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Are you interested in building a community site with BuddyBoss, but find yourself asking, “How much does a BuddyBoss site really cost?” Well, you’re in the right place.

I’ve been working with LearnDash & BuddyBoss since 2018, and I can tell you, there’s more to the BuddyBoss price than just what you see on the sticker.

There’s also several different ways you can build a BuddyBoss site, and each one comes with a different price tag.

Let’s take a look at all of BuddyBoss’ products, how much they cost, and what other costs you need to factor into your budget. We’ll look at a base cost, or what you’d need to get started with only a handful of members, as well as an “established site” cost, once you’ve built a solid, profitable membership.

Table of Contents

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BuddyBoss Products Explained

BuddyBoss logo

There are multiple products that make up BuddyBoss.

  • BuddyBoss Platform Plugin: Brings social networking, community, and discussion forum features to WordPress, similar to a combination of BuddyBoss & bbPress
  • BuddyBoss Platform Pro Plugin: Adds Zoom integration, member access controls, and premium layouts to the free Platform plugin
  • BuddyBoss Theme: Provides all the design & layout for the Platform plugin features
  • BuddyBoss App: Branded, native iOS & Android apps for your BuddyBoss community site, along with a plugin for customizing the app experience

You can combine these in a myriad of ways, or just use a single product. Most people use the Platform & Platform Pro plugins, in addition to the BuddyBoss Theme for website builds (total cost $299/yr.). And you’d obviously use the BuddyBoss App if you plan to create native apps for your community.

* BuddyBoss also offers web design & customization services through their Agency, but we won’t be discussing those in this article.

Price of BuddyBoss Products

Let’s go over the cost of each BuddyBoss product. They do offer multiple site licenses, but for this article, we’ll be using the single site prices, and assuming you’re just building one BuddyBoss site.

First, let’s address a common question.

Is BuddyBoss free?

The BuddyBoss Platform plugin is free, but that only makes up one part of a BuddyBoss site. The BuddyBoss Theme, which provides all the styling & design for BuddyBoss costs $299/yr. You also get a pro version of the Platform plugin included with the purchase of the theme.

Technically, you could run a BuddyBoss site for free, but it would require a lot of development time & effort to make it a viable option. That’s why most people choose to pay the $299/yr. for the BuddyBoss Theme.

Does BuddyBoss have an LTD (lifetime deal)?

About once a year, BuddyBoss runs a brief LTD sale. Visit that link to see if the sale is currently available.

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ProductCostFeaturesNotes
BuddyBoss Platform pluginFREEAll community & social networking functionality for the webJust the features. Design & layout will need some work.
BuddyBoss Platform Pro plugin$99/yr.Zoom integration
Member access controls
Premium layouts
BuddyBoss Theme$299/yr.The design & layout for the Platform pluginIncludes Platform Pro plugin
BuddyBoss App$2,148/yr.A standalone product & service that converts your BuddyBoss community into branded, native iOS & Android apps.Additional helper service available for $1,999 one-time fee
BuddyBoss products pricing comparison. Updated April 2024.

BuddyBoss Platform Plugin Price

BuddyBoss Platform logo

The BuddyBoss Platform plugin is free. It includes all the features you need to build a community site on WordPress. However, it’s styling is very limited, and without the BuddyBoss Theme, you’ll end up writing a ton of custom CSS to improve the design.

  • Price: FREE

BuddyBoss Platform Pro Plugin Price

The BuddyBoss Platform Pro plugin adds a few additional features to the free BuddyBoss Platform. You can buy it on its own, but most people will want to purchase it along with the BuddyBoss Theme.

  • Price Alone: $99/yr.
  • Price w/ Theme: $299/yr.

BuddyBoss Theme Price

BuddyBoss Theme UI examples

The BuddyBoss Theme is the product that brings the BuddyBoss Platform to life. It includes all the design, layout, and customization options that integrate perfectly with the Platform plugin.

Purchasing the theme also includes access to the Platform Pro plugin.

  • Price: $299/yr.
Is the BuddyBoss theme worth it?

If you want a beautiful design to go along with the BuddyBoss Platform features, $299/yr. is a small price to pay. You can use the free Platform plugin without the BuddyBoss theme, but you’ll need to write a lot of custom CSS to create a nice design.

I highly recommend using the BuddyBoss Theme with the free BuddyBoss Platform plugin.

BuddyBoss App Price

BuddyBoss app screens example
Example of the BuddyBoss App screens for Courses & Activity Feeds

The BuddyBoss App is a completely separate product & service from the Platform & Theme.

If you’re looking for even more help launching your app, you can purchase the “Done For You” service. This includes additional branding & design deliverables, plus some implementation help. There is an additional, one-time fee for this service, along with the same monthly/yearly cost for the app itself.

  • Just the BuddyBoss App: $219/mo. or $2,148/yr. (save $480 paying yearly)
  • Done For You Service: Additional $1,999 one-time payment

BuddyBoss also offers a Developer plan which provides advanced users a way to customize the app even further, using their own code. This plan costs $3,336/yr. with a one-time fee of $299.

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My Recommendation

If you want to start your community on the web, I recommend buying the BuddyBoss Theme for $299/yr. This gives you every piece of functionality that BuddyBoss offers for websites. You’ll be able to get your social networking site up and running in a matter of weeks.

If you want to run your community entirely off a mobile app, then just purchase the mobile app for $2,148/yr. I think you’ll still need to have a website that is running the free BuddyBoss Platform plugin, but there’s no additional cost there.

The Done For You service can be helpful if you have limited design chops, or just want someone else to focus on your branding and help with implementation. But I’ve set up a BuddyBoss App for a client and honestly didn’t think the Done For You service was worth the cost.


