Simple:Press brings enterprise class forum capabilities to your WordPress site. It makes it easy to get your forum started with additional powerful features available as you need them.
Built for performance with custom tables, it is tightly integrated into WordPress’s user and security model and can easily scale up to thousands of users.
Unlike other Forum plugins, all of Simple:Press’s features are built and supported by one organization – no need to contact multiple vendors when you need support for a feature!
And Simple:Press has hundreds of features! Between the free functions and premium add-ons we likely have just about every feature you might need.
From multi-level forum structures to post threading and private messages, chances are that if you need a feature we have already built it. 13+ years of development has exposed us to all kinds of customer requirements and has helped us build a rock-solid product!
Import data into our forum from other forums including bbPress, Asgaros and others. Get the importer here.
What does the Simple:Press Forums plugin do?
Maybe the better question should be – what doesn’t it do when it comes to discussion forums? Here are just some of the features that are included for free!
- Unlimited Forums
- Forum Groups
- Sub-forums to any level
- Private and public forums
- Custom icons for each forum
- Lock forums
- Pin forums
- Always-on forum messages
User Management and Features
- Powerful user group and permission system
- Restrict user access to wp-admin
- Custom avatars
- Unlimited topics in a forum
- Lock topics (admin and moderators)
- Pin topics (admin and moderators)
- Move topics between forums
- Edit topic and topic titles
- Unlimited posts in any topic
- Format posts with basic html
- Pin posts (admins and moderators)
- Smileys (admins can define, end user can select)
- Unread post handling
- Post moderation
- Edit and delete posts
- Reassign posts
- Move posts between forums and topics
- Comprehensive administration options and settings
- Merge forums
- Flood control
- Supports WordPress’s privacy features for data deletion and data exports
- Assign forum admins without making them WordPress admins
- Fully integrated with WordPress registrations and logins
- Supports standard and multi-site versions of WordPress
- Complete uninstall/removal option
Ranking and Gamification
- Specify ranks based on the number of posts
- Upgrade user group membership as users progress through their ranks
- Assign special ranks to individual users that override the standard ranks
- Assign custom badges to each rank
- Customizable forum slug
- Featured forum images used by the Open Graph meta tag
- Multiple options for the browser display and title
Login and Registration
- Use the standard WP login and registration screens
- Use alternate custom login and registration screens (such as those from membership and ecommerce plugins)
- Specify custom redirect pages after login and registration
User and Profile Features
- Custom avatars or use Gravatars
- Set preferred editor (if multiple editors are installed)
- Allow or disallow signatures
- Post as guest without requiring registration or login (optional)
- Fully theme and template driven
- Choose from a selection of free and premium themes
- Custom CSS overrides
- Integrated icons and iconsets
- Customize colors and font sizes to match your brand
- Inherit font settings from your WordPress theme
General and Misc
- Extensive help
- Help text on every admin element
- Smileys and custom smiley files
- Global custom messages for certain events
You can purchase a premium extension that adds hundreds of additional feature points – use them to take your forum to the next level!
From integrated Analytics with beautiful charts to Push Notifications via sms and email, we have just about everything you might need to run a successful forum!
You can get all of our premium functions with one of three premium pricing options – check them all out at simple-press.com.
Below is a list of some of the functionality you will find in the premium version:
- Analytics (Colorful charts with data about your forum)
- Ads (Sophisticated advertising engine inside the forum)
- Private messaging system (lets users send private messages to each other)
- Push Notifications via SMS, Pushover, PushBullet and Slack
- WooCommerce dashboard integration
- Reputation System
- Topic Subscriptions (with email notifications)
- Warnings and Suspensions (Warn users before suspending them from the forum)
- Custom user profile fields (Collect additional information in each user profile)
- Answers Topics (mark topics as answered)
- Post ratings (rate a post – thumbs up / down or star rating levels)
- Post by email (start a topic or respond to a post by email)
- Topic Status (set a status on a topic – great when you’re using forums as a help-desk tool)
- Polls (designated users can create topics or posts with polls)
- Image, media and file uploader (designated users can upload files and other media to topics and posts)
- Blog post linking (automatically link blog posts you make to a new forum topic)
- TinyMCE Editor (full featured editor)
- Threading (up to nine nested reply levels – lets see you do that Facebook groups!)
