How to Integrate a Forum Platform with a WordPress Blog

In Web Designing Skills, Webmaster Skills
How to integrate a forum platform with Wordpress
Integrating your online community forum to your WordPress blog is exceptionally important instead of letting each of both serve its users separately. Today, having a comment and social sharing features on a forum or blog is not enough. Both comment sessions and forum discussions are quite meaningful to build your online community. But these two online discussion ways have completely different impacts on the users’ engagement. So, if your WordPress has been running but has its separate forum address, you can now easily integrate both of them. This way will allow your audience to communicate and follow each other. While also leveraging the market reach of your blog and forum. This article will describe how you can easily integrate a forum platform to a WordPress blog using a plugin.

Adding a newly created forum to your existing WordPress blog would be easy for you. You can install a specific forum plugin such as BuddyPress, bbPress, WP Symposium, or other possible WP forum plugin. But it would be a different way how to integrate a discussion board with WordPress if your existing forum which has been running on a different URL address. integrating them by adding some coding to each of them would be time-consuming and sometimes ends up in an error or lots of bugs. One simple solution to integrate an existing forum to WordPress is by installing the right integration plugin. The following are some options you might want to choose in case your forum platform is one of the outstanding forum platforms.

Integrate WordPress with vBulletin

You can find a lot of popular discussion sites using vBulletin forum platform. This discussion board platform is quite powerful yet relatively expensive. If your forum discussion site uses vBulettin, you can connect it to your WordPress blog using one of the WordPress and vBulletin integration plugins listed below. Before installing a plugin, make sure it’s compatible with the current WordPress version.

1. Connect vBulleting with WordPress using vBulletin Connector Plugin

This is a WordPress plugin that helps you connect your WordPress with vBulletin. The integration connects your forum database so that you can display the discussion boards on your WordPress. So, your audience can add new threads on your WordPress site is added, which compatible with the vBulletin through a trackback link. So, your vBulettin forum can list those WP-based threads under your forum categories. This plugin isn’t free. The cheapest license costs $24$ and if you want complete features from this plugin, you can buy its premium license for $120.

2. Integrate your vBulletin forum with WordPress using vBSSO

vBSSO is a free and open source web tool to help you integrate your vBulleting forum platform with WordPress. This plugin has two main components. One is for your forum site and the other one is for your WordPress site. vBSSO isn’t only providing a version for integrating vBulletin with WordPress. But also has other versions as the solution for Joomla, MediaWiki, Drupal, Prestashop, and other popular CMSes. The beauty of this vBulletin and other CMS integration plugin is that capable of connecting different domains with the easy configuration without slowing down the forum loading on a browser. This plugin is a good solution to integrate your forum with WordPress.

Integrate phpBB with WordPress

There’s no doubt that phpBB is a well-known forum platform. Its script structure WordPress friendly and the phpBB developer community provide some good plugins which purposefully created to provide solutions for integration issues. Let’s you check some phpBB and WordPress bridge plugin that its features might fit what you want.

1. WordPress and phpBB Integration Using WP-United

WP-United is a wholesome WordPress and phpBB integration solution. It allows you to connect the users and their behavior on both the forum and blog. This plugin is also capable of integrating the templates and make it possible for the users to cross-posting. The modular structure of WP-United provide some options for you to turn on or off some of its features anytime you want. Another snug bonus is that you will get 10 widgets which good for your WordPress blog to show off relevant forum discussion boards.

2. phpBB and WordPress Integration Using BridgeDD Plugin

You can integrate your separate phpBB forum to WordPress using BridgeDD plugin. BridgeDD is a stable plugin and has advanced features that make it possible for you to connect phpBB with WordPress. When it comes to integrating phpBB into a WordPress blog, a common issue might be slowing down. But this phpBB and WordPress integration plugin allows you to integrate both platforms without having your site’s performance becomes slowing down.

One of the advanced features is capable of integrating your members’ profiles on both platforms. If you want a more reliable design and features for your phpBB forum, you can purchase its premium license for $40. The premium version allows you to get support on its private forum and add WordPress resources to your phpBB pages without hassle. This would be one step to make your phpBB discussion boards look more professional.

Integrate WordPress with Vanilla Forum

Vanilla Forum is another powerful forum platform. This bulletin platform has a solution for integrating your WordPress site with your existing Vanilla Forum site using the plugin. The official Vanilla Forum plugin for WP is designed for easy installation on WordPress and there’s a detailed and clear instruction on how to integrate your Vanilla Forum with your WordPress site. It’s a user-friendly and also works smoothly on your WordPress commenting system. Vanilla Forum has some widgets for you to manage discussion boards and statistics from your WP admin. It also makes it possible for your WordPress users to share their membership component by using its Single Sign-on solution.

Other Bulletin Platforms

If you use a bulletin or forum platform other than those mentioned above, currently, there’s no one reliable WordPress integration plugin. However, some tricks may work such as using the import option to move your forum content to another forum platform such as bbPress. You may also import to another Forum platform as long as it has a reliable WordPress integration plugin.  Some well-known discussion boards such as FluxBB, Invision, MyBB, phpBB, Phorum, Simple Machines Forum, vBulletin, and some possible options have a solution for you to import to one of the options that support an integration plugin.

The Final Thought

If there’s no other solution to integrate a forum platform to WordPress, you can join some relevant web programmer communities to ask for help. Integrating two types of websites or CMSes that need coding is a serious task. So, executing it yourself without knowing what to tweak with would end up in a crash or at least a bug. Looking for help is better rather than When it comes to integrating a strange forum platform with WordPress need coding but tweaking both is a daunting task for you, shall you consider to hire a web design professional or coder.

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