Are you planning to start your own social forum or want to convert your existing blog into a Social Community website? BuddyPress is one such WordPress plugin which allows you to add certain features to the website and convert it into a community site.
If you are looking to start a fresh website, then it is ideal to go for a hosting which is optimized for BuddyPress. This article is written with a similar purpose, we will give you all the information about BuddyPress hosting plans so that you can opt for the best.
How do we come up with the list of Best BuddyPress Hosting?
If you have been reading our articles, you would know that we follow a strict PICK-SIGN UP-TEST-RANK system to rate the top BuddyPress hosting providers. The information we provide is based on the data we receive through this process. This is a foolproof method as we will be sharing reviews based on our personal experience.
How does ProQuotient Review and Rank Website Hosting Services?
After researching for days and putting up each of them on a test, here is the list of some of the best web hosting providers in India.
List of 8 Best BuddyPress Hosting Companies in India
Load time: 722ms
Support: Live Chat (avg. response ~2min)
Load time: 991ms
Support: Live Chat (avg. response ~5min)
Load time: 849ms
Support: Live Chat (avg. response ~5min)
Load time: 462ms
Cost: $2.99/mo (monthly plan)
Support: Live Chat (avg. response ~3min)
Load time: 661ms
Cost: $1.99/mo (Free Domain with yearly plan)
Support: Live Chat (avg. response ~4min)
Load time: 990ms
Support: Live Chat (avg. response ~2min)
What is BuddyPress?
BuddyPress is a Free WordPress plugin which allows website owners to convert their websites into a social community website using WordPress. This has been popular since the launch and has garnered more than 2,00,000+ active installs. It provides a host of features which enables you to create a community type environment for your blog/ website.
Before we explore more on the features let us look into some of the important factors you must consider when choosing to host for BuddyPress.
Factors to Look for when Choosing the Best BuddyPress Hosting
As you would know, social community users need everything fast. The attention span of users is at an all-time low, in the case of community websites, it is the lowest. People end up ‘infinite scrolling’ on most social media networks. What happens when the images/ videos don’t load when they scroll on the website? They will try loading and it again and then finally abandon the website.
For this exact reason, you may have to fast and high performing hosting plan/hosting provider that offers customized hosting for BuddyPress. While doing so, ensure the server you’re opting for is powerful enough for the website being hosted. It has to serve the content instantly so that there is no wait time for the users. For this to happen, you will have to pay close attention to three things in the server: Disk Space, Bandwidth, and RAM.
The requirements depend on the traffic you receive. It is ideal to buy a plan which is suitable for additional traffic of at least 10-20% from you what you currently receive. Make it a practice to perform monthly audits and ensure the website loads quickly.
How often have you seen Facebook or Twitter going down? There have been only a couple of instances when these social media giants went offline for a few minutes. What followed was absolute chaos and outrage. So, what does this mean to you?
Social community/forum users do not like it when the website faces any sort of sudden uninformed outage. This is why you have to ensure that your website doesn’t face any sort of downtime. While it is natural to face downtimes due to various reasons, employ a mechanism to get it fixed as soon as possible. Do not go with hosting providers who have low uptime metrics. This table will help you make a better choice.
It also depends on the load on the server, if you are hosting on a shared server, and then be prepared to face frequent downtimes. There can be instances wherein the server fails due to the increase in load on other websites in the server. Which is why, it is advised to go for either VPS, Cloud or Dedicated BuddyPress hosting plans.
Check with the hosting provider on the assistance they provide in case of an outage. Do not just go by the promise of 100% uptime, there is nothing like that. Check the uptime of the server using the freely available online tools. Anything above 99.5% is decent and 99.9% is Ideal. These are something things you’ll have to consider when you check for uptime.
Cyber threats are on the rise and no website is safe. Even well-known websites have been prey to hackers in spite of the highest level of security measures. This is because hackers see the value of data the websites possess. Social forums need the highest level of security because you would be storing all the sensitive data in the server.
