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If you’re looking to build a social networking site for WordPress, you’ve probably heard of both BuddyBoss & BuddyPress.

In this article, I’ll explore the similarities & differences between BuddyBoss vs. BuddyPress, and tell you which one you should use for your next project.

Common Questions

Before we get into specifics, I’d like to address some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to BuddyPress vs. BuddyBoss.

Is BuddyBoss the same as BuddyPress?

No. BuddyPress is a free social networking plugin for WordPress. BuddyBoss forked BuddyPress, improved it, and combined it with bbPress to form the premium social networking solution that is now the BuddyBoss Platform & Theme.

Does BuddyBoss require BuddyPress?

No. If you’re using BuddyBoss, you should not install BuddyPress. BuddyBoss contains all the features of BuddyPress.

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Can I use both BuddyBoss AND BuddyPress together?

No. BuddyBoss includes all the features of BuddyPress, plus adds more of its own. Using both is not necessary and will cause conflicts.

What are the benefits of using BuddyBoss over BuddyPress?

BuddyBoss includes more features, is more frequently updated, has a better overall design, contains ample documentation, and provides quality support. Jump down to Pros & Cons to see more.

Pros & Cons

I’ll cover some of the most common pros & cons for each platform, but I recommend you check out the comprehensive list of differences here.

BuddyBoss

BuddyBoss is clearly the way to go if you’re looking to build a social networking site on WordPress.

Pros

✅ Beautiful design
✅ More useful features
✅ Discussion forums
✅ Zoom integration
✅ LMS compatibility (with LearnDash, Tutor LMS, and LifterLMS)
✅ Membership plugin compatibility (with MemberPress)
WooCommerce compatibility
✅ Photos & albums
✅ Emoji reactions, GIPHY integration
✅ Likes & follows
✅ Better documentation & support
✅ Has a companion mobile app

Cons

❌ Higher price
❌ Somewhat difficult to customize

BuddyPress

There really are almost no positives to using BuddyPress over BuddyBoss.

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Pros

✅ Free

Cons

❌ Not frequently updated
❌ Very difficult to customize
❌ Old, outdated design
❌ Poor, outdated documentation
❌ Little to no support
❌ Few direct integrations

Design

The BuddyBoss design is years ahead of BuddyPress. BuddyPress looks very outdated, and that’s because its design hasn’t been updated in over a decade 🤯.

Winner: BuddyBoss

BuddyBoss vs BuddyPress design

Third-Party Plugins

When BuddyPress was still in its early stages, developers created quite a few third-party plugins to extend its features. These plugins are still around today.

Can I use BuddyPress plugins with BuddyBoss?

Yes. When BuddyBoss decided to fork BuddyPress, they made a conscious decision to maintain support for most third-party BuddyPress plugins.

You should not install BuddyPress itself on a BuddyBoss site, but most third-party BuddyPress plugins should work as intended.

See all BuddyPress plugins that work with BuddyBoss (choose “BuddyPress” from the Categories dropdown menu)

Support

BuddyPress offers community support via a forum on their website. There is no official team dedicated to support, and many questions go unanswered. There is also no way to pay for premium support.

BuddyBoss offers premium, 24/7 support, courtesy of their dedicated staff. They also maintain extensive documentation in both written and video form.

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Winner: BuddyBoss

Ownership

Who owns BuddyPress?

BuddyPress is open-source software, with all of its code freely available to the public. It was created and is maintained by hundreds of contributors all over the world.

If I had to pick one company that owns the project, it would be Automattic. They sponsor the most developers to work on BuddyPress, and ultimately have the final say in what happens to it. WebDevStudios has also been a long-time supporter of BuddyPress.

Who owns BuddyBoss?

The BuddyBoss Platform & Theme is owned by BuddyBoss, the company. BuddyBoss was founded in 2010 by Michael Eisenwasser & Tom Cheddadi, and now has over 150+ staff in 13 countries.

Pricing

When it comes to pricing, there’s an obvious difference between BuddyBoss & BuddyPress. However, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

How much does BuddyPress cost?

BuddyPress is free. Anyone can download, install, and add the plugin to their WordPress site.

Add the plugin via Plugins > Add New from your WordPress admin area, or visit buddypress.org to learn more.

How much does BuddyBoss cost?

The BuddyBoss Platform plugin, which provides most of the features of BuddyBoss, is free. However, the BuddyBoss Theme, which provides the design to go along with the features, costs $299/yr.

To learn more, see our complete breakdown of BuddyBoss pricing.

BuddyBoss pricing table
BuddyBoss pricing, as of May 2024

It’s pretty clear that BuddyBoss wins the BuddyBoss vs. BuddyPress battle… in just about every category.

There might be a few exceptions, so if you’re still unsure which one to choose, hit me up in the comments and I’ll help answer your questions.

If you’re interested in BuddyBoss but want to do a little more research, check out our list of BuddyBoss alternatives.

Pro Tip: The BuddyX theme does the same thing the BuddyBoss theme does for only $69/yr. You can use it alongside the free BuddyBoss Platform plugin.