BbPress Evolves Into A WordPress Plugin

For most producers of “killer applications”, it is virtually impossible to grow beyond the phenomenon of their “killer app”. The same seems to be the case with WordPress. Ignored and neglected for quite some time now, bbPress — the forum CMS (software) by WordPress — is trying to find its way into the WordPress user community as a WordPress plugin. Additionally the motivation could be Matt’s desire to drive WordPress into a full-fledged Content Management System (envisioning it to become the new-age Drupal). Most of your would remember that in WordPress 2.9.x they introduced the long awaited custom content types (only ‘post’ and ‘page’ existed till then). bbPress was hacked out of minibb — a lightweight forum software — by Matt on a weekend in year 2004. While WordPress forums had been running minibb, they transitioned to bbPress. In a recent chat session in Dec 2009 they brainstormed the idea of turning bbPress into a WordPress plugin.

WordPress itself became the blog CMS of choice for the blogging masses because of the easy availability of beautiful WordPress themes. bbPress on the other hand has been struggling to make its presence felt from the ground up. This change will allow bbPress to stand on the solid foundation of WordPress documentation, functions, themes, wide developer community and the likes. On the other side, the expected competition to vBulletin or Invision Power Board is quite not coming. Phpbb has made a decent effort and is one popular alternative; but wouldn’t something as customizable as WordPress be nice? Well bbPress it should have been. As of now it has already made an entry into the wordpress plugins directory as bbPress. And at the moment all it does is get uploaded and installed as a plugin and nothing else. So much for bbPress. But we are still wondering if WordPress will ultimately evolve as WordPress MU and other offshoots like BuddyPress will also merge into a possible glob of bulky software and eventually still be competing with Drupal? What do you say?


  1. I personally wanted it to grow as a standalone version. It integrates with WordPress pretty well and I offer services for the same but this move may be justified by the users who want a matching theme look out of the box for their current theme. BuddyPress has evolved bbPress into its own thing. It installs Group wise forum and doesn’t run as site wide anymore.

    Lets see how things shape up further.

  2. I would like to see bbPress work as a plugin. I have been rooting for it all along. I am not a programmer so cannot offer any help. I think it would be a real asset to WordPress. It was easy to integrate and if their were more plugins to make it work as a true forum it could be one of the best.

  3. So as I see it (out of the first two comments), there’s an absolute 50-50 divide between folks who want it as a plugin and others who want it as a standalone package. Much of this controversy has been caused by releasing (and pitching) bbPress as a standalone forum software and then abandoning the project. Had it not been so, no one would mind a plugin. But as of this date bbPress has lost more than half of it’s fan following and userbase. And it will take its due time to build it again.

  4. My intuition says that once it is made into a plugin–as long as setup is simple–it will grow rapidly. I suspect many, many, many people have shied away from using a forum at all because of fear of breaking something during installation. The plugin already has over 1200 downloads, and it says not to download it.

    What I am waiting for now is a release date.


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