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Adding Buddy Press Forums to Menu just generates blank page

  • billy-not-happy


    I have:

    version 1.7 of Buddy Press
    version 2.2.4 of BB Press
    I have forum base set to General Forums
    I have the slug set to all-forums
    I’m using the Razor theme from Parallelus which fully supports BuddyPress and BBpress

    The issue is NOT getting either BB press or Buddy Press to work, they do as you can see visiting this test page and looking first at the side bar, then then try the choices under community.

    Excess the trolls, I haven’t cleaned house, but leaving them for now shows things work as far as posting.

    All I need to do and can’t no matter what I change is show a list of forums under Community like I do for Groups. All but one forum was created in version 1.6. You can see I created a new test forum in version 1.7.

    Please help!

Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)

  • @mercime


    I have forum base set to General Forums
    I have the slug set to all-forums

    @billy-not-happy not clear. “Archive Slugs > forums base” is the slug used for the sitewide forums directory. Could you clarify further?
    – did you follow the instructions
    – did you add the forum index shortcode in your forums directory page



    Please excuse this extra long post, its necessary and may be eye opening to the developers who should read EVERY WORD to see what needless torture they put people though. What follows is a step by step. If Einstein were still alive and tried to set up Buddy Press he too would be confused and royally pissed-off over the often missing, misleading or incomplete instructions and poor design choices. Keep in mind I actually have Buddy Press and bb Press BOTH up and running or it at least appears so. Even that is uncertain because if there is a way to tell the difference between a Buddy Press forum and a bb Press forum I sure can’t tell and it for sure isn’t obvious either in the appearance or how they are references from the Dashboard. Another serious blunder in my opinion.

    Trying to figure out WHICH program you are actually in is PART OF THE PROBLEM.

    1. I go to my Dashboard and see what looks like a clam shell icon in front of Forums. I click this and see a listing of the 7 forums I created so far. Is this Buddy Press forums or BB Press?

    2. I scroll down the Dashboard left column looking for an entry for BB Press. There is none. That’s confusing since there is one for Buddy Press and people of course will think you should click there. I do realize for some poorly considered reason it got moved to Settings. Ok fine, I go to Setting looking for bbPress and guess what, THERE IS NO LISTING for BBpress under Settings aside for bbPress Moderation which is just extra options.

    So logically I return to the Dashboard and go check under plug-ins to see if bbPress was actually activated. It was. So since nothing shows under bbPress under settings I click on settings under plug-ins and get to a page called Forums Settings. Oh goodie, it appears I’m getting somewhere.

    3. I scroll down the above mentioned Forums page and set Forums Base to General Forums and the Forums slug to all-forums. Leaving everything else to the defaults.

    Returning to the Dashboard and going to Settings again I click on Forums and get the same page I just mentioned. Again the instructions are very confusing to a newbie since both bbPress and Buddy Press can make Forums. Why don’t it say bbPress forums?

    4. I return to my site, it appears to work EXCEPT for the original question I asked. All I want to do is create a page like I did for Buddy Press which lists all the GROUPS. What was simple and just happened automatically.

    All I want to have is a similar page that lists all the bbpress discussion groups (some page) and then link that to the menu buttons. What should be child’s play, but it does not work. I tried both general forums and all-forums and tried countless others and all manner of combinations and all that happens is I get back a blank page. FRUSTRATING beyond description!



    Finally some success…

    Thanks for the pointer to shortcodes. I used [bbp-forum-index] and while crude and unformatted it yields something close to what I want.

    My point is again the instructions. Geez… you need to jump through hoops and rely on blind luck or somebody like you being kind enough to respond in order to get anything done.

    NOT the way things should be!

    Please don’t take out your anger and frustration on us as we didn’t ask that you use these apps and we on this help site are all volunteers giving our time and any experience for free to try and help people and that needs to be respected otherwise those of us that can help will simply not bother, busy lives jobs to do etc.

    A lot of that which you cite above is general inexperience, not being able to locate things may be frustrating but once done… Both BP and bbPress have forums? not so now BP removes them in latest releases leaving bbPress to handle all forum activity whether as sitewide or groups forums or running both.

    As mercime asked above re the blank page did you actually add a shortcode to your forum index page?



    Respect is EARNED. There is NO excuse for poorly written, sloppy, incomplete, often confusing, misleading instructions. While I’m new to Word Press, Buddy Press, bbPress I am a seasoned computer user, programmer, with over 30 years experience. If I get confused with the “instructions” I assure you others with much less experience will also.

    One big gripe I have is those writing instructions for BuddyPress and bbPress make assumptions and throw out terms WITHOUT first defining them. That is the root of much of the confusion newbies to these plug-ins have resulting in much needless guessing, trial and error and time wasting.

