BuddyPress Plugin Usage Declining, Remaining Contributors Discuss Path Forward

In the newest BuddyPress developers’ chat, contributors mentioned progress on the upcoming 11.0.0 launch, which is predicted on December 14, 2022.

Mathieu Viet, one in every of BuddyPress’ lead builders who spearheaded the hassle to get the BP Attachments API into BuddyPress 2.3 in 2015, has been engaged on templating to show single media gadgets on the front-end. He made it attainable to share media utilizing the Exercise Block editor when the BP Attachments plugin is lively. The BP Attachments Admin UI has been up to date to incorporate an “Edit Merchandise” view.

BP Media Library “Edit Merchandise” view

Along with updates associated to the upcoming launch, contributors addressed the essential subject of BuddyPress‘ declining utilization over the previous 5 years. WordPress.org stories lively installations at 100,000+, whereas final month they have been at 200,000+. The listing rounds that quantity so it’s not at all times consultant of the variety of folks utilizing the plugin. After digging additional into the numbers, contributors discovered that installs are hovering at slightly below 200,000, however development is steadily declining and contributors are dwindling.

“The pattern is de facto not nice,” Viet stated. “We’re slowly shedding customers and the purple line is much more regarding. We’re doing worse in comparison with final yr.

“My evaluation is: we’re not getting sufficient new customers to compensate for customers loss.”

BuddyPress’ development and utilization appeared to have peaked round 2016/2017. Contributors within the dev chat speculated on the explanations for the decline, which Viet summarized in a writeup of the assembly:

  • lack of cool front-end issues added to the plugin lately
  • hesitancy to put in an enormous plugin like BuddyPress for a single function
  • lack of privateness instruments, of a media part
  • development of using issues like Groups and Slack
  • BuddyBoss’ business aggression (eg: Google Adwords) or their slick-looking theme

BuddyBoss forked BuddyPress years in the past and has set itself up as a competitor to BuddyPress, maligning the open supply undertaking in its video introduction, whereas nonetheless making the platform appropriate with all BuddyPress extensions. The video insinuates that BuddyPress is not maintained, which has precipitated confusion for customers who’ve requested on the BuddyPress boards if it’s shutting down. BuddyBoss advantages from the ecosystem of extensions which have grown round BuddyPress however is not invested in enhancing the core software program.

“I additionally suppose that the work-from-home modifications of the 2020s actually grew using issues like Groups and Slack, and a few organizations have been utilizing BP for that, too,” BuddyPress contributing developer David Cavins stated.

As a primary step in direction of attempting to deal with the shortage of privateness instruments, contributors are exploring introducing a “Private Site” toggle that will require customers to be logged in to go to any BuddyPress elements. There’s some pushback on this concept, as there are already plugins that allow all these communities and a few view it as including bloat to BuddyPress core.

“We’re clearly observing an enormous lower on lively installs stats,” Viet said. “This primary function may not be the factor to inverse the pattern, however it will a minimum of present a primary non-public group could be simply constructed for customers who solely want a logged in person solely group space. It doesn’t stop plugins to construct one thing extra granular.” 

Contributors are additionally contemplating launching a brand new survey, in addition to asking the WordPress Advertising Crew for assist. The final time BuddyPress surveyed its customers was in 2020 and Viet stories that there have been solely 40 precise respondents whereas the remaining have been spam, so it’s not possible that that is consultant of the group. Contributors additionally plan to publish within the help discussion board to ask, “What’s a very powerful function that BuddyPress is lacking?”

“Even when utilization / downloads are taking place, we’re nonetheless sustaining the undertaking,” Viet stated. “Let’s hope our present work on Attachments and the Exercise Block editor will appeal to extra customers.”

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