Re: Must I know php to design a theme?
> So can I move certain “modules” or “plug-ins” around without php?
> EG: Can I move the log-in bar to the top or the bottom or the side
> of the page by a “point and click” interface a bit like Joomla,
> or do I have to know php to just move something around?
No, it does not work like Joomla in this regard. It’s also unlike widgetized themes in WordPress. You don’t need to know PHP to move these thigns around, but you *do* need to know enough *about* PHP to know how it works, and you need to edit the theme files to move those blocks around manually.
> Are there any “core” enhancements coming in the new bbpress that
> will enable easier customisation?
I can’t speak for bbPress, but there’s nothing like that that I am aware of.
> Lastly, if I have a stunning new wordpress theme that I’ve styled up
> in Dreamweaver, how do I make bbpress “sit” inside the header-wrapper
> of WordPress?
bbPress does not become a part of WordPress. If you have the design in Dreamweaver, you are going to create two themes: one for WordPress and one for bbPress. They are going to look similar, but they are not going to be identical.
For the big commitment, that’s up to you. bbPress is a very immature package right now without a lot of resources being applied to it. WordPress on the other hand has a very vibrant development community, a good group of core employees programming for it, a regular release schedule, etc. I think it’s a mistake to lump bbPress and WordPress together. I would not hesitate to use WordPress as a CMS for nearly any website I were doing. For forums though, I think you have to consider all the possibilities. There are lots of forums available. The determining factor should be the strengths and weaknesses of each forum, and how they fit with your strengths and weaknesses. It’s a personal decision for you.
Luckily, I’ve only had two customers request forum functionality, out of about forty websites (1 Joomla, the rest WordPress). So, I made the decision to use bbPress in both cases, but depending on the situation, I might choose something different in the future.