Boss Theme: Creating a Full Featured Social Network With WordPress
Boss is a theme for anyone who is creating a social network or community hub with WordPress. By combining the Boss theme with the relevant WordPress plugins, you can build a website with its own social network and discussion forums.
Not only that but thanks to the impressive list of supported plugins, your site can have a lot more components, including an online store and e-learning content.
If you want your social network to not only have a professional appearance, but also include plenty of scope for future upgrades and additions, then the Boss theme could be just what you are looking for. To find out more, read on for our full Boss theme review.
As mentioned Boss is a WordPress theme for creating a social network using the BuddyPress plugin. The design is fully responsive so your users can access your network from any modern mobile device, no matter its screen size.
Depending on how you configure your website, with Boss, you can easily add a full-screen slideshow to your homepage and the other areas of your site. There’s also plenty more room on your homepage for providing all the information you need to turn one-time visitors into registered members of your social network.
When it comes to page templates, you’re spoilt for choice. There are some great blog archive and single post templates to make use of, as well as a full suite of WooCommerce templates for those essential pages every online store needs.
All the registration, settings, and dashboard pages of your social network are all styled in a manner that is consistent with the rest of your website. This creates a uniform look throughout your site, from the homepage, right through to the individual forum post pages.
The highlight of the Boss BuddyPress theme is probably its stylish appearance. However, its support for the most popular WordPress plugins and the way their features are seamlessly integrated into your site should not be overlooked.
More important features of the Boss theme include:
- Sitewide Search – Search through every BuddyPress component, all in one unified search bar with a live dropdown of results, perfectly styled for the Boss theme.
- Easy Forms – Boss comes with beautiful styles for forms, working out-of-the-box with popular form plugins including Gravity Forms and Contact Form 7.
- SEO Ready – Boss is designed to be properly indexed by Google, and to integrate easily with content delivery networks and server caches for optimal performance.
- Shortcodes – Boss comes with shortcodes for buttons, inputs, tabs, progress bars, tooltips and more! With our shortcode adder you don’t even have to touch code.
- Translations – Boss is ready for translation into the language of your choice. You can edit all of the text using the included translation files or with a WP translation plugin.
- bbPress – Boss is the perfect theme for running bbPress forums on your social network, with carefully crafted desktop and mobile styles.
- Retina Ready – Boss uses ultra crisp icons and graphics so it will look stunning on retina displays and high definition phones and tablets. All theme assets are retina ready.
- Live Notifications – Boss comes with real-time notifications in the toolbar, showing you messages, friend requests and more without having to refresh the page.
- Font Icons – The entire FontAwesome icon set is integrated into Boss to display beautiful, retina-quality icons throughout the theme. Choose from 500+ icons.
While BuddyPress is the plugin that will bring the core social networking functionality to your website, that plugin can also be enhanced with its own set of add-ons and extensions. Thankfully, Boss is specifically compatible with a number of those extensions, helping you to build a full-featured social network with WordPress.
Some of the plugins that Boss is especially compatible with include:
- BP Group Hierarchy
- BP Group Hierarchy Propagate
- BuddyPress Groups Extras
- BuddyPress Docs
- Invite Anyone
- GD bbPress Attachments
- BP Global Search
- BP Edit Activity
- BuddyPress for Sensei
- BuddyPress for LearnDash
That’s not to say if the plugin you plan on using isn’t on this list it won’t work – far from it – its just that these are some important add-ons you may well want to use with your site.
Whether e-learning is the main purpose of your site, or if you’re just running some courses alongside other features, the Social Learner Add-On, allows for a smooth integration with Sensei and LearnDash, the two most popular LMS plugins available for WordPress.
The Boss theme is fully integrated with Paid Membership Pro, on of the most popular membership plugins on the market. Paid Membership Pro is a free plugin. It integrates with all the popular payment gateways: PayPal, Stripe, Braintree, CyberSource, 2Checkout.
Configuring The Theme
Before you install this theme, you should make sure you have the BuddyPress plugin installed and activated. After activating BuddyPress, you have the option to enable whichever modules you would like for your site:
The Boss theme can make use of all these modules so you should enable them all for a complete social media site. If you wish to also have forums, you should add the bbPress plugin as well.
The Boss theme has been built to make full use of the WordPress Customizer tool. This means any changes you want to make to the appearance and configuration of your site take place through the front end editor, complete with live preview.
As the Boss theme includes a number of prebuilt color schemes, you can quickly change them through the Customizer, as well as a whole lot more.
Once you’ve customized the appearance of the theme to look how you want, its time to start creating the cotnent and social media elements that will ensure your project is a success.
How the Front-End Looks
As mentioned, Boss is a highly flexible theme to no matter how you want your website to look, you shouldn’t have too much trouble achieving your goals.
From the homepage, right through to the individual posts and pages, there’s a high level of attention to detail on offer.
If you do enable the forums by installing the bbPress plugin, they too will share the same look and feel as the rest of your website.
Overall, Boss has a very professional appearance that should help convey to your potential users that they are visiting a high quality and trustworthy website.
The Boss theme is available at 2 pricing points – $129 for the personal license which includes support and updates for one website and the Business plan which costs $179 and includes updates and support for unlimited websites and also includes PSD files should you need them for customizations.
There is a lot to take into consideration when planning and building a social network. Whether it’s for a social club, professional network, or use in the workplace, your social network not only has to have all the right features but must also look the part.
Thankfully the Boss theme has a professional appearance that should appeal to a wide range of audiences. The theme is also compatible with all the best plugins you might want to use. This means that you not only get the right look and feel for your site but also access to the tools that are needed to make it a success.
Building a social network can take a lot of work. But by choosing Boss you can cross a lot of those tasks of your checklist in one go.