If you want to create an online community with your WordPress site, PeepSo is probably one of the biggest names that you’ve come across.
It’s a full-service plugin that essentially turns your WordPress site into a social community, complete with features such as friendships, groups, private messages, social feeds, notifications, and lots, lots more.
If that sounds interesting to you, keep on reading our hands-on PeepSo review. We’re going to help you understand what this plugin does and whether or not it’s the right option for your website.
PeepSo Review: A Look at the Features
As I mentioned above, the basic idea with PeepSo is that it lets you turn any WordPress site into a social community. Think of it as kind of creating your own self-hosted version of Facebook using WordPress.
You can use it as a standalone tool where the entire focus of your site is the community.
For example, maybe you want to make it so that your online course’s students can interact with one another in more ways.
PeepSo would be a really great way to do that. Each student could have their own profile, they could create groups, private message each other, and lots more.
Beyond adding general community features, PeepSo also has dedicated integrations with plugins like LearnDash so that you can connect the two on a deeper level.
While I’ll share some of the most notable features in a second, I think that the best way to experience what PeepSo has to offer is to play around with the demo site, which you can access by clicking here.
There are just so many features available, so it’s hard to capture everything in text. Instead, you’ll get a much better feel if you just sign into the demo account and play around with everything.
Beyond that, I encourage you to check out the very lengthy PeepSo features page, which covers all of the plugin’s features in much greater detail than I can do here.
With that being said, he’s a quick rundown of the high points of PeepSo’s feature list…
Frontend User Profile Pages
Each user gets their own frontend profile page that looks a lot like a Facebook profile page. It lists their details, recent activity, and so on
Users can also edit their own profile details from the frontend.
Activity Feeds and User Blog Posts
Users can write their own posts on their activity feeds, much like posting on Facebook. They have access to the full array of functioning, including:
- Adding images or videos.
- Including links (with automatic link previews).
- Inserting GIFs from Giphy.
- Adding locations.
- Tagging other users.
- Adding hashtags.
You can also add automatic feed activity posts, such as adding a feed item if someone completes one of your LearnDash courses.
If you want, you can also let users create their own blog posts, which is useful for longer content.
User Interactions and Groups
Users can interact with one another using a range of different options including:
- Becoming friends with other users
- Live chatting
- Commenting on other users’ feeds
- Liking/reacting to other users’ posts
Users can also create their own groups and interact with one another in the groups. Again, these function a lot like Facebook groups.
As you’d expect from a social community, PeepSo includes its own notification system that keeps users on top of what’s happening.
Users will get notifications for new messages, new friend requests, and general feed activity (such as people liking a post of theirs):
So far, I’ve talked about how a lot of features in PeepSo are “like Facebook”. But one key area that’s different is, obviously, the fact that it’s self-hosted and uses WordPress.
And one advantage of this approach is that this lets you integrate with some of the other WordPress plugins that you’re using, which PeepSo does quite well.
You can use PeepSo to enhance other plugins that you’re using, such as adding more of a social community to the online courses that you’ve built with LearnDash or the membership site you’ve built with Paid Memberships Pro.
Or, you can use other plugins to enhance PeepSo, such as using Advanced Ads to monetize your PeepSo community with advertising.
There’s also a new MobiLoud integration that even lets you create a mobile app for your community so that people can interact on the go.
Dedicated Theme – Gecko
PeepSo will work with any WordPress theme. However, if you’re building your community from scratch, PeepSo also offers its own official theme called Gecko.
The advantage of using Gecko is that it’s built specifically for PeepSo, so it works perfectly out of the box.
If you want to learn more, check out the Gecko theme page.
How to Use PeepSo
Now that you know what PeepSo does, let’s take a look at what it’s like to set up PeepSo and create your own online community.
Because it’s such a detailed plugin, I can’t cover every single area. I will try to hit the high points, though, so that you have a good idea of what it’s like to use the plugin.
1. Install Plugin and Add-Ons
To get started, you’ll want to install and activate the free core PeepSo plugin.
If you purchase a premium plan (more on pricing later), you can then add your license key and use the built-in installer tool to easily install as many add-ons as needed.
In addition to the theme, these add-ons are divided into three categories:
You’ll probably want to install most/all of the core add-ons as these add essential features that can benefit all communities.
For the other add-ons, you’ll want to pick the add-ons that match the tools that you’re using. For example, you’ll only install the LearnDash add-on if you’re using LearnDash already.
2. Open Configuration Settings
As soon as you activate PeepSo, it will automatically create the core pages that your site needs. So at this point, you pretty much have a working community – it’s surprisingly easy.
Of course, you’ll probably still want to adjust certain settings to your specific situation. You can do this by going to PeepSo → Configuration in your WordPress dashboard.
