Integrating WordPress with phpBB
I came across a fabulous integration tool for WordPress and phpBB that I though I would like to share with you.
UPDATE March 2011: Please see comments, it looks like this project has been closed down, I recommend SimplePress forum if you need a WordPress forum
The problem many blog owners have is that they want to share the user database of WordPress with a forum so they only have to administer one set of users. This is possible via a WordPress forum plugin, bit these are often quite cumbersome and effect performace , or using Automattic’s own forum solution bbPress (Automattic are the company behind WordPress), but one of the leading and most robust forum systems is phpBB, people want an integration solution for that.
I wrote a post called Case Study: Adding A Forum To Your WordPress Blog about the various forum solutions for WordPress. This may act as a good primer for this post.
It sound like an English football team, but it is actually a plugin for phpBB which allows you to share the users and theme of wordpress with phpBB.
The plugin is available to download for free at www.wp-united.com.
Please note, this install is not for the faint hearted, you will need to be happy editing html and php code. Please remember to backup your install before begining a complex integration project such as this.
This plugin is a php mod not a WordPress mod, it is assumed that you have an existing WordPress and phpBB installation.
I downloaded the package from www.wp-united.com and uploaded the files to the root of the forum as instructed, next there is a tedious task of editing about a dozen files from the bulletin board installation to work with the new mod. The documentation is fairly good to walk you through the process but take your time. It is fiddly, and an incorrect change may effect how your bulletin board works.
Once the upload and edit are complete an installation script is run from the root of the forum, this then creates a new integration tab on the bulletin board’s dashboard.
There are numerous integration options. including:
- Integrating users, add a new user to WordPress when a phpBB user registers and vice versa
- Import existing WordPress Users to phpBB
- Share the phpBB theme with WordPress or imbed the forum unside of the WordPress header and footer
- Create automatic forum posts when a new blog post is added
I used this plugin because a client had an existing phpBB install, I would no go this route if I was begining a new installation, rather, I would go with bbPress which is already closely tied to WP and will only be more closely integrated in the future, but that is my personal preference. PhpBB is an extremely powerful, and well supported product, think WordPress plugins and themes for a forum solution. Many people swear by it over the simplicity of BBPress.
I found the installation a bit tricky, not as smooth as working with WordPress.
If you have an existing phpBB installation that you want to integrate with WordPress then you cannot go wrong than to use wp-united.