PHPBB And WordPress

January 10th, 2009
WordPress Weekly

Joining me this week on WordPress Weekly was Douglas Bell who operates as well as hosts the PHPBBWeekly podcast. In this episode, David and I chatted about a number of subjects including:

  • WordPress User Interface History
  • BBPress
  • PHPBB3
  • The possibilities of the WordPress team working with PHPBB to develope a bridge between the two
  • Security of PHPBB3 and WordPress

And a whole lot more. While PHPBB and WordPress are two different pieces of open source software serving different needs, I find it interesting to discuss the differences in strategy as well as the similarities between the two.

Plugin Of The Week: Maintenance Mode – Adds a splash page to your blog that lets visitors know your blog is down for maintenance. Logged in administrators get full access to the blog including the front-end. When the maintenance mode is activated, a custom defined message is shown to site visitors

Announcements: On January 16th, Jonathan Davis who has created a comprehensive e-commerce plugin for WordPress called Shopp will be our special guest.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Friday January 16th, 2008

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Itunes: Click here to subscribe

Length Of Episode: 1 Hour

Download The Show: WordPressWeeklyEpisode36.mp3

Listen To Episode #36:




  1. Miroslav Glavic (27 comments.) says:

    Hello Jeff,

    My name is Miroslav Glavic (pronounced Miroslav Glavich) anyways….I put in the URI field the link to the 1,000,000 (really 1,000,002) where I have the screenshot, I also got the half a million screenshot.

    Do you think there will be 1.5 million? 2 million? 2.5 million 3 million? Let’s have some fun…how many downloads do you think 2.7 will have before it gets resetted for 2.7.1/2.8?

    • Jeff Chandler (295 comments.) says:

      Sorry I couldn’t remember your name or had the site open during the show or I would have stated it :)

      As for downloads. I think 2.7.1 will be released before WordPress 2.7 hits 1.5 million.

  2. Shirley (4 comments.) says:

    Yes, I think it’d be nice to have a bridge between the two. I work with phpBB and WordPress a lot and have created my own ‘bridges’, but it’d be great if there was a standard interface and shared API that could be used.

  3. v1dz (3 comments.) says:

    I just hope the bridge for WordPress and PHPBB comes soon.
    Do your bridges work perfectly? I just could create log in box for wordpress page.:P That too a script.
    Would be great if you share your Bridges/API codes for WP and PHPBB.

    • TrekkieMonster (1 comments.) says:

      v1dz – you mentioned having created a login for phpbb that sits on a wordpress page – have I understood that correct? If so, would you be willing to share it with me as it’s something I’ve been looking for a long time now and have not found anything really quite suitable for my limited skills. (lol).

      And just to add my name to the list, I too would love to see a standardised bridge for phpbb with wordpress. I should think that the WP and PHPBB combination must be the most common of all the people whom have seperate blog and forum software on their websites. Just my opinion, I cant back that up with figures. :)

      happy new year everyone too.

  4. @javig (1 comments.) says:

    The best for both and other source code creators will be to make a standard of users and permissions, the same tables in phpbb and WP , that would make integration so easy.

  5. Rod (3 comments.) says:

    HI.. Happy New Year everyone. I look forward to more of BB Press and WordPress integration. I like learning and will enoy this I am sure.

  6. JLeuze (12 comments.) says:

    I use phpBB3 on a couple of different websites, and I can’t wait for a finished version of bbPress 1.0 so that I can start migrating my forums.

    Honestly, I think the difference between the two is more aesthetic than anything. If bbPress had a theme that matched the default look of phpBB or vBulletin, people might accept it more than the minimalist design of most bbPress themes.

    I will gladly trade the extra features of phpBB that I don’t even use, like private messaging, for being able to have a unified login between WordPress and bbPress!

    As far as a bridge between WordPress and phpBB, I think that it would be more of an anchor dragging WordPress down. There really is no comparison, WordPress and bbPress are constantly evolving and growing, responding to changes in the Web around them.

    On the other hand, phpBB is stagnant and dying. There has been only one major upgrade to phpBB in the last 6 years, WordPress has had eleven releases in that same time frame, and even bbPress has had at least 4 or 5 releases!

    It seems like phpBB’s development cycle has a time frame that is more similar to desktop software, and I don’t think that is a good practice to follow with webware.

    I have a feeling that phpBB is going to go extinct, just like all the flavors of Nuke did. It does seem that Automattic is not giving bbPress as much support as they could, but I am hoping that they are just letting bbPress grow naturally at its own pace…

    • Vanesta says:

      I don’t think you need to trade in features for unified login. i saw slashgear is using minibb and after reading minibb instructions, it looks like it will work very well together as minibb is using wordpress user table rather than just cookie integration login i saw they are using it with wp

      • JLeuze (12 comments.) says:

        miniBB does look neat Vanesta. If it does live up to the name “mini”, I may be inclined to choose it over phpBB!

        But my hunch is that over the long term, bbPress will grow to mesh with WordPress better; and improve overall as the community grows.

        I’ve invested quite a bit of time into becoming knowledgeable with WordPress, at the expense of other software, and I think that it will be time well spent. I have also spent some time learning phpBB, but I am trying to weight the pros and cons before choosing a horse in this race.

        Considering the number of years and releases that miniBB has seen, I should at least check it’s teeth ;)

  7. greg says:

    I’d LOVE to see a smooth integration between WP and phpBB3…. with the ability to do translations…. That would be sweet….. Even with WP’s ability to have a 5 level comment hierarchy, it still doesn’t seem to be as effective for say –private classes– it is still (to me) a one to many –with feedback….. not “Many to Many –on multiple topics of their own choosing –but are related to topics in the blog….

