BuddyPress and bbPress have pushed out major new releases today. WordPress users looking for a simple way to enable forums and/or add social media features should take a look. The bbPress 2.0 release integrates forum features into any standard WordPress theme. BuddyPress 1.5 brings a better default theme and performance improvements.The WordPress community has a lot to be excited about this week.
Most people are already familiar with WordPress, seeing as it's one of the most widely deployed content management systems (CMS) in the world. BuddyPress and bbPress are a little less well-known. BuddyPress adds social features to the WordPress MU (multiuser) platform, including activity streams, extended profiles, private messaging, and a lot more. The bbPress project provides forum software for integration with WordPress or standalone use.
The BuddyPress update includes a new user interface for managing profile fields, a better default theme with "widgetized" areas, an updated installer/upgrader, and tons of performance improvements. You'll also see a slew of improvements for users, including a bunch of bug fixes. Want to test out BuddyPress 1.5? Just head to your WordPress Admin Dashboard and search for "BuddyPress" in the Install Plugins page.
The bbPress release has really earned its 2.0 designation. Instead of a bunch of tinkering to get bbPress working with a WordPress install, it just requires installing a plugin through the WordPress Admin Dashboard. If you can click a mouse, you can install bbPress. This also gives Akismet and BuddyPress features to bbPress if they're installed.