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Creating Multisite core forum network accessible

  • InTempest


    Reference site

    Ill start by saying im not a developer and can edit php and code, but I cant write it from scratch…. yet

    So ive been moving a guild site over from phpbb into wordpress and am still trying to figure out the best way to handle applicants, I made a post here if anyone had any ideas about that

    So I was looking into how to maybe do a multisite with a single forum handling all the main communication among the community as a whole. I was looking through the forum here and everything that said it cant be done is very old. Is there a way to have shortcodes and custom user fields to work around that? Or maybe iframe?

    Here is my thought, ill use car clubs for example

    Root Forum

    1 category – Car Club –
    1-2 forum – public
    1-3 forum – recruitment needs

    2 category – members only
    2-2 forum – New Car Club Applicant
    2-3 forum – Car Club Events
    2-4 forum – ADMIN

    3 categories – (3) Honda – (4) Ford – (5) Mazda
    3-2 forum – news rss
    3-3 forum – brand specific news

    Ok, so lets say on the main site if someone goes there it pulls everything since its the root. But give the car club its own multisite along with any niche sub group. In the custom user groups have shortcodes associated with the different ranks to show them on their member page when they look at the info something like [bbp-single-forum id=$forum_id] and add more to the root of that ranks permission. That way you dont have to add them per user, but per rank per group.

    so in the shortcode for public users they would only have access to 1 and its contents
    people in the honda club who are just members would have access to 1, 2(excluding 2-4) and 3, once they get bumped up to admin rank in that group the shortcode to display 2-4 gets added since its connected to rank roles.

    In the same breath on the front end of the multisite pages you could just have them display the public forums associated with that niche pulling the data from the forum via [bbp-single-forum id=$id ].

    I had a ton of control like this through phpbb using theme styling and domain masking and am trying to find a way to make it work in wordpress but its been a learning curve. I know groups in buddypress have some of this function built in, but it doesn’t seem to be tweak-able between sites. I dont want a guest to see every group in the opt in part of registration off the bat. Would rather have them app on that groups page, members review then they get added and what they see is based on what rank they have in all the groups they are in.

    So am i trying to overthink this? Have I missed something that could solve this idea?


Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)

  • Robin W


    hmm – multisite could be complicated

    If you can work with having different groups being able to access different combinations of forums, then my private groups plugin could be what you need.

    Private groups

    I think attempting to use multisite in this instance is over complicating things…

    Take a look at this video on one of WordPress’ multisite experts 🙂

    Using one of the “membership” (Members, S2, Restrict Content Pro, Users, etc etc) type plugins along with groups would be the way to go I think.



    @Robin W

    Ive looked at those too, and i guess my issue is im trying to have the comminuty and the front end of each niche seperate enough for each group to be self maintained, yet connected enough with the whole for larger stuff like for event planning.ect

    I was using phpbb to handle the majority of this where I just iframed the root of a groups category on their page and had the rull root show up on the main site. but it was ugly and the application plugin stopped getting updates and leaving an out of date phpbb install is a bad idea, thus trying to find a solution in WP till I can make the custom site


    Whats funny is I saw the episode of WP watercooler where she gets called out being pro MS because of this talk, but they didnt link it.

    If I didnt need to have standalone pages I wouldnt be as worried, but its trying to find a way to create what I have designed that can show an alpha or at least beta concept before i try to find funding to get my full site/schema made since the last quote was in the 5 digit range to start.

    As Mika points out sharing content or menus across sites is problematic at best

    I think taking a look at a few of the many resources on “memberships plugins” here:

    There’s some good round ups of how these plugins work in restricting access to content…

    FWIW, bbPress is 100% multisite compatible, either activated per site, or site wide as a “mu-plugin”, it’s just not for the faint of heart, so if you want to take a stab at using multisite then have at it and see if it can work the way you envisage 🙂



    I just got done watching it, and yeah shes amazing.

    I didnt know there was a multisite plugin for bbpress, ill have to check into that.

    Though I think my issue is im wanting to share the content, but only site specific and i dont know if there is a way to determine the root for each subsite to tell it to only show what pertains to that groups page

    I didnt know there was a multisite plugin for bbpress, ill have to check into that.

    Not a plugin, multisite compatibility is built into bbPress, you don’t need any other plugins for multisite compat 🙂



    Ive been looking around the documentation and see where it says it supports multisite, but not how to configure the access to get all multisites to view the same forum.

    I know there is a setting to set the root or specific forum to display and set which root the group forums get started, which would be amazing if i can get all the sites to see the forum.

    But I cant figure out how to set it to make the forum accessible through the whole network.

    You can’t do that, that would be “content sharing across sites” which is one of the things Mika points out in the video.



    Thats what caught me off when you said it supported multi-site, Im guessing WordPress isn’t able to provide what i need long-term. I can think of ways around it, but currently lacking the skills to make it happen.

    Easiest way I could think of would be to have any plugin you want to access across the network, each have their own database. Use the WP side to generate the content and have it synced to a DB outside of WP. Treat each plugin like a separate module. Have each new site on the network access that module to pull the centralized files, just set access through permissions.

    Guess ill go post up in the help wanted sections and see how many kidneys Ill need to sell lol

    There are plugins that can share content across sites.

    *But* I still don’t think in the scenario you’ve outlined that multisite is the answer, using one of the membership plugins should be able to “fence off” the content to different “user groups” on a single WordPress site.

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