Alternative to bbpress
You may be able to ‘bridge’ phpBB, etc, into WordPress, but you’d have to probably rewrite all of the BuddyPress forum integration code. It’s non-trivial.
I have been looking at buddypress since version 1 and every time I hope for improvement and every time get disappointed at the focus of the developers.
Most of the strength that wordpress has, buddypress is lacking. It’s not simple and user friendly and lacks basic needs for a forum community. In more than 1 year buddypress has only 187 member. Too bad.
I wish I was a great coder like the people behind wordpress, but I am not. If I was I would definitely contribute to buddypress.
You can also look at simple:press – some work has been done integrating that with BuddyPress
@lisa – I share your frustration with the BuddyPress approach to forums; every client we have worked with (6 in total now) has asked for standard forums to be integrated, and not the BuddyPress Group / Forum approach.
The BuddyPress Group / Forum idea might be an interesting technical approach (and logical from a data modelling point of view), but unfortunately doesn’t seem to have been an end user requirements driven decision.
The best approach to get full functioning standards forums (working with a BuddyPress site) is to disable the BuddyPress forums (a simple checkbox in the admin system), and install your forum solution separately – you’ll then want to ensure you have single sign on, and integration with the activity stream – there is some work documented already to do this with simple:press and bbPress (search on their community forums), but I’m not aware of an out of the box fully functioning solution.
Of course, you’ll also want to design your theme to seamlessly integrate the forums.
[aside: I noticed an announcement re: bbPress being moved into WordPress as a plugin. The announcement also said it was being coded by @jjj, one of the core BuddyPress deveIopers. I don’t know how this will affect the functionality of bbPress (more or less featured?), or whether it will integrate a standalone forums solution into BuddyPress by default. Any more info on this @djpaul or @jjj?]
Why not just use a standalone installation of bbPress with a matching theme? bbPress is also coming up as a plugin for WordPress but not anytime soon. So I would suggest you to use bbPress 0.9 and theme it to match with your site
By bbPress 0.9 you get better performance, more plugins working and you can anytime upgrade it to later version 1.0+ or the upcoming bbPress WP-plugin.
@ashfame – it’s not quite that simple. Yes, have a standalone installation. Then, to give smooth integration, you also want to ensure you have single sign on (i.e. not having sign on separately for both the forums and BuddyPress network), and you want to see your activity on the forums being shown in your profile activity stream on BuddyPress (this needs callback routines when events happen in the forum software, you’ll have to code these so that they call the BuddyPress activity API correctly).
the bbpress plugin will make things easier (right now with how buddypress wraps bbpress internally is a bit messy with “removing” features/hooks)
Agree with you on the fact that APIs need to be called for forum activity to show up in stream. Other than that everything else is simple and I would consider that myself.
An easy solution is to create a general group for site wide forums or use a (paid) plugin in beta by Brajesh.
the idea for group forums is absolutely retarded… buddypress would be sooo awesome if it just had a normal forum setup that normal people know how to use off the bat. Group forums are completely unnecessary and confusing. There should at least be an option to choose a classic forum style.
Roger Coathub and Oldrow are correct; group forums may be interesting from some esoteric highly technical geek perspective, but for normal end-users it’s just not helpful, period. Why can’t it be turned off easily? I mean, I see that there’s an option to do this but then things seem to go nuts with bbPress….
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