Tag Archives: WordPress setup

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.

WordPress 3.0 Beta

WordPress 3.0 Beta is now available, so I used it today on a new website.

I wouldn’t normally use a beta version on a production website, but the full release will be available before that site is fully live, giving me a chance to test some new features.

Site installation continues to be simple, and I took the simplest option of using the automatic script provided by my server host. This has the nice option of changing the default admin username to something less guessable – always a good idea for improved security.

WordPress Settings

Settings are the same as version 2, so I made the usual adjustments: Continue reading