buddypress "forums" co-existing with traditional type forums

Hi

I'm trying to get a handle on what I can and can't do with forums. I have read about how buddypress forums are different, inasmuch as they are created as part of a group, and anyone can create a new group with corresponding forum, all well and good, I get that and see it working in practice.

What I want to know is can I have a more traditional set of forums at the same time (bearing in mind bbPress comes bundled with buddypress)?

Specifically, I'm happy for users to create groups with forums willy-nilly, but I want some "permanent" forums, rather like these ones on wpmudev, that are created and managed by me, site-admin, and are visible to everyone under a dedicated forums page (I'll have to call it 'discussions' or somesuch to avoid confusion), distinct from the user-generated-forums that are a part of buddypress.

I imagine that would involve either just creating a Page on the main site where the forums live (which sounds like the simplest option), or do I need to create another "site" with its own theme etc., and add a link to that site on the menu bar?

I'm playing around with the bp-social and bp-fun themes at the moment and will probably base my site on one of those themes.

If anyone could give me some pointers as to how to set up the dedicated forums page that would be great. Thanks.

  • Philip John

    Hi Terraling!

    This is entirely possible and it's really simple.

    Once you have your WordPress & BuddyPress set up ready, just install bbPress into a folder as normal (e.g. example.com/forums).

    During the installation you will be presented with all the necessary options to integrate bbPress with your existing WP install. Follow those and it should work fine.

    You'll then have your main site, plus a forums site all working off the same user base.

    If you want both your main site and forum to carry the same look and feel you'll have to develop a bbPress compatible theme to reflect the one you use on the main site. There may be a better way to do this that one of the theme developers can suggest, though.

    Hope that helps!
    Phil

  • terraling

    Hi Phil

    thanks for getting back to me. Follow-up question...

    While waiting to hear from anyone, I did think that maybe one solution would be to just go with the buddypress way of doing things, but to tweak things so that...

    I create several groups that all members are automatically members of (and cannot opt-out of) for discussion boards such as support, tricks 'n tips, whatever... and alter the default buddypress forum page output so that it always features my site forums at the top with another area underneath it for the user-generated forums below, if that makes sense.

    Specifically, then, how hard is it to customise the output of say the forum page?

    I find the default buddypress output slightly confusing, in that if you select forums it takes you not to a list of forums but to a list of forum topics (although, yes, the way forums work within buddypress a list of forums would just be the same as the list of groups).

    Getting back to a parallel install of bbPress, are there any performance issues I should worry about? Isn't it effectively being installed/running twice?

    Thanks again for your help.

    Btw, I'm fairly new on these boards, so I'm marking this topic as "not-resolved" even though you've answered my original question, not sure if that's the right way to go.

  • Philip John

    Hi Terraling,

    Specifically, then, how hard is it to customise the output of say the forum page?

    Not very is the short answer :slight_smile: You can customise within your theme and use a completely custom layout. I think it should also be possible to pull in stuff from BuddyPress although that starts to get a bit more complicated.

    Are there any performance issues I should worry about? Isn't it effectively being installed/running twice?

    It should be an issue. You're running an independent install of BuddyPress but it's quite tightly integrated with your WP/BP installation so you save on performance there.

    Btw, I'm fairly new on these boards, so I'm marking this topic as "not-resolved" even though you've answered my original question, not sure if that's the right way to go.

    It's more of a discussion now :slight_smile: so I'm going to take it out of support topics as it doesn't really relate to a particular issue.

    Cheers,
    Phil

  • terraling

    Thanks again for the comments...

    ...and for the recommendation foodfriendfinder.

    I've already come across simple-press and am investigating, not sure what in particular people seem to like about it over bbPress, but I'm still digging.

    One thing you might like to know is while investigating simplepress I found a thread about integrating simplepress into the activity stream of buddypress, so that when someone posts a new topic, replies etc., it shows up in the buddypress activity stream. You can find the write-up here: http://blog.slyspyder.com/2010/08/15/integrate-simplepress-forum-into-the-buddypress-activity-stream/

    You can presumably use it for bbPress if you find the right hooks etc...

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