Private Message Notifications

As well as email notifications in the pro edition, users of the Enterprise Edition can also make use of BuddyPress’s private messaging component to notify different users of Block, Suspend, Report for BuddyPress activity.

Getting Started

To use private messaging, you will need to enable it as a component in the BuddyPress settings. The great majority of websites will already have this turned on, and are already using it to allow their users to send each other messages. If you aren’t sure whether that is the case for your site, have a look at this article.

BuddyPress, by default, sends an email when a new message is received. As the plugin already sends its own emails, these are superfluous. We turn these emails off by default, but the first checkbox in the Advanced Settings tab lets you override that behaviour.

Next, we need to deal with a quirk in BuddyPress itself. The private messaging system was designed to let users message each other. And it does it very well. But for our purposes, we want the website to send automated messages based on events. Because BuddyPress expects a user to be sending the message, we need to set one.

Go to the Advanced Settings tab, and pick a user from the dropdown list. This will contain all your site administrators and moderators. Any messages the system sends will appear to be from this user.

Going One Step Further

Rather than picking an actual site user, you could create a system user. WordPress has never offered this functionality (even though we can see heaps of reasons why it should), so we can get very close by adding a new user to the site, using a false email address. We suggest using something recognisable such as your site’s name as the username, and an email address of Do not set this user as an administrator, for security reasons, but instead assign them the role of site moderator.

The benefit of this approach is that no human user will have their inbox clogged up with notifications, and it also adds a sense of seriousness to the messages sent, that they are coming directly from the website.

Like the email notification system, you will need to decide who to send admin notification messages to. Unlike the email system, this cannot be an external address, instead it must be a current user. We call it a gatekeeper, as they will be receiving any messages relating to reports. If the gatekeeper is an administrator, they will have the added ability to assign the report to any other administrator or site moderator. Pick a gatekeeper via the ‘Select a Gatekeeper’ drop-down box.

Lastly, use the checkboxes to choose which private messages you want to send.

And you are now all setup to use the Block, Suspend, Report for BuddyPress private messaging system.

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