You’ll get a lot of options, divided into different tabs to help keep things organized:
While there are a lot of settings to look through, the nice thing is that the default configuration is already pretty functional. That is, it’s more about tweaking things to your liking, rather than needing to configure every single setting to get things working.
I can’t show you all of the settings, but let’s look at a few areas so that you have a good idea of what it’s like.
If you go to the Stream Posts area, you can configure the options that people have for posting on their timelines (much like you would create a Facebook post). Here are some examples:
- Length limits
- Who can post
- How to handle links (including link previews like Facebook)
- Whether to allow polls
- User @ mentions
- …lots more
The Edit Emails tab lets you customize the emails that your site sends to users, including adding merge tags (called “tokens”) for dynamic information:
The interface only lets you customize the content, but you can also edit the HTML template to change the design of these emails.
The Groups tab lets you control how user groups work:
Again – this is only a small sampling of all the configuration options that are available to you. My main goal here is to just show the depth of the settings.
3. Manage Your Community
In addition to the Configuration settings, you also get a Manage area that lets you perform some other key actions. You can…
- Moderate reported items in your community.
- Configure other aspects of your community, such as profile fields and reactions that are available to users.
- Manage groups.
Managing Reported Items
One thing I like about PeepSo’s moderation area is that, in addition to the report details, you also get quick actions that are relevant to that report.
For example, if someone reports a user, you get a quick action to ban that user. But if someone reports a post, you get a quick action to unpublish that post instead.
Configuring Profile Fields and Other Details
If you go to the Profile Fields tab, you can control the default profile fields, add new fields, and rearrange everything using drag and drop.
Similarly, the Reactions tab lets you control the reactions that are available to users when reacting to a post:
If you allow user groups, the Groups tab lets you manage all of the groups in your community, including unpublishing groups if needed:
4. Set Up Integrations If Needed
That’s pretty much it for the core setup. However, if you’re using some of the integrations, you’d want to set those up also.
For example, if you’re using LearnDash, you’ll get a new LearnDash settings area where you can configure how PeepSo interacts with LearnDash, such as whether or not to automatically post an activity entry when a user enrolls in or completes a course:
PeepSo uses a freemium add-on billing model. That is, the core version is available for free at WordPress.org and then you can purchase add-ons to extend the core plugin with more features.
One of the advantages of the add-on model is that the plugin is modular – you can pick and choose exactly which features you want to activate to keep your community as lightweight as possible.
Rather than selling individual add-ons, PeepSo sells add-on bundles. In terms of getting access to different features, there are two main bundles:
- One bundle includes a core set of add-ons for features like friends, chat, groups, etc.
- The other bundle gives access to every single add-on, plus any new add-ons that are released (as long as your license is still active).
In general, the cheapest bundle is fine if you just want the core features, while you’ll want the higher-tier bundle if you also want all of PeepSo’s integrations.
While the cheapest bundle has one pricing option, the higher-tier bundle offers different billing terms, ranging from monthly to a five-year license.
Here’s a high-level look at the pricing plans:
And here’s a more detailed comparison table of the specific add-ons that each plan gives you access to, along with any other differences:
We also have a special coupon that can help you save 10%:
Final Thoughts on PeepSo
If you want to create an online community with WordPress, the two most popular options are BuddyPress and PeepSo.
So, after showing you how PeepSo works, let me quickly summarize some of the main advantages that PeepSo has when it comes to PeepSo vs BuddyPress:
- A single developer – the main BuddyPress plugin offers the basic foundation for a community just like the free PeepSo core plugin at WordPress.org. But with BuddyPress, you’ll usually rely on add-ons from a bunch of third-party developers, which adds complexity and opens the door for compatibility issues. Because all of the PeepSo add-ons come directly from the developer of the core plugin, you won’t have those issues.
- All-in-one package – this kind of ties with the point above. But if you purchase PeepSo, you know that you’re getting all the features that you need in one package, instead of needing to find a bunch of different plugins for various features.
- More polished out-of-the-box experience – I think that PeepSo’s out-of-the-box experience is nicer on both the frontend and backend. Even if you just activate PeepSo with the default configuration it already works pretty well.
- Dedicated support – with PeepSo, you get general support for the free core plugin and dedicated priority support if you’re a paying customer. The higher-tier plans even offer 24/7 support. In contrast, you’ll need to rely on community support with BuddyPress.
For a lot of people, I think those are compelling advantages, especially if you’re trying to keep your setup as simple as possible.
If you want to try it out, you can use the demo or install the free version from WordPress.org. If you decide to upgrade, you can use our PeepSo coupon to save 10% and there’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee.
You can use the buttons below to get started: