bbPress Review

(March 19, 2009 18:04)
Last Version 2.0 (September 21, 2011). Released under GPL License.
Resources Website bbPress Website Download Download...
Company Wordpress.
Price Free.
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What is bbPress?

bbPress, as its name describes it, is the official independent forum package from the famous WordPress developer teams. It is built using PHP/MySQL, like its ancestor, and can be plugged perfectly to any WordPress installation really easily.

bbPress tries to be simplistic, but in a smart way, which means that useless bloated features are omitted while really important one are bundled.

bbPress is recommended for Medium Community.

(and supports smaller communities perfectly as well.)

Server & Client Requirements

Server Requirements
Programming Language
Required Architecture and Versions.
  • PHP 5
Web Servers
How the forum is delivered to users.
  • Apache 1.3
  • Apache 2.0/2.2
  • Microsoft IIS
  • Lighttpd
How Forum Data are Stored.
  • MySQL
  • Postgresql
  • SQLite
Operating Systems
Systems Supporting this Software.
  • GNU/LinuxGNU/Linux
  • BSD UnixBSD Unix
  • Microsoft WindowsMicrosoft Windows
  • Apple Mac OSApple Mac OS
Browser & Client Requirements
Compatible Browsers
List of Compatible Browsers.
Mozilla FirefoxMozilla FirefoxInternet ExplorerInternet Explorer
Google ChromeGoogle ChromeOperaOpera
Apple SafariApple SafariKonquerorKonqueror
Mozilla SeaMonkeyMozilla SeaMonkey
Required Plugins/Technologies
Additional or Basic Requirements from Client Side.
Javascript, AJAX.
Languages supported by bbPress.
Compatibility with Smartphones
Compatible SmartPhones
Compatible Cellphone Brands and Manufacturers.
Application Distribution / Type
How it is distributed / App Store Availability

Forum Threads & Posts

Forum Threads / Topics
Forum Style Flat Forum Organization
  • Forum Categories
  • Sub Sections
Thread Icons No Topic Tags -
Hot Topics - Unread Topics Yes
Hidden Topics Plugin Sticky Threads Yes
Related Threads - Detect Duplicate Threads No
Announcements -
Posting Messages / Answers
Message Editing Form
How to Post Messages.
  • Plain Text
Post Editing Format
Supported Markup Language (HTML, Wiki, BBCode,...).
  • Plain
  • HTML
Spell Checker
Checks typos on posts and topics.
Image Attachment
How Images can be Attached and Displayed in Message Posts.
Embedded Videos
Videos and Media Websites Supported in Message Posts.
Posting Features
Quick Reply Box Yes Smileys No
Attachments No Syntax Highlighting -
Message Rating
No Message Quoting No

Additional & Technical Features

Additional Forum Features
Poll Creation No
Private Messages
Users Can Communicate using an Internal Messaging System.
Instant Messaging
Discuss with Visitors and Members in a Chat Window.
Topic, Member Birthdays, Events are available from the perspective of a calendar.
Online Users List
Connected User List (Often Found in the Forum Footer).
Members List
Search and Consult the List of Members.
Technical Features
Bundled Software
Additional Software Available with the Forum.
RSS/Atom Syndication
Posts and Threads Exported to Feeds Aggregators Syndicate.
Friendly URLs
URLs are clear and contain information about the topic (title, message,...). Highly recommended for SEO purposes.
Post by Email
Post Directly From your Email Box.
Remote Control
Remote Control from External Software/Websites.
Cache System
Cache pages to optimize bandwidth and load times.
Template Engine
It is easier to theme a forum using a known template engine (more docs & examples,...).

bbPress is really inspired from the blogging world, and more particularly from Wordpress. A nice feature is for example the tag support for each forum topics.

This is particularly useful to create a kind of cross-forum sections in topic list.

The front "Latest Discussions" module is also really interested to consult the activity of the forum community.

User Profiles & Options

Some details about bbPress features regarding members.
Member Options & Features
Bookmark Threads
User Profiles Keep a List of Followed Posts and Topics.
Email Notifications
Receive Emails When New Messages are Posted in Followed Threads.
Export private messages
Private Messages can be Downloaded by Users.
Payment Subscriptions
Paying Membership Subscription.
User Profiles
User Profile
User Information and Settings.
Pictures of Members, Useful to Easily Identify their Posts.
Signatures Added at the Bottom of Each Message.
Tags and Labels Identifying the Members, based on specific criteria (Total Posts Count, Credits, Moderation Level...)

Avatars are managed using the Gravatar website, aka "globally recognized avatar", which is probably the most powerful way of avatars management in the future. Indeed, Gravatar centralize the avatar of users between the websites forum, CMS and blogs he registered.