    I can say WordPress and it various plug-ins can be a nightmare to work with because of the above. Your comments actually confirm that.

    Yes, I read the “instructions” and visited the shortcode page. Since shortcodes are typically “extras” one might add AFTER your site is basically working I glossed over the one that works.

    My point here is since anyone installing bbPress or Buddy Press would logically want to make such additions a MENU CHOICE or what’s the point of having them that should be specifically explained in the instructions far more clearly that it is to avoid confusion.

    What compounds the confusion is Buddy Press works very different than bbPress. The former automatically generates a listing of Groups by simply making a BLANK Groups page! That bbPress requires a shortcode to generate a list of forums isn’t explained anywhere in the main instructions and many like me will miss how to do it and spend countless hours hunting all over the web and asking for a solution. Again this points to sloppy incomplete instructions and yes, doing that does make me angry!

    It would be illogical to assume anyone wishing to use bbPress forums would not make them a menu item. How to do that should be explained in the MAIN instructions not expecting users to wander off to various other pages and pick and choose some shortcode to see what happens. Even the correct shortcode [bbp-forum-index] is misleading in that “index” isn’t defined as to WHAT it will do. Again leaving end users to GUESS. Instructions that make users GUESS are incomplete and sloppy!



    @billy-not-happy I wrote the instructions for You mentioned that the instructions were not clear enough and brought some confusion, so please feel free to post some more ideas on how we can improve the article, in addition to what you already posted above. Than you.



    I do have a few suggestions, I will post them in a few days.



    First off FINDING instructions is in itself a bit confusing. There are multiple
    “official” sources which compounds the confusion. End users keep wondering is there a separation between Buddy Press and bbPress? Have they merged, they’re separate? It seems the intend is to merge bbPress into BuddyPress. Curious that bbPress only appears under plug-ins and once installed appears under Forums on the Dashboard.

    One finds the bbPress help under a green banner and what you wrote: has a red heading background.

    This begins the confusion. One installing bbpess then running into a problem is likely to use a major search engine then search for bbpress, after all THAT is the plug-in many have problems with as I did.

    Note YOUR install instructions are labeled under BuddyPress, not bbPress. Why is that? This in itself will leave many to wonder if they ended up on the right help page. This endless back and forth trying to decide am I dealing with BuddyPress or bbPress is unnecessary and really a clumsy design decision on part of the developers because all it does is create needless confusion. That gets compounded when BuddyPress and bbPress offer overlapping features and it never really becomes clear which one you are dealing with as confirmed by having two how-to sets of instructions.

    Can’t you guys work together and CONSOLIDATE the how-to in ONE place?

    Can’t you guys make up your mind if you’re BuddyPress or bbPress or are you really still both?

    Now specifically to your instructions:

    Please accept as offered, constructive critique from a newbie’s point of view.

    First What I tried to do: Create site wide Forum, keeping my already working Buddy Press Groups.
    I scrolled down the page until I found

    A. Set Up Sitewide Forums only

    The first step is obvious. The 2nd which takes one away from YOUR instructions to the bbPress page is needlessly confusing. Again you leave the end user to wonder what the hell am I working with bbPress or BuddyPress? The endless back and forth to a newbie is MADING.

    The main content of the bbpress page you reference does nothing but define what various settings do. This will cause the typical newbie to skim the list and wonder WHY was I told to go here, now what? While useful, the page you reference to does NOT offer anything to do with installing, the TASK AT HAND. This will like for me, cause a newbie to leave that page quickly, since it seems to be something one might want to review AFTER bbPress is actually installed and running correctly.

    So I like I’m guessing most would return to YOUR instructions page. Continuing on with your instructions you say:

    `”•If you kept the default “forums” slug in Settings > Forums, you can create a new Page via Pages > Add New. Add Title “Forums” and insert the forums index shortcode and/or other bbPress shortcode you’ll find in the bbPress Codex then publish the new page. `

    Oh no, you redirect to yet another page? This is really getting frustrating. Why? Because you first redirected to a page that had nothing to do with installation. Many will either ignore your suggestion or if they visit the page, again get confused.

    Also if I was writing the instructions I would FIRST define all the terms you use. Many writing instructions are guilty of this omission which is the root cause of much confusion to newbies!
    Slug? Shortcode? Index? What the heck are those in the context used?

    You instruct if a page already exists called “forums” to make a new one where the only change is to capitalize the word forums to Forums, again I bet you confused many why they should bother and I bet they will skip doing it. I know why, others won’t and its a poor choice for a name when you could pick anything else.

