Arty wrote: ↑
Thu May 12, 2016 3:12 pm
Because of that interest in forums is going down.
I believe that could easily change.
Also - call me crazy - I believe that phpBB could compete with WordPress.
Because after all it's not so different. Because content is king. Because customers would like to have social features.
And creating and managing lots of content and operating a social network is so much easier and powerful with forum software. That's why. And there are only so many good & free forum platforms.
So someone who wants to have a website with pages and a blog could do it with phpBB instead of WordPress.
So someone who wants to have a website with pages and a blog and social features could do it BETTER with phpBB instead of WordPress.
Only if phpBB could match those must-have features of WordPress and some of Facebook's features that the average user has got used to and expects them as if they are part of the Web itself. Oh, and of course, a way to login using social network accounts.
So before anyone says blah blah blah phpBB is not CMS blah blah blah, please read on.
Why would the developer choose WordPress over phpBB for his customer?
His customer typically wants multilingual pages, a blog, a contact form and maybe a social network.
Social network means customizable profiles, adding friends, notifications, private messaging, @mentions, status updates and comments, lightboxes, live search etc. (what else can you think of?)
- Plugins aka Extensions
- Child themes
- Notifications system. And can be ajaxified with an extension I guess. For WordPress you'd need a plugin such as "BuddyPress" and a theme that can support it.
- Private messaging. Well... it should really have its own separate interface like Facebook's inbox.
- Lightbox extensions. Some very good ones.
- Portal extension for homepage or custom pages.
- Login using social network accounts.
- Friends / Foes (blocked)
- Everything that comes with phpBB can be translated out of the box and it's easy enough to add a language switcher. For WordPress you'd need a plugin such as "Polylang".
- Customizable profiles? One can override the template in a child theme and make it fancy with the help of custom profile fields. Better than nothing. It could suffice for most needs, but let's hope for more social extensions