December’s Days of Doing Different 2: New Forums!

Written Bydulac
Published On

Welcome to Day 2 of Doing Different!

Today, I’m happy to announce I’ve finally replaced the forums with something less … well, crap. The forums, which were once a fairly popular part of the Fleet (until Discord), fell into disrepair. As a part of IFS2 we replaced them with BBPress.

Sadly that wasn’t our smartest move really. BBPress, while neat and integrated with WordPress, wasn’t great for a host of reasons.

  1. They weren’t “traditional” looking forums out of the box.
  2. A lot of the vaunted functionality such as reply by email, was problematic and simply failed to work 60% of the time
  3. We had 7 different plugins, plus the forum itself, just to enable basic functionality such as moderation, signatures and attachments.
  4. (possibly the worst in my opinion) They used a custom post type (like our characters, sim reports, etc.) to manage forums. This increased query load by around a factor of 10, and would’ve increased to a factor of 300 if they ever got popular.

So they got binned.

I’ve now replaced them with a different, more conventional forum which is still integrated into WordPress but offers a lot more forum-style functionality out of the box, and also enables us to do a few things different.

We now have a dedicated help section on the forums, set out in a StackExchange-style layout, where you can request graphics, ask for help on IFS2 and Nova and Treknology. We can now also embed polls and other things into forums, so expect some more canvassing of opinion.

There’s still some tweaks to be made, such as tying it back in tightly with Buddypress (our social network plugin), and the colour scheme which @sharr is working on, but they’re a lot better, faster, and more secure out of the box so we’ve enabled them right-away.

Give them a go,

Feel free to leave a comment below or ask in the forums or on Discord if you have any questions.