Forums and bulletin boards are very good tools to build online communities. There are many of forum softwares available that you can install on your website but we will use bbPress.Are you asking why? bbPress used to be a standalone forum script from the creators of WordPress and has been around for years. Later it converted to a standard plugin for WordPress so now you can use it to add-on a forum to your existing blog in very easy way. All you need to do is to keep reading, and we will show you how to add a forum to WordPress.
Install the Plugin
bbPress is very easy to install. Simply go to Plugins » Add New in your WordPress admin area and search for bbPress. Install and activate the plugin. Alternatively, you can download the bbPress plugin, then simply upload it to your plugins (wp-content/plugins) folder via ftp. You can download and use a ftp client like Filezilla which is free to use.
Adding the Forum
Once installed, you will see Forums, Topics and Replies menu items in your WordPress dashboard. The first step is to create your forum by clicking on Forum » New Forum. Enter a title and a description for your forum and hit the publish button. You can add as many forums as you like. You can also add some child forums – these will act as the categories that members will post in (just select the parent forum from “parent” dropdown box and publish).
Adding Forum Widgets
Display Forum in the Front End of WordPress
Now we have created a few forums, and we will display them on the front end of your WordPress site.All you need to do is to create a new WordPress page. Give it a name, like Forum, Community, or anything you like. Paste the shortcode below into your newly created page:
Turn off comments and trackbacks on the forum page and hit the publish button. Now you need to include this page in navigation menu. Go to Appearance » Menus and the page to your menu.The page is now linked to your forums and anyone who clicks on it will be brought to the forum page.
Integrate bbPress with Your Theme
First of all you will need to allow registrations on your website.Just go to Settings » General, check the box next to “Any one can register”.
Now we need to create a registration page which is very simple as well. Just create a WordPress page, and give it a title, e.g. Register. Add this shortcode to the page
and publish the page.
We will do the same thing with the lost password recovery page. Create, give it a title e.g. Lost Password and add following shortcode to it.
Don’t forget to hit the publish button.:-)
Now we will go back to the (bbPress) Login Widget and enter the URI(s) for the registration and lost password pages.Once it’s saved, load your site and you will be able to see the login widget in the sidebar.
To change settings for your bbPress forums, go to Settings » Forums.
The first option “Disallow editing after” lets forum posters to edit their posts after publishing. Default setting is 5 minutes.
The second option “Throttle posting every” controls after how much time a new post should appear on the forum.Default is set to 10 seconds.
You can also choose how many topics and replies you want to show per page and you set custom slugs for single forums, topics, replies, tags, users, and views. If you change those, existing permalinks will also change.
Some other settings are “ allow users to subscribe to topics” or “add topics as favorites” or “allow topics to have tags”.
User Roles in bbPress
bbPress supports five pre-defined roles, everyone of them has different capabilities.See the list below.
Keymaster – Admin
Participant – Editor
Participant – Author
Participant – Contributor
Participant – Subscriber
You can also block user using the option Blocked.
That’s it.Hope, this article will help to set up your forum with no hassle.You can also extend your forums functionality by adding some extensions from many bbPress plugins.
Let us know if you have any problem of tips on this topic.