    If I wrote the instructions:

    Under Prelude I would have made a warning that unlike Buddy Press that simply accepts a blank page for Groups and that alone generates a listing of all groups, if a page named Groups exists, setting up Forums in bbPress requires the addition of a shortcode. A blank page named “forums” or something else does nothing. You should not send people wandering off to other pages. YOU should specifically mention this CRITICAL fact in YOUR instructions. Something like:

    Warning If you already have an earlier version of bbPress or Buddy Press installed, go to Dashboard
    Pages and look for any page named forums. Send this page to the trash. Empty trash.

    . Install and activate bbPress.
    . If you want to have a page that lists all your forums, make a new page with a more descriptive
    name for Forums such as all-forums.
    . Add the shortcode `[bbp-forum-index]` to this new page, publish.
    . From Dashboard go to Appearances, Menu. Locate the page you just created and add to your
    . Create one or more forums if you haven’t already. Test that they all show up when you click on
    the page you just added to menu.

    Anton Naydenoff


    Not my business, but I was really confused with these bbPress <-> BuddyPress forums, too.
    It’s not necessary to write that ‘Group Forums’ are some kind of a component of BP when they are actually not. It bears only unneeded confusion for users. ‘Group Forums’ are just an option to connect some group with a particular forum from all the forums in a site, but all forums are bbPress forums at the end. BP doesn’t have any forums in it!
    I think you should better leave the settings for people to chose if they want their groups to have forums or not while they are creating these groups. That’s enough – no more explanations are needed then. To write articles about ‘Group-forums’are really confusing for all the newbies. ‘Group forums’ or whatever the name is, are another yet forum in bbPress parental for other forums.
    This part with these shortcodes is another big mess too – people DON’T UNDERSTAND this – I’m 99,99% sure that I am not the only one who think this way.
    Some details in BP are quite well explained (UNNECESSARY) while other ones (IMPORTANT ones) are totally ignored. There is almost none info for shortcodes for example – how they work, where to write them, how to make them work, lists of them, etc… 🙁



    As @hnla already explained thoroughly and @mercime has bent over backwards to accommodate more than I would have given your demeanor, you still refuse to see this community is made up of volunteers and not discounting the need for better codex documentation on certain issues but the bottom line is there is lots of people that had to work their butts off and learn some degree of coding trying to figure it out and they gained more knowledge by doing so. Most of these volunteers have families and other obligations to tend too and your sense of entitlement for a priceless piece of software is very disrespectful to all the hard work these folks put in with no compensation especially with the comments:

    Respect is EARNED
    While I’m new to Word Press, Buddy Press, bbPress I am a seasoned computer user, programmer, with over 30 years experience

    Well let me tell you earning respect is mutual and condescending remarks like that will gain little resolve. I have maybe 5 months experience and I figured a lot of it out because I did my home work, and when I could not find the answer I needed I asked this wonderful community in a respectful manner for help and was welcomed with open arms! Demanding things from volunteers is not a proper way to approach a request for support so put your 30 years aside for a minute and humble yourself. Also there is no one stopping you from adding to the codex unless something has changed recently so you can start taking strides forward by contributing to the documentation in your spare time with no pressure. You can also contribute @anton-naydenoff if you choose to do so. Please keep your composure and don’t worry be happy! 🙂



    For starters, for the last couple days I get this on logging into THIS site:

    “There is a problem with this website’s security certificate.
    The security certificate presented by this website was issued for a different website’s address.
    Security certificate problems may indicate an attempt to fool you or intercept any data you send to the server. ”

    While I’m sure the volunteers try hard, such “security” messages leaves one to wonder, who if anyone is minding the store.

    I’m not interesting in attempts to “shoot the messenger”. The FACT is and curiously we all seem to agree, the instructions at times, especially in primary set-up issues leave much to be desired which of course causes much frustration.

    Rule # 1 if you’re going to post in a forum, newsgroup, whatever. GET A THICKER SKIN.

    Rule # 2 Don’t take things personal.

    Rule # 3 Don’t appoint yourself judge, jury and executioner.

    After your uncalled for, self-serving and amateurish lecture it will be a cold day in hell before I offer any tips or advice. You need to get a life if you got nothing better to do than scold somebody you don’t know, never met. Don’t bother replying, I won’t be commenting further in this thread.

    Hugo Ashmore


    ‘We’ the forum regulars and contributors core or otherwise do acknowledge the need for better docs but everyone does need to bear in mind it’s a time factor issue, few of us have the time to go and edit docs, update them where necessary, what time is available tends to be prioritised towards code where time and resources are limited.

    On that note I’ll close this thread now as it’s run it’s course.

Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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