BP Better Messages is a BuddyPress plugin that turns BP Messaging into a threaded instant messaging type communication tool. You can disable the requirement for a subject line and also enable name search and file attachments.
In short, BP Better Messages – is a fully-featured replacement for standard BuddyPress Messages. The plugin is fully backward compatible with BuddyPress Messages. But important to realize, the WebSocket Version is a paid option, and you can get a license key on our website.
Surprisingly, the Internet wasn’t built to be all that dynamic. It was conceived to be a collection of HyperText Markup Language (HTML). Pages linking to one another to form a conceptual web of information.
Over time the static resources increased in number and richer items, such as images, began to be part of the web fabric. Server technologies advanced allowing for dynamic server pages. Meaning, pages whose content was generated based on a query. And this is where BP Better Messages Plugin for WordPress developers pours in.
What does the BP Better Messages Plugin offer?
Through BP Better Messages, the WordPress Plugin Designers are now using their server to implement WebSockets Communications between your site and users. Their WebSockets Server is completely private. Therefore, it does not store or track any private data. And in that case, it offers;
- Significantly reduced server load time
- Instant conversations and notifications
- Messages Delivery Status (sent, delivered, seen)
- Typing indicator (indicates if another participant writing message at the moment)
- An online indicator that works with shared hosting
- More features coming!
Notably, WebSockets represent a standard for bi-directional real-time communication between servers and clients. Firstly in web browsers, but ultimately between any server and any client. The standards first approach means that as developers we can finally create functionality that works consistently across multiple platforms.
Connection limitations are no longer a problem since WebSockets represent a single TCP socket connection. Cross-domain communication has been considered from day one and is dealt with within the connection handshake.
This means that services such as the BP Better Messages and Pusher can easily use them. When especially, offering a massively scalable real-time platform that can be used by any website, web, desktop or mobile application.
What are WebSockets in BP Better Messages?
According to the BP Better Messages WordPress Plugin Developers, WebSockets represent a long-awaited evolution in client/server web technology. They allow a long-held single TCP socket connection to be established between the client and the server.
How do you Install the BP Better Messages Plugin?
Installation is a case of installing and activating the plugin from Dashboard>>Plugins>>Add New. Once installed there are new options to configure in Dashboard>>Settings>>BP Better Messages. Here you get to choose between the free AJAX-based version or the Pro WebSocket based version:
The WebSockets version offloads a lot of messaging activity to dedicated servers and so improves site performance, this is a pro feature and is enabled through the purchase of a license. There are several tabs in the Settings page – General, Chat, Attachments, and License. The Chat tab allows the user search to be enabled and the subject line to be removed.
The Attachments tab allows for attachments to be enabled and for the supported size and type of attachments to be set. Once activated the users BuddyBar menu item for messages changes to Threads.
Now messages will be threads of instant message items. And then again, if both users are online, the message page will be updated instantly. Of course, no need for the notification – load new page cycle so a considerable improvement over classic BP Messaging.
Comparatively, I give this plugin 9 out of 10. And I think on the messaging front BP Better Messages is, in general, a big improvement and for some sites, it will work very well.
My only issue with it is that ultimately installing this means you are losing many features of BP classic Messaging. So to say, this may not be appropriate for a number of sites.
Improved features comparing to the standard system include:
- AJAX or WebSocket powered realtime conversations
- Reworked email notifications (More info)
- Fully new concept and design
- Files Uploading
- Embedded links with thumbnail, title, etc…
- Emoji selector (using Cloudflare’s CDN to serve EmojiOne)
- Message sound notification
- Whole site messages notifications (User will be notified anywhere with small notification window)
- Mass messaging feature
Supported features from standard messages system:
- Private Conversations
- Multiple Users Conversations
- Mark messages as favorite
Since this is a new WordPress plugin, please Contact Us if you find any bugs or have any other related questions regarding this or other related WordPress Plugins. All in all, below are more useful and related topic links;
- WordPress Plugins Beginners Guide
- How to Install WordPress Plugins Tutorial
- 24 Must Have WordPress Plugins For Business Websites
- WordPress Themes | What are they & How do they Work?
- WordPress Plugins | What are they & How do they Work?
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