BuddyPress Plugin Development
BuddyPress allows easy modification, customization, and enhancement to a BuddyPress powered WordPress site. Instead of changing the core programming of BuddyPress, you can add functionality with BuddyPress Plugins. Here is a basic definition:
BuddyPress Plugin: A BuddyPress Plugin is a program, or a set of one or more functions, written in the PHP scripting language, that adds a specific set of features or services to the BuddyPress site, which can be seamlessly integrated with the site using access points and methods provided by the BuddyPress Plugin API.
BuddyPress follows exactly the same plugin API as WordPress. You’ll find that there are hundreds of actions and filters within BuddyPress that will allow you to hook into and modify existing functionality.
By using the plugin API, you can avoid modifying core BuddyPress files allowing you to upgrade BuddyPress smoothly and not lose your existing changes. It really is a bad idea to modify core files, if you want to extend and modify BuddyPress, you should try your hardest to learn how the plugin API works.
A good place to get started is the WordPress plugin API documentation. This will explain to you how actions and filters work, and how you should properly use them. BuddyPress follows exactly the same principles. In fact, BuddyPress uses this API to integrate into WordPress, not a single core modification is needed. That should tell you all you need to know about the power of the plugin API.
Wishing that BuddyPress had some new or modified functionality? The first thing to do is to search various BuddyPress Plugin repositories and sources to see if someone has already created a BuddyPress Plugin that suits your needs. If not, this section will guide you through the process of creating your own BuddyPress Plugins.
This Developer codex assumes you are already familiar with the basic functionality of WordPress, and PHP programming.