Significant trouble with a stubborn sidebar
Sorry in advance as I am going to be a pain in the ass here I bet, as I have very, very limited experience with wordpress or any website building for that matter; however, that’s marginally more than anyone else in my company so I’ve been saddled with the duty of getting it all set up and running.
I have decided to create a forum and have downloaded bbPress for this. I needed to make certain things private and downloaded bbPress private to help with that. I wanted to make custom sidebars and downloaded bbPress tweak for that feature.
We had the website made by an external company, they created it on wordpress and created a custom theme with a lot of templates within the themes. Call be cynical, but I think it was to try and squeeze us for every cent by making us come to them for any minor variation.
Despite all my attempts through every simple way I could think of I can not get my forum to show a custom side bar. The forum itself though is set up as I want it and more than workable, it’s just the aesthetics of having the right sidebar.
* I started with all three plugins activated and created my forum and created a page could forums. So the permalink was set up. The sidebar was not what was expected. I have tried using every default template and every sidebar that my site has to no avail. Sidebar stayed exactly the same as it was.
* I went in to the setting of bbPress Tweak and selected the different .php files, only the bottom 3 were in bold and when I selected the 2nd or 3rd from the bottom nothing happened. When I selected the bottom one, the side bar moved from the side to underneath and the forum went to full screen width.
* I deactivated bbPress Tweak and tried again, nothing new happened, same old sidebar.
* I decided to change the permalink away from the slug to see if when it was just a standard page if I could change the sidebar (to try and see if it was a bbPress forum problem or a theme template problem). The sidebar changed to what ever I wished it to be and I could change from sidebar to fullwidth as I pleased.
I am left to believe that it must be a problem (problem isn’t the right word) with bbPress loading a specific template/sidebar. I don’t understand why bbPress tweak is not able to overwrite this though?
Any help would be of great assistance, though as mentioned to begin with, I am very new to all this so you may need to dumb down the help if you can.
Welcome, and I wish everybody wrote such a clear problem definition !!
Ok, what we need to do is to get bbpress to use the correct template/part of template that has the sidebar setup you want.
This is always that hardest part of getting bbpress working, as theme authors do like to make complicated themes !
First can you tell me what way bbpress is working in step 3 below
Thanks for the reply Robin.
I certainly can as this is the page I was originally trying to set it up using! In step 3 I left it the root slug as forums and used method 1.
ok, so you have a sidebar, just not the right one – yes?
Yes. So my site has 3 set sidebars, not including bbPress sidebar when bbPress tweak is activated. These are:
I can create any page and apply any of these sidebars without issue. As soon as I use the permalink \forums and the forum is used, then no matter which sidebar I select for use on the page, nor whether I use bbPress tweak, only the default sidebar is used.
I appreciate the help and I will undertake or answer any further questions you have, but not for some time. I’m guessing you guys are based on the US but it’s pretty late here so I best be off. Look forward to nutting this out further in the morning.
I’m in UK!
ok, two things we can do
try this first
Deactivate bbpress tweaks
Go into widgets
And look at the bottom of the left hand side. You’ll see an “inactive sidebar”, with your entries on
Below this is an “inactive widgets”
Drag all the entries from the inactive sidebar to the inactive widgets area.
This then allows wordpress to delete the sidebar
I normally log out and in again at this stage – probably not needed, but I’ve never bothered to check
Then basically reverse the above
Re-enable bbpress tweaks
You see the bbpress sidebar returns
Drag the entries back from the inactive widgets area to the sidebar
Ah! The UK would make more sense given the time that we were discussing it. Our troubleshooting of this has came to a brief, but sudden stop. My page Is riddled with “500 internal server errors” so I’m going to have to sort that out before I can try your above suggestion.
On the positive side, I don’t think it is a plugin error related to bbPress plugins because I have deactivated the 3 bbPress plugins and the errors are still there.
Oh well I’ll try and sort out this error and then try your suggestion and let you know how it goes.
ok, but when you do try it, if it doesn’t work come back – I have a plan B !
Will do! Although this is quickly becoming more trouble than it’s worth haha. This whole 500 internal server error is becoming a nightmare. The great almighty “They” (the website creator and hosting provider) determined it was a problem with exceeding the .php memory limit. So they increased the memory limit, which solved the problem… Until I reactivate any of the bbPress plugins then KA-BLOOEY the 500 error messages come back after a minute of having them reactivated.
It’s weird though, I had the forum plugins installed for a week before this problem raised it’s ugly head. So I currently have the plugins disabled (so that my website can still function for potential customers). Hopefully *crosses fingers* I will work out a way around the whole thing and get it up and running again; there was way to many groups, categories and forums to redo. I’d end up pulling my (already limited) hair out.
Cheers Robin, Will let you know the outcome if I ever get the blasted thing to work again haha.
hmm…. bbpress plays well with wordpress, so that should not happen.
Usually a 500 error in wordpress a coding issue.
Do you only get the 500mn errors when you btry and do something wordpressy?
and when you get a 500 error, click the refresh on your browser, and usually it comes up with the specific error that is occurring – come back with that.
Back at last! It was just the .php memory. When they ‘increased’ it, they just didn’t do a good enough job of it which was why I was still having problems. It’s now currently all back up and working. I have followed your directions re: deactivating, removing and then reactivating with no effect.
I’m not sure if/what good any of this information might be to you but:
* the page I have set for the forum is “default template” and the sidebar is set as “Default sidebar” BUT no matter which page template I select, nothing changes, even if I select full width template I am still shown as having a side bar. Further, despite it showing the default sidebar as being selected, it is actually a different sidebar (called archive/post/search sidebar) which is being displayed. This is the sidebar that displays for “Category”, but not for subcategories. I can’t however find anywhere outside of .php files that set the category sidebar. So I don’t know if there is perhaps code messing up in there somewhere.
Also, should I be creating a bbPress.php file to add to the theme? I can do this, it’s a mess around as I have to get the website people to upload it for me, but if it’s going to help I can do that.
Thanks for your help Robin, sorry for the delay, but at least we’re back in to it now!
ok, it’s your theme that’s causing the issue, some theme authors are too clever with their coding, and bbpress uses a category of archive, hence why it is displaying this sidebar. Also I suspect the theme won’t be allowing dynamic sidebars, hence why tweaks isn’t working.
So onto plan b !
install a plugin called ‘widget logic’
Then against each widget in your archive/post/search sidebar, you’ll see an extra field called widget logic
If you want that widget only in bbpress forums put
in to that line
if you don’t want that widget in bbpress, but do want it in other pages that use the archive/post/search sidebar the put
in the widget logic area
If you want in both, then leave widget logic blank.
Hazzah!!! At last. Now I can tell the website company where to shove it 😉 they were going to try and charge us a fortune to develop a new custom sidebar because it wasn’t “part of their monthly retainer”.
Thanks for all the help. You’ve been great.
Long time since I’ve seen a ‘Hazzah!!! ‘ 🙂
No problem, glad you are fixed.
Given you’re so knowledgeable on bbPress and I really don’t want to go making a mess after getting the forum working nicely, is there a plugin you would recommend to get the nice visual editor for post replies, instead of the default? I think my users are more visual, trying to use the default buttons will make their heads implode!
a lot of people use
I haven’t tried it myself, but come back either way and let us know
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