Yes, I had planned on going to Simple Forum. I’m still very impressed by it. But, I wanted to customize it to my site and change not only the appearance (which can easily be done through CSS), but also the content of what is included and where.
Unfortunately, although the PHP code is all available, it is very tightly written and is not easy to change. I’d have to be very much an expert at PHP to do it properly. And such custom modifications would make it very difficult to upgrade to future versions. I wouldn’t want to get stuck at the current version.
So we hereby redeclare the winner to be bbPress. Works just like WordPress. It can also be easily extended by plugins, but more importantly almost all of it is easily customizable. I should be able to add some really useful features, such as showing you the topics you started and all the topics you participated in.
I commented last entry that bbPress was “primitive”. Well, yes it is. But it is just starting to take off, and people are really getting excited about it and starting to turn it around. And as far as handling large forums goes, just check out the Wordpress Support Forum which has well over 600,000 posts already. It uses bbPress.
The one intangible I really like about it is that I can have it in its own directory called “forum”, rather than under the blog directory as “blog/forum” or as a strange url such as “blog/?page_id=6″ as Simple Forum requires since it is a plugin under WordPress. People on Unix boxes can use pretty permalinks and can change that, but on my Windows host, I can’t.
I decided to completely reinstall WordPress and bbPress and start fresh. After all those databases I tried, I really gunged everything up and needed to clean it out and be sure it’s all working. That only took a day and now I’m merrily customizing and integrating it into my new site design. Still not done, but its getting there.