Sunday, January 20, 2013

How to make a blogging social network

You might have read articles about how to make a blog. But, we have something more special for you this time. Let me start with introduction. Blogging Social Network means a social network where people (bloggers) can make friends, chat, promote their blog, even blog etc. There will be hundreds of inbuilt features that you can add to it with few clicks.
You might know about WordPress, a blogging software. That is the main thing we need. First of all we need to install WordPress on our server. After installation we need to configure few settings like general, permalink, discussion etc. There are many things you need to configure later.
The next thing we need is BuddyPress. It is a WordPress plugin capable of making your blog a social network. First we have to download BuddyPress and install it on our server. After starting the installation we need to configure few things. You need to enable a new BuddyPress capable theme, just use the default one during the installation. If you have knowledge of HTML and CSS you can add a new theme also.

Profile Fields
                To give user a better experience, add profile fields like Name, Country, Address, Blog Name, Blog URL, Work etc. You can configure these fields in your WordPress Dashboard > Users > Profile Fields.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
                For making your blog social network search engines friendly. You can use the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast. You can easily add Google Webmaster, Bing Webmaster and even Alexa Webmaster verification methods too. You can change page titles easily in this plugin.

Permalink Settings
                A permalink is a URL that points to a specific blog entry. I recommend using the Post Name permalink format. To change the default permalink settings, go to WordPress Dashboard > Settings > Permalink.

                To add the power to your blog, use the JetPack by WordPress. Here, power means power auto sharing system, email subscription support, sharing buttons, better comments form etc support for you blog. Without applying more pressure to your server. You can even add mobile theme “MiniEleven” to your blog. But it does not work properly with BuddyPress. So, I don’t recommend it.

                Messaging feature is already in the BuddyPress but instant messaging feature like Facebook is not. So, there comes a plugin called BP-Chat. But the plugin is released in beta version and is not recommended for live networks. You can also use BuddyPress Ajax Chat Plugin.

Activity Refresh Plugin
                First of all, I will explain what is activity in BuddyPress. Like in Facebook we have News Feed but in BuddyPress we have Activity page. To make the activity page refresh automatically, we will use the RS BuddyPress Activity Refresh plugin. This plugin will automatically refresh the activity stream.

                To keep your valuable network safe, we will use WordPress BackUp to Dropbox. This plugin automatically backups your files and database to Dropbox.

Udrina Adsense Alternatives
                If you don’t like Google Adsense. You can use this plugin on your social network. To enable ads on your social network other than Adsense use this plugin, Udrina Adsense Alternatives.

Invite Anyone
                This allows group admins to invite any member of the network to their group.

Custom Login Lite
                This plugin helps in modifying the default boring login form. Thanks to the Frosty for making this plugin.

BuddyPress Friends On-Line (FoL)
                This plugin will display a new tab on your friends page called currently online friends.

There are many hundreds of features you can add to it by just searching BuddyPress in WordPress Plugin Directory.

Areeb Majeed is the founder of HackingTag Security. He has also made a blogging social network known as BlogTag. Become his friend on Facebook or Follow him @hackingtag.

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