There’s a growing collection of useful bbPress plugins available at bbpress.org/plugins/. This post will highlight the ones that are the most useful for bbPress forum administrators.
bbPress Plugins for Your Forum Users
The following plugins will improve the user experience on your bbPress forum, giving them amenities that they’ve become accustom to on other forums.
This plugin adds the option to allow users to customize their own signatures.
GD bbpress tools is another plugin that will take care of both signatures, reply quotes and some other functions.
An essential part of using forums is having the ability to quote other people. The following plugin makes this easy:
Crayon Syntax Highlighter
This plugin is useful if you run a community that needs to post code snippets and have it highlighted properly in your forum. This isn’t just for programming forums: if you run a support forum for a WordPress theme or webmaster questions, your users are going to want to be allow your users to post readable css and html snippets.
bbPress Post Toolbar
This toolbar gives your bbPress users a simplified markup editor for them to mark up their forum posts. The toolbar converts everything to HTML so no shortcodes get left behind in case you remove the plugin.
bbPress2 Shortcode Whitelist
In general, WordPress shortcodes won’t work with bbPress. This plugin will create a whitelist of shortcode tags that can be applied to blog comments, forum topics and replies. You just need to figure out the name of the shortcode you want to allow, and add them into the bbPress shortcode whitelist settings section in a comma separated list.
GD bbPress Attachments
bbPress Plugins for Forum Administration
bbPress Topics for Posts
Let’s say you create a blog post. This plugin hijacks the comment area and lets you have the ability to start a forum post from a specific blog post. Users can either comment directly under your blog post or in the forum thread associated with your blog post.The ads can be hidden for logged in Users. [As an aside, you can dig into the bbPress code to add your own advertising between forum posts. Line 33 of topic.php has the for loop that goes through all the posts. Just insert your ad code there. For example, you can increment a counter, and only post an ad if counter is divisible by 4 if you only want an ad after every fourth post in the thread.]
One of the greatest time-sinks of running a forum is the hassle of dealing with spammers. To help combat this, your bbPress forum gets filtered through through Akismet / GROWmap anti spam bot already – that is, it runs your forum through whatever plugins you already have installed on your WordPress site. You can also run reCaptcha using the bbPress reCaptcha plugin is spam is still a problem. If you have a small, trusted community, I wouldn’t bother with adding it since it makes your forum users solve a captcha before starting a topic.
Also a pro tip on preventing spammers from ever signing up for your bbpress site: http://gravityforms.com has a great addon for preventing bbpress spam registrations that has heuristics built-in to the backend. Reviews have been positive and it works alongside Akismet, so it’s a good choice if Akismet just isn’t cutting it as far as preventing spam forum registrations.
bbPress Advert Units
If you run a forum, you might want to get paid for your hard work. This plugin allows you to insert Adsense (or any other ad unit) after the first post in a topic discussion such that it sits after the first post and before the first reply. Can be hidden for logged in Users. DIY: Line 33 of topic.php has the for loop that goes through all the posts. Insert your ad code there (can increment a counter, and only post an ad if counter is divisible by 4 if you only want an ad after every fourth post in the thread.)
This plugin extends the WordPress built-in search capabilities to include the bbPress post types. Remember to include the search widget on a sidebar.
S2 Member – Allow Certain User Classes to Have Certain Forum Privileges
Although bbPress isn’t very good by itself for segmenting users into different user classes with associated forum restrictions, you can combine it with a membership plugin for WordPress to give you the desired functionality. For example, the s2Member plugin can offer your users paid upgrades and tie forum access to these upgraded privileges:
You can also do this with Justin Tadlock’s Members plugin to achieve something similar: