bbPress is a plugin for WordPress that adds forum capability to your site.bbPress inherits your currently active theme’s styles where it can to try and match your theme’s style. This can work really well on some themes, but sometimes doesn’t work well on others, so some styling may be needed. Out of the box, it works well with most of the default WordPress themes, but like I said it might need minor CSS styling to fix some layout issues. Adding a forum to your WordPress website is a great way to encourage user interaction and extend the conversation beyond your comments section. It’s also a great and easy way to provide support for your product or service instead of sorting through a mile-long email thread. Luckily, WordPress makes it easy to add a forum to your website. As you might have guessed, the solution comes in the form of a plugin called bbPress. Today in this bbPress tutorial we will make you learn how you can easily setup forums bbPress forums. It’s one of the most popular forum plugins because it’s developed by the same team behind WordPress and integrates with your website seamlessly.
First things first, we need to install and activate the bbPress plugin.
Navigate to your dashboard and click on Plugins > Add New. Chances are you will immediately see it on your screen as the Add New screen shows the most popular plugins first. If it’s not there, search for it and then click on Install and then Activate.
After you install the plugin, you’ll see a new section in the sidebar menu called Forums.
The second method is to create a new page and insert a shortcode which will add your forum’s main index to that page.
There is no right or wrong way of doing, it boils down to your own preference, so let’s get started.
There are three new sections in the sidebar menu:
We want the Forums section so click on it and select New Forum.
Give your forum a name and enter a short description in the text editor. Set the status to Closed to ensure nobody can post a new topic on your main forum. Since this will only serve as the index to various sections of your forum, you don’t want anyone posting there. When that’s done, click on Publish to create your main forum.
Create a new page, and name it whatever you’d like. In the text editor below, insert the following shortcode:
After that, click Publish.
The next step is adding forums to your main menu.
Click on Appearance > Menu and select your main navigation menu. bbPress will automatically create a menu item called Forums so if you used the first method, add your main forum to your menu. If you used the second method, then you’ll need to add the page you just created.
Once your forum has been added to the menu, click on Save.
If you were to look at your forum now, you’d see there is not much there. We actually need to create some forums. How many forums you create is entirely up to you and you can get as specific as you’d like.
In my example, I’m using the forums to provide help and support for my clients so my forum setup will include an FAQ section, as well as individual forums for the WordPress themes.
Let’s say you’re creating a forum for movie buffs. You could create a separate forum for each specific genre and then you could create child forums for specific time periods or subgenres. So your forum structure might look something like:
Main Forum/ Comedy/Action Comedy
Alternatively, you can choose Category as a Type in the Forum Attributes section for your parent forums and group the child forums under that category.
Your forum has several attributes which are worth getting familiar with. I’ll cover them briefly here.
The status of any forum you create can be open and closed. As you might have guessed from step 1, closed forum means anybody can see the forum but they can’t post new topics to it. The open status means any registered user can post a new topic.
You can also set different visibility: public means even unregistered users can view the forum. Private will allow only registered and logged in users to view the forum and hidden will allow the forums to be viewed only by administrators and key masters.
The order simply determines the order in which your forums will appear on the main forum page. The default ordering is alphabetical but you can change it using this attribute. The order starts at 0 and can go as high as you want it to.
When it comes to topics, they can be normal, sticky which means they stay at the top of the forum no matter how many new topics have been added, and finally, super sticky which means the same topic is displayed at the top of every forum.
As you would expect, bbPress is loaded with powerful, user-friendly features. Just some of the bbPress features you’ll appreciate include its easily customizable themes, spam prevention support and the fact you can create multisite forums.