How to Integrate buddypress to wordpress theme

BuddyPress is an open source social networking software package. It is a plugin that can be installed on WordPress to transform it into a social network platform. BuddyPress is designed to allow schools, companies, sports teams or any other niche community to start their own social network or communication tool.

Now the problem is Buddypress is having its own theme. If you are installing buddypress in separate subdomain with separate wordpress then it is fine, you no need to worry at all. It will have its own theme and design. Now if you want buddypress features should be a part of your website then you need to integrate buddypress theme to your existing wordpress theme.

Buddypress Integration to wordpress

Here are the simple step by step procedure to make buddypress compatible wordpress theme.

Step 1: Install wordpress – Get latest from,
It is always better to try in your localhost and once it is perfect then upload it to your actual website. Know more about how to install wordpress on localhost.

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I have installed wordpress on localhost and the link is http://localhost/wordpress/. When I brows my website it will be as shown below.

1. Default WordPress Theme
1. Default WordPress Theme

Step 2: Install buddypress plugin
Download from wordpress Plugin directory and upload to plugin folder and activate it.

Also you can upload through Plugins->add new from dashboard.

2. Install Buddypress plugin
2. Install Buddypress plugin

Step 3: Update Permalink structure
If default permalink structure is configured in your blog then you will get below message.

Buddypress is almost ready. You must update your permalink structure to something.

3. Update your permalink structure
3. Update your permalink structure message

Click “Update your permalink structure” link or brows Settings->permalinks and update as shown below. Select custom structure and write


4. Update your permalink structure
4. Update your permalink structure

Once you click save button a message should come “Permalink structure updated“. If you get a message linke “You should update your .htaccess now” then your .htaccess file is not writable and you need to manually update given code.

Once permalink structure is updated and if you brows any other page you will get a message like

BuddyPress is ready. You’ll need to activate a BuddyPress compatible theme to take advantage of all of the features. We’ve bundled a default theme, but you can always install some other compatible themes or upgrade your existing WordPress theme.

Just leave it for time being. We are on the way to make the compatible theme.

Step 4: Install bp-template-pack and configure

Download from WordPress plugin directory and upload to plugin folder. Also you can install through Plugins->add new

5. Install buddypress Template Pack Plugin
5. Install buddypress Template Pack Plugin

Once the installation is done Brows Appearence->BP Compatibility and follow the instructions step by step.

Step one:

6. BP Compatibility settings
6. BP Compatibility settings

Click Move Template files button.

Step Two:

You will get a message like:

Adding support for BuddyPress to your existing WordPress theme can be a straightforward process by following the setup instructions on this page.

Templates moved successfully! This is great news, BuddyPress templates are now in the correct position in your theme which means you can skip step two and move on to step three.

This says your template files from buddypress theme moved to your pressent website theme.
If you check your template folder, you will be surprised. There are many files.

7. Folder files after plugin intgration
7. Folder files after plugin intgration

Click to move step three.

Step Three: There are some instructions to make the theme compatible. I will explain one by one in next steps.

Step 5: Making theme compatible:

bp-template-pack plugin copied all the template files to your theme folder. Now your job is to make it look like actual website or blog. bp-template-pack plugin wont copy the css file. So first move the folder _inc from wp-content\plugins\buddypress\bp-themes\bp-default to your present theme.

Open style.css of present theme and add the below line at the begining only.

@import url( _inc/css/reset.css );

Make sure you have copied _inc folder.

Now you need to manually add the links to

  • Activity
  • Members
  • Groups
  • Discussion
  • Register

Open your site header.php or sidebar.php, wherever you need these menus. Add the below links.

<li><a href=”http://localhost/wordpress/activity/”>Activity</a></li>
<li><a href=”http://localhost/wordpress/members/”>Members</a></li>
<li><a href=”http://localhost/wordpress/groups/”>Groups</a></li>
<li><a href=”http://localhost/wordpress/forums/”>Discussion</a></li>
<li><a href=”http://localhost/wordpress/register/”>Register</a></li>

Here you can write <?php bloginfo(‘url’); ?> instead of http://localhost/wordpress. It will be easy when you are shifting your them from localhost to actual server. But there will be more function and database call.

<li><a href=”<?php bloginfo(‘url’); ?>/activity/”>Activity</a></li>
<li><a href=”<?php bloginfo(‘url’); ?>/members/”>Members</a></li>
<li><a href=”<?php bloginfo(‘url’); ?>/groups/”>Groups</a></li>
<li><a href=”<?php bloginfo(‘url’); ?>/forums/”>Discussion</a></li>
<li><a href=”<?php bloginfo(‘url’); ?>/register/”>Register</a></li>

Now you are almost done. Check your site.
Amazing! You should able to see all the links and buddypress pages. If you find that the pages are not quite aligned correctly, or the content is overlapping the sidebar, you will need to tweak the theme.

By default BuddyPress templates use this HTML structure:


<div id=”container”>
<div id=”content”>

<div id=”sidebar”>


If BuddyPress pages are not aligned correctly then you will need to modify some of the templates to match your theme’s HTML structure.

Brows your theme folder and then open up the page.php file (if this does not exist use index.php). Make note of the HTML template structure of the file, specifically the <div> tags that surround the content and sidebar, include lines like sidebars.

You will need to change the HTML structure in the BuddyPress templates that you copied into your theme to match the structure in your page.php or index.php file. The files that you need to edit are as follows (leave out any folders you have not copied over):

  • /activity/index.php
  • /blogs/index.php
  • /forums/index.php
  • /groups/index.php
  • /groups/create.php
  • /groups/single/home.php
  • /groups/single/plugins.php
  • /members/index.php
  • /members/single/home.php
  • /members/single/plugins.php
  • /registration/register.php

Once you are done matching up the HTML structure of your theme in these template files, please take another look through your site. You should find that BuddyPress pages now fit inside the content structure of your theme.

You’re now all done with the conversion process. Your WordPress theme will now happily provide BuddyPress compatibility support.

Now if there any problem with style sheet you need to edit your style.css file.

Let me know if you find defficult to integrate. We will do it for you in a nominal price. Just drop a mail to [email protected]

There wont be any charge to give a sudgession or help. Just drop your doubts using below form. I will be happy to reply.

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