BuddyPress and bbPress Forums made easy!

In this video, we show you how to easily create three flavors of forums: BuddyPress Group Forums, bbPress Sitewide Forums, or a custom “hybrid” support forum with forums, topics, and tag cloud.

Posted in bbPress, BuddyPress, LabZip, Public Posts, Quick Tips, Tutorial Tagged with: , , ,
16 comments on “BuddyPress and bbPress Forums made easy!
  1. dianeinatlanta says:

    This is a great tutorial but I’m having a problem. The website declines to show the new forum page I created. (this is on a test site on my computer) It does show all the other buddypress pages, so it’s something I’m doing wrong per your instructions.

    I didn’t have a forums page set up to start with so my forum page is new and there is no forum page in the trash.

    I’ve walked through the video a couple of times. The agf-group-forums page is set to public.

    • labsecrets says:

      Hi Diane,
      if you provide a url, it would be easy for us to have a look. Without knowing that, it sounds like you may have missed the step where you need to ensure that the “forum” slug is not already in use by the native buddypress group forums. This also means that you should check in the “trash” to ensure a page with the slug “forums” is not in there either.

  2. dianeinatlanta says:

    This is a 403 forbidden page error. Since this is not a live site, I can’t show it to you. I’m using Instant Press just to test things before I crash my real sites. Finally learned! I didn’t create a forums page – I created a page with a different slug as you directed. This was a first time set up for the Buddypress pages.

    Do you ever do any consulting that is not directly related to your product? I have an active site up with a theme I like but I am not too savvy on the buddypress, bbpress, wordpress combo. Does this solution above work with a multi-user site?

  3. labsecrets says:

    If you get a 404 or 403, then you should check your Permalinks are “saved”. This is a good idea after setting up BuddyPress or bbPress the first time ;-)

    Go to Settings/Permalinks and click “save” one time.

    We do consult yes, so feel free to call us at 312.344.3280 or skype “spencerforman” or email help@labsecrets.com

    The solution above should work with multisite, but remember that (presently) there is only ONE BuddyPress and one bbPress installation involved in any multisite setup.

  4. I feel like I am missing a piece. I removed the forum page. I created a new page called group forum. I also changed the slugs under the settings. When I go to the site to add topics, I am unable to add topics under the groups. What part am I missing? My site name is http://www.thecoupondistrict.com

    • labsecrets says:

      Have you checked to be sure you emptied the trash of the old forum slug? You should also be sure to check your BuddyPress settings to ensure you have enabled groups to create forums using the group-forum feature.

  5. lomig says:

    this tutorial is very clear, but that doesn’t work for me. I just want to use the Group Forums of BP. I deleted the forums page, and empty the trashcan.
    Then i created a wp page called “group forums” (slug group-forums), then i went to the Buddypress > Pages and assigned the Group forums page to the discussion forum.
    I see a correct page, but when i want to post a new topic, i still have the “Please pick the group forum where you would like to post this topic.” (I Did choose a group in the drop-down menu). So i’m lost, and if you could help it would be so great. Thanks

    • labsecrets says:

      Sounds like you need to first enable a forum within one of your groups? If you do not already have a group with a forum, then buddypress doesn’t know what content to display :-)

  6. Brock says:

    Good tutorial! However, I’m still having problems getting the forum to show up as a menu option (page) on my site. Running BuddyPress and bbPress, latest releases. I couldn’t get bbPress to install from within the BuddyPress install, so ended up installing bbPress as a Plug-in. I am just using it as a site-wide forum for now… and may never go to group forums. It has been working and a few users have been posting to it.

    My problem is that I can’t get a direct link (page) into my header area. Any new page I create will, of course, show up in the right area, but I can’t work out how to get the ‘forums’ to appear.

    I tried creating a new page, then changing the permalink to the slug of the forum. If I ‘view page’ before publishing the change, I see the list of forum topics as I want. However, once I publish, although the ‘link’ appears in my header, navigating there produces a blank page.

    I’m stuck! Whatever I do, I don’t want to mess up the forum contents already generated!

