I spent two weekends exploring software to add a forum to WordPress for a client! I looked at three different ones: bbPress, phpBB, and Simple:Press.
Everything I read indicated that bbPress was by far the best program, so I tackled it first. I got it installed and actually integrated it without a lot of problems. I had found a couple of tutorials on it and even a video. I created a tab that linked to the forum and I created a mutual log in. But how to get back to WordPress? Lots and lots of searching, pouring through bbPress’ forum with unresolved posts, and I still didn’t have an answer, other than learning that I needed to get into the code and attempt to make the header look the same in both programs. But I found conflicting instructions on how to do that. I came away feeling that the support was next to nil and that perhaps it wasn’t even compatible with WordPress 3.1! Very frustrating.
So I moved onto phpBB. I like the look of their forum, it was easily installed via GoDaddy, but again there was the issue of making it look like the blog. I found a very good video on it, but it requires getting into the code and being able to troubleshoot when running into problems (even the presenter had issues). I didn’t spend a lot of time on it.
I took the advice of someone I’d just taken a WordPress class from. She recommended Simple:Press. What a breeze in comparison! They have an awesome tutorial and it integrates seamlessly with WordPress. It even creates the Forum tab! Whatever theme you pick for WordPress, the forum fits right into it!
I am sold on Simple:Press and won’t waste my time looking at any others.