Good news for bbPress is now a plugin. John James Jacoby has developed an official plugin for WordPress. This is different from the stand alone forum that exists.
The reason you want a forum is users create content for your website. That means instead of you getting up every morning and thinking up a new blog post. Community. It is one of the best things you can do for SEO and making money on your website. If you have a non-commercial site it is good for users to exchange ideas.
How does this forum software work?
- plug it in
- use it in your Admin control panel
- define forums
- moderate users
- drive traffic to your website with user-generated content.
I have been a big fan or WordPress’s forum software called bbPress. The reason I like it is, it is very light weight and easy to use. However, a few people have been upset as the project has not taken top priority at Automattic. I take another point of view. I have had a small forum run on it for a while now and it has worked fine.
I am grateful towards Matt Mullenweg dedicating his time to great open source software to use.
The main problem has been, it has been very slow to develop. A major release has taken forever, because of the project has gone through some growing pains with the developers and I think the final goals was to wait for WP 3.0 MU to be developed before energy was channeled to this project.
Why get excited about bbPress plugin
I think there is a reason to be excited about bbPress. That is developers are taking it to the next level and integrating it fully as a bbPress plugin for WordPress. This is much like BBpress has become a simple plugin for WordPress.These means you can run bbPress from your control panel. For free forum software it will be part of the WordPress CMS. Why is this important to you?
If you have a website it is all about content. Content is king and user generated content is the best as you do less of the work. The community will always create more than you ever could. Perhaps you direct the flow of content but if you have a good forum or social community, you are all set.
Your goal should not be hiring an SEO firm or outsourcing company to do all your work for you, your goal should be to develop an active community. I take part on forums and I have no problem leaving comments and making contributions to other people’s websites. If there is something of value, people will do this also. This is an ancient forum – bbPress plugin will integrate with WordPress so your forum will not fall to ruins
Build it and they will come with bbPress forums
If you think you can build a forum and people will rush to join thing again. However, if you have a website and it has reasonable value people will start to check back and maybe comment. If they like other commentators on your site, they will sign up and register (the big huddle for forum owners) and come back.
Some things I would like to see in the bbPress plugin for WordPress
I am a fan of bbPress and now its functionality is fine, and a few plugins that help it out. I mean it is a forum, you simply have posts and threads
and check it. However, there are a few things I would love to see as the core part.
- Automatic moderation, including filtering bad words and chat style. I do not like on my blog when people write ‘u’ for ‘you’ and bad words. Personal attracts could be reduced automatically if you can filter certain words. I think the best community is a clean community. Thing about he city you live,if its clean and safe people want to come and visit.
- Right now bbPress closes inactive comments after 2 weeks, I would like this open forever. My oldest treads rank the highest.
- Full integration with your online community including MU. The users on your blog and MU (BuddyPress) seamlessly go between the forum,social network and blog without too many registration hoops. Maybe this is not important, I am not sure.
- Controlling outbound links on post and threads. Not with no follow but taking the front off so it leaves the text address and not a link.
- Language usage control integration for the community users something like ‘after the deadline English grammar and spell check appearing when people leave comments as forums tend to get out of control in terms of language structure.
- bbPress plugin ideas to use at your own risk – A commenting ability like WordPress, that is someone could just leave a comment and move on with out a registration process. Deactivate registration option I know this would create pure chaos but to get a forum started I think you need commentors, nobody will comment on an empty forum. Most of my wish list is connected with attracting new users by making it simpler for a user to sign up and start posting, maybe I am very wrong about all this, but for a forum to get going you need to get people commenting without too much effort. Basically ways to promote and encourage people to use your forum. There are many forums out there with great ideas but they are empty as no one is into spending time on forums.
The current state of bbPress plugin
I have heard about 2011 there will be a good beta. I would expect by the end of the fall something more robust will be ready.
The legacy stand alone forum users will be able to export their posts and then import them to the new system. I think if you do not have an active forum today, just wait for the bbPress plugin. I am doing that for one of my sites and advising other people to do the same. So now my big idea for a forum is on hold. And yes I will use bbPress, rather than some pay for or heavy software for forums. I know there are many good ones out there but WordPress has a great community and I am always looking to the future not just the current state with a what can you do for me now attitude.
However I recommend also to start looking at:
- bbPress plugin – great site for just poking around and seeing what it is all about.
- Become an active member or at least a watcher of their forum – you will be aware of development issues and ideas so when the bbPress plugin for WordPress does come out, it will be an easy integration.
If you have any questions about forums, how to get a forum going or any user-generated content questions just ask. I mostly have this website as a hobby site.
More on BBpress
What is bbPress?
WordPress forum software is called bbPress. The reason I use bbPress with my forum is it is light, fast, simple and easy to use, as well as free. At this juncture
there is no way I would use any other forum software other than bbPress the official WordPress forum software.
I know there is VBulletin, phpBB, and other platforms. but why not keep all the engines for your website the same, that is WordPress. Further, I know a lot of people
like Simple:Press which I think is quite good also. However, again why not just go with an
href=”http://automattic.com/”>Automattic platform for your WordPress forum.
Why have a forum?
What is web 2.0? It is an interactive, conversational web. Where in web 1.0 people would make a website and read it and go away. People in web 2.o participate in
your website. This is a very basic but radical concept. I also believe Google ranks website on observed user behavior on your website.
Therefore, why would you not have a bbPress WordPress forum. Forums are very interactive and search engines like them because of fresh new content being posted daily.
Some forums have ten thousand posts a year. Think, how long would it take for you to post ten thousand posts on your blog. Think how much it would cost you to pay
someone to write ten thousand posts.
Of course forum posts are not as focused, nevertheless they have significant value.
Do not take the above comments in the wrong way. Having a WordPress forum is not about getting people to write for you, it is about creating a fun community on
something that interests you. I have a forum about and I love it. It is fun to interact with people there.
The hard part about a WordPress forum
Everyone I know has an idea about some web 2.0 community. Since Facebook and Twitter, everyone has an idea, even me. However, the hardest part about these types of
sites is to get them going. People think just because you have a forum set up people will go rushing to it.
Setting up a forum or social networking site ( see BuddyPress, that is WordPress MU) is easy, getting people to come is the real trick.
How to get your bbPress forum to rock
The way you get traffic to your forum is invite everyone you know to your forum. Post actively and reply to every post. Once you have about one thousand relevant,
interesting useful posts, search engines will start to give it some respect with time. Does this sound like hard work? Well each form post is easier than a blog post,
you will see. Further, few things in life come easy if you want it to be good.
Therefore, organic search will start to pick up. Organic search is the way you start it and direct traffic is the way you keep your WP forum going.
Value of a bbPress as the WordPress forum
- Can be integrated with your WP blog
- If you know WordPress then to work bbPress is very easy.
- bbPress is not bad with Search engine optimization right out of the box.
- Many nice bbPress plugins
- Many nice bbPress themes
- Active community.
- Matt Mullenweg from WordPress has said bbPress is here to stay.
- It is simple and fast and tested.
If you have any questions about bbPress I can help. Just drop a comment. However, I think if you are serious about your website, every WP blog or site owner should use bbPress the WordPress forum platform.