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Choosing the Perfect User Profile Plugin for WordPress

Choosing the right User Profile Plugin for WordPress is key. It could have a huge impact on your website’s speed.

Popular User Profile Plugin for WordPress

Many User Profile Plugins for WP are available for free, premium or freemium (free with paid add-ons for extra features).

In this post, we will present the 2 most popular User Profile Plugins, but we will mainly focus on 1 new comer that is growing quickly.

The most popular User Profile Plugin for WordPress are:

Today we proudly present:

BuddyPress

buddypress

BuddyPress, from now on BP, is the “official” social network plugin for WP built by the BuddyPress community.

It is a mature plugin with years of development. It allows you to manage Member Profiles, a Directory of Members, an Activity feed similar to the “Facebook wall”, Groups and a Registration Form.

Strangely enough ,it doesn’t provide a login form.

Using BBpress forums can be added too. With default options or extra options offered by free plugins, Members can send each other private messages, follow each other, create a network of friends and so on. BP is perfect to create communities, social network or similar websites.

The dark side of BP, is it’s high need for server resources. This plugin will have an impact on your website performances and could have an impact on your server bill, especially at scale.

Adding Buddypress on a high traffic e-commerce website that is also running Woocommerce is generally not a good idea if you want your website to be very fast.

Ultimate Member

ultimate-member

Ultimate Member is probably the most popular User Profile plugin on the market. The core plugin is free and it comes with a big collection of premium extensions that enrich the plugin features.

Some are community focused, like the private message extension, the follow extension and so on. Other are extensions that connect popular 3rd part plugin data inside the user profile. Examples are WooCommerce, BBpress, Easy Digital Download and many others.

Ultimate member also provide content restriction options and a profile builder that in my opinion are making it a little bloated. If you look at the amount of options it provides they are a bit too many, which makes it a bit overwhelming to setup. It won’t take you minutes.

Ultimate member isn’t as resource hungry as Buddypress, but don’t expect it to be extremely lightweight, especially at scale.

Profile Builder

profile builder

There is another user profile plugin called Profile Builder, it is much older than Ultimate Member, it should be at least 6 years old.

However, I’ve only used it once for a project back in 2011 and never used it again.

Back then it was the only alternative to Buddypress, however, I remember it had a lot of options too. Maybe a bit too many for what I always needed from a User Profile Plugin.

UsersWP

userswp

We are the developers of GeoDirectory, a leading Directory Plugin for WordPress used by more than 10,000 online directories.

One of the 1st factor that slows down Directory websites could be the very high number of listings and a oversized database.

This is the reason why, it is a good idea to keep all other components of the directory very lightweight in order to achieve good performances. Using a heavyweight tool for your user profiles, could slow down your website a lot when traffic grows.

The exact same argument can be done for high traffic magazines, news and especially e-commerce websites.

For this reason, we created UsersWP.

We wanted a User Profile Plugin for WordPress that could be lightweight and extremely flexible. That would only take minutes to setup because of the very few options available.

The core version of UsersWP available for free on WordPress.org features :

  • Registration form
  • Login Form
  • Edit Account form
  • User Profiles + Drag & Drop profile builder for unlimited custom fields
  • User Directory
  • Lost/Forgot Password Forms

UsersWP is packed with hooks filters and actions so coders will be able to extend it to their liking. Templates are customizable inside child themes.

What makes UsersWP different

WordPress usermeta can be slowing down queries a lot. That’s the reason behind scaling issues of most user profile plugin. They don’t use an intelligent database architecture and queries and they are packed with limits.

UsersWP employs few custom database tables and PHP API to get over this limits and it will scale to infinity and beyond.

Paying Extensions

Thanks to hooks filters and actions, it’s very easy to develop add-ons to extend UsersWP. Currently, there are 14 extension available and many other will soon be released. UsersWP will be the leader of integration with other plugins too.

These are some of the extensions currently on sale, that integrate UsersWP with other popular plugins:

GeoDirectory

Show listings submitted and reviews inside a new tab of the user’s profile. There is an option to show favorite listings too.

WooCommerce

The integration display orders and product reviews within a new tab of the user’s profile.

Easy Digital Downloads

Shows downloads and products in dedicated tabs of any user profile. Downloads are the item purchased by a user, while products are the items created and sold (with multi vendors).

BBpress

The official forum plugin for WordPress. Show forum topics, replies and favorites a new tab visible in each user’s profile.

Mailchimp

Captures the user email at registration and adds it to a subscriptions list for your newsletters marketing needs.

There are add-ons providing community features that could be useful for a membership site or a dating site too. For example, we have extensions to allow users to connect as Friends like on Facebook. To see if users are Online or Offline. To connect as followers like on Twitter or Instagram. There is an add-on to invite users to complete their profile called Profile Progress. There is also an add-on for users Moderation, one to Restrict User Signups.

we also have a free Google ReCaptcha add-on and a Social Login extension.

Other add-ons are being developed and will be released soon.

Do you have a favorite user profile plugin? Let us know in the comment down below!

Guest Post by :

Pol Tajani, Co-Founder and Growth Hacker at ayecode.io
We sell and provide support for WordPress Themes and especially Plugins such as GeoDirectory, UsersWP and the Invoicing plugin.

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