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bbPress as a WordPress Plugin – Thoughts

  • Gautam


    There was some discussion about making bbPress a WordPress plugin. This would lead to a complete re-write of the project, but I have a better idea:

    1. bbPress should be a standalone platform, so it can also be run without WordPress.
    2. There should be a plugin on WordPress plugins repo (for eg. bbPress Forums Integrator or simply bbPress), which would have bbPress as svn:external and load the bbPress files as BuddyPress does it. Basically the plugin could be what can be found here –
    3. This way both type of users would be benefitted – those who want bbPress as a standalone and those who want it to be deeply integrated with WordPress.

    Some of my thoughts…


Viewing 24 replies - 1 through 24 (of 24 total)
  • BuddyPress only offers one option: it’s a WordPress MU plugin, and can’t be installed as a standalone.

    I think it’d be pretty tough to offer bbPress as both a plugin and a standalone… it sounds like the choice has been made to turn it into a plugin.

    The only real way to keep it standalone would be if someone forked bbPress 0.9 or 1.0… that’s a lot of work though.




    I think you misunderstood me. I am saying to only extract bp-forums part of BuddyPress and make a new WordPress plugin out of it which would integrate bbPress into WordPress.

    By the way, the trunk version of BuddyPress can be installed on a normal WordPress install.

    Olaf Lederer


    There is so much work to create a full featured forum from bbpress and maybe it’s better to make it a WP plugin…




    That would pile up even more work. I would probably go forward and extract the code in bp-forums of BuddyPress and make a WordPress plugin to integrate bbPress forums.

    My experience of the WordPress codebase extends to version 2.9.1, I cannot speak to what is going on with version 3.0. Matt said something about bbPress being hosted on a page using a WP short-code at one point. As far as I know, there is no facility for page slugs to handle wildcards (from what I have seen). If you wanted to host bbPress as a plugin using a short-code on a WordPress page, it’s my guess that you would need to have different short-codes for the front page, topics page, views page, single topic, etc. Either that, or you recode the entire bbPress GUI to be Ajax based and run on a single page in-place. Somehow you need to extend the WordPress roles to encompass the bbPress side of the house.

    When you go down this road you eventually get to the point of Drupal – amazingly vague and configurable database, slow because it’s got to be all-things-to-all-people and … well … yeah. I would rather not see either WordPress or bbPress end up there.

    It it’s favour we can strip out a large portion of the codebase that deals with preferences, users, filters, plugins, themes, sidebar widgets and so on. We gain a lot from the main WordPress codebase but its worrying the “bloat” that comes with that approach.

    It’s definitely going to be a trade-off to go from a standalone software to a wordpress plugin, but I don’t think there’s very much choice. There are already so many standalone forums out there for non wp users, so it just makes sense to go this route. Connect blog comments to forum threads, and you got yourself the next evolution of the blogging community.

    “When you go down this road you eventually get to the point of Drupal – amazingly vague and configurable database, slow because it’s got to be all-things-to-all-people and … well … yeah. I would rather not see either WordPress or bbPress end up there.”

    i agree 100 % .. if i may give a few points of interest

    the future of bbpress shouldn’t be contingent on wordpress

    Im all for integration, but integration doesn’t have to be just for wordpress and integration doesn’t mean plugin

    If bbpress is made a plugin to WP, then that will bring stipulations of future development which isnt good for the community

    The bbpress community doesn’t strive to be wordpress, we strive to create and use bbpress.

    solution, integration can still occur, by having a wordpress plugin for a “bbpress install” which will help to install bbpress alongside and integrate certain things “these are yet to be agreed apon”

    integration with other platforms are just as important, bbpress should not be focusing in on one platform “wordpress” but instead be focusing on integration for multiple platforms “joomla, droopla, openid support, changing database authentication methods, etc etc.”

    Making bbpress a wordpress plugin makes our success directly tied to wordpress and will cause conflict with development with wordpress integration taking precedence.. which is great for wordpress, horrible for bbpress.

    also, IMO a plugin that uses plugins “bbpress as a plugin for wordpress that also uses plugins” seems weird to me.

    “There are already so many standalone forums out there for non wp users, so it just makes sense to go this route.”

    integration is key, making bbpress a plugin doesnt make sense for bbpress.. it makes sense for wordpress. The moment bbpress becomes a wordpress plugin, we are no longer a forum solution but a wordpress forum solution and we limit ourselves to that.

    bbpress should remain a stand alone forum script while still being able to integrate with wordpress.

    I love this script so much even with all the brouhaha and non-leadership.