- Template tags and widgets (php functions you can use throughout your website to display forum information and statistics)
- BuddyPress Integration
- Share This (easily allow users to share posts and topics to social media)
- Search Integration (use the simple:press forum search field to search both forum posts and contents of pages and blog posts)
- Admin Bar (a front-end tool for admins and moderators to easily manage the forum without going to wp-admin)
- Post preview
- Mentions (@mention functionality with email notifications)
- Tags (add tags to topics)
- XML Sitemap (create xml site maps for search engines)
- MYCred Integration
- HTML Emails (format outgoing emails with html)
- Private posts (make posts private – great for help desks or customer collabaration)
- BBCode Editor
- HTML Editor
- Post Thanks (Thank users for a post)
- Uploads Viewer
- Post As (Allow certain users to post as another user)
- Search by user (Enhances the forum search functions to search by user)
- Profanity Filter
- Auto linking (Automatically create links in posts based on certain keywords – great for advertising or revenue generation)
- Add user Identities (sometimes Facebook, Twitter and Linked-in identities just aren’t enough…)
- Keywords (get notifications on posts based on keywords you specify)
- Syntax Highlighting (accepting posts with code? Syntax highlighting helps!)
- Hide Posters (hide the names of users who post)
- Ban (ban users)
- Gravatar Cache (Cache gravatars instead of looking them up each time – great for improving performance on heavy sites)
- Who’s Online
- Post Anonymously (allow users to post without showing their user name in the thread)
- Print topic
- Membership Subscribes (an admin tool to help manage membership subscriptions en-masse)
- Language and theme selection (allow users to select the forum theme and language on the front-end).
- Report post (allow users to flag posts for reporting)
- Font resizer (users can resize the font used in the forum without having to resize the font on the entire webpage)
- Unanswered Topics (list unanswered topics)
- Birthdays (allow user to enter birthdays in their user profile)
- Rank Information
- Topic Description (users can add a topic description when starting new topics)
- Topic Expired (force topics to expire and disappear from view after a certain date)
- Topic Redirect (create topics that link directly to an exteranal url)
- Topic ID Permalinks (force use of IDs for topic permalinks)
- Policy Documents (add privacy and terms-of-use document directly beneath your forum)
- Slack Integration (great admin tool for slack notifications)
- Post in multiple forums (post a single topic into multiple forums simultaneously)
- Remove spam registrations (integrated with Akismet to flag spam)
- Event logger (admin tool to view events)
- Featured Topics and Posts (set certain topics as featured and then use php code to display them anywhere on your site)
- Maintenance (set the forum to maintenance mode without putting your entire site into maintenance mode)
- Profile Display Control (determine which user profile tabs can be visible on the front-end)
- Prune Database (remove old topics from the database)
- Moderation Email (send email notification to admins when a topic needs moderation)
- Timezone on Registration (collect user time zone on registration)
Purchase one of our premium bundles to get premium support directly from us. View Pricing Options
Simple:Press was built to be compatible with most themes, both free and commercial.
Simple:Press is available in a variety of languages and volunteers and customers are always adding more! Portions of the plugin have been translated into 20+ languages by our users and volunteers. These include German, Portuguese(BR), Arabic, Chinese, French, Italian, Persian, Polish, Spanish, Swedish and more!
View our translation site
Our core developers are:
- Andy Staines
- Steve Klasen
- Muhammad Tahir Nazir
Using The WordPress Dashboard
- Navigate to the ‘Add New’ in the plugins dashboard
- Search for ‘Simple Press’
- Click ‘Install Now’
- Activate the plugin on the Plugin dashboard
Uploading in WordPress Dashboard
simplepress.zipfrom this page
- Navigate to the ‘Add New’ in the plugins dashboard
- Navigate to the ‘Upload’ area
simplepress.zipfrom your computer
- Click ‘Install Now’
- Activate the plugin in the Plugin dashboard
simplepress.zipfrom this page
- Extract the
simplepressdirectory to your computer
- Upload the
simplepressdirectory to the
- Activate the plugin in the Plugin dashboard
Whatever the method you used, after you activated the plugin through the plugins dashboard, you now need to run through a set-up process. This creates the tables and default data that the plugin requires.
You can access this setup process by either clicking the INSTALL button that should be visible at the top of the admin pages or by going to FORUM->INSTALL.
At the conclusion of a successful install, a button will be displayed to load the forum admin and clicking on this will take you to the Storage Locations panel. All being well, all locations will be ticked as created and available but if this is not the case follow the instructions to manually create folders if necessary.
Now that you have installed your forums read our getting started pages.
I’ve installed the plugin – now what?
Now that you have installed your forums read our getting started pages.
I don’t receive e-mail notifications
There are several factors that can influence e-mail notifications delivery. The best thing you can do to diagnose email delivery issues is to install a plugin that shows you an email log. We recommend MAILGUN or SMTP POST. The logs will let you know if emails are being generated and not delivered or just not being generated at all.
I cannot seem to create a new forum. When I select a FORUM GROUP in which to create the forum, nothing happens.
Use your CTRL-F5 key to refresh your browser cache for that page. Sometimes old CSS and JS scripts just needs to be cleared out and CTRL-F5 does that.
