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WordPress and Forums

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August 14th, 2010
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bbpress, Blogging, WLTC Community, WordPress

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There are a myriad of reasons why people create websites and put them online.  Some do it for fame and profit; others do it for passion and service.

No matter the reason you put your work and effort into an online endeavor there can come a time in the life of some websites that the comment system becomes inconvenient for discussions.

Now WordPress has done a lot to make it easier to follow along with discussions on a site based on that system.  The threaded comments option allows replies to be underneath the original comment that prompted the reply.  Even before it became an option in WordPress plugin developers were making it happen.

So when you want to take those discussions to their own piece of your website and create a forum what should you do?

Well there are quite a few options out there for forums and discussion boards.  Some have been made to integrate directly with WordPress at all levels and some of the stand alone boards can be integrated into your site as well using other options.

One of the more popular pieces of forum software for WordPress users is bbPress – which comes from the creators of WordPress.  bbPress is made to integrate with your WordPress database, share the same cookies and registration process.  Makes sense that the developers of WordPress would give you these types of options for their own forum software.

What about other forum software like phpPBB, Invision Power Board, vBulletin, and others listed here at WikiPedia

How do you go about integrating those forums with WordPress when they are not necessarily made to do it.  Integration is important at some level because you want to get people from your website to your forums and vice versa.

I have just started using phpBB3 on my site and am using the RSS Feed widget on my sidebar to show the latest threads on the board.

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How are you doing it?

I am looking forward to hearing what methods and plugins you use to make this happen.  Is there other forum software out there besides bbPress that has been built to integrate well with WordPress?  In your experience do some of the forum programs have special features to make integration with WordPress easier?  With the experience of this community I know there are many things I am not thinking of that you all know about. 

Let us know in the comments. 

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31
Responses

 

Comments

  1. Mr Papa (1 comments.) says:

    Simple:Press (http://simple-press.com) is a forum plugin for WordPress that integrates nicely – or at least I, as one of the developers, thinks so. :wink:

    • Richard Hay (32 comments.) says:

      About an hour after posting this and referring to phpBB3 on my site I tried out SPF. It is now my integrated forum on the site:

      http://www.windowsobserver.com/forums/

    • Isa Ali (1 comments.) says:

      I actually found Simple Press a good plugin but they only have a few developers so there was no option to import posts from other forums such as phpbb.

      They were looking for people to join them to create an import function so I would behappy if someone offered their help for that.

      Unfortunately I could not stick to Simple Press as I had a established forum and needed all my posts and members imported. Since I am not a coder, I couldn’t create my own import function on Simple Press. :) I hope someone can offer assistance to the founders of Simple Press so that it can go further as so far it seems the best one out there.

  2. Graeme (2 comments.) says:

    There’s a mod created for VBulletin to integrate into WordPress and I use that. It’s solid as it merges the userbase and also allows you to make posts on the website that go on the forum too. I don’t know if it is out for 4.0 yet as I have it on 3.8 but you can search the VB forums for it – WordPress/VBulletin Bridge. It’s nice to combine a great CMS with the best forum software.

  3. Derek Perkins (1 comments.) says:

    I’m waiting with bated breath for Justin Tadlock (www.justintadlock.com / http://www.themehybrid.com) to finish his new forum plugin. It’s built entirely with custom post types and taxonomies, so it doesn’t create any new WP tables. That also means that there is no extra overhead for integrating it with WP logins. It also is fully compatible with other plugins without requiring special coding. You can see it running at http://www.popcritics.com/forums. Hopefully a beta and then a final release will be soon forthcoming. Everything I’ve seen Justin do has been fantastic, and I’m sure that this will be the same.

    • Ron (1 comments.) says:

      I too am waiting for Justin’s forum plugin.

      I have used a couple of different WP forum plugins… (Buddy press, simple press) in the past and I wasn’t very impressed. Either set up took too much and updating them or I just didn’t like the functionality.

      Having played around with Justin’s a little bit I liked the simplicity.

  4. David (1 comments.) says:

    Ive created a basic forum type plugin called Question and Answer Forum for my wordpress site. Like the one mentioned above I tried to integrate it with wordpress by using custom post types – a new “post” for each topic or question and then using the commenting system to allow responses so all the site owner has to do is create a new template in their theme to display the forum topic and include a shortcode on one of their pages to allow new questions to be asked. Hasn’t had very good ratings on the repository but it does the job for me.

  5. hombrelobo (1 comments.) says:

    I used Simple Press for a while and it was very nice indeed. Now I am using Nabble, embedable forums that take about 30 secs to integrate in a simple way like this http://hombrelobo.com/foros/

  6. Bushido (2 comments.) says:

    I use WP-United (http://www.wp-united.com) in my wordpress blog (http://www.otakupt.com).
    From single sign-on, to fully automatic template integrations, their Setup Wizard works like a charm

    • Richard Hay (32 comments.) says:

      I thought WP United was no longer being developed?

      • Bushido (2 comments.) says:

        For me WP-United is the best solution, i initially used Simple:Press but the forum was to slow

      • FrankPereiro (2 comments.) says:

        I also used WP-United to integrate a phpbb forum and blog. I waited until WP was updated to 3.0 and it worked really well.

        It is still being developed.

