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  • The complexity of discussion boards simply exceeds my patience level for user “Unfriendly” software. I have played with a few of them (phpBB, SMF,bbpress) and have concluded that they are just to damn difficult to integrate into a web site. Most will install easy enough, and the default themes are about as ugly as you can get. Every one of them claims to have easy configuration etc. What a pile of crap. The worst of the lot is the BBpress board. Which is surprising since their blog is so easy to install and changing themes is a snap.

    The “how to” support pages for all of them must have been developed by computer geeks who rarely speak English. Instructions which should be simple are garbled and about as user friendly as a wet cat.

    My intention was to attempt to integrate a discussion board with my blog ( something Word Press should have developed a long time ago. How difficult can it be to extend Comments into a simple discussion board? Until something is developed that easily installs and easily integrates with the existing web site, I will hold off on using BB.

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  • Ouch. I’m pretty savvy at some computer stuff, but not php or css. I’ve been working on two forums for community groups, one of which may grow quite large if it works out as hoped. So, I tested just about every forum package out there. I settled on Vanilla, but had problems with plugins crashing it, and having to hack around for days to try and get something working. Their support is good from a few community members, but there isn’t enough and it often isn’t timely.

    I’ve settled with bbPress because I found it very simple to install and set up. My problems were minor, forum members have helped me very quickly indeed, and in a non-geeky manner. I’ve read lots of other posts where people have had WP integration issues, and the help given has been quite extensive. One other thing that I like is the fact that they use it with 100,000 members and 500,000 posts, and it’s still zippy. Also, modifying themes isn’t so bad if you delve into just a few files and play around. I love simplicity as well as my user group, so I created a vanilla clone(ish), which you can get at (Check the posts at the bottom).

    If you have some spare time and a nice cup of tea/coffee, click ‘integration’ in the front page tag list and have a good read. I don’t use WP, but I get the impression that many haven’t found it too difficult with a little assistance. There’s an integration plugin too. PS. Read some of your blog; just a body? Nooo…

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