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Feedback On How bbPress (and this forum) could be improved

  • OK, I chose bbPress because the description made it sound as if it was a simple program to use. Well, maybe it is if you have a decent amount of prior knowledge with programs like this.

    Thing is that many of us who decide to use web development software like WP do so because we want to put up a website but don’t want to take the time to learn HTML or CSS or any other programming language. We simply want to be able to show the world our thoughts, shops, blogs or whatever via the web and want to do so without needing to learn a 2nd language. I don’t think that’s too much to ask in the year 2012.

    The problem many of us are running into with bbPress is that the developers assume too much of us. There is nothing simple about getting this thing to work correctly and that’s a shame because it really looks like something great to add to a website.

    Again, I do believe that this program would be fairly simple for someone with a decent amount of understanding in web development. However, there are a large amount of WP users who have not one bit of programming knowledge or web development experience. For those of us with extremely limited knowledge in this area it would be a great help if we could get a small bit of instruction to get started.

    Having a forum for getting questions answered is a fine idea and would be enough for most of us if only we could get some of the mods to actually answer our questions. I see several posts in this forum from people who are having a difficult time and the only time anyone seems to get any communication from the mods is when they finally get irritated enough to get their post shut down.

    I’m not at all trying to be rude or insulting here but there really is no help at all for someone needing it. I’m just trying to offer some feedback in order to improve the product and the support for it. Something as simple as a small manual with step by step instruction describing how to get a link to bbPress forum on the WP front page once it’s set up would really go a long way toward helping those of us who are a little technically challenged.

    Seriously….ignoring a plea for help until it’s elevated to the point of frustration and then shutting down the post is counter productive. I’ve searched several posts where all the poster wants is an explanation on how to access his forum from the front page and every one I’ve seen so far offers no help at all. The posters are ignored completely until they are frustrated and then told to leave or to use a different product.

    Just a small bit of advice for everyone and something I learned long ago…..Be careful which toes you step on today because they may belong to the feet you have to kiss tomorrow.

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  • John James Jacoby


    Your feedback is appreciated. It’s not new information, though – and it doesn’t really help us do anything differently to improve your experience here.

    Making bbPress easier to use has been the primary goal of its past 2 years of development. The number one tag on these forums is ‘integration’ and it’s because a majority of users want bbPress to work seamlessly with WordPress. Given the constraints of WordPress’s templating engine, we’ve done a great job with bbPress 2+.

    Had you tried to use bbPress in 2008, you probably would have completely written it off; you *had to* go into the code and make edits to configuration files, it was part of the connection process and there was no turn-key solution.

    Right now, as long as your theme is behaving:

    * Install bbPress

    * Make some forums

    * Go to

    * You now, have forums

    * Optionally make login/register/lost-password pages, configure widgets, etc…

    If you have BuddyPress installed, if your theme isn’t playing nicely, if you have a page with the slug ‘forums’ already for some reason, if you have anything more complicated you have to go hunting around for solutions. bbPress can’t predict every situation, it can only work with WordPress core files. If you’re experiencing one of these complications, it’s unique to a small subset of users and you (or someone you hire/know) is the expert in your installation.

    You say you don’t want to look at code, and you’re not a developer; that’s okay. The problem is that bbPress isn’t going to be exactly what everyone wants, and why plugins exist. If you decide to dive into the code, it’s been painstakingly documented to read like a book – top down, left to right – with hints, direction, and pointers to connect things together in plain English.

    In terms of staff on these forums, we are a volunteer staff of mostly Jared and myself with others that come and go as they can. When a topic goes unanswered, it’s because we just don’t have the time to take away from other things to help that day. Being disappointed is understandable; the only way that improves is by becoming familiar with the project and committing to time towards it.

    bbPress, the project, has been around since 2005. bbPress, the plugin, since 2011. It’s born again, and new. No better time to get in on the ground floor of something awesome.

    Sorry you’re unhappy. In the future it would be great to have more specific things we can address. General happiness isn’t really what we supply here. :)

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