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BuddyPress 12.0 to Introduce Community Visibility Feature that Restricts Access to Members Only

BuddyPress 12.0 is set to introduce a new Community Visibility feature that gives site administrators the option to restrict access to the community sections of the site. Sites set to “members only” will show an access error message and a login form when a non-logged-in user tries to view a page generated by BuddyPress.

The Community Visibility setting makes it possible to create a private community site without adding any plugins to BuddyPress, a feature that has frequently been requested by BuddyPress site admins. It is being introduced as a basic toggle but BuddyPress contributor David Cavins, who worked on the feature, said it lays the groundwork for future, more granular privacy controls.

The BuddyPress core development team has also published the BP Classic plugin ahead of the 12.0 release. The plugin provides backwards compatibility for sites using plugins or themes that are not ready for the BP Rewrite API that will be introduced in 12.0. It includes features and templates that are fully deprecated:

  • The BP Legacy widgets (these were migrated as Blocks in BuddyPress 9.0.0).
  • The BP Default theme.
  • The BP Legacy navigation globals (buddypress()->bp_nav & buddypress()->bp_options_nav).

An advisory about BP Classic was posted to the official BuddyPress blog to help site owners figure out if they will need this plugin. Those who require it before upgrading can install it ahead of time and it will be dormant until it is needed.

The new Community Visibility feature was committed to trunk five days ago and is on track to be included in the next major release. BuddyPress 12.0 is anticipated to be released on October 30, 2023, and Beta 1 is overdue and expected any day.