    Ideas appreciated!! :-)

    • labsecrets says:

      You should not ever install the stand alone bbPress when using BuddyPress. That’s counter-productive.

      The issue is simple, you need to manually create the slug for “forums” by following the video. Do this in appearance/menus and just use url of “/forums” and whatever label you want. BE SURE that you have deleted AND emptied the trash of any previous pages that use “forums” as their slug.

      If you need further help, send us a URL of your site… we’ll get you going ;-)


      • Brock says:

        Thanks Spence. I did attempt the bbPress install from within BuddyPress, but it failed horribly and I actually uninstalled BuddyPress to clean things up. I re-installed BuddyPress and found enough information on the web to suggest simply adding it as a plug-in was an acceptable way around it. The widgets show activity and there seems to be the proper communication back and forth, so other than the problem I’ve raised here, things appear to be working as they should.

        At present the ‘archive slug’ for the forum is ‘forums’. I see also a ‘single slug’ entry of ‘forum’. Not sure how they differ, but the root page is http://www.acutance.net/forums

        You have mentioned ‘appearance’ – ‘menus’. Maybe that’s where my problem is. I installed the ‘elbee-elgee’ theme for a period before going back to the default buddypress theme and I see in the menu page that it is still referencing elbee elgee, even though it was uninstalled and I went in to the folder structure at the command prompt to ensure the theme folder was good and gone. It was. But I’ve got this hanger-on from that theme which I don’t know how to remove. I’m going to wager some or all of my problem stems from this??

  7. labsecrets says:

    Hi Brock,
    in version 2.1 of bbPress, there is a new option to let you select whether to use the default twenty ten theme, or to use your own template files. I suggest you go back to that and check it is set for “use twentyten”

    I’m not familiar with that other theme, but you can always switch to the default buddypress theme (or bbPress) under Appearance/Themes menu in order to verify whether your theme is causing an issue. If it works with the BuddyPress or bbPress default themes… you have the issue in your custom theme.

  8. Brock says:

    Hi Spence,

    I ended up creating a new menu and deleted the one that was still hanging on. I used the ‘custom link’ function to add the missing page and now all is golden. Stupidly simple, now that I understand how that menu page works… and no longer fear accidentally messing things up completely!

    Something I’ve found, going through all of this, is a problem with themes that support buddyPress, but don’t seem to recognize the existence of bbpress. I try out a theme… it looks fantastic, but when I look at my forum page, font colours cause text to be hidden against the background, postings are cut off… you name it. I’d love to see a tutorial about the *general* process one needs to follow to extend theme functionality to bbPress. Use of Child themes, etc. I find that most information I find about digging into the bowels of the WordPress system assumes a higher level of knowledge than many users have… it would be nice to see something that explains the basic framework and interaction of the files for those of us who want to learn but aren’t experts.

    • labsecrets says:

      Hi Brock, glad you got it sorted!

      We agree, and are chatting with John and the others at bbPress.org to see whether they would agree to let us introduce our tutorials and “ready to use” child themes into the community. Seems a lot of folks are not able to use the wonderful power of bbPress because there is a still a little “speed bump” at the start for newbies ;-)

      Maybe we can change that?


  9. Brock says:

    Exactly. I’m not a developer, but I administer my own personal Linux box to serve my web sites and email… more of a hobby than anything else – no revenue generated – just the opposite! I like to solve this sort of problem, but taking the jump to full on coding is not realistic for me. I need to understand how things interconnect before being brave enough to make changes. Those in the know say things like “create a child theme, add the forum changes for bbPress to the theme, replace the forum folder and contents with the bbPress template”… the whole solution in one sentence! Probably logical to a developer, but for someone like me, this creates more questions than it answers… foremost amongst them being “what am I going to break if I do this and screw up because I don’t understand the consequences of my actions?”. The details of the edits required are bad enough!

    I would support just about anything that would help the less sophisticated user like myself get enough of an understanding to be capable of poking around under the hood. If you need a test sample of the average unsophisticated moron user, feel free to call on me…! ;-)

  10. lottiejam says:

    This is a brilliant tutorial, thank you! I did have to go through it a couple of times for it to sink in but the penny dropped – again many thanks!

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