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BuddyPress VS bbPress - Which is the Better Forum Software for WordPress?

BuddyPress VS bbPress – Which is the Better Forum Software for WordPress?

As a forum has become a useful platform to maintain readers and bring traffics, many site owners are trying to add a forum to their websites. Among all the forum plugins in the market, BuddyPress and bbPress take a large share. Thus, many people are inclined to choose between the two software. Under this condition, we write BuddyPress vs bbPress to compare them in detail, expecting our readers can choose a suitable one after reading.

Brief Introduction to BuddyPress and bbPress

They are two platforms where people can exchange ideas freely. Besides, visitors can also setup topics and discuss it by themselves. The two software aim to create a busy communication forum for all site owners and finally bring more traffic to their websites.

Thus, they are very useful for every website, but the installation process is often a headache for many people. Thus, we firstly recommend you two articles: Add a bbPress Forum in WordPress Website and BuddyPress Tutorial for Installation & Configuaration ,which can help you install BuddyPress and bbPress easily.

Similarities between BuddyPress and bbPress

SimilaritiesBoth BuddyPress and bbPress are famous forum software, thus, they bound to have lots of things in common. In the following, we just list several similarities between two tools.

  1. Requirements – The two plugins are built on WordPress and offer services for WordPress websites. The trait decides that they are written with the same primary technologies: PHP and MySQL. Thus, if you want to use them, your hosting features need to include them.
  2. Building Team – They belong to the same company with the same developing team, which means they have the same technology support. Many plugins of BuddyPress and bbPress just have the same feature and the same purpose. What’s more, both of them are open source that is to say, they are free to use.
  3. Function – They also have the same function – building forums for WordPress websites. In these forums, people can write comments to a blog and get interaction with blog writers.

Difference between BuddyPress and bbPress

DifferencesUndoubtedly, as two different plugins, there are diversities between them to distinguish them and make them meet various users’ requirements. We are going to give you some obvious as well as subtle differences between them.

  1. Usage – Strictly speaking, bbPress is a just forum software while BuddyPress is a social networking plugin. If you just want to receive comments, set topics and let readers discuss them, then bbPress is a really good choice. However, if you want somewhere people not only can create new topics or even new forums, but also can integrate into groups and exchange messages between themselves. Then, BuddyPress is your choice, which has advanced communication system between groups of users.
  2. Feature – BuddyPress has a self-developing system which can automatically gather people into a group according to their communities or organizations. Besides, as BuddyPress has a longer history than bbPress, thus, it is equipped with more advanced and useful features such as group discussion forums and group logo.
  3. Plugins – BuddyPress has more applicable plugins reaching 533 while that of bbPress is 162. Thus, the former one is more easy-to-use.
  4. Management – As we have mentioned before, BuddyPress can help you build a big forum and setup many discussing groups. However, this practice comes with hard working and time consuming on management of these groups. On the other side, bbPress comes with simpler function and accordingly, it is much easier to manage.


After a thorough comparison between the two plugins, we consider both of them are really good forum plugins and have their merits and demerits. Thus, if you own a big website with a large number of fixed readers, you’d better go for BuddyPress. However, if you have a small-to-medium sized website, bbPress is a good choice for the easy management.

Of course, you can install both of them. Under this condition, you need web hosts that give support for both platforms. Therefore, in the following, we recommend several reliable and cost-effective WordPress hosts supporting for BuddyPress as well as bbPress.


Lucy has been a very experienced SEOer, technical writer, web developer, c# developer since 2002. Now she owns a startup in San Francisco, CA, focusing on running a couple of blogs to share knowledge and experience with global readers and deliver exceptional results to global sponsors by leveraging the power of Internet.