    Could someone say something about how it would work with existing bbpress sites if bbpress becomes a plugin? I assume there would be some kind of conversion function to change your site over to the plugin?

    In theory you would make a backup of your my-plugins and my-themes directories. Then, delete the files in your existing bbPress install. Next step, run through the famous “5 minute install” of WordPress, and download the bbPress plugin and activate it. That’s the obvious part.

    I would assume that a bbPress plugin would create a new top-level menu in the WordPress admin area. In a brand-new install, this would allow you to create the bbPress specific data structures in your database or to migrate existing bbPress data from an old version. After that step, the bbPress admin menu would switch to showing admin options for forums / topics / posts, etc.

    My guess (if data structures remain largely the same) is that the “installation” of the plugin would merely write a WordPress option value telling the bbPress plugin what its database prefix is, and all the data already there would appear automatically.

    Assuming that a bbPress plugin is connected to its data, it would need to be connected to the GUI somewhere. My guess is that you would create a WordPress static page and its content would be a short-code that the bbPress plugin replaces with its entire display.

    It makes perfect sense for making bbPress a plugin for WordPress.

    Now that WordPress MU code has been merged into WordPress 3.0 making bbPress a plugin should be even easier. bbPress already barrows a lot of code from WordPress anyway and also bbPress uses the exact same database tables (ie taxonomy tables)

    A lot more people would be using bbPress on their WordPress powered websites if the issues related to the integration of the two separate login systems no longer existed and people were also able to easily use the same theme they have on their blog.

    The standalone bbPress should probably stay but i think bbPress would be used by a lot more people than it is now if it was made a plugin.

    @crosescu – there’s an interesting argument that would say more people would use wordpress (and for that matter bbPress too) if the codebase werent a monolithic structure. For instance, the ability to swap out user authentication to do single-signon against a Kerberos server rather than the built-in user-auth, or against the code in Mediawiki, should I want to integrate there. My hope is that merging yet more code in wont cause the entire house of cards to collapse around our ears.

    This looks promising and very exciting the say the least.



    “Don’t download me yet. I’m in the beginning stages of development.”

    Also, interesting to see this tag: core plugin



    Last I checked it seemed like Matt (the only developer I’ve seen around here) had his hat full with suggestions and left with that, quite some time ago now. I reckon if there is a future for bbPress it’s already set into motion some way or another. If that future is as a plug-in, I don’t worry at all.

    WordPress is becoming a whole lot more than a blog these days; in some ways, a whole lot less. Way I see it, I wouldn’t be surprised if by WordPress 3.5 or 4.0, WordPress isn’t really a blog, but a plain extensible web development platform, making the blog functionality yet another ‘plug-in’ (that hovers).

    Gautam Gupta


    Chrishajer, how can I contact you?



    anyone can find me at chrishajer [at]/ gmail [dot]/ com




    How hard will it be to upgrade to the WP bbpress plug-in (when it’s ready) from the standalone bbpress 1.0.2 installation?



    No one knows at this point.



    Question – Why not simply make bbPress themes/templates function like WordPress themes?

    I have been trying my darnedest to “integrate” bbPress into my client’s site ( -ask and I’ll give you a membership) but the sidebar won’t go where its supposed to go and, though I have managed to get the theme ported over it won’t collect or remember user login information. (I know this is cookie stuff but I’m currently burned out.

    So, rather than going through all this rigamarole to fully integrate it with my main site, if I could simply add my main site’s theme to bbPress then, at least it would easily look the same. Then there’d only need to be a plugin in bbPress/WordPress that connects the users from WP to bbP.



    Hi Transmutator,

    Question – Why not simply make bbPress themes/templates function like WordPress themes?

    They do.

    The ease of theming bbPress is one of it’s real strong points.

    The problem is that you’re confusing some of the phrases (its not your fault, its not brilliantly clear unless you’ve been here a while).

    Integration = bbPress + WordPress using same cookies for log on.

    Deep Integration = bbPress loading WordPress every time, allowing access to WordPress code.

    So when you say “fully integrate” i’m guessing you mean “deep integration” which isn’t supported or intended. We can offer some advice on it, but its a by product, not a feature.

    The realism is that copying large sections of your theme (mostly the ‘outer’ sections such as header and footer) and your current WP stylesheet will start to make a huge difference to how your bbPress theme looks. Just make sure to remove any “wordpress” specific code or plugin calls; they’re really superfluous to 99% of forums.



    I would love to see bbPress as a WordPress plugin.

    I want BBPress to be a standalone program. But I want it to be possible to include it as a page in WordPress.

Viewing 24 replies - 1 through 24 (of 24 total)
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