bbPress install + setup

Modified on February 4, 2014

In this tutorial I will teach you how to install and set up the bbPress forum software plugin.

Before watching this video…

  1. Install and set up WordPress.
  2. Optional: Install BuddyPress.

1. Install bbPress (0:20)

  1. Log into your WordPress dashboard and go to Plugins > Add New.
  2. Search for “bbpress”.
  3. bbPress should be the first result. Click “Install Now”.
  4. After WordPress finishes downloading the plugin, click “Activate Plugin”.
  5. You should now see sections for Forums, Topics, and Replies in the WordPress dashboard.

2. Configure bbPress settings (1:11)

  1. Got to Settings > Forums.
  2. Select the settings you desire.
  3. Make sure the “Forum Root” is a unique URL, not used by an existing page on your site.
  4. Click “Save Settings”.

3. Create your first forum (2:06)

  1. Go to Forums > New Forum.
  2. Give the forum a title and description.
  3. Select the Type, Status, and Visibility for the forum.
  4. Click “Publish”.
  5. Click “View Forum” to see it on the front-end and add your first topics and replies.

4. Optional: set a WordPress page as your forum index (4:39)

  1. Go to Pages > Add New.
  2. Give the page a title.
  3. Add this shortcode into the text editor: forum-code
  4. Click “Update”.

5. Allow BuddyPress groups to have forums (6:23)

  1. Install BuddyPress
  2. Activate the BuddyPress Groups component in Settings > BuddyPress > Components.
  3. Go to Settings > Forums.
  4. Under “BuddyPress Integration”, check “Allow BuddyPress Groups to have their own forums”.
  5. In any BuddyPress group that you manage, go to Admin > Forum and then associate the group with a particular forum.


  1. I get a 500 internal error when I activate bbpress. Did it twice. I have the newest buddyboss, buddypress, and bbpress 2.5.3. Help.

    1. This could be any number of things. A “500” error is just a generic server error, which doesn’t really tell you much. First thing I would do is deactivate all plugins (including BuddyPress) and try. If that works then a plugin was at fault. If you still have an issue contact your web host and ask them. They should have server logs that would reveal some info. Maybe your PHP version is too low, or memory on the server is too low.

  2. I think it would be useful to mention that the BuddyBoss theme includes an optional sidebar for bbPress:

    Dashboard > Appearance > Widgets > “Forums -> Directory & Single”

    There are also sidebars for groups, pages, etc.

  3. Dear Michael

    I have been asked to put together a community style site, WordPress was the obvious route but it would need more. I came across your tutorials on YouTube and just want to say a big Thank You on both the bbpress and Buddypress plugins, you have really smoothed my path. Kindest regards John.

  4. Does bbpress integrate with the notifications. Does it update the activity feed when new forums are created? I guess I’m asking if this is a seamless solution or if there is going to be inconsistencies.


  5. I’m testing it now with BuddyBoss and have group forums set up. When I create a new forum, comment on a forum, etc, I don’t receive any notifications when using buddy’s

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