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A new forum plugin

themehybrid.com | Sep. 22, 2014 | 5 min read

Justin Tadlock introduces and explains why he is developing a new forum plugin.

16 votes   Flag
Robert Babak Rowshan

My *biggest* pet peeve is how bbPress handles permalinks. It is beyond bonkers! and so frustrating that after 4+ years there is zero momentum to fix it. Unfortunately Justin's version handles permalinks exactly the same way, at least for now.

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Justin Tadlock

My plugin doesn't really have much flexibility in the way of doing permalinks right now. But, it's a long while before a version 1.0 is ready. Now would be a good time to mention what you'd like to see with permalink handling.

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Robert Babak Rowshan

IMHO this is the permalink structure that makes sense logically and for SEO and is what most other forum software use:

domain.com/forums_main_name/forum_name/sub_forum_name/full_topic_title

bbPress currently uses this for forum:

domain.com/forums_main_name/forum/forum_name/sub_forum_name

and this for topic:

domain.com/forums/topic/full_topic_title

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Justin Tadlock

You'll be able to use that type of permalink system with my plugin once I build in the admin page for the settings and so on. It's really not that hard to do from a coding perspective (I've done the same structure with other plugins).

While I can't speak for bbPress, I imagine their reasoning is the same is mine for the default permalink structure. When you move forums and topics around, it makes more sense to not have your proposed structure. That way, you don't end up with broken links when a topic is moved or a forum is deleted. Anyway, I hope that helps explain why you might see this as a default structure.

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Robert Babak Rowshan

Why would you have broken links? when you change a blog post slug in wordpress "it knows" what to do. Why wouldn't that be also true for bbPress?

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Justin Tadlock

Yes, WP will handle most permalink changes fine by redirecting you to the correct URL. However, there's potential for loads of additional overhead with this with forums. I won't get into all the technical details because that's really outside the scope of this discussion.

Like I said, I don't know what bbPress' reasoning is. That's simply one aspect of my decision for my plugin. Of course, it'll be easy to change the permalink structure with my plugin, so it's really a non-issue.

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Robert Babak Rowshan

Glad to hear it won't be an issue for your plugin.

I did a quick search on the bbpress forum and was shocked to find that this has been a sore spot for almost 7 years! I had no idea bbpress was even that old (apparently it is 8 years old so this was brought up right at the beginning of the project, before version 1.0):

bbpress.org/forums/topic/any-way-to-eliminate-redundancyweirdness-in-permalinks-i-e-forumsforum/

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Olaf Lederer

I did a lot of bbpress modifications 4-5 years ago and archived my forum ~3 years ago. Justin I don't think that permalinks are very important for some forum app. More important are: fighting spam!
I remember me that I had at the end 30.000 users and 1500 topics in my forum :)

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Justin Tadlock

The great thing about building a forum plugin within WordPress is that there's already a ton of preexisting plugins available for fighting spam.

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Olaf Lederer

Right that was not so easy with the standalone bbpress version.

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