bbPress Released As A WordPress Plugin

in Blog

For years I used the vBulletin software for powering forums on webites I owned. When I launched WP Mods I decided to use bbPress. It is a very lightweight forum solution however as WP Mods is all about WordPress, I thought it was only fitting that it’s sister script bbPress was used for the forum as they work well together and share the same user database.

bbPress has unfortunately never been hugely popular within the WordPress community. There are a few reasons for this though it’s mostly to do with the lack of updates. Another reason is that although bbPress worked well with WordPress, it was essentially a stand alone script which meant that your forums had to be skinned separately from your main website. I have been considering changing the WP Mods forums from bbPress due to the lack of updates however I am going to hold off as John James Jacoby recently announced the release of the first beta version of bbPress 2.0.

The full bug-free version of bbPress 2.0 is not expected until the end of June 2011 but I’m sure this won’t be a major problem for most of you. Not only does this update add a host of new features, it allows bbPress to be installed as a WordPress plugin instead of a stand alone script. This is something that was rumoured for years but was never developed until now. The great thing about this is that you don’t need to try and customise your forum to match your blogs design as the forum will use your existing blog design.

bbPress Settings

This new version works with WordPress multi site and BuddyPress. Strangely, it comes with a child theme of Twenty Ten to get you started. I would have thought that Twenty Eleven would have been included given the upcoming release of WordPress 3.2.

Features include:

  • Seamless integration with your WordPress site and theme
  • Integrated admin interface for forums, topics, and replies
  • Split and merge topics within a single forum
  • Shortcodes to help you customize where your forums appear
  • Currently comes with a child theme of TwentyTen to get you started
  • Keep track of changes with topic and reply revisions
  • Dashboard widget shows you a shapshot of your forums at a glance
  • Automatically creates a new ‘Moderator’ role for your forums
  • Mark topics as favorites and view them within your new user profile
  • Receive emails when new replies are posted to topics you subscribe to
  • Anonymous posting lets you open your community up to the world
  • Includes widgets to show latest forum activity
  • Comes with an importer to move your existing integrated forums over

Once bbPress is installed you will see a new forums section in your WordPress admin area.

How To Upgrade bbPress From A Standalone Installation

Importing your existing bbPress installation is very straight forward. The plugin adds an importer to Tools/Import (at the bottom of the page called bbPress Standalone). I had bbPress installed in my test area and when I clicked on the import tool it informed me that I had a pre-existing installation of bbPress already.

I was then presented with the option of migrating users or importing forums, topics and posts.

That’s all there is to it. Your posts have been imported!

bbPress WordPress Plugin

This is a major turning point for the WordPress community. I have no doubt in my mind that we will start seeing thousands of blogs adding a forum due to how easy it is to install bbPress. The plugin still has a long way to go before it is stable enough for general release (as they are working with developers to ensure that the plugin works well with other popular plugins etc). Unfortunately I’ve not been able to install the plugin correctly at WP Mods as yet as it seems to be conflicting with another plugin I have installed. It is working fine in my test area though.

Will you be adding a forum to your blog now that bbPress can be added via a plugin? I’d love to hear your thoughts on all of this.

Good luck,

Links: bbPress | Announcement | bbPress WordPress Plugin

Comments (5)

  • Comment by me

    Hi Kevin. I totally understand what you mean. I am too quite disappointed. WP is such a great tool, I can’t believe that the guys who coded WP can’t make bbPress work in the same way.

    However, so far I have tried a couple of small forum solutions, and some of them are the same or far worse than bbPress. I hope you can find a solution for you, I will be giving it a go with the bbPress standalone version and accept that it’s only half-baked

  • Comment by Kevin Muldoon
    Kevin Muldoon

    I have been very disappointed with the slow development of bbPress 2.0. It’s still incredibly buggy, incredibly un-user friendly and incredibly unsupported.

    I am currently looking for alternatives as it doesn’t do everything that I want it to do.

  • Comment by me

    I am not sure that I really understand how it works. But after I installed bbPress as a plugin into my WP blog, I can create forums, but cannot write posts. Is this plugin relying on comments being activated on pages???? If so, comments are off on my pages.

    Otherwise bbPress might be conflicting with another plugin I have installed, although I have no idea which one.

  • Comment by Nadeem Khan
    Nadeem Khan

    Sounds quite god to me … I will integrate it tomorrow !
    Although I have never been into forum staff ever before but em a wordpress Guru so em going for it now!

  • Comment by Rev. Voodoo
    Rev. Voodoo

    Well, I had it installed and running a few minutes after it was released to the wild. I’ve got some basic functionality. I hadn’t noticed the child theme tucked in there. I’m guessing I’ll want to dig into that to see how it works to get bbPress running smoothly on VoodooPress.