Tag Archives: Simple:Press

The WordPress Simple:Press Blog. This used to be about getting the most from Simple:Press. Now, it’s about getting away from SimplePress. The authors have chosen a weird monetization model that exploits their supporters. Forums need a massive time investment, so if you are stuck with SimplePress, we will help you fix it. We can help you get more out of SimplePress, but we would rather help you find a better alternative.

Simple:Press Forum Advertising

bbPress Update

I no longer support or recommend Simple:Press. If you want a forum for your hosted WordPress website, please ask for advice in Shrewdies Website Support Forum.

I mentioned AdSense in passing when I wrote about extending Simple:Press forum by adding code to the descriptions.

Hundreds of you have asked for more information about adding advertising to your forums, or more specifically about adding AdSense to Simple:Press.

I’d like to say “don’t bother!” but I think you deserve more than that.

Why “don’t bother?” Because forums are notoriously hard to monetize, though there are a couple of ways to get reasonable results.

Before I explain those, I’d like to look at some of the ways to add AdSense to Simple:Press forums. I mention AdSense, but of course any advertising scheme can be added in the same way.

Easy Ways To Add AdSense To Simple:Press

❶ Sidebar
It is usually better to disable sidebars on pages, so this option is a poor one. Also Sidebar click-thru rates are usually pretty poor, but this is an easy option – just paste your code into a text widget.
❷ Footer
Edit footer.php in your theme, or add one of the many plugins that let you drop code into your footer.
❸ Other Theme Files
You could edit the page template, or other files, but I cannot see the point.
❹ Forum Page
Simple:Press creates a blank page, usually called forum, though you should normally change this to your-site-topic-forum. You should enter some introductory text on this page, and it is also the best place to easily add AdSense code. If you wrap your text in <div id="sforum"><div class="sfloginstrip"> Your text & AdSense code <div><div>, the text will pick up your Simple:Press skin styling. You can also use div to wrap position styling round your AdSense code. If you do this, be sure to test thoroughly on forum lists, forum details, etc to make sure it is positioned OK on every type of forum page.

Harder Ways To Add AdSense To Simple:Press

№𝟙 Enzyme Descriptions
As previously mentioned.
№𝟚 Edit Simple:Press Files
This gives you the most flexibility, but be careful to thoroughly document your amendments, as you will have to reapply them if you upgrade. Also, change the description in sf-control.php to add a link to your documentation, as a reminder on the plugins admin page.

There are lots of options for placing your adverts. Simple:Press has many files, so finding the exact point can occasionally be difficult. However the Simple:Press support forum is second to none, so if you need to know exactly which file to edit for a particular location, ask in their forum. To start you off, I have placed advertising easily just above the statistics block. Simply edit forum/sf-pagecomponents.php, and search for function sf_render_stats(). Paste your code immediately after the { and your advert will appear above the statistics. As the statistics block outputs an HTML table, you have many other options for exactly where you position your code.

Getting AdSense Revenue From Simple:Press

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Simple:Press Forum – Is The Best Good Enough?

Q2A Update

I no longer support or recommend Simple:Press. Please search here for Question2Answer if you want a forum for your hosted WordPress website.

Simple:Press Forum is definitely [edit: no longer] the best forum software I’ve used for WordPress.

There is no WordPress plugin to touch it, and the alternatives are simply too cumbersome to integrate.

For most needs, Simple:Press forum provides all that you need, but I’ve also mentioned before that it is not as simple to administer as some – but only because it has a wealth of options. And under the lid, tweaking the code is not particularly easy – again because there is so much included that it can be hard to find exactly what you want to change.

Mechanics aside, I have been trying for months to develop a simpler alternative built on posts and comments. This is not the most difficult coding challenge, but it is time-consuming, and there always seems something more important to do. Whilst doing the more important things, I noticed that Pods CMS has recently changed there forum for a completely different, simpler interface.

Looking deeper, I saw that it was based on Stack Overflow. Similar, in some ways, to Yahoo Answers, this approach means that we can focus on answering questions. This is a bit of an eye-opener for me, and I realize that promoting a forum to answer questions and share experiences and opinions is asking too much for one application.

I’ve decided to split my forum into a Question And Answer Section and a Discussion Forum. In an ideal world, these would be linked, and it would be absolutely possible to build such a beast with Pods CMS. But the time to build this from scratch means I’d rather look for something usable now, and seek better integration later.

The key here is to find something usable that is easily integrated into WordPress.

Step forward Question2Answer.

I’ve installed it on own of my sites, and I’ll report back on the details later. I’ve no intention to import questions from Simple:Press Forum, as I believe the two applications can work side by side. There will probably be a few more integration issues, but installation of Question2Answer using the WordPress user records was surprisingly easy.

Rather than repeat it here, I’ll refer you to my Question2Answer WordPress installation notes on the author’s support site.

Simple:Press Forum Enhancements

Q2A Update

I no longer support or recommend Simple:Press. Please search here for Question2Answer if you want a forum for your hosted WordPress website.

The Simple:Press forum plugin is one of the most comprehensive and customisable plugins available for WordPress.

Is that enough for me?

Oh, no! I have to push just that little bit further.

It started some time ago, when I wanted to include a hyperlink in a forum description. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the HTML held up fine in the forum, and links, bold text and other markups were easy to add.

I was less happy when I went back to the Admin pages to make other changes – the HTML screwed up the Admin display, and could not be edited. However, it could easily be re-typed, or edited directly in the database through phpMyAdmin, so, I left things as they were. For a while.

I was tempted to raise this with the support guys at Simple:Press. They have always been extremely responsive, and their own forum is a fine example of the best in technical support. However, a new version was in the late stages of the release process, so I thought I would wait until after it’s release.

A few days later, I had the bright idea of including some AdSense in the description. I was certain that the Simple:Press forum description was no match for the AdSense javascript code. However, I remembered how I had used the Enzymes plugin in the past to make adding AdSense code to posts very easy.

WordPress Enzymes Plugin

As good as Enzymes is, I find I can do the same things and more with the Pods CMS plugin. See the WordPress Pods Blog for more.

This is a fascinating plugin that allows so many ways of manipulating your content that it deserves (and probably needs) a series of articles to do it justice.

In it’s very simple form, it allows you to store data in standard WordPress Custom Fields and refer to them wherever you want.

I’ll cover Enzymes in more detail later. For the forum description, all you need to do is to store the HTML for your description in a Custom Field, and it is easy to display, and easy to edit.

Simple:Press Forum Description Enhancement

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