Buddypress 1.7+ and Suffusion

May 042014
 Posted by on 04/05/2014 How-To's Tagged with: , ,  Add comments

If you start now with BuddyPress, just install the latest version of plugin from WordPress Repository, DON’T INSTALL Suffusion BuddyPress Pack and follow only the steps 5. and 6. from below for adapting the theme and templating system.

Buddypress versions before 1.7. forced their templates to be used instead of theme templates. So, themes which offer compatibility with those versions, was forced to redesign BuddyPress templates in accordance with the theme markup. Suffusion BuddyPress Pack was the solution offered for integrating BuddyPress output in the markup of Suffusion.

Starting with version 1.7., BuddyPress claim to be compatible with any theme, so, if you use a newer version of the plugin you don’t need an integration pack for any theme, the Suffusion BuddyPress Pack is not needed anymore. Worst, can block some of the functionalities of BuddyPress.

For restoring all functionalities of BuddyPress you need to remove Suffusion BP Pack and all it’s changes, by following these steps:

  1. Do a full backup of site – in case of such major updates always can appear issues – some buddypress plugins will not work anymore with the new version.
  2. Remove the 6 folders copied from BuddyPress default theme either in your child theme folder, either in “suffusion” folder (check both places, because often happens to build those files when you have active the Suffusion theme, not the child). The folders are: /activity, /blogs, /forums, /groups, /members and /registration and was generated when you’ve  pressed the button (Re-)Build Files in Suffusion BP Pack.
  3. Remove any particular template related to BuddyPress
  4. Deactivate Suffusion BP Pack plugin (and deactivate also Buddypress Integration Pack plugin if was installed)
  5. To prevent double calling of BP scripts in the theme, add in functions.php of your child theme:

(the last line of code just define an empty class Suffusion_BP_Pack. The existence of this class is tested by the theme for displaying the annoying nag about using BuddyPress without Suffusion BuddyPress Pack).

After following all these steps, your BuddyPress installation will works without any influence from Suffusion, if you still have problems, they come from the output of BuddyPress, not from the theme.

The only downside of the new approach is that your BuddyPress pages will be based only on the default layout, settled at Suffusion Options -> Layouts -> Default Sidebars Layout. For those pages you cannot set a new layout at Additional Options for Suffusion on Edit Page screen. So, you will have to design your default layout as you want to look your BuddyPress pages, and assign different templates, if is needed, only to the other – standard – pages.

6. The above considerations are no longer correct but I keep them here for reference (the striked lines). I’ve found the solution working on a production site with BuddyPress where I updated everything to latest versions. I found that we cannot define specific templates for buddypress pages because the header defined by Suffusion is always overwritten by Buddypress and the call to specific template is no longer executed. But modern BuddyPress versions provides a set of constants, including ‘BP_DTHEME_DISABLE_CUSTOM_HEADER’ which help in this case. Formerly Buddypress ask to add these constants in wp-config.php. Now, all you need is to create a file named bp-custom.php placed in the root of  ‘plugins’ folder (not under /plugins/buddypress/). So, go to make this file and add into it these lines:

You can add more constants to customize your BuddyPress installation – these constants are described in BuddyPress Codex.

After adding the file, your pages will respect the template selected on Edit Page Screen under Templates panel (on the right side of edit area, not under Additional Options for Suffusion -> Layouts). Even if the templates are marked as “deprecated” they will works without problems.

In conclusion, after testing the new BuddyPress in a production environment, I can confirm that BuddyPress works smoothly with Suffusion and Suffusion BuddyPress Pack is no longer needed.

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Experienced web developer and graphic designer. Former consultant for Suffusion theme and former moderator on Suffusion Support forum. I teach others while learning myself.

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  3 Responses to “Buddypress 1.7+ and Suffusion”

Comments (3)
  1. Thank you Drake !
    After installing the Suffusion pack for BuddyPress, any lightbox wouldn’t work at all, and some other features of BP neither.

    I found your tutorial, and it worked great ! Thank you!

  2. Hi Rama, thanks for your kind words.

    No, that phrase from point 6. is referring only to templating system – the lines striked out from above the phrase. If you had an old version of BuddyPress with Suffusion BuddyPress Pack installed and you wish to upgrade to the latest version of BuddyPress, you need to follow ALL the steps from article, exactly for getting the original BuddyPress features without influence of Suffusion.
    If you don’t remove those folders but disable only Suffusion BP Pack, your installation will not work anymore, the templates from those folders, based on the old BuddyPress structure will conflict with the new templates from BuddyPress folders, if you don’t add the function in functions.php Suffusion will load BP javascript twice and so on.

    Follow all the steps carefully and will have a functional BuddyPress installation on Suffusion theme.

  3. I’m a fan of suffusion theme and you. I have seen your contribution to suffusion theme dev and replies so many. I used many of your suggestions on my site.
    This one is particular to buddypress. I do have all latest versions and also active Suffusion BP pack installed.
    As per the last point (6), you are saying, even if one has BP pack installed, it does n’t matter, because buddypress don’t use suffusion BP templates.
    Am I right?
    So If I simply disable Suffusion BP pack, I should get the original BUDDYPRESS settings.
    Pl clarify.