First Look at Peepso: A New Free WordPress Plugin for Creating Social Networks
Out of the box is features front end user registration and login, an activity stream, responsive design which works with any WordPress theme and a number of add-ons to add extra functionality such as friend requests, photos, videos, tagging and mood statuses with emojis.
Let’s take a look behind the scenes at how to set it up.
Installing the Plugin
Once you activate the plugin, you are taken to a configuration page where you can confirm where users can upload images to.
Once that is done, you should visit the “Config Settings” tab where you can set a lot of options related to your site. Here you can set the notifications and email alerts that users will receieve based on actions like, people posting on their profile, commenting, sharing posts and so on. You can also set registration options, reporting, homepage etc.
When you activated the plugin, it created a number of new pages and published them on your site with a shortcode for display the relevant content. You should now add these to a custom menu by visiting Appearance > Menus and adding them as follows:
How the Pages look
You can now visit the front end of your site and take a look at the pages that have been added by the plugin.
To monitor activity on your Peepso site, there is a main dashboard you can view which will show you the latest user engagement for things like comments, statuses and likes. From here you can also view your latest members, see whats in the mail queue and purchase a number of addons.
The Peepso core is free which includes basic profile pages, activity stream, front page registration and login and not a whole lot else. To add more functionality to your social network you are going to need to purchase add-ons for it. The available add-ons are as follows:
- PicSo – PicSo adds the ability to add photos on the stream.
- VidSo – VidSo adds the ability to post videos on the stream.
- MsgSo – Private messaging between members of their community. Photos, moods, videos and location attachments are added when the relevant plugins are installed.
- MoodSo – Members can share one of sixteen different moods on their stream and express their moods with the relevant emoticons.
- TagSo – Once you install TagSo, you will be able to tag your friends or any other member who contributed to a stream post.
- FriendSo – Once you install FriendSo, a button “Add as Friend” is now visible
These add-ons cost $30 each or you can purchase a bundle for $90 or $120 which will include all the add-ons.
This seems like a well put together plugin with a nice user interface. The problem is that basic functionality is missing from the core version, for example adding photos, private messaging and adding friends to me, seem like essential parts of a social network. Peepso is going head to head with BuddyPress which includes all this functionality for free + a massive range of other free plugins so I think its going to have a hard time competing. This is only their first version of the plugin so I would expect more features and add-ons to be developed over time, a big omission at this point is the lack of groups or forums.
What I did like about Peepso was the fact that the plugin will work with any WordPress theme – I tested it with a number of default WordPress themes and it displayed well, this is not the fact with BuddyPress which will require themes specifically designed to work with it.
Its a promising start so its worth checking out if you want to add a light-weight members system to your existing WordPress installation and don’t mind paying a little for support and extra functionality.