  8. Flick (28 comments.) says:

    Apologies for being controversial and mentioning another board here (hope this isn’t too inappropriate) but I would actually like to see either MyBB (or the phpBB) and WordPress teams work together :) MyBB recently changed to open source and is very actively developed; someone has been developing a bridge (WordBB) but it would be great to have two great teams working together, as users will then have unbelievable access to plugins from both systems. This of course is applicable to phpBB too (have to admit I was tempted by phpBB3 at one point before I found MyBB!)

    p/s: The added bonus of MyBB is that the development team have developed a ‘Merge’ system that allows admins to transfer to MyBB easily from any of the major boards.

  9. BoltClock (24 comments.) says:

    What about WP-United?

    Oh, that hasn’t seen development in ages :(

    • Steven Douglas (1 comments.) says:

      I just installed WP-United, and it integrated with my phpBB (3.03 as of now) installation just fine. Forget all the not-too-bad attempts bridging and template integration; just the fact that it made it so that phpBB3 handles all the registrations, with some nicely written phpBB ACP control panel integration, was worth the price of admission (free) for me.

      If you do attempt the installation (and I’m glad I did), don’t forget to in the WP-United support forum. One guy there (username “zujik”) rewrote some of the code that made for a flawless installation.

      • Willy Galleta (1 comments.) says:

        Hi. I have been using WP-United for some months on (Spanish web) and I have to say I’m very comfortable with it. Even though I have sticked to the 2.5 WP version so it does not bring compatibility issues.
        I’m happy with that mod. With zujik’s code it almost doesn’t give any errors (none on the user end; only on a mod specific page; probably my fault).
        So until a better straightforward solution comes out, I’ll stick to it. It’s worth a try. Specially because it tries not to mess up with the WordPress database. WP-United: Totally recomended.
        Saludos, a happy admin and user. :)

        • Dhamphy (3 comments.) says:

          Actually I haven’t heard of this WP-United until i read this comment of your. Thanks, I’m Going to try it and I’m so excited…

  10. Kjetil (7 comments.) says:

    Maintenance Mode is really a useful plugin, – but regrettably it has not been developed for a long time. Latest release in August 2007 – which worked for me up to WP251 (though it says to work up to 2.3).
    Many would/should be grateful if somebody eventually would take over the development.

    • Jeff Chandler (295 comments.) says:

      It works for me just fine on a fresh install of WordPress 2.7

    • Alex says:

      Yeah, I too have Maintenance Mode still running fine on the latest release.

      • Kjetil (7 comments.) says:

        Great – then I can search for some plugin conflict. I have quite a lot of them (30+) running, som when I have some spare time….
        Thanks :o)

  11. Douglas Bell (1 comments.) says:

    Thanks again Jeff for the chance to join you on this episode. I felt it was a really good conversation and appreciate you providing me the chance to share some of my views on these topics.

    We’ll probably be talking a bit more about phpBB “bridges” and session integration on the next episode of phpBB Weekly, which should be out later tonight or tomorrow for any of you who want to take a listen. :)

  12. Jan (1 comments.) says:

    For the longest time I had loved phpbb and when wordpress caught my attention I the first thing anyone who love both would do – I guess- is to look for a plugin “to merge” both. I just came across the simple:press forum plugin that does almost everything phpbb does and it’s a wordpress plugin.
    Instead of waiting for the collaboration I am going ahead with this small plugin and hopefull phpbb will come up with something similar.

    Anyone else who used the simple:press forum plugin?

    • Kjetil (7 comments.) says:

      Lots of people use it and I can nothing but recommend SimplePress. The author has done a great job, it has lots of custumisation and the support/ forum is superb. In fact I liked it so much I felt I should give something back and made a translation. Just to point out: Its great. In fact, when I wanted to migrate from the now outdated RS-Discuss, they even made a convertion/import script. They have several others, so see it one fits you.

  13. mercime says:

    Looking forward to the episode re e-commerce plugin for WordPress called Shopp, I am considering it for my friend’s site. Thank you.

  14. Sean Sullivan (1 comments.) says:

    Hey guys. It sounds like nobody has yet heard of OnePress Community so I thought I’d drop you a quick line. It is a WordPress theme framework that comes complete with support for phpBB integration. The phpBB integration includes unified login, common navigation and widgets for showing forum posts on your WordPress site.

    We started developing OnePress because we ran into this exact problem and couldn’t believe that nobody had yet solved this problem (along with other problems of community building tools and specifically WordPress.) I think you’ll find it’s what you’re looking for.

    In addition, I think BBPress is a great project but there are so many communities out there already formed with phpBB. With OnePress, it’s really nice to be able to just tack WordPress onto that and sync them up.

  15. Jeffro (20 comments.) says:

    Those of you still interested in looking for a phpBB bridge to work with WordPress will probably be interested in a new plugin Brad Williams is developing.

  16. Diet Blog (2 comments.) says:

    That maintenance mode plugin seems pretty cool. I hate having my pages go down when I’m working on something weird and just hoping there aren’t too many users wondering what the hell is going on.

  17. Nurul Azis (16 comments.) says:

    I really like Brad Williams’ work :-)


  1. […] and I’d like to point out a recent post on Weblog tools Collection… Here they mention possible collaboration between the WP & PHPBB developers, this can only be a good thing as I know from personal experience that it’s something the […]

  2. […] remember when I published WordPress Weekly episode 36 where I interviewed Douglas Bell regarding phpBB and discussed the differences between the software […]

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