Can I import data from my old forum?
Yes! You can import data into our forum from other forums including bbPress, Asgaros and others. Get the importer here;
With a bit of development skill you can even build your own importer for something we don’t already have!
Or contact us to build one for you or to use our flat-fee import data service.
When a new WordPress administrator is created by another WordPress admin, the new WP Admin is NOT automatically granted rights to the forum. Instead, an existing forum admin needs to explicitly grant the new WP ADMIN forum priveleges under the FORUM->ADMINS menu option.
One of the nice consequences of this division of security is that you can make a user a Forum Admin without making them a WordPress admin.
Upon installation, existing WP admins are made Forum admins; so this issue will only present itself when a new WP admin is created after the forum is installed.
What shortcodes are available?
Simple:Press does not use short-codes. Instead, it outputs the entire forum directly into the content area of the WordPress page you specify. By default that page is called FORUM but you can easily switch it to a different page in FORUM->INTEGRATION->PAGE AND PERMALLINKS.
Why is the forum so thin?
Many themes use a sidebar on their default WordPress pages. This reduces the content area that the forum is allowed to use.
Additionally, themes might designate a content are of only x% of the width of the screen.
These two practices are the primary reasons why the forum might not look the way it should.
However, the good news is that many of the higher quality themes provide a “full width” page template or allow you to change the default content area width of pages. Contact your theme developer to find out if they have either of these two options.
Can I charge for forum access?
All the other reputable membership plugins use WordPress ROLES to control their membership. Simple:Press forums does too. So you can use ROLES to integrate with most other membership plugins if you like. Just contact us if you need more help understanding what this means.
Can I upload files to posts?
The free version of the plugin does not allow file uploads. But the premium version does. The premium version also allow users to list, view and delete their prior file uploads.
The free version of the plugin can still display images that are stored elsewhere – just paste the link to the image into the post editor.
The editor looks barebones – is there a better one?
The editor in the free version is a pure text editor. However, the premium version of Simple:Press comes with a full wysiwyg editor – the same one that WordPress uses – TinyMCE.
Contributors & Developers
“Simple:Press – WordPress Forum Plugin” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.Contributors
“Simple:Press – WordPress Forum Plugin” has been translated into 1 locale. Thank you to the translators for their contributions.
Interested in development?
- G00000: A couple of PHP 8.1 compatibility fixes.
- G00000: Various security related fixes.
- G00000: Compatibility with PHP 8.x. If using premium add-ons, new versions will be required.
- G00000: Show error code when there’s an error with the license process.
- G00122: Add option to sort by the membership column in the FORUM->USERS->MEMBER INFORMATION list.
- G00126: Tools popup on desktop makes better use of horizontal space.
- G00121: Fix an issue with deleting subsites rendering all user posts as guests in any other site that has the forum in use.
- G00116: When sorting the user list under FORUM->USERS->MEMBER INFORMATION, the list would be unstyled.
- G00117: Custom icons not rendering in drop-down properly.
- G00123: Large custom icon images need to be resized when viewing the forum list in admin.
- G00098: Fix admin screen issue where the Bulk Actions Arrow in MEMBER INFORMATION is too close to text.
- G00022: Deleting a topic from the FORUM TOOLS popup did not refresh the screen.
- G00100: Moving users not belonging to any user group did not refresh the section after the users were moved.
- G00000: Multiple issues with caching icon files when a filename is reused. Added cache-busting querystrings in the admin area to force cdns and page caches to re-request the file.
- G00000: Multiple issues with caching featured images files when a filename is reused. Added cache-busting querystrings in the admin area to force cdns and page caches to re-request the file.
- G00000: Multiple tweaks related to extra line breaks showing up in SP themes when the WP 59 FSE theme was in use.
- G00000: Fix a drag-n-drop issue introduced by WP 5.9.
- G00000: Add support for FSE themes introduced in WP 5.9.
- G00000: Check to make sure a YOAST class is callable before attempting to use it. Compatibility fix for Yoast 17.8.0
- G00000: Add a filter in sp-api-class-spcauths.php to support future functionality.
- G00000: Add a new overlay to the default 2020 theme to match the WP 2021 theme. The new overlay is the default on all new installs.
- G00110: Could not reorder profile tabs and menus in admin screen.
- G00000: Page number overlap on certain admin screens when the page numbers get to 3 digits.
- G00000: When deleting users and choosing the option to delete the user, they now get deleted instead of being set to “guest”.
- G00000: (Security) Verify a nonce & user capability before allowing certain file-related operations.
- G00000: Introduction of a “white label” mode that removes most references to Simple:Press.
- G00000: Updated the Modern2020 theme to the latest version.
- G00000: Much better support for WordPress Multisite with numerous multi-site related fixes and improvements.
- G00000: Fix a compatibility issue with PHP 7.4.0
- G00000: Fix a string that needed to be in double-quotes instead of single quotes in order to de-reference an embedded variable.
- G00000: Fix an issue in the sp_ColumnEnd function where the class and tag names were not being assigned properly in the generated html for the column.
- G00000: Sometimes new installs would require a CTRL-F5 to refresh the screen before being able to add forums or upload plugin files.
- G00000: The default theme for new installations is now Modern-2020
- G00000: Added a number of template tags to support new themes.
- G00000: updated some existing template tags with new options to support new themes.
- G00103: Reverse sorting of topics and forums resulted in a 500 error on the front-end and errors in the WP error log
- G00000: Add new popup to show user groups a member belongs to under FORUM->USERS->MEMBER INFORMATION
- G00090: Issue with using the help buttons and icons – they only worked on the first click until the full screen was refreshed.
- G00000: Iconsets were duplicated in drop-downs
- G00000: Member popup was unformatted in admin area
- G00000: Remove black dots from radio buttons in admin area
- G00000: Clicking the SHOW button under USER GROUPS->MANAGER USER GROUPS sometimes did nothing
- G00000: Clicking the SHOW button under COMPONENTS->FORUM RANKS->SPECIAL RANKS sometimes did nothing
- G00094: WordPress menus do not sync with Simple:Press menus
- A completely overhauled admin screen. This requires new versions of many plugins.
- G00000: Resolve an issue with legacy lifetime licenses reporting zero days before expiration.
- G00070: Resolve an issue where saving default role -> user group mappings didn’t work. You couldn’t set the same group to map to multiple roles.
- G00068: Resolve an issue with wpColorPicker not being loaded properly. This affected a lot of the admin screens including the ability to create a new forum.
- Iconsets – allow forum and other graphics to be selected from font-awesome and other icomoon compatible iconsets.
- G00055: Use codemirror for CSS editor in WP 4.9 or later.
- G00054: Resolve an issue with ordering and sorting forums.
- G00057: Update the filename used to pull information about translations for the Simple:Press dashboard.
- G00000: Remove an errant period that was appearing in a message in the licensing screen.
- G00058: Editing CSS for themes did not work in prior 6.x versions.
- G00021: Uploading smileys in the admin area threw an error in the debug.log file.
- G00000: Increase the timeout used when manually checking for plugin updates. The prior value of 5000 was too low so its now set to 50000.
- G0039: Added Instagram Identity
- G0000: Added easy digital downloads license integration
- G0000: Added a button to take users to review simple:press on wordpress.org
- G0046: Add the option to show/hide forum rank labels on the front-end members list screen via the template tag.
- G0038: Remove identities that no longer make sense.
- G0038: Add option to FORUM->OPTIONS->MEMBER SETTINGS to allow display of deprecated identities.
- G0037: Add option for a 2nd custom message above the editor (FORUM->COMPONENTS->CUSTOM MESSAGES). This way you can have a different custom message for new topics vs new posts.
- G0010: Add editors to messages fields in FORUM->COMPONENTS->CUSTOM MESSAGES
- G0000: Made radio buttons in admin look like radio buttons instead of checkboxes.
- G0000: Update the text for the customization service on the help and troubleshooting page.
- G0036: Fix plugin library link on help and plugin page.
- G0012: Fix pricing plan link on help and plugin page.
- G0011: Fix theme library link on help and plugin page.
- G0007: Radio buttons should look like radio buttons in the admin area.
- G0004: URL for Premium Support link on plugins page is incorrect
- G0005: URL for Documentation link on plugins page is incorrect
- G0003: Move post to existing topic not working
- G0002: Move post to new topic form css issue
- G0001: Fix Malformed changelog url
- G0000: Spelling and grammar related changes to help files for the FORUM->COMPONENT->CUSTOM MESSAGES screen
- G0000: Added new function to allow editors to be painted in admin
- G0000: Added new function to allow date pickers to be painted in admin – utilizes the JqueryUI Date Picker library from WP.
- G0000: Added additional icons to the icon font file to be used by the new Analytics and Ad plugins.
- This is the first version being built and deployed from our github repository
- M-5993: Locked forums/topics were allowing user to post despite being locked
- GDPR Enhancement – allow option to annoymize posts or delete posts
- Current user re-assignment to Guest status does not remove IP address from posts
- Delete User from WP admin screen – SP radio buttons malformed
- Incorrect function being called when filtering PRE tags.
- Handle simplepress and simple-press in CSS selector for nav menu icons
- General and Miscellaneous Cleanups
- Issue with installation into a folder with a name other than simple-press
- Issue with new installations and the sample data that is installed
- First version released on WordPress.org.