Today I would like to share some knowledge about the benefits gained by integration two products of Automattic which goes closely to the needs of a web publisher.
WordPress is used as a blogging engine and is well capable of being used as a full fledged CMS and it also won the Open Source CMS award for 2009.
bbPress is a forum software which focus on basic needs and support plugins so that additional user specific features can be added without bloating the code.
I personally use both of them and would strongly recommend them.
Now why we should integrate bbPress with WordPress?
Users need to register only once on your site to be able to login into both bbPress & WordPress. Once registered the user will be a member of both WordPress site-end and bbPress forum-end.
Existing users will be taken care of (although conflicts in two tables need to be handled somehow). You can assign roles to existing users whereas conflict handling needs an advanced methodology.
Users need to login only once and it will be reflected throughout the site (both in bbPress forum-end & WordPress site-end) and logging out at one end logs you out completely.
Although it can be made to use different databases but by default it uses the same database which makes backup & restoring easy. It also let WordPress database plugins work on bbPress tables residing in the database. They can be scheduled to optimize and backed up automatically by the WordPress plugin.
You get all these benefits of using Simple Integration of bbPress with WordPress. There is one more type of integration which is called Deep integration. Deep integration is itself a broad technique which deserves a dedicated post to highlight its pros & cons. Talking of the benefits, we can exploit our WordPress setup further :
Matching WordPress theme
WordPress has a large number of themes available whereas on the other hand there are only a few for bbPress but having two different themes for a single site hurts the eye. We can use the same theme of WordPress in bbPress by calling the WordPress functions and with very less CSS we can accommodate the forum within the same theme.
Use WordPress based Code
We can use so much of code developed within bbPress. Like we can have sidebar with widgets capabilities and so on. The possibilities are endless.
So by now I don’t think you have a reason of not using & integrating bbPress with WordPress. If you have any questions to ask then shoot them in the comments and lets have a discussion.