This data is worth millions in today’s world, which is why hackers have set their eye on this. Ensure that the BuddyPress hosting provider you choose has all the security features in place. Here some security features you need to look for,
- Firewall: This acts as the gatekeeper of the server. You can block or restrict access to the server and customize it based on the need. This acts as an extra layer of security and makes the server less vulnerable.
- Private Networks: When you want to restrict the usage of the server to a particular user group, you can make use of private networks. This avoids instances of access by unauthorized users. However, the server would still be vulnerable as the group of users has access to it. To avoid such a situation, it is important to set some security measures for their usage of the server.
- SSL Encryption: This is an extra security layer between the website and the web user. A lot of data is exchanged between the website and the reader. SSL ensures that all of this is encrypted so that the data is completely secure. In fact, Google has said that websites with HTTPS (SSL encryption) will have positive SEO benefits. Here is an informative article by Neil Patel titled – Do SSL Certificates Affect Search Rankings?
- Server Auditing: The above-mentioned security measures are primarily software related. Server auditing is an administrative task which ensures that the server is in good health. Ensure that the hosting provider undertakes frequent server auditing. This helps in identifying possible hacking attempts and strengthening the security further.
BuddyPress – Overview and Features
Installation and Set up: BuddyPress installation is simple and easy. The plugin is freely available for download on WordPress. Just click the install button and you will have the plugin on your WordPress dashboard. As you are looking to build a social media website, you would need BBpress, which is a WordPress plugin that can be integrated into BuddyPress like a charm. With the help of these plugins, you can easily convert your existing blog to a social networking website.
Features offered: BuddyPress offers a host of features. Users can create custom profiles and also change the privacy settings of the profile. Easily allow users to create groups and micro groups, thus fostering a community environment. BuddyPress also gives provision to add other users as friends and take networking beyond groups. You can easily add different types of forums using BuddyPress. Add internal messaging so that users can communicate with ease.
BuddyPress supports third-party extensions as well, thus making it easy for website owners to add more functionalities as per their requirement. As this is used by many users, 600+ plugins work perfectly along with BuddyPress. Keep the users informed about their friends with an updated activity stream.
Support: BuddyPress has a vibrant user community. The forum is active and has discussions on most of the issues. While they do not have a separate support team, BuddyPress users can find a solution to most of the issues on forums. As the software is free, the user community is large and people aren’t shy about helping each other.
Knowledgebase: Let’s face it! Opening a social media platform is no joke. You will have to set up and implement all the features to fully realize the potential of BuddyPress. This is not possible if there is no comprehensive set up documentation. Fortunately, BuddyPress has a good and golden collection of guides which will come in handy for first-time users. In case you cannot find specific information, you can pose it as a request in the forum.
Pricing: The plugin is completely FREE and doesn’t come with any hidden pricing. However, you may have to pay for third-party applications which integrate with BuddyPress. This may be required if you are looking for additional features.
Do you need a specific Theme for BuddyPress?
Most of the WordPress themes can be used for BuddyPress. Having said that, it is also very important to get the look and feel of the website right. Go for themes that are specifically made for social media websites. Such themes will surely blend well with BuddyPress.
BuddyPress Hosting – Which Hosting Provider Should You Choose?
There is no second thought that BuddyPress is a powerful plugin that can help you build a feature-rich social forum website. A Facebook or a Twitter should not stop you from building your own social media network because there is always a space for niche based social media networks.
It is important that you choose the right BuddyPress hosting because ‘any other’ hosting may not be Ideal. Based on the information we have provided, understand what would be the requirement of your social media website. The choice is ultimately yours and we do not want to make a decision for you.
However, we strongly advise you to stay away from the like of shared hosting and cheap hosting in this specific case. If you are not willing to put in the money, then building a social media website is probably not your cup of tea.
ProQuotient is available to help you out. Should you have any queries, please write to us or contact us.