WP Symposium is a new BuddyPress alternative for WordPress


WP Symposium is a free WordPress plugin that performs many of the functions that BuddyPress currently does, but in a different way. Symposium offers a forum, wall posting, groups, and photo albums as well. The plugin itself is currently in beta, and it’s not recommended for use on any public websites.

The most notable difference between Symposium and BuddyPress seems to be Symposium’s goal of requiring no additional templates to function. For instance, adding the [symposium-forum] shortcode to a page will add the forum to that page. For the technical amongst us, that means that output is produced for the plugin’s components only, letting the user insert it into pages themselves.

According to the website, the current timeline has member profiles and messaging coming in January and media library enhancements by May.

The plugin itself can be downloaded for free from the WordPress Plugin Directory. Progress on the plugin can be followed on the WP Symposium blog. Any issues found should be reported to their support forum (which is running WP Symposium, of course).

Have you used BuddyPress to run social websites? Would you consider an alternative like WP Symposium?

5 thoughts on “WP Symposium is a new BuddyPress alternative for WordPress

  1. I like this plugin, if only for the reason that it looks much easier than BuddyPress to install on a random WordPress theme.

    At two years old, BuddyPress really should be a must-use WordPress tool at this point, but it’s just not. I believe that this is because it doesn’t play well enough with all the various ways developers set up their themes (i.e. nested div containers) and the turn-key BuddyPress themes just aren’t up to the quality most WordPress developers and users demand these days.

    I’d like to see Andy Peatling take a few cues from WP Symposium and make BP a truly universal plugin that works *inside* a WordPress theme (without any editing re: the awful BuddyPress setup tool).

    • I think the key is that BuddyPress relies on template modifications for integration, or at the very least template creation. Symposium seems a bit more modular in nature, allowing things to go wherever you like.

      It will be fun to see where things go. Symposium is still young, but they have definitely done a few interesting things already.

  2. I wonder how hard it would be to make a BuddyPress plugin ‘bp-symposium’ that simply adds shortcodes which generate the required HTML. Potential issue might be BuddyPress JavaScript, but you could remedy that a few ways.

  3. I will try this today… please help me of the buddy press hell nightmare …. i hope this work smooth in any WP theme…

  4. It is a very nice plugin. I’m just wondering about how to add adsense to the forum. I want ads to show up after first post. Any help?

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