BuddyPress 7.0.0 “Filippi” was released this week, following WordPress 5.6 to ensure compatibility. This version was named for Filippi’s Pizza Grotto in California. It requires WordPress 4.9+, but sites that are not using the block editor will miss out on many of the new features that make BuddyPress websites easier to customize.
The first set of community blocks was introduced earlier this year, allowing site owners to insert a specific Member or Group into any post or page. Version 7.0.0 adds three new blocks that make it easy to feature a list of members, a list of groups, or embed a public activity post.
Blocks make customizations easier for non-technical community managers. Years ago, you would have to write a custom query to display members, groups, or activities anywhere on a page or post. The other option was to install a plugin to do it and use a widget or shortcode to place it somewhere in the content.
The Groups block, for example, lets you select any number of groups using auto-complete, to create a custom list. The block’s toolbar has an option for displaying the groups in a list or a grid. In the block settings, users can show or hide group names, select full or thumbnail versions for avatars, and include extra information about the group.
New Administration Screens for Member and Group Type Management
BuddyPress’ member types and group types are a feature similar to WordPress’ custom post types. They now have their own management screens in the admin, making them more accessible to community managers who would not be comfortable creating and modifying types without a UI. Member and group types can now be added, edited, and deleted directly in the admin.
New Default Profile Image for Network Sites
Version 7.0.0 introduces the capability to add a default profile image for sites in a multisite network as part of the Site Tracking component. This can improve the appearance for the sites directory or the activity stream, when networked sites have not added a custom profile image.
A few other notable improvements in 7.0.0 include the BP Nouveau template pack updated to be compatible with the new Twenty Twenty-One default theme, improvements to the BP REST API, and BuddyPress CLI commands expanded to cover more aspects of community management. Check out the release notes for a full list of changes.