Getting Started with bbPress
Install and Activate
To begin, install and activate bbPress using the following steps:
- Visit the WordPress Administration Screens and navigate to Plugins > Add New.
- Search for bbPress
- Locate the bbPress plugin and click install
- Activate the plugin
You can also install bbPress manually using an FTP client. To learn about installing plugins manually, check out the Manual Plugin Installation guide on the WordPress Codex.
Getting to Know bbPress
Upon activation, bbPress will make additions to three areas of the WordPress Administration Screens:
- bbPress creates three custom post types and adds them to the navigation menu: Forums, Topics, and Replies. Use these menu items to create and manage your forums.
- A sub-menu found at Settings > Forum. Customize these settings for greater control over bbPress.
- A Dashboard widget – Right Now in Forums – which shows recent bbPress-related activity. Use the widget to quickly monitor your forums. If you are unable to see this widget, visit your WordPress Dashboard, click on the Screen Options tab at the top right of the Dashboard and make sure that “Right Now in Forums” is checked.
Creating your First Forum
Once you have bbPress installed, you will no doubt want to create a Forum. There are three new menu items on your WordPress navigation menu. These are:
- Forums – create and manage your forum
- Topics – topics are created within forums, they are the issues that are being discussed
- Replies – replies are made to topics, this is the actual discussion.
To create a Forum follow these steps:
- Navigate to Forums > New Forum
- Give your Forum a name
- Add text to the text editor to give your forum a description on the back end.
- Adjust your Forum attributes. These are:
- Types: choose whether you are creating a Forum or category.
- Forum – can contain topics and be the parent of other forums.
- Category – can only contain forums (no topics). Use for organizing your forums.
You may, for example, have a Category “Open Source Software” with the Forums “bbPress” and “WordPress”.
- Status: choose whether the forum is open or closed.
- Visibility: decide whether your forum is public, private or hidden.
- Public – Anyone can see these forums
- Private – Only logged in registered users can see these forums
- Hidden: Only Moderators/Admins can see these forums
- Parent: Forums can have a hierarchical structure. If your forum is a sub-forum of another Forum or is the child of a category, add the Parent here.
- Order: this determines the order in which the forums appear.
When you are happy, click Publish.
By default, your forum will be located at http://yourdomain.com/forums/forum/yourforumname
To adjust the default slugs, visit Forums > Settings
Adding a Topic
With your Forum created you can start adding Topics. Topics are the issues that are being discussed on your Forum. You can add a Topic from the front end or from the WordPress Administration Screens.
Adding a Topic from the Front End
Navigate to your Forum on the front end. If you’ve just set up your Forum it will have no Topics yet.
Give your topic a name and add some content to it.
You can add tags for organizing your Topics, and you can make the post Sticky or Super Sticky.
- Sticky posts will stick to top of the Forum which it is in.
- Super Sticky posts will stick to the top of all Forums.
You can also select to subscribe to replies via email.
Once you post the Topic it will appear on your Forum.
Adding a Topic from the WordPress Administration Screens
To add a Topic from the WordPress Administration Screens navigate to Topics > New Topic.
The screen is similar to the post editing screen. Give your topic a title and content.
There are a number of different options you can set:
- Topic Attribute: Forum – choose the Forum you want to add your Topic to.
- Topic Attribute: Topic Type – make your post Sticky to stick it to the top of the single Forum, and Super Sticky to stick it to the top of every Forum.
When you have created your Topic click Publish.
Adding a Reply
As with Topics, Replies can be added from either the front end of your website or from the WordPress Administration Screens.
Adding a Reply from the Front End
To reply from the front end, navigate to your Forum and click on the Topic you wish to reply to.
Add your reply. You can also choose to be notified of follow-up replies via email.
When the reply is added, you’ll see that it’s been added to the WordPress Admin Screens at Replies > All Replies
Adding a Reply from the WordPress Administration Screens
To add a Reply from the WordPress Admin Screens, navigate to Replies > New Replies.
Add your reply. Use the reply attributes to attach the Reply to a Forum and a Topic.
Your reply will appear on the WordPress front end.
You’ve now got everything you need to get started with creating Forums with bbPress!