Forums are an awesome feature of BuddyPress but before installing the Buddypress forums you should know that the default BuddyPress forums are retired. You can still use them without any problem but BuddyPress recommends bbPress as the best choice. Why? bbPress is being actively developed; the “Discussion Forums” component in BuddyPress is retiring as of BuddyPress 1.7. The retired component will continue to work, but no new features will be incorporated by the BuddyPress team.
bbPress has a bunch of cool features that BP Discussion Forums doesn’t: extensive moderation via the WP admin dashboard, topic splitting, revisions, spam management, favorites, subscriptions, and more.
How to work with bbpress forums
Activate group forums and save.
On the BuddyPress page go to the new Forums tab
If you have a bbPress plugin already installed on your WordPress instance, click “Use Existing Installation”; otherwise click “Install Group Forums” if you’re going to run your forums as group specific. This will install the default retired BuddyPress forums. If you prefer the recommended and awesomest ( 🙂 ) forums, then click “Install bbPress”.
Go through the installation process and activate the plugin.
To allow user registration on your new BuddyPress Site, hover your cursor over “Settings” in your dashboard and click “General”.
In the following screen, check the “Anyone can register” box next to “Membership”, and click “Save Changes” at the bottom of the page.
Note: if you prefer to manually create a new user, then leave the “Anyone can register” box unchecked.
You can allways create your own BuddyPress pages by going to Settings BuddyPress Pages.
Don’t forget to add your BuddyPress pages to the menu.
The default bbPress forum page title is “forum”. You can change it from Settings Forums.