BuddyPress, WordPress

Emails in BuddyPress 2.5

Back in March 2009, I released my first-ever plugin for BuddyPress. BuddyPress was my gateway drug to WordPress, so it’s pretty much the first experience I had with writing PHP and working with WordPress. That plugin was Welcome Pack:

Welcome Pack is a BuddyPress plugin that enhances the new user experience. When a user registers on your site, Welcome Pack lets you automatically send them a friend or group invitation, a Welcome Message, and it can redirect them to a Start Page. You can also customise the emails sent by BuddyPress so that they match your site’s brand, in plain text or rich HTML versions.

With retrospect, adding customisable emails to Welcome Pack is what killed my interest in that plugin. It was such a lengthy, painful slog to get the customisation working and nicely implemented (I picked the wrong approach), that when it was finally done, so was I! I moved onto Achievements, but I still had a dream of giving BuddyPress better emails.

Seven years later, that dream has finally come true. BuddyPress 2.5 (now in beta) features high-quality, customisable HTML emails, and I couldn’t be prouder of how its turned out. Here’s what it looks like:

In a nutshell, we moved emails into a custom post type (BuddyPress’ first!) with a supporting taxonomy (BuddyPress’ second!), devised a HTML email template with Customiser integration, and wrote a new API to manage how we represent emails internally and how we send them (goodbye, wp_mail!).

I’ll write another post detailing the technicial changes, but you can learn a lot by looking at Trac ticket #6592. I hope people running BuddyPress-powered sites enjoy the new email features as much as we did building them.


BuddyPress, WordPress

WordPress developer’s guide to BuddyPress

Here’s the scenario: you build WordPress-powered sites for a living, or maybe for free, or even just as a hobby. Someone asks you to build their next site using a feature or two from BuddyPress. “Sure, no problem”, you say. In the privacy of your head, you’re thinking “I haven’t used BuddyPress before, but it’s meant to be a pretty nifty plugin — how hard can it be?”

A few months ago, I started working for Human Made. We help people build really robust, creative, enterprise-scale sites. While Human Made have several developers with really impressive BuddyPress development experience, I naturally look over outgoing proposals or roadmaps for those projects that might use BuddyPress to check it’s a good fit, and to help inform the project roadmap.

As we begin to ramp up work on sites powered by BuddyPress, it’s very likely that some Humans will work with BuddyPress for the first time! I think that’s REALLY exciting! As I started to write some tips from my colleagues on getting started with BuddyPress development, I figured I’d blog it publicly so others (hopefully) find it useful. So, without further ado…

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“Appreciate the people around you”

Came across a moving post on Reddit from someone I’ve never met, who has a nice tie:

We care so much about the health and integrity of our body that until death, we don’t notice that the body is nothing more than a box – a parcel for delivering our personality, thoughts, beliefs and intentions to this world. If there is nothing in this box that can change the world, then it doesn’t matter if it disappears. I believe that we all have potential, but it also takes a lot of courage to realize it.

mylasttie, /r/GetMotivated


“The job of leadership is to foster alignment and enthusiasm toward the right goal.”

Just saw this from Ev Williams on Medium about being a leader. It rings true to me:

Try to be a good one, by helping create alignment (communicate well), be enthusiastic (sucky attitudes are for big companies), and help us (and your team, especially) figure out if we’re trying to do the right things (short term and long term).

Read the full post here.