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Need Help Understanding Integration of BuddyPress and bbPress

  • fmckinnon


    Hope this is the correct forum to post this request. We are considering a major platform change for our website, TheWorshipCommunity.Com ( – I’ll refer to it as TWC in this post.

    TWC is built on two platforms:
    The blog/articles are based on WordPress.
    The forum is based on vBulletin, which is out of date, and needs major overhaul.

    I’m strongly considering BuddyPress and bbPress. bbPress is a no-brainer because we HAVE to keep the forums. That’s where the bulk of our community exists.

    So, my question is should we also use BuddyPress? I get a little confused on the difference between “Groups” in Buddypress and the forums … and “Group” forums.

    I know that the vBulletin importer works because we’ve already tried it. I guess my big question is when you use BuddyPress and bbPress together … are the user accounts shared? Meaning … once we import all of our thousands of users from vBulletin, is there user accounts now created for both bbPress and Buddypress .. or is it still treated like two separate accounts?

    I would be beyond grateful if someone who is experienced in both could look at our site and give some honest evaluation on if this combination would be right for our community.


Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)

  • danbp


    hi @fmckinnon,

    Should we also use BuddyPress?

    bbPress is a separate WP forum plugin. You can use it on any WordPress install.

    BuddyPress is a separate WP members community plugin. You can use on any WordPress install.

    Confused by the difference between “Groups” in Buddypress and the forums … and “Group” forums.

    BP groups are members activities grouped under a same hood: the group. So it’s a typical BP behave. A group is not a forum, even if group discussion can be followed with help of a minimalistic publishing tool, the what’s new ? form aka notice editor. A kind of wall discussion retrained to each group, without any usual forum tool.

    If you use bbPress AND buddyPress, you have the ability to categorize the forum into groups. In other words, you can assign a forum to any group of your choice.

    As you can read on Codex, you have the option for a global forum only, or group forums only or if you have time and many mods, group and global forums.

    For the last question, you already know that vbulltetin can be imported. For the user i have no answer because i never used this, but one thing is sure, WP use only one user table, no matter the other used plugin.

    BuddyPress “shows” users, but doesn’t manage them. bbPress “shows” topics, but doesn’t manage user. That’s WP stuff.

    I don’t know if you should use BP and bbPress together simply in regards of these technical explanation. So far i already experimented with BP, they are many other points to take in consideration if you want to built a community site.



    Ah ok interesting. I understand they are two different plugins .. I just wasn’t sure how they could be married together for the end-user .. and this is still a bit cloudy to me.



    Anything about this is explained here

    Installing Group and Sitewide Forums

    and also on bbpress site.



    Hey Dan,
    Yeah – I understand that – spent a lot of time reading, and have installed BuddyPress and bbPress on my staging domain.

    I’ve experimented around w/ the Groups features (including allowing a Group to have a forum, etc). At this point, I realize I’m getting into personal preference …so with that being understood, here’s my question:

    What’s the real point of Status Update/Activity Streams in the individual groups in BuddyPress if you are going to be also having forums via bbPress? It seemed and felt cluttered and redundant to me.

    Like I created a group called “Songwriters” and linked it to the “Songwriters” forum. But, members of the Group can post status updates in the Group, that don’t show up in the forum. And if a member of the group posts in the forum, it does show up in the “forum” section of the group, but doesn’t show up in the activity feed for the group.

    It almost feels like the two spaces are competing, I’m not sure I follow the rationale. Again, I realize it’s preference, but in your opinion, if you are going to utilize bbPress forums, is it best to just turn groups off?

    What I’m trying to prevent is having the “group” discussions having in two separate areas. I can see how you’d have some discussion happening in the forum, and then someone else may post a topic as a “status update” in the group, and start getting comments there.

    Does this make sense?



    Guess you have to think global at first.
    – what is the aim of my site ?
    – have i time to manage the community ?
    – which tools are already on hand to achieve my goal ?
    – Do i need more plugins ?

    With BP, anything can be commented by default.
    In regard of this, a forum is not necessary. But if your members are leaded to discuss, you need a forum, not a comment system.

    Actually you use a global forum. Why would you modify this, as your members are probably used to using it….

    You’re right, commenting or publishing messages to all in a group is a bit confusing. But on other, you’re not obligated to use anything shipped by default. You can remove this feature on some places.
    At least this depends of what you really need and want to do.



    Thanks so much for your help. I’ve enlisted some people in our existing forums to signup in our staging area and poke around a few days and see what they think as well.

    The main aim of my site: to make it more inclusive to the members .. meaning, right now, we have thousands of people who read the articles but never engage. The only people we get added to our mailing list are forum members, so yes – one of main aims is to grow the mailing list and membership base.

    Time to manage? not a problem, we have lots of devoted forum members who are happy to volunteer as mods/admins.

    As you pointed out, we do have the global forum currently (via vBulletin) so initially, the “sitewide forums” would make the most sense. If we did that, I’m not sure we even need to bother with creating groups. But, on the surface, to me — it feels like “Groups” are one of the biggest draws to BuddyPress that makes it more social …

    When you say “you can remove this feature in some places” – can you elaborate? Can the status updates/comments inside of Groups be turned off, only allowing discussion via the group forum?



    it feels like “Groups” are one of the biggest draws to BuddyPress that makes it more social

    It’s one of the interrest of BuddyPress, indeed !

    Yes, you can remove status from the template. Search this forum, the’re many topics about this subject.

    You could remove this from groups/single/home.php – needs just a template overload.

    <div id="message" class="info">
    <p><?php bp_group_status_message(); ?></p>
Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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