  7. Flick (28 comments.) says:

    A forum software I use and would highly recommend is MyBB. Alas I have never integrated it with the WordPress installation on the same site, but there have been several attempts to integrate MyBB with WordPress on the Community Forums.

    One of the more recent ones is WordBB, which works as a plugin for MyBB and a plugin for WordPress.

    I would personally only need the user integration function, as it would still be nice to keep the discussion on site and forum separate, but MyBB combines user integration and discussion.

    • Flick (28 comments.) says:

      *Apologies for the double post – just to correct my final paragraph – it should refer to ‘WordBB’ rather than ‘MyBB’.

  8. nirok (1 comments.) says:

    WP-United is the best and most complete plugin for phpbb forums. It should be one of the top plugins, however it uses phpbb login so it’s over looked from wordpress a bit. In saying this i’m currently building a wordpress / buddypress/ phpbb / wpunited integration still using the phpbb for all login. It allows seamless integration between the two and has quite a few widgets which allow forum feeds and also login from wordpress… i have also just integrated a 2nd wordpress website with the wpunited integration as it runs classipress which i use for member classified ads… can’t say enough about how good wpunited is – GOGGLE IT – wp-united!

  9. John Lynn (4 comments.) says:

    It’s also interesting to note that bbpress is currently in the process of being converted into a WordPress plugin. Once that change happens, I think bbpress is going to become a really interesting project.

    Add in the integration of bbpress into BuddyPress and it’s going to be a nice forum option on WordPress.

  10. Edwin says:

    I never saw any real need to integrate a forum with a blog, but then my site doesnt really need a forum.

    • FrankPereiro (2 comments.) says:

      Well, if your site is growing and you start having other sections (wiki, forum, etc.) it’s really a pain to have your visitors login with different accounts for different sections.

      The user integration is really a plus.

      Now, having your site look the same throughout, I don’t know about that. Look at Yahoo! for example, they have a single sign on and it looks different when you visit different sections. Theme integration is not really that important to me.

  11. stew (2 comments.) says:

    And PunBB????

  12. quicoto (39 comments.) says:

    I use bbPress (http://php.quicoto.com/forum/)

    It is not the best. But it’s growing up. They are working on it every day.

    bbPress is also easy to modify and customize (not like SMF or something).

    Simple and functional forum system? bbPress ;)

    Regards

  13. john says:

    Invision has a converge module for seamless IP:Board WordPress integration: http://community.invisionpower.....press-101/. It’s an IPS Community module, which means that it is sponsored by IPS, but developed and supported by community members.

  14. Ryan (55 comments.) says:

    I wrote a WordPress plugin for handling theme integration with forum software … http://wordpress.org/extend/pl.....ntegrator/

  15. Brandon @ Moon Books (2 comments.) says:

    The best way I have found to do forums with WordPress is to install the Buddypress plugin. Not only will it get you forums but you will get a whole social networking system as well. I am currently in the process of converting my website from Drupal over to WordPress and Buddypress.

    My original Drupal site is http://moonbooks.net/project and the new site is http://moonbooks.net

    Brandon

  16. Angie says:

    I started a new Blog and I am using Simple Press .
    http://simple-press.com/
    They have two great Administrators and they offered me just outstanding help to get started with the set up process .(had a few problems and tbey spend hours heling me out)

    I tried a different wp- forum before ,did not work and read some putdowns for Newbies and was discouraged.
    Would def. recommend Simple Press, as it really integrates well and the support is excellent .

  17. Carlos (1 comments.) says:

    I use to run vBulletin. I got tired of all the costly updates and the direction. I switched to MyBB. I’m very satisfied. Like the other commenter, I would like to check out WP+MyBB integration. Any advice would be welcomed.

    Is OpenID perhaps a solution?

  18. girls bikes says:

    I’ve been attempting to integrate a forum into my wordpress site for some time now, I was close to giving up until I came across this post. So does bbPress actually use your wordpress theme directly? If so then integration must be a cinch. I can’t believe it could really be that easy?

  19. Bryan (1 comments.) says:

    I’m also waiting for the bbPress plugin (http://buddypress.org/2010/08/.....he-future/). In the meantime, I looked at simple press; it was slow and bloated. I ended up going with mingle forum (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/mingle-forum/). Nothing fancy, but it was easy to set up and it gets the job done just fine. Sometimes less is more :)

  20. Darren (1 comments.) says:

    I have just started using Mingle Forum http://cartpauj.com/ – Works pretty good so far. It’s really easy to install and integrates into any page very easy with just a short code. I was looking for something that would integrate into wordpress very easy and this one is real simple.

    The only thing I don’t care for is that it doesn’t have an easy way for the end user to upload photos. It interests a short code, then you have to paste a URL between the code to have images in your post. I think the guy is working on a more user friendly solution. But other than that I like.

    Here is how we are using it – http://www.zclubofhouston.com/zcoh-forum/

  21. saber210 (1 comments.) says:

    Is there any new phpbb and wordpress integration?

    I think WP united is already dead..

    Sigh!

  22. budi says:

    Now I am using WordPress with MyBB, using Zingiri plugin, but activator link emailed to new user was false. It takes to Error 404. But I like MyBB, because I need forum which is featured with reputation from other user.



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