Still the better choice for forum software

Yes, download this plugin and start using it. It’s a better alternative to Buddypress or any other available social network plugin to date, without a doubt.

By Marc Adrian, October 19, 2015

Is having control over the look of your site important to you? It is to me. I’m a bit of a control freak, you see. I’m very “particular.” I will spend an entire day adjusting code on an individual feature to the exact look and feel I want, because I care immensely about user experience and how that experience affects brand perception. As a designer by trade, I have a particular respect for interfaces that are streamlined and easily intuited, without sacrificing function. I’m all about the aesthetic, but I’m equally about practicality, order, and utility.

A few years ago, I considered which software package would suit my need for a CMS-based social network. With Buddypress, the learning curve seemed high. Control over the interface seemed less fluid and the host of related plugins I had to entertain running with that system complicated things further. With WP Symposium, installation was quick and to the point. Customization was much, much easier.

With [Link redacted], the successor to the classic WordPress Symposium, all of the above still holds true, and them some. Granted, the new version has a higher learning curve: CSS customization beyond the out-of-the-box look is a little time-consuming, and at the time of this review, there are still small glitches that need ironing out, but as a whole, this plugin is gold for anyone serious about having the built-in flexibility to customize the look and feel of their WordPress-based social network.

Rich forum discussion options, user profiles, user galleries, private messaging, member directory, group creation, and a search function completes the repertoire of functional social network features you need in the real world, and they can all be activated in WordPress Symposium Pro’s gamut of available options.

Oh, and is support important to you? It is to me. Is it also important that the software evolve? If so, you’ll also love this plugin. Technical help is great and the software itself keeps getting better with each version.

If you want to get serious about your social network, if customization and control of your site’s experience are important things to you, WordPress Symposium Pro is the only real choice. I know, because I’ve been using it since 2011.