PHPBB is one of the best free content management systems for anyone interested in starting a forum. There are plenty of templates and add-ons available for those interested in enhancing their default PHP install. If you are using PHPBB to add a forum next to your WordPress install, you want to pick up a few PHPBB WordPress plugins to get your two sites to better communicate with each other. These 7 add-ons can help:
WP2BB: I have seen this plugin in action on many web properties that have both PHPBB and WordPress installed. It automatically sends your WordPress posts to your forum to engage your visitors in deeper discussions.
Last phpbb3 topics: integrates PHPBB into your WordPress site and adds your latest PHPBB topics to your blog or portal. It helps solidify your community.
Phpbbauth: Phpbbauth is a plugin that makes life easier for your PHPBB members. This plugin allows them to log on to your WordPress site using their PHPBB credentials.
phpBB to WP connector: phpBB to WP connector is a plugin that connects your phpBB forum to your WordPress site. It shares users with WordPress. Users that do not exist in WordPress are automatically created as a WordPress subscriber. It allows users to use PHP login credentials to comment, so it doesn’t require new credentials for current users.
WP-United: WP-United is another phpBB WordPress bridge. This one has lots of supporting widgets. It is fully modular, meaning that individual features can be turned on and off. Modules include sign-on, theming, widgets, cross-posting, and behavior. These modules add some awesome features to the integrated package. And speaking of features, there is plenty to like here:
- User integration. This includes a single sign-on, it synchronizes profiles with avatars, and includes user management. You can use external registration modules such as plugins for social media logins. It automatically creates user accounts between phpBB and WordPress. And you can easily set individual permissions.
- Template integration. Your phpBB forum appears within your WordPress site, or your WordPress site can appear within your phpBB forum’s header and footer. It analyzes your CSS and makes the necessary modifications to avoid CSS and HTML conflicts. It does not use iFrames.
- Behavior integration. This gives you word-censor features and allows you to use phpBB smilies.
- Cross posting. You can have it automatically—or manually if you choose—to crosspost between WordPress and your forum. It will even sync comments.
WP-United also includes 10 widgets that displays information about the forum. They are configurable and even work with the other modules turned off. These widgets include latest posts, latest topics, current users online, statistics, an integrated login/meta/avatar/profile block, birthday list, quick poll, useful links, top bar with breadcrumbs, and a bottom bar that matches top bar.
BridgeDD: is a WordPress bridge that doesn’t bloat or slow down your WordPress site. It automatically handles integrating members between both applications.
This plugin is free to use. For even more features you can subscribe for $40 per year. This gets you access to BridgeDD PRO, which allows you to add your WordPress header, footer, and widgets directly into your phpBB templates. It does this without having to load WordPress and it creates a seamless integration. The subscription also includes supporting CSS, custom plugins, and phpBB modifications.
Bridge WordPress!: Is another WordPress plugin that was developed for seamless integration between WordPress and phpBB. When users register in one they are automatically registered in the other. Likewise, when users are logged into one they are automatically logged into the other. This allows users to move from one to the other without having to log into each independently. Users can register on either platform. If they update their password and email address on one platform, the info is updated on the other.
Installing it is easy but it does require some PHP code changes. Well, not really “changes,” just the addition of a single line of code. Once you’ve installed the plugin in WordPress you go to the phpBB side and add a single line of code. You then enter your settings on your dashboard and you’re done. Integrated. It also works with WordPress Multisite.
Speaking of, the coolest thing about this plugin is its multisite feature. It will connect multiple WordPress sites to the same forum. Bridge WordPress! also works alongside the Domain Mapping plugin so forum members can have separate blogs.
This is a premium plugin at $29.95.
Adding an existing forum to your WordPress site shouldn’t be complicated. In fact, it’s downright easy if you use the right tools. And there are plenty of tools out there to get you started. Hopefully, this list gets you set out on the right track.
But before you start your integrating, importing, or migrating, I want to hear from you. Do you use any of these plugins or services? What’s your experience with it been like? Or, do you use a different solution that I missed here? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!