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Create multiple forums

  • Hi everyone,

    I was wondering if it’s possible to have multiple forums running on a site (i.e., running from a single database

    I have a site where I have about 10 completely unrelated topics and I’d like to create 10 seperate forums for them – bbpress looks like a brilliant, lightweight option and I’m really hoping there is a solution to this!

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

  • chrishajer


    If you want 10 separate sites, you can have 10 separate installations of bbPress, and they can all use the same database. You just need to use a different table prefix for each one (instead of the default bb_.) But, are you going to need to share anything between the different installations? If so, then this is not the way to go.

    Ideally I’d like to have one instance of the php scripts and perhaps with a bit of .htaccess rewriting let the script know which db it should access (so its fine to create multiple dbs but it would be best to have one instance of the forum so that any security updates etc can be applied much more quickly)

    Missed your question there about sharing info – I’d like members to be able to access all the forums regardless of which one they registered with

    so maybe a route would be having one members table and then create new tables for each forum instance?



    Earlier I tagged this a BBMU, which is sort what this was sounding like, bbPress Multi User (like WPMU.) That way, you have one installation to update, but multiple blogs (or in this case, forums.)

    I don’t think that is currently possible. There was some work involved to create WPMU, although it reuses a great bit of WordPress code.

    So, I think you are stuck using multiple installations of bbPress, or just using the built in Forums that exist in bbPress. If you use the built in forums that exist, then you don’t have to worry about logins working in all forums. The logins will work in all forums because it’s all just one forum.

    But, to have multiple bbPress installations, but just one user database, you might want to investigate the advanced database options upon installation, in step two where they talk about user integration.

    Custom user tables
    Only set these options if your integrated user tables do not fit the usual mould of wp_user and wp_usermeta.

    User database "user" table
    The complete table name, including any prefix.

    User database "user meta" table
    The complete table name, including any prefix.

    I think here you would be able to enter the same settings for every installation of bbPress to point them all to the same user database. You could try it with two forums to see if that works.

    Also, managing 10 forum installations is not too bad if you have command line access to use something like subversion. Then it’s just a matter of doing an svn up or svn sw and accessing the update in a browser. You can do 10 or 20 installations pretty quickly. It’s even faster when there are no database changes. Then it’s just svn updates.

    Thanks – that’s very interesting and useful, I’ll do some reading up and experiments over the next couple of days and let you know how it goes.

    I’m going to leave this topic as unresolved just in case somebody else has some input or ideas



    Please do. These were just my uninformed opinions. The only place I thought might be helpful was in those “custom user tables.” If that works, and you can use subversion to update the filesystem, you’re in good shape, I think.

    What Chris suggests is definitely possible! I have four bbPress installs sharing a single user database… along with a WordPress install and a MediaWiki one. I’ll probably be up to 6 or 7 bbPress installs on the same user database by the end of the summer!

    It’s not so bad to maintain, but it’s definitely worth is so far – especially since the functionality of each install is very different! For example, one bbPress install supports a Classifieds feature… while another one is a standard message board. If the functionality across the bbPress installs was more similar, I’d just combine them into a single installation…

    Good luck!

    Just to give everyone an update – I’m making good progress on this and have multiple installations working (duplicated DB tables with a single set of files using a bit of mod_rewrite magic). Just fiddling with the user settings at the moment – it’s a bit more tricky due to the fact I’m using the WP user table rather than individual user tables per DB.

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