BuddyBoss Hosting

I won’t spend a lot of time talking about the cost of BuddyBoss hosting because it can vary greatly based on how many members you have, how active they are, whether or not you have an app, etc.

IMPORTANT
The main point here is that you don’t want to skimp on hosting—it’s one of the most important aspects in determining the speed & performance of your BuddyBoss site.

There are several WordPress hosting companies that can provide solid BuddyBoss hosting, but I would recommend you look into Rapyd first. It was built by the team at BuddyBoss, specifically to run their platform. It’s certainly not cheap, but they’ve done the due diligence with creating the ultimate tech stack for LMS & membership sites.

In your final BuddyBoss price, if there’s one area where you spend the most money, spend it on hosting.

LMS Plugin

Many people who purchase BuddyBoss are also looking to sell courses to their community. BuddyBoss does not include any type of LMS features, so you’ll need to budget for an additional plugin. There are some free WordPress LMS plugins out there, but you’ll likely want to invest in a premium solution.

Here are a few LMS plugins, along with their annual price. BuddyBoss has official integrations with LearnDash, Tutor LMS, and LifterLMS, so I typically recommend using one of them.

  • LearnDash: $199/yr.
  • Tutor LMS: $199/yr. (free plan available but limited)
  • LifterLMS: $299/yr. or $499/yr. (depending on plan type + features needed) — 50% discount for the first year

Dig Deeper: How BuddyBoss Integrates with LearnDash →

Additional LMS Add-Ons

Tutor LMS & LifterLMS both include most of their features in their own plugins. You don’t need to worry about additional costs for third-party add-ons.

LearnDash is a different story.

LearnDash itself sells 4 official add-ons all priced at $49/yr. You can save some money by purchasing a bundle that includes the core LearnDash plugin plus all the add-ons.

Then you also have a fairly large third-party ecosystem for additional LearnDash features.

  • Uncanny Owl has several incredibly helpful LearnDash plugins priced at $150-400/yr. They also make arguably the best WordPress automation plugin, Uncanny Automator.
  • WisdmLabs has a few popular plugins
  • Training Spark also has a few nice LearnDash add-ons

Other WordPress Plugins

I’m including some fees for other WordPress plugins because many folks I know using BuddyBoss are paying for premium plugins that aren’t directly related to LMS or membership features.

For example, most people don’t use LearnDash’s default payment feature because it’s very limited. I recommend using WooCommerce as an ecommerce solution. WooCommerce itself is free, but there are a ton of WooCommerce add-ons that many people find helpful.

You also might have…

Real World BuddyBoss Pricing Examples

I’ll provide a few examples of the true BuddyBoss price for both LMS and membership sites, including additional plugins you might want, as well as reliable hosting. All prices are annual.

Hosting
For hosting, you can expect to pay $600-1,200/yr. when you’re getting started, and $3,000/yr. will cover you for up to about 1.5 million visits/mo. The price increases from there as your community grows.

I’m using prices for Rapyd, a subsidiary of BuddyBoss that provides hosting tailored specifically for BuddyBoss sites. You can use any hosting you’d like, but you don’t want to cut corners with hosting. BuddyBoss requires a fast, reliable host.

Rapyd Cloud logo

Additional WordPress Plugins
Additional plugin cost will vary greatly from site to site, but we tried to provide a ballpark on what the median user spends on commonly sought after LMS & membership site features.

Other Costs
I didn’t factor in other software & tools you might want to consider like email marketing platforms, social media scheduling tools, photo/video editing software, etc. They vary too much for us to provide estimates but just keep them in mind.

LMS + Community Platform (web only)

  • LearnDash costs $199/yr.
  • Tutor LMS costs $199/yr.
  • LifterLMS has a limited free plan, and plans from $299-1,499/yr., with 50% off the first year

$299 – BuddyBoss Theme + Platform Pro
$200-300 – LMS plugin
$50-400 – LearnDash add-ons *
$500 – Other WordPress plugins
$1,200-3,000 – BuddyBoss Hosting
‾‾‾‾‾
$2,250 – $4,500 = Total annual cost for a BuddyBoss LMS site

* With LearnDash, it’s much more likely you’ll buy add-ons. Both Tutor LMS & LifterLMS have very few third-party add-ons. Their features are baked into the core plugin, so you can subtract those costs from the estimate.

Membership + Community Platform (web only)

This option includes a membership plugin but no direct ability to sell courses with an LMS. It’s worth noting that MemberPress does have some features that allow for online courses, and your first year’s subscription is 50% off.

$299 – BuddyBoss Theme + Platform Pro
$250-800 – MemberPress, Paid Memberships Pro, or other membership plugin
$500 – Other WordPress plugins
$1,200-3,000 – BuddyBoss Hosting
‾‾‾‾‾
$2,250 – $4,600 = Total annual cost for a BuddyBoss membership site

BuddyBoss + LMS Website & Mobile App

$299 – BuddyBoss Theme + Platform Pro
$200-300 – LMS plugin
$50-400 – LearnDash add-ons
$500 – Other WordPress plugins
$1,900-4,800 – BuddyBoss Hosting
$2,200 – BuddyBoss App
$100 – Apple App Store fee *
‾‾‾‾‾
$5,250 – $8,600 = Total annual cost for a BuddyBoss LMS website & mobile app

* Google charges a one-time fee of $25 to list an app in the Google Play store.

Another Mobile App Option
If you’re looking for a cheaper mobile app option, you can use the free BuddyBoss Platform plugin, and use AppPresser to build the app. This only works well if you plan to run your community entirely from the app.


I hope you found this article before you started your BuddyBoss journey, and now have a much better idea of the true cost of BuddyBoss.

If you have any questions about BuddyBoss pricing, or would like help deciding which plugins you might need, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments.