Support » Fixing WordPress » A little rant about bbPress followed by some questions…

  • Okay, I have to get this out of my system. But first…

    I have three websites with WP. I love it. I love you all. I’m not throwing a tantrum or threatening to run off and elope with Movable Type or Joomla!.

    But, here is my issue…

    I want to add bbPress to one of my sites and quite possibly another that I just started.

    I know there are other forum software out there but really want this to stay in the family.

    My problem is that fresh out of the box bbPress looks like a manual for a cold war Soviet submarine.

    Getting past that I tried to integrate my WP header into my bbPress installation but the info available on integration is either outdated or above my ability. I integrated the WP header into my gallery software (Zenphoto) with no problem at all, so it doesn’t make sense to me that integration bbPress should be harder.

    Also, the forum on looks so good that using it is just rubbing salt in my wounds. It is as though WP is saying ‘here is what you could do with bbPress if you had a team of developers and an unlimited budget, but since you are poor and working alone… you’re out of luck!’.

    Okay, I’m done ranting.

    Does anyone have experience adding their WP header and footer into bbPress? I would prefer to not integrate the databases. All I really want is for the header and footer to be consistent throughout the site. I can handle the CSS part of it.


Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Sorry to bounce this but I really want a forum!!!

    Well, it would be nice if it was integrated or you could use an include, and maybe you can. But I just go ahead and copy the guts of my WP css file and go from there.

    You can see it in action here at our web design site:

    and on a client’s site here:

    You do have to do some styling of the BBPress styling hooks. I know this isn’t really what you wanted to hear but.. at least it beats the heck out of trying to design for the likes of vbulletin. ๐Ÿ˜‰


    Thanks so much for your reply. I had a look at your sites. So on Pixelita, you have designed the forum to resemble the rest of the site instead of calling up the WP header? I’d be happy to do this but I also want to include the functions of the nav bar, the rotating header image and ad!

    I think that things could get more that a little confusing for such a novice as I am!

    Is there no simple way to just call the WP header into the Forum? This is how I did it for the Zenphoto gallery…

    <?php require($_SERVER[‘DOCUMENT_ROOT’].’/phauxshow/wp-blog-header.php’); ?>
    // add the zen css to the wordpress header
    function addcss() {
    global $_zp_themeroot;
    echo ‘<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”‘.$_zp_themeroot.’/light.css” type=”text/css” />’;
    add_action(‘wp_head’, ‘addcss’);

    <?php get_header(); ?>

    <?php db_connect(); // reconnect to zenphoto db ?>

    And then for the footer…

    <?php $wpdb->select(DB_NAME); // reconnect wordpress db ?>

    I would love any feedback!

    Okay, tomorrow I’m going to try to create a bbPress theme that looks like my WordPress theme. I found this tutorial in the bbPress forum. Does anyone foresee any issues with it?

    How I did it… Please back up everything before starting.
    You need to find a theme close to your WP to make it easier.

    1. BBPress side,I renamed the style.css to styleold.css
    2. Copied over the WPress style.css over to BBpress
    3. Open both files at the same time. You want to copy over some of the codes from styleold.css to style.css. You might need to play with it. Do not copy “body”.
    4. Open both header.php. On the BBpress header copy over from WP header everything after <body> tag. Replacing whatever is there.
    5. Open both footer.php. This one is a little tricky.
    You can just copy over the whole thing and make sure you have <?php do_action(‘bb_foot’, ”); ?> in the file. You will lose the designers info though OR You need to see on WP side if there is any closing tags. bring that over and delete any closing tags on the BBPress side.
    6. Sidebars: depending where the <?php get_sidebar(); ?> tag. For example my <?php get_sidebar(); ?> tag is IN the footer.php Others the <?php get_sidebar(); ?> is in the other php files right before the get_footer tag or after get header tag.

    that’s it.

    make sure in your bb-config.php
    there is

    ‘$bb->WP_BB = true;
    if (file_exists(‘../wp-blog-header.php’))
    if (file_exists(‘../../wp-blog-header.php’))

    after <?php tag.

    Oh forgot. In the header I put just’

    <li class=”page_item”>Forum
    after the page tag. It’s either going to be in front of all your pages or behind.

    I hate to sound like a broken record – or worse, an insane person monologuing to the wind but here I go again…

    I tried to create a bbPress template that resembles my WordPress theme. I tried and I failed.

    Now I would like, instead, to go back to calling the header somehow. The problem is that every time I try using one of the posted methods all I get is a blank page.

    Is here a simple way to require the WordPress header into bbPress?


    Hey Redhouse –

    I know this is old, but for the sake of anyone else who ends up here, I’ll post my experience.

    Im trying to do the same thing. I hadn’t thought of calling the wordpress header, so I decided I’d go give it a try. Turns out, there are a few problems with doing that.

    First, calling the header(which is something I end up doing sometimes for wordpress plugins) isnt a great choice as far as website performance goes. To call the header, you end up actually loading wordpress in its entirity – just to get the html for the header. It’s especially iffy to think of doing it on top of bbpress – because then you load bbpress completely, and that loads wordpress completely.

    I, however, am I a lazy guy. I was perfectly willing to sacrifice these performance gains to just get at my easy to use wordpress header. To do so, I tried to include wp-blog-header.php, in the main wordpress directory. Doing so would include all of wordpress, so I could just call get_header(). Unfortunately, it looks like wordpress and bbpress share a few function names – meaning that they cant run like that. I didn’t even try to clear any of them up – Im lazy, but I do have principles – editing core code to load one entire system on top of another just to save myself some coding? I couldnt do it.

    Seems like something that ought to be possible with a little work though – Its silly to have to keep both of these headers up to date when you want them both to display the same thing. Seems like someone ought to be able to put together a bbpress plugin to emulate the get_header(), get_sidebar, and get_footer calls in wordpress.

    I have absolutely NO idea if this will work but I’d love it if someone gave this a try and let me know!

    A while ago I had and wanted to include the latest posts on the home page of For some reason that I never figured out, I couldn’t just parse the RSS feed using a PHP script.

    So, I had PHP include ‘/blog/wp-load.php’. Then, I just put a WordPress loop inside /index.php. It worked!

    So how about, including wp-load.php and then just using the WP get_header() and get_footer() functions?

    Good luck!

    Unfortunately including wp-load in the bb-config brings up the same issues as including wp-blog-header or other variations.

    The issues are reduced essential bbPress functionality.

    The worst thing is bbPress pages say: “Doing this will add quite a lot of weight to your bbPress installation as it will cause WordPress to load in itโ€™s entirety. Your best option is to try to emulate the functionality you require inside a bbPress plugin.”

    But I cant find a plugin anywhere that brings this functionality.

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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