Simple:Press: A Fully Scalable Forum Plugin for WordPress

Looking for a solid plugin option for adding forums to your WordPress site? You may not have heard of Simple:Press, since it’s not available in the WordPress plugin repository. bbPress tends to dominate the plugin space for forum plugins, so I wanted to introduce you to another option, just in case you’re looking for something a little different.

Simple:Press has been under development for the past six years, steadily becoming a full-featured WordPress forum plugin that can scale into the thousands.

Simple:Press Features:

Simple:Press boasts all the robust capabilities and features of a standalone forum, seamlessly integrated into WordPress. Here are just a few of the most important features:

  • Fully integrated with WordPress user registrations and logins
  • Supports WordPress 3.0 standard, Multisite and BuddyPress
  • Optional Cookies to track Guests and Members
  • Comprehensive Admin Options and Settings
  • Underpinned by a powerful user and permission system
  • Can create private and/or public forums
  • Optional Spam Prevention tool
  • Optional post moderation (approval)
  • User Signature and Avatars
  • Forum Statistics – including who is online
  • Admins Unread Post list with Quick Reply
  • Subscription and Watched topics
  • Image, Media and File Uploader
  • User defined Topic Tags
  • Fully customizable skins and icons
  • Extended Member Profile Options with ability to add custom Profile data items
  • Extensive set of Template Tags for showing forum data outside forum pages
  • Custom icons for forum/topics
  • Custom Smileys and Badges

Simple:Press is completely localized for language support and there’s a growing list of translations available. It’s also created to be SEO friendly with optimized permalinks, page and browser title settings, and custom descriptions and keywords.

Why would you use Simple:Press instead of bbPress?

Many of you might be wondering why you might use the SimplePress plugin instead of bbPress, which seems to be the standard around these parts. Simple:Press has more features built in. While bbPress is widely used and has a large community of people contributing, many of its add-on features are only available through additional plugins at the moment. Simple:Press offers all the features you would expect from forum software in one package.

If you’re the adventurous type, go ahead and give Simple:Press 5.0 Beta a spin. SP V5 requires WordPress 3.3+ and will not work with any other versions. For the latest updates, make sure to follow Simple:Press on Twitter and subscribe to the Simple:Press blog.

25 Responses

  • I am still trying to decide between BuddyPress or Simple:Press … I’m the type that likes to customize everything. Which one is actually more powerful?

    • HummingBird

      I have found Simple:Press Forums to be massively configurable, and have only briefly tested BuddyPress because I found it rather limited in the way the forums are based on groups so I didn’t see a way to create a central location for discussion among all members. But before anyone corrects me, I did not thoroughly investigate BP because I find the traditional discussion forums SPF offers to be very effective and convenient for our community. Good luck!

  • Can anyone help me?!? I am having a problem with simple press. I don’t know if this is how it’s suppose to be but every time I go in to edit my profile in the forums it takes me to a simple white background and text page. Nothing like what its suppose to be. Its not like editing in the forms, its a totally different looking from the site. Can anyone help??

  • HummingBird

    @aubrey Check your Forum Admin options (Profiles -> Profile Options) to ensure you have selected the desired Profile Entry Form Mode. Select “Forum profile form” for the profile editor to display wrapped in the Forums page.

    You’ll find much better help in the Simple:Press support forums. And yes, membership there does cost, but it is well worth it if to maximize your use of the plugin especially if you plan to do any customization.

    Hope this helps.

  • Hey guys, I’m new to Simple Press. After setting up my forum I cannot see the toolbar when I post a new topic. Also Simple Press wont let my users register. Do I have to pay for the toolbar and enabled registration?

    • HummingBird

      @Dennis Which toolbar are you talking about? The Admin Queue is indeed a SimplePress plugin, but the pop-up toolset and Admin Tools button are both built-in. If you’re talking about the WordPress admin bar, something wonky is going on for sure.

      Be sure to review all your Admin options and permissions to address these and the registration issue. You’ll find much better help in the SP Support forums, yes that costs now but the fast support is well worth it. And no, I am not affiliated with SimplePress in any way.

      Good luck!

  • New Recruit

    Thanks for your article !
    I’d like to know if I can customize many things like backgrounds, icons, text colors, even the sections’ color? the hover? is it in the CSS file or we can set up through WP panel?
    Is it possible to send some newsletter too? It would be a forum for a band so that would be cool :)


  • New Recruit

    Simple Press forums doesn’t offer support or access to their support forum along with the free download and service! We set up this forum and created 130 plus pages of content to discover there is NO SUPPORT without membership! Now I would gladly give them their money and I had every intention of doing so.

    We have only been using it for about 4 months and we discovered it is set up so you will have to pay. There are plugins that do the SEO and other functions and they are locked out without membership! That means that all your hard work will produce NO RESULTS on Google without paying them a yearly fee!!!

    Worse than that is you CANNOT ACCESS their support forum without payment! If you have a problem you will be forced to pay or move on to another service.

    I have looked and found no one really mentioning all of this! I had originally done a lot of research on forums and was totally convinced to use this service!

    There contact form states “Please do NOT use this contact form for support questions. If you have any support queries regarding Simple:Press – please use the support forum. Support questions will not be answered using email.”

    Now if you can’t read or get support through the forum or through the contact form, why would you use this service? I actually contacted them through their contact form and got a nasty response! People be very cautious about using this service… If you want a free forum this is NOT FOR YOU!

    If you are a commercial site just penny up or choose another service! You will not get support without payment and the forum will not rank your content without the added plugins. Plus all of your text will have to be done in a separate editor or it will be very basic text!

    Plus we did not discover this until the entire thing crashed on us! We searched and searched for how to get our content and export it… That seems to be a paid option too!

    I give it a serious buyer beware!!!

    I made a video response to the email correspondence I had with an “Andy” at Simple Press! I think he should watch and read all the sarcasm and insinuated comments this dude had for us. More importantly I think you should choose another forum for your service!

    • HummingBird

      Sorry to hear you’re having such trouble Thomas, but you nailed it – buyer beware, and you get what you pay for.

      I have no affiliation with SimplePress, I’ve just been a happy user since 2008. The development team offered untold hours of support on a suggested donation only basis for years. When they switched to the pay model, I found the support and plugins more than worth the price!

      For the record, you do not need the SimplePress SEO/sitemaps plugin to index forum content. We only run All In One SEO and all our forum content s indexed by Google, et. al.

      • New Recruit

        I am using WordPress seo by Yoast and it doesn’t seem to be allowing the content to be indexed. My permalinks are fine and show the correct post title, but I don’t find any of the content in the serps. I have even tried to search for things like my domain and the page title… Nothing comes back. I have search the web and others have said that they have the same problem of NO INDEX by Simplepress. Could this be something new?

        I love the Yoast seo plugin and really don’t want to switch. But I need that content indexed… What forum do you recommend and how easy or hard is it to switch 150 pages of content?

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