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Use Forums without Groups?

  • TobiasBg



    I’m new to BuddyPress and just set up a test install of BP 1.2 on WP 2.9.2 (single).

    Everything works fine, but there’s something that I could not figure out yet:

    I would like to use the Forums component independently, i.e. without the Groups component.

    I’m planning a private community and don’t want any groups, but just one main Forums section.

    Has anybody done this before?



Viewing 19 replies - 26 through 44 (of 44 total)

  • Xevo


    I’m still working on getting bbpress into the buddypress activity stream, but other then that.

    I tuned my bbpress already to have avatars, names, profiles of buddypress. :)

    I can’t wait to get the new forums up on this site so I can silence this discussion. Please people — you need to understand that there is no difference here, it’s just how it is displayed. You do not need to join a group to post in a public group forum.

    Dean gets it:



    @ Andy

    The fact that the forum is grouped/linked in with the groups already make it a whole lot different then a standard old fashioned forum with subforums. The forums on that deanjrobinson site are still not like an old fashioned forum.

    <snip>so I can silence this discussion

    :-) that’s a bit dictatorial isn’t it, but it is your project :-)

    So Andy hows this for a different analogy in reference to the assertion about forums/groups and the deanjrobinson link you refer to now and again.

    Taking a forum analogy Groups could be analogous to being the sub forums such as those we have on CSSCreator it is a forum but within that forum we have sub forums labeled ‘Beginners CSS’, ‘Layouts & styling’ etc so these are in fact BP groups and in the forum analogy you do not need to join that sub forum to post to it and as you state you do not need to join BP groups either to post to their forum.

    This does raise the issue though why do we have that ‘Join A Group’ capability is there actually a point to that feature? Naturally I accept that I may be overlooking the reason?

    Taking a forum analogy Groups could be analogous to being the sub forums such as those we have on CSSCreator it is a forum but within that forum we have sub forums labeled ‘Beginners CSS’, ‘Layouts & styling’ etc so these are in fact BP groups and in the forum analogy you do not need to join that sub forum to post to it and as you state you do not need to join BP groups either to post to their forum.

    This *Sub-Groups” taxonomy is something I would find useful in BP – (actually would close the door on the whole “normal forums thing”) – group tags is not the perfect solution as I’d like to have inherited properties of the subgroups. Also a support forum while generic is helpful to be disassociated with a group – i think the activity stream, members, etc is too much when a member of a community just wants resolution to an issue with the site, product, whatever-is-being-offered. (my experience is moderating a 500k+ userbase traditional forum with 1k+ subforums arranged in hierarchy state)

    but if i can have my cake and eat it too – i think subforums within a group would be the bee’s knees too :-P

    @boonebgorges: write the plugin and I will do any one of your 7,000 other things in return :)

    <snip>so I can silence this discussion

    :-) that’s a bit dictatorial isn’t it, but it is your project :-)

    Not really, I just meant that when I show you the new forums people might actually finally get it.

    I’ve said this so many times but here we go again:

    How do I post to the “main” forum here? The answer is I can’t. I must first go to a sub-forum and then post to that forum. All the latest topics of each sub-forum are then shown on the front page.

    Replace the word “sub-forum” with “group” in the above sentence and you are describing exactly how group forums work in BuddyPress. There is no need to join a group before posting to a group forum, the process is automatic.

    The blocker in people’s mind is simply just the way the information is displayed. Once I get the new forums running then this will hopefully help people understand there is literally no difference outside of the interface.

    Also consider all of the amazing extra functionality you get by using a group as a container.

    For example on the new forums there is a group called “How-To and Troubleshooting” that replaces the existing plain forum of the same name. By switching this to a group forum I also get:

    • A dedicated activity stream so users can easily track new topics and replies in chronological order.
    • A dedicated list of people who have posted to the forum so you can gauge popularity or send out notices to only those who are interested.
    • Ability to extend and add features like a group blog, where members could post helpful information or even videos on how to fix common problems. Or even a group wiki so specific help documentation could be kept up to date by group members. The list is endless, and the number of group extensions is starting to make groups super powerful.



