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3 levels of membership roles using bbPress 2.2.1

  • andymacleod


    I’ve been working on a MMORPG guild site with 3 distinct levels of Membership with posting rights:
    – guests/potential members who can post on PUBLIC forums
    – full member who can post of the guild’s PRIVATE forums
    – officer/moderators who can post of HIDDEN forums.

    I chose to use WordPress and bbPress instead of a dedicated guild-hosting solution to make the site different from most other guild sites, taking advantage of WordPress’s theming and bbPress’s simplicity.

    bbPress 2.2.1 only seem to expect only 2 levels of membership – there is no option to have a “guest/registered” user who can post on public forums. However, I did manage to create 3 levels of member by making a small change to a core file, found here:

    Go to where the Spectator role is defined (lines 134 to 169) and change them to have the same capabilities as for the participant role (lines 225-260). Then change line 146 ‘read_private_forums’ back to ‘false’.

    The problem with this approach: Your “spectator” role is now no longer merely a spectator. And, of course, this amendment would be overwritten by updating bbPress. Alternatively, you could create another role here (would be good addition for bbPress 2.3) but you need to edit other parts of the file to do so…

    Another issue: I wanted custom titles to appear on topic posts beside member’s avatars. To do this, I had to create new WordPress roles using Justin Tadlock’s Member plugin. I copied the WordPress default permissions for the “Subscriber” role and gave it the name “Guest”. I did the same for the “Member” role, and I copied the default Editor roles for the guild “Officer” role – because I wanted them to be able to edit pages and posts too.

    The solution seems to work although it is not ideal… I thought I’d pass it on in case there were other people in a similar position who wanted more flexibility in terms of roles. Please, please, please could making it possible to change forum roles and titles a priority update for the next major update to bbPress.



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