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BuddyPress or BuddyBoss?

We started off using BuddyBoss initially for the social networking features for our ELN because we liked the aesthetics better. But then we found out that the way that it structures the membership in the database was different than the BuddyPress standard, and so could not use some of the BuddyPress plugins. So, we are revisiting this question of the pros and cons of using BuddyBoss or BuddyPress for our social network.

We should also note that there are some alternatives besides just BuddyPress or BuddyBoss to provide social networking features. These include the following. 

  • WP User Manager – Has some features like profiles and groups but is focused mostly on membership management
  • Youzify Plugin – Extends the base BuddyPress plugin and has free and premium versions
  • Peepso – Free and premium plugins available. Includes groups, profiles, files. Comparable in features to BuddyBoss but no compatibility with BuddyPress. 

For an ELN with full but appropriate social networking features, these options did not seem desirable.  

There are numerous discussions on the web about the comparison between BuddyPress and BuddyBoss, including the following. 

  • reddit discussion – Explains how BuddyBoss has older versions of BuddyPress and bbPress
  • YouTube discussion – Provides a short history behind BuddyPress and BuddyBoss
  • WPTavern discussion – Comments from 2022 about the future of BuddyPress and its association to BuddyBoss.

Moving to WordPress

The Reasons for MyLabBook Moving from Drupal to WordPress

The major reasons for moving from the Drupal CMS to the WordPress CMS can be summarized in the following points.

  • Significantly larger market share of WordPress – The market share of WordPress is about 20X of Drupal as of 2023. The large market share better suits the Sustainability criteria of being a S.A.F.E. ELN Research Platform.
  • The robust ecosystem of premium plugins for WordPress – Unlike WordPress and Joomla, Drupal has very few if any extensions (modules) that require payment. The disadvantage to Drupal’s approach is that individual developers or development teams are less incentivized to support a module beyond what it might contribute to their consulting practice or unless it is a key component of their support (e.g., for Open Social).
  • The Drupal code base is much more complex to work with – Drupal’s approach to custom content types from a site builder perspective is elegant and powerful. However, it has added to the complexity and made modules and extensions more difficult to build and to use.
  • BuddyBoss – The turning point came when we found that BuddyBoss was much easier to use and integrate with than Drupal’s Open Social. We see this as a consequence of the availability of premium extensions mentioned above.

We have enjoyed the development with Drupal for the last decade or so, but the experience with WordPress has given us greater flexibility and sustainability. Those qualities have made WordPress the obvious choice for the future of the MyLabBook approach for building ELNs and research platforms .