Moderation & Users Management

Moderation & Threads Management
Moderation No.
Moderator per section Yes
Global Moderator Yes
Move Threads
Move Threads from Topics
Shadow Topics
When a thread is moved, the previous position is kept in order to inform users of this modification.
Close/Lock Threads
Close/Lock Problematic Threads
Users Management
User Groups
Organize and define groups of users, and apply different actions and settings on them.
Common Groups: Guests, Members, Moderators, Administrators,...
User Registration No.
Limit Features For New Users
Features are limited if a user has created a small number of posts.
Guest Posting No
Multiple Administrators Yes
Send Warnings to Users
Inform users by email or PM that they infringe the board rules, and could be excluded for such behavior.
Forum/Section Restricted Access
ACL could be use to determine if a user or a group of users can access (in read only, post message) to some sections and topics.
User Banishment Yes

Administration & Support

Database Management
Backup Database
Backup forum datas that you could store somewhere else.
Prune Database
Remove old and unused datas from your forum.
Restore Database
Restore a backup of your database if the previous install crashed.
Administration Tools
Statistics about posts count, users, traffic...
No Error/Notice Log Viewer
Forum Logs could be consulted.
Tasks Scheduler
Maintenance tasks are regularly launched and could be scheduled.
- Mass Mailing
Send an email (newsletters, advertisements, information,...) to all users.
Installation & Upgrading
Installation Method
How this forum software could be installed.
Installation Wizard
Upgrading Method
How this forum software could be upgraded.
Upgrade Wizard
Updates Notifications
The Admin Panel informs you when a new version is released.
Forum Migration
Convert an existing forum to bbPress.

Security & Spam Protection

Security & Spam Protection
Captcha protects your forum against spam bots.
e.g., Syndicate
Abnormal Behavior Detection
Detect users or request strange behaviors, and try to process proactive actions.
Words Filtering
Offensing Words are automatically replaced.
User Blacklist
Prevent specific user accounts to register (based on email address, name,...) and disable potentially harmful members.
IP Blocking
Prevent access to spam robots and other scripts that could attempt DDOS or Brute Force attacks on your forum.

Vulnerabilities Advisories Criticality

Secunia Criticality

Secunia Advisories severity affecting bbPress.

Vulnerabilities Impact

Secunia Impact

Secunia Advisories impact affecting bbPress.

Customization & Social Networks

Add new features to your forum installation.
Modify the style of your forum easily.
Custom BBCodes - Smiley Packs -
Thread Icons
- Additional User Profile Fields
Ask more about your members with custom fields.
Integration with Applications, Social Networks, Intranet...
Social Networks
Users can share information from their social network account...
CMS / Blog Bridges
Integration with existing Web publishing tools.
  • WordPress
User Accounts Integration
Do users be able to log in with their corporate, Google, Facebook,... accounts?
Content Aggregation
Forum allows to integrate news and content from other website, using an aggregation protocol (RSS, RDF, Atom,...).

Akismet, the anti-spam solution provided by Wordpress website is integrated as a default plugin in the bbPress software. This is good idea of code and features mutualization.

W3C Norms & Accessibility

Norms & Accessibility
XHTML 1.1 Strict.
XHTML 1.1 Strict
Click to see if it respects HTML norms.
CSS Stylesheets
CSS 2.
Click to see if it respects CSS norms.
Accessibility (WAI)
Web Accessibility ensures that the forum is usable by people of all abilities and disabilities.
Conformance to AAA level.
UTF-8 Support
Default encoding used to support all locales and countries.
Conformance to W3C Norms
Does bbPress correctly follow (X)HTML and CSS norms?

W3C Norms are respected, as this goal is one key point of the bbPress Philosophy.

Unique Features

Key points and major differences that make bbPress unique:

  • The Recent Activity module on the front forum page.
  • Inline Post Reply and Topic Creation Forms, to increase reactivity and fast answering.
  • Extremely basic registering form.
  • Gravatar and Akismet default plugins.

Final Words


The bbPress follows the way of softwares which are looking for a simple core of thoughtful features that are all well implemented. The inline post form and topic creation form are for example something that is quite uncommon, but however really useful, because they simply avoid users to lose what they wanted to say between their clicks on the "Post a reply" and the reply form displaying. The integration of Web 2.0 tools like Gravatar and Akismet is also really important, because it avoids code duplication, and those core plugins will always be well integrated in the software code.

Furthermore, the Wordpress Integration and the developers team experience in blog and web platforms could not be forgotten and are also primary advantages of bbPress.

Some choices made in features could however be discussed, for example the default HTML formatting and the poor reply form options could not suit the non-technical community.

In any case, people who are looking for an easy-to-use, powerful, simple but extensible and secure forum software will be convinced by bbPress.

Additional Resources:

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Comments (4)

Yes, great for the moment;

Yes, great for the moment; too poor in designs for long time use ...

NeerjaSoftwares's picture

In fact, it is good but is

In fact, it is good but is lacking from many other important features which I am missing the most......

Get in check for the best Drupal site web development services.


bbpress 2.x is a wordpress

bbpress 2.x is a wordpress plugin. It cannot be used as a standalone forum. If you need a standalone forum for the 1.x version.

But where bbpress 2.x shines is its tight integration with your wordpress blog or cms.

I would highly recommend bbpress 2.x if you want to have a simple forum integrated into your wordpress site.


Will you be reviewing bbpress

Will you be reviewing bbpress 2.4 ?

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