Tutorial on how to set up a forum like on site

I am trying to duplicate the set up of the forum on this website.


Can you tell me if this is a stand alone forum, what plugins you are using, and if there has been extensive customization.

I really like ever way thing is set up and am having a horrible time using bbpress / buddypress to make a forum look like this,

Is there a tutorial on how this is set up.

  • drmike

    I really like ever way thing is set up and am having a horrible time using bbpress / buddypress to make a forum look like this,

    I believe it;s also a standalone install of wp, not a wpmu/ms install. And there's no buddypress.

    Last I knew, bbpress wasn;t designed to run on individual sites within a wpmu/ms install. Automattic had discussed doing such and started working on a project called BackPress but that's now a commercial operation of theirs.

    If you want individual forums on your sites, you may want to give a look at either the forums plugin from here or simplepress.



    Simplepress has a thread on dealing with buddypress as well:


    Hmmm, they used to have a sticky on inserting simplespress into buddypress' blogs. Anyone find it?

  • william_bronson

    Ok so this brings up the question. If you don't use your own forum plugin for your forum, and you use bbpres forum plugin, which should I use?
    I have multisite, but don't have it set up for users to create their own sites. It's just so I can have two different themes in one site community, and protect certain things with memberships, such as a members forum only for certain membership levels.

    I had mingle forum installed but it broke as soon as I created multisite.
    So I joined you guys for the membership and affiliate plugin as well as support.

    Now I need a forum and I'm puzzled at the selection of it. I can't make a huge fundamental mistake on this

  • Mark Wallace

    Hello william_bronson

    If you like wpmingle you can always create a manual sub-domain separate from your multisite, and use the "Custom Link Menu" for users to navigate to and fro; this will allow you to have a multisite and WPmingle.

    Keep in mind they will need a separate pass User Name and Password, but the "remember me" function makes this a breeze. Also depending on what the forum will be used for, you can use membership to charge for access.

    Personally i like BBpress, simple to use, simple to set up. Easy to find support! :slight_smile:

    At the end of the day you will need to decide, so read carefully and test before making a final decision. :slight_smile:


  • william_bronson

    I can't do that with my purpose.

    I have a theme at my main and another theme in a subdirectory of that domain.
    I have multisite enabled for a membership community and affiliate code that needs to allow affiliate promotion of the main domain with cookies or url ids
    So, the forum needs to be on the subdirectory theme but members sign up at the root site for it and I don't want them to have to create more than one account.

    mingle doesnt support multisite installations. It broke when I tried to re-activate it.
    But your recommendation for simple pres seems promising. I think I'll do that because they do support multisite and the membership plugin will hopefully work out well.

    This has been difficult. I completely scrapped a year of tinkering and started over for a proper foundation of my site architecture. Hopefully that is. I'm doing my best on a nonexistent budget.

  • Bob

    Odd that this conversation stopped here.

    Indeed I agree with William. Why have a forum plugin and then use another plugin that is in fact riddled with issues.

    And by the way, Cartpauj, the creator of Mingle Forum has been promising an update for years and has all but abandoned the plugin. So continuing its use is asking for a headache.

    And the idea of paying for a WPMU membership should preclude the need to then pay for SimplePress. And you'll have to pay since their freebie has been phased out. That's the trend with most things WordPress now, so expect more of it.

    But then, that's why the smart money - or so I thought - would be here at WPMUDEV. It is unfortunate that so many of the plugins are just so-so and barely hold up against the freebies in the repository.

    WordPress is anything but plug-n-play, and it's quickly turning into a pain in the a$$.

  • william_bronson

    I get your sentiment. wpmu dev has powerhouse potential. If you search for anything about wordpress, chances are this forum comes up high in the rankings.
    And they have some really good beginners. What I mean is, they have the right idea but just lacking some bells and whistles.
    It reminds me of my first encounter with the Q&A plugin and a dark background. Something simple like a preset for that would have saved me hours of tinkering with how to copy a theme file, put it where I don't know, and do what I can't figure out with it.
    The process made about as much sense to me as that last sentence.
    Yes, wpmu dev makes a fortune I believe. And It there's just so many hours in the day. I do wish they'd make the Q&A more like the forum here. It's close

  • Bob

    Thanks William, I don't know if they're successful or not, but their products thus far don't reflect success - but rather shoestring. That said, like you, I think the potential is there and I hope they are infinitely prosperous - that way they'll stick around (something that is an issue with WordPress products in general).

    I've used a few of their plugins, and I'm amazed at the lack of attention to detail or what seems as if they don't bother using them themselves. Honestly, and I've made this comment to them already, even their "preview" function for plugins and themes is something I'd expect from a rookie (that would be me), but not from those whom we assume are the gurus.

    Rant over - let's see where it all goes.

  • william_bronson

    It also occurs to me that, if they're using bbpress, it looks more like Q&A and nowhere have I seen any way to make bbpress look anywhere remotely like this forum. Not even close.
    I'm really frustrated by the forum options out there. They all look like the old bulletin board style and very unattractive in my opinion. All of them. I've tried simplepress, bbpress, mingle, vanilla, etc. They are all ugly.
    However, this forum is really done right. It's strange to me that it's so unique and attractive, and the company using it has forum and Q&A plugins they sell, but doesnt provide a way to make it look or function like the forum they use.

    I don't know how to put it any more plain.
    They know it rocks. And they should know why. I mean they should know what is attractive about it and at least get close with their software. Q&A is close but lacks the ease of settings to make some things bigger, color changes, gravatar size and position, stack look with the initial quesiton nice a big on top, etc. I tried to do it but so far only have what's here http://mybizpower.com/questions

  • Bob

    They're not ashamed to say it took a "lot" or customization. That means a lot of PHP and CSS, so essentially they forked bbpress, if you will. As I said, it's above my head, but I'm guessing so much of it is hardcoded into the PHP files that you'd need their files in order to replicate it.

    So why don't they just create it themselves and give it out to their wonderful customers, like you and me?

    I'm not sure that would be ethical, or legal, and since you and I seem to be the only ones complaining and looking for it, it's probably not worth the effort.

  • Mark Wallace

    So why don't they just create it themselves and give it out to their wonderful customers, like you and me?

    A lot of members want this forum for our sites, including me.
    I guess we should put in a feature request to have them develop it for us, maybe i will do that in a few days and post the link back here so we can get some +1 votes for a future release.

    It would be cool to have!

    I'm not sure that would be ethical, or legal, and since you and I seem to be the only ones complaining and looking for it, it's probably not worth the effort.

    Since it is open source, and a much older version, i am sure it is legal and ethical, if ethical even exist these days! :p

    Lets take a little time and post here what we want in our feature request. :slight_smile: then we can post it.

    Thanks Fella's
    Be Blessed!

  • Jack Kitterhing

    Hiya @Thomas,

    Hope you're well today! :slight_smile:

    Our forums are a highly customized versions of BBpress, it wouldn't be easy to make it into a standalone product as it's more of a theme and custom features, though it could be multiple smaller plugins.

    We appreciate your feedback on this and it's certainly something we'll consider for the future. :slight_smile:


    Kind Regards