social media platform out of your WordPress-based website, as long as you can handle the customization.

BuddyBoss is one of the most popular themes for WordPress, and it’s easy to see why. It makes creating a social website fairly straightforward. BuddyBoss includes all the necessary features such as creating profiles, discussions, activity streams, social groups, and most importantly, a community-based, user-orientated environment that adds a lot of value to your website.

Many tools, themes, and plugins do this, but only a handful of them do it right. A simple WordPress login plugin gives your website a sense of community. While the user registration WordPress process might be interesting for some, you have to wonder if it’s even worthwhile. 

WordPress registration plugins and WordPress login plugins give your website the appearance of a community, but the users that make up the community dictate whether the whole thing is going to be worth the effort or not.

It’s not as simple as giving people the ability to sign up – and BuddyBoss understands that. That’s why you get a transformative theme that breathes life into your website. Just like BuddyPress, BuddyBoss is completely free for commercial applications.

Primary Features:

  • Gorgeous aesthetics
  • Straightforward implementation
  • Compatible with LearnDash and WooCommerce
  • Intricate CMS features
  • Full set of social media tools
  • Dynamic content management

Pros:

  • Completely transformative;
  • Adaptable with a lot of plugins;
  • Well, rounded social media theme;
  • Simple eMail integration and notifications;
  • Maximum possible adaptability and customization;

Cons:

  • Huge GUI interface;
  • Less community support;
  • It can be challenging to use;

What Is a WP User Manager? What Is It Used for? Is WP User Manager Any Good?

If you’re looking for the simplest to use WordPress registration form based plugin, you’ll want to go with the WP User Manager. Unlike the previous two additions on this list, WP User Manager doesn’t turn your website into a flashy social media platform. 

This tool is built from the ground up to help you manage your users, allow them to register and login from the frontend of the site, add a communal aspect to your established website, include directories of users, and manage your users without much effort.

It’s the premier option for webmasters and administrators who want to build a community without having to devote all their work hours to micromanaging their users. This tool is based on creating as much automation as possible in the user management realm, so administrators and moderators can devote their time, effort, and resources to more pressing matters.

With this in mind, it’s the ideal option if you want to design a community-driven website. However, it’s the most straightforward plugin out of the lot when it comes to implementation, adaptation, and malleability. 

It’s effortless to set the whole thing up, and virtually anyone can do it with even the smallest amount of WordPress experience. This tool is as streamlined as possible. It automatically matches the theme used to create the website’s bulk, offering a slick, attractive, and encompassing user experience. 

While it doesn’t turn your website into a complete social media platform, it turns a site into a community website.  . Out of all the options on this list, WP User Manager is the most supported option, as it has complete developer and community support behind it. 

Aside from this – WP User Manager is as useful for professionals as it is for beginners, so you can rest assured that its developer-friendly features are fully customizable. While the core plugin is free, there are a lot of addons to extend the functionality of the plugin and connect with other plugins. It’s definitely worth the price.

WP User Manager is the best reflection of WordPress itself. It’s both the most straightforward and intricate option that can be anything you want it to be.

Primary Features: 

  • Self-powered hosting
  • Customization potential
  • Automation features
  • WordPress Security
  • SEO Friendly
  • Chats & Messages
  • Ticket features
  • Marketing Tools
  • Performance & Analysis Tools

Pros:

  • A robust tool for user management
  • Applicable to almost any website
  • Supports third-party plugins
  • Extremely easy to use
  • Developer friendly
  • User-friendly
  • Fantastic UX and UI
  • Outstanding customer support

Cons:

  • Relatively small built-in backup

What Is the Difference Between BuddyPress, BuddyBoss, and WP User Manager?

All three serve the same purpose, but they are quite different. For starters, WP User Manager and BuddyPress are plugins, while BuddyBoss is a theme and plugin. 

The second difference is in capability. BuddyPress gives you the tools to turn your website into a community quickly and with ease. BuddyBoss gives you a colossal interface to toy around with and create as intricate of a social network system as you like, and WP User Manager gives you both of these. 

The third and most prominent difference, which is the point of this article, is the ease of use. BuddyPress and WP User Manager are both relatively easy to use, which we can’t say about BuddyBoss. Don’t get us wrong, BuddyBoss is still a relatively simple theme and plugin – it has so many features that it can be harder to use .

Which One Is the Best?

To conclude this review, if we had to pick a favourite out of the lot, it would have to be WP User Manager. It is simply the easiest to use tool that still leaves all the power in your hands. It’s as customizable, developer-friendly, and powerful as you want it to be, which gives you the potential to do anything you like with it.

Since it’s also based on automating as many processes as possible, it’s fair to say that it’s the most beginner-friendly tool currently on the market that allows you to create a community-driven membership-based website.

Final Thoughts

WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS and website design tool, and all of its popularity is owed to plugins and themes such as these. Using any of these  three user management solutions listed above, you can add a community aspect to almost any website, turning your once dull blog into a vibrant community full of life.

Iain I’m a WordPress developer based on the south coast of England. I develop plugins like WP User Manager and Intagrate. I also run Plugin Rank to help WordPress plugin developers track their rankings in WordPress search results.
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