This plugin hasn’t been tested with the latest 3 major releases of WordPress. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.

Custom Profile Filters for BuddyPress


Out of the box, BuddyPress automatically turns some words and phrases in the fields of a user’s profile into links that, when clicked, search the user’s community for other profiles containing those phrases. When activated, this plugin allows users and administrators to have more control over these links, in the following ways:

1) By using square brackets in a profile field, users can specify which words or phrases in their profile turn into links. For example: under Interests, I might list “Cartoons about dogs”. By default, Buddypress will turn the entire phrase into a link that searches the community for others who like cartoons about dogs. If I instead type “[Cartoons] about [dogs]”, then the two words in brackets will turn into independent links.

2) Administrators can specify certain profile fields that will not turn into links at all. The standard setting for the plugin is that fields labeled ‘Phone’, ‘IM’, and ‘Skype ID’ will not become linkable (it doesn’t make much sense to search a community for what should be a unique handle, after all). See custom-profile-filters-for-buddypress.php to configure this setting.

3) Administrators can specify certain profile fields that link to social networking profiles. If I enter my Twitter handle ‘boonebgorges’ into a field labeled ‘Twitter’, for example, this plugin will bypass the default link to a BuddyPress search on ‘boonebgorges’ and instead link to See custom-profile-filters-for-buddypress-bp-functions.php to configure this setting.

This plugin was created as part of the CUNY Academic Commons of the City University of New York. See to learn more about this bodacious project.


The plugin checks each profile for square brackets and activates if it finds any. If no square brackets are found, the default automatic filter will kick in.

You might want to insert a small explanation into your BP profile edit template (/wp-content/bp-themes/[your-member-theme]/profile/edit.php that tells your site’s users how to use these brackets. Here’s what I use:

“Words or phrases in your profile can be linked to the profiles of other members that contain the same phrases. To specify which words or phrases should be linked, add square brackets: e.g. “I enjoy [English literature] and [technology].” If you do not specify anything, phrases will be chosen automatically.”

Future features include: admin tab with toggle switch; ability to tweak BP’s automatic profile filter (e.g. to parse semi-colon separated lists in addition to commas).


  1. Upload the custom-profile-filters-for-buddypress directory to your plugins folder
  2. Activate the plugin
  3. Edit custom-profile-filters-for-buddypress.php to configure


September 3, 2016
It’s okay, but Twitter (and likely other types of) links are broken as explained in this post. If that can get fixed, it’ll be worth a five-star review from me!
Read all 3 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Custom Profile Filters for BuddyPress” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.




  • Updated for recent versions of BP, WP


  • Moved globals back to main plugin file
  • Fixed error regarding missing function arguments (thanks for reporting them, Mike!)


  • Conforms to BP 1.2 standards for loading order
  • Most functionality moved to proper filters in order to inherit BP native code