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BBPress vs. BuddyPress or in addition to it? A "newbie" has questions…

  • I spent quite a few years doing marketing and corporate communication, and so far at least I have some basic questions I simply can’t find on the relevant websites. (It’d be very nice if the sites contained some sort of “Why you might want BBPress” or “Why you might want BuddyPress” or even perhaps “Basic requirements”–not to mention “Why you might want to install both BuddyPress and BBPress”.)

    I am a complete newcomer to adding forums to a WordPress site, but I am planning to take the leap with a new blog site I am about to launch. A few basic questions, please:

    From the looks of BuddyPress, it also offers forums by itself…although this is unclear from their site. What is the advantage, of any, of having BBPress either instead of or in addition to BuddyPress? Also, so far at least I have not found on the BBPress site a requirements listing–will it now work with a straight WordPress install, or is it tied to WordPress MU at this point? (With the upcoming integration of WP and WPMU, at this juncture I simply don’t want to go through the hassle of installing MU.)

    I would appreciate any comments, suggestions, or advice you can give. Thanks!

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • That’s a good question.

    I did some research as well, and planning to give BuddyPress a try soon. I just finished going WPMU from WP and finding it very interesting. I love it so far.

    I think the answers that you and I are looking for would depend on community system.

    To simply put, you won’t have problems with WP if you’re not planning to create a huge community-based websites. A portfolio website, or any kind of your personal or single-topic website wouldn’t have too much problem with it. WP actually has better participations from people around the world than WPMU. And with bbPress, you can setup your community with ease. The main reason that you would want to use bbPress with WP is the user integration. People who registered at your blog can go to forum and post without creating another login, or vise versa.

    As you know, WPMU can have a single unified user DB so any users who registered from, and can post any other websites as long as they’re within your WPMU system.

    BuddyPress is pushing that idea further, bringing everyone on your WPMU system, using the famous Facebook-like wall system, but not limited to.

    Let’s say your is about cars, but the website that you gave out to your friend is which is about UFOs. You have two separate websites of two separate interests. And let’s say each website has their own bbPress forum, then odds are that your car people has no chance of meeting UFO people, because they’re not sharing the same interest, therefore no reason to hop over to the other website’s forum. That doesn’t mean the people who like cars don’t have interest in UFOs, but since it’s two different interests that members wouldn’t go back and forth just to share their everyday discussion. Many people are used to the people on their favorite forum, so they stick to the forum.

    With BuddyPress, you can bring these people into one place. Anyone can start a discussion about anything. And with BuddyPress, there’s enhanced profile, friend connection and private message systems that bbPress would require plugins for.

    bbPress is like a meeting room, people gathered for the same interest.

    BuddyPress is like a lobby, where everyone can meet and make connections.

    If you want a lobby for everyone to come together, then BuddyPress will help you just that.

    If forum system works right and if you’re not interested creating a lobby for everyone, that’s cool too. It’s all about how you want to manage your community.

    And where did you hear about the WP and WPMU integration? That would be a great news for WPMU users since we’ll have more community participating for catching bugs and making plugins.



    Hi dbneeley,

    You’ve asked a great set of questions, and i’m afraid my answer is going to fall well short of code012’s.

    Basically, i’d suggest asking that question on the BuddyPress website. At the risk of looking like passing the buck, BuddyPress is using a hacked/modified version of bbPress, so most of the things we’d have to say on this forum would be from a standalone viewpoint and might not give the depth of answer you’d want.

    But if others chip in like code012 did, then you may have just gotten lucky.

    Take Care



    I use both….

    wordpress with bbpress

    Advantage: Forum is category based….see drop down menu structure.

    Disadvantage: No facebook-connect login….thats a clear disadvantage also integration with wordpress is difficult

    wordpress mu or wordpress with buddypress 1.2.1 and bbpress

    Advantage: Integration is very easy, you can have groups, group blogs and group forum topics, facebook-connect is available…bp-fbconnect plugin

    Disadvantage: Forum is only group based no categories available.



    No facebook-connect login….thats a clear disadvantage

    I know, i mean, we didn’t have forums before Facebook Connect. Infact, i think Facebook invented the internet just for Facebook Connect, since it landed on this planet years ago. It makes the world go round, and saves baby seals, and leaps over tall buildings, and stops speeding bullets and loves Lois Lane. Oh no, wait, thats Superman. Facebook Connect is a poorly rolled out, poorly suported bit of software that a hideously small percentage of people actually use. I sometimes get Superman and Facebook mixed up – apologies to all, especially one mister C.Kent.



    Yes, but facebook is only the clear market leader with some hundred millions potential visitors for a bbpress forum.

    Facebook also has groups…so for instance if you are running a forum for politics…go to facebook, search for groups about politics and than post a link to your forum….with facebook-connect no problem because facebook users can easily login without having to register again. Without facebook-connect this doesn’t work…you can just forget it.



    So we’re agreed that Facebook is not Superman.

    Phew, i’d hate for two of us to make that mistake, better that just one of us looks daft!!!



    Monday, December 7, 2009

    Facebook hits 350 million users

    It’s only been a couple of days since Facebook revealed that it had topped 350 million users — exceeding the population of the United States. Back in September 2009, Facebook users were around 300 millions. Facebook proved to be more popular than eBay, Wikipedia and the U.S.

    Read more:

    This could also be a chance for bbpress. Some cooperation sometimes could help more than a fight against a superpower. Saddam Hussein didn’t have any chance against Bush Jr. Therefore we should acknowledge that Facebook is the clear leader at the moment.

    Facebook has become so huge that even some of its applications are drawing more traffic than many major Web sites



    Yeah, we debunked all that nonsense months ago here:

    If you want to reignite that conversation in it’s own thread then lets do so mate :)

    I love how passionate you feel about it, and you obviously have some real world experience and exmaples to share. That’s great!

    But lets not derail dbneeley’s thread any further :)



    I’m going to try to answer the OP’s questions.

    What is the advantage, of any, of having BBPress either instead of or in addition to BuddyPress?

    Advantages of using bbPress – using bbPress plugins, forum categories and sub categories. If you want the traditional forum, go with bbPress.

    BuddyPress’ internal bbPress relies on a concept called “groups” (similar to Facebook). You need to create a “group” in order to create a group forum. BP’s internal version of bbPress also uses a flat structure, you cannot categorize group forums into categories (as of now). Also, out of the box, you’ll need to port bbPress plugins to WP/BP in order to use them. Not many bbPress plugins have been ported to BP as of yet.

    Advantages of using BuddyPress – template matches the rest of your site. Social networking in a box for WP (if you need it). Check out to view the forum layout.

    Will (bbPress) now work with a straight WordPress install, or is it tied to WordPress MU at this point?

    Works in both instances. bbPress integration plugin handles this fine.

    (With the upcoming integration of WP and WPMU, at this juncture I simply don’t want to go through the hassle of installing MU.)

    BuddyPress 1.2 is now supported by regular WP, so no need to install WPMU if you don’t need it.



    @r-a-y, I already wrote about the same as you did.

    @kevinjohngallager, I see that you absolutely do not care about other peoples needs. I think you are only interested in things you believe or like.



    @dbneeley Buddypress 1.2 is supports WordPress 2.9.1 (or whatever the current version is) so no hassle of installing MU, if you want the multi user functionality you can install the wordpress alpha which is compatible with Buddypress 1.2. @R-a-y did a good job explaining the differences in forums in BB vs BP. If I was you, I would use bp.

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