    Totally with Andy on this one here. When can we ecpect to see your implementation live?



    Here is a solution that might make everyone happy:

    -Create a way to “Feature” select forums

    -Create an option to make the group hidden, and remove the “by commenting you will automatically be added to the group” sentence.



    But why is it so hard to just get a ‘Forum’? I mean the first thing which comes in to 95% people’s minds is a proper stand alone forum where people can come, post and go. Why has Buddypress made things so complicated. Not trying to put down anyone, of course buddypress is one of the bestest things I have found for my website, but it isnt complete without a standalone forum.

    I CAN use an external bbpress install, but even there, bbpress screws me up by not letting me integrate into my WP theme without some circus being done (which i am totally not familiar with).

    @ WP team
    Please get a proper forum functionality into Buddypress or make bbpress a plugin for WP so that it can fit into the WP theme itself, which will save people from many hassles.

    Just my opinion. Thanks.



    I’ve come to see the wisdom of the Groups as organizing principle, with forums/activity streams/[arbitrary other functionality through plugins or whatever] hanging off them.

    I think, as is often the case with these things, that the terminology used has confused the issue for many people (including users).

    On the site I’m currently building, I’ve done away with the words ‘forum’ and ‘forums’ completely, using ‘discussion’ and ‘discussions’ instead, globally, through editing a custom language file.

    My userbase were completely confused by the default terminology, but got it instantly after the change.



    I too would like the ability to have forums separate from groups. I think those of us who need this are generally building very niche communities, and are not trying to create the next Facebook. Mine for example is based all around a specific era of the Ford Mustang. Nearly every topic that will be discussed on my site is relevant to every user. I don’t like the idea of any of my users, not being able to read a topic because another user created it within a private group.

    On a side note: I would like the ability to retain group functions, with the ability to have forums within groups. But I would also like the ability for users to move topics between forums. This way, if some one creates a group called California Mustang Owners, and a topic is started with a question regarding Mustang Suspension, a user will be able to move that topic to the Tech section of the forums which will yield a much better return for the original poster when everyone is able to help answer his question.



    I think the whole required groups thing is really strange also, I don’t see what the up side is to them.



    Groups have absolutely revolutionised my site I AM 100% for them.

    For people who want just one forum, surely it’s very easy to just make one group for everything. I don’t understand the frustration. Everything is so easy to manage in Groups. Everything is contained wonderfully in one area. Easy to keep tidy, easy to implement and so simple to expand.

    My initial reaction to groups was very similar to others. I didn’t see the need. That was until i started using them – then trust me, your outlook changes!

    Hoodie Mark


    This was a really helpful discussion for me. I understand the group/forum relationship so much better now and it seems to simply break down to semantics. You could even use the Facebook “page” analogy with groups where peeps become a fan of or join a page (group) and there are child features therein.
    So this could in theory be fixed for some folks/clients by altering the labeling of groups to fit the site… no? (i.e. change Group to Discussion Group, Page, or [site name] Forum)

    Please give me the smack-down if i’m off base here. I don’t want to misinform.

    Sorry about the bump to an old thread, but I would definitely like to voice my opinion in favor of forums without groups. I like to keep my site neat, clean and uncluttered and groups are a clutter. The inability of having a forum without group is a major drawback of an otherwise slick script.

    Roger Coathup


    @hitler – they are coming – I guess partly as a result of end users tearing their hair out – group forums has some interesting technical / logical reasoning behind it, but the user interface experience was far from perfect.

    Check out @johnjamesjacoby post on the imminent new approach:

    Note: now the presentation / interface features should be back in the hands of the theme developer. You can clutter / un-clutter as much as you like, use groups / not use groups, standalone / not standalone, etc. – it should be much more flexible, allowing you to craft better and more exceptional websites.

    That’s a pretty good news, Roger. I went with bbpress because BuddyPress didn’t allow me to have forums without groups. Seeing that this is the future anyway, I’m glad to have made this decision.

Viewing 19 replies - 26 through 44 (of 44 total)
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