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    Since recently switching this forum to bbPress, I’ve learned a bunch about bbPress, and how to extend it.

    At the core, bbPress is pretty lean, and relies a lot on plugins to extend it. That was by design.

    But I’ve been a bit disappointed by the quality of some of the plugins available, and also the state of bbPress “themes”.

    In some ways, bbPress is back in the days of WP in 2010 or so. There are 300,000+ active installs of bbPress and I can’t believe that they all were built using the custom styling required to be easer to use and to look good.

    So I had to do my part to fix that, and am nearly finished with a new plugin called bbPress Weaver. It provides a bunch of options to remove or add different content to the main Forum and Topic lists, as well as Topics.

    I’ve also consolidated some features from different plugins – selecting a few I thought were essential (View counts, @mention notification, various functional options like using the Visual Editor, hiding the WP Admin bar, making it easy to set the notification From and email address, private replies, and adding a few other usability features.

    But maybe the biggest thing I did was to provide what I think is a much improved set (yep, options!) of bbPress subthemes that can blend nicely with almost any WP theme. The default bbPress theme isn’t terrible, but it really isn’t great. I’ve added several (and more to come) checkbox themes that really do look good with almost any theme. Like this one that matches Weaver Xtreme’s Go Green subtheme used as the basis for this forum’s theme.

    So many of the functional and design aspects of this forum are the result of bbPress Weaver, and just a few other plugins (Unread, private forums, and Resolutions). The latest version of the forum made a few tweaks: indentation for the meta info for forum and topic lists, tweaks to row bg colors, round avatars, larger and easier to find topic titles in the lists. There are also some new functional tweaks: users can now make their profiles private if they wish (see the Help page), and there is now an indicator of what bg colors mean (e.g., the light blue bg for Private Replies now has a little red indicator that says Private Reply.

    So if you use a bbPress site, I’d be happy to provide you with a beta copy of bbPress Weaver. If you have any suggestions for improving forum functionality, let me know. Maybe I can fix it.

    And a soon as I release bbPress Weaver, it will become a new forum right here!

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