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bp-custom.php

You’ve probably heard a lot of talk about a bp-custom.php file on the BuddyPress forums or WordPress forums.

So what is it?

bp-custom.php is a file that resides in your WordPress ‘plugins’ folder where you can add a bunch of custom code hacks and modifications to BuddyPress.

bp-custom.php is often compared to your theme’s functions.php file.

However, there are two primary differences between bp-custom.php and your theme’s functions.php.

  1. First, bp-custom.php runs from the /wp-content/plugins/ folder and is therefore independent from your theme. This is useful for adding code snippets that are BuddyPress-specific. Also, this code will always load regardless of what theme you are using.
  2. Secondly, bp-custom.php runs early in the BuddyPress-loading process. This allows you to override various settings in BuddyPress.

Choosing which file to place your code snippet in is largely a matter of choice. If you are packaging a BuddyPress theme, then you might want to consider using your theme’s functions.php instead. However, for the most part, you should use bp-custom.php.

Creating your file

bp-custom.php does not exist by default. If you don’t have a file located at /wp-content/plugins/bp-custom.php, go ahead and create a blank file with the following:

<?php
// hacks and mods will go here
?>

Next, save the file as “bp-custom.php” and verify that this file is located at /wp-content/plugins/.

Now, when you encounter a forum thread telling you to put a code snippet in bp-custom.php, you’ll know what to do!

Examples

This can be done by adding the following function to the bp-custom.php file.

BP 1.2.9

function remove_xprofile_links() {
	remove_filter( 'bp_get_the_profile_field_value', 'xprofile_filter_link_profile_data', 50, 2 );
}
add_action( 'plugins_loaded', 'remove_xprofile_links' );

BP 1.5 +

function remove_xprofile_links() {
	remove_filter( 'bp_get_the_profile_field_value', 'xprofile_filter_link_profile_data', 9, 2 );
}
add_action( 'bp_init', 'remove_xprofile_links' );

Defining custom slugs

Developers may modify the default URL slugs for activity, forums, etc by adding a statement in the bp-custom.php file.

// change 'discuss' to whatever you want
define( 'BP_FORUMS_SLUG', 'discuss' );

See the customizing labels messages and urls article for more information on modifying slugs.