View Full Version : Best integrated "community portal" (blog/forum package)

Aug 11, 2009, 04:26 AM
Hi all,
What's the best community development Open Source package for starting up a group of very non-webby non-technical activists?

Wordpress seems like a great blog, but the comments are confusing for newcomers and non-technical people. It would be great if integrated with a pre-fully loaded BBpress so that an article's comments would go straight into having all the power of a forum.

Basically, a nice blog/home page with a forum attached would meet our needs... yet without all the "drama" (for non-technical types like myself) of having to learn and customise 2 sets of software (like Wordpress + SMF).

Any ideas?

Aug 11, 2009, 07:52 AM
Well, the Drupal open-source content management system defines itself as "community plumbing", but it may be more work to set up and get configured than you are looking for.

Aug 11, 2009, 07:58 AM
What I know of it, it lets you create a main blog, groups, event coordination & scheduling and chat functions.

HTH. Cheers! :cool:

[Edit: I meant "take a look at Dutch" at http://www.barnraiser.org/. It's compared favorably to Ning. Hmmm, headspace and timing problems today, I'm afraid. :o

Aug 11, 2009, 09:32 AM
Just in case you've not stumbled upon it in your extensive search, WordPress does have a really simple forum plugin (http://www.fahlstad.se/wp-plugins/wp-forum/). (Version on WordPress site (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wpforum/) is older for some reason.)

Aug 11, 2009, 08:59 PM
Just in case you've not stumbled upon it in your extensive search, WordPress does have a really simple forum plugin (http://www.fahlstad.se/wp-plugins/wp-forum/). (Version on WordPress site (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wpforum/) is older for some reason.)

The thing that makes me nervous about some of the smaller plug ins is if they get left by the wayside, are there converters to some other forum structure? If I stuck with the main forums like SMF, phpbb, bbpress, there always seem to be converters from one to the other. I guess I was just asking if there are other developments out there.

I had someone suggest BBsync that automatically turns Wordpress blog posts into posts in BBpress.

However, I hear BBpress is still fairly young and having a few reliability issues. This kind of thing sounds like what I'm after, but it would be GREAT in an integrated package so that I didn't have compatibility issues when things upgraded. I don't see any guarantee that BBpress will be ready for the next WP at the same time as the next bbsync... all arriving at the same time, if you see what I mean.

Aug 12, 2009, 03:24 AM
I see what you're worrying about, however I'm not sure it's the problem you make it out to be.

If WordPress is updated, you can wait until the other elements are updated before you do the upgrade. This way, you can upgrade all items at once.

Alternatively, if you get it all working the way you want, don't upgrade at all. Sure you will miss out on a few features & security fixes, but you'll still be using a great piece of software. If it's not broken, don't fix it - so to speak.


Aug 12, 2009, 06:11 AM
Yeah, I like Wordpress and think it's really going places. The funky tutorial videos also help market it!

But on the other hand, BBpress is another creature. It needs all these various plug-ins just to "work" the way something like phpbb or SMF does out of the box! That means I've got 15 or so plug-ins to watch for my basic forum compatibility, and I just want the thing to work!

So... what about SMF and a portal-plug in for the home page? (UGLY! Their design just doesn't feel like wordpress).

(sighs) Can't have it all can we?

Aug 12, 2009, 06:36 AM
(sighs) Can't have it all can we?

hehe, I'm afraid not :rolleyes:

Aug 16, 2009, 06:53 AM
Wordpress seems to be a blog looking for a "fully loaded" forum, and SMF seems to be a forum looking for a nice blog.

Blaaargh! :(

Aug 19, 2009, 08:10 AM
Why don't you just use 2 things? Use wordpress for your blog and link to the forum (phpbb or smf). If you're good you can change the themes of both to match so no one would be able to tell.

Aug 19, 2009, 10:52 PM
I was hoping to set up an automated way to do it for the newbies that are REALLY nervous using "software" like blogs etc. I think the reality is that I was dreaming, I'd be entering everything anyway.

Dang if only I had a developer's brain! (I'm an ENFJ in Myers-Briggs talk, and looking at code is kind of agonising for my personality type.)

I'm thinking a forum with a big "Latest discussions" window on top, kind of like http://bbpress.org/forums/ with "About us, Help us, Our mission" etc pages linked to along the top would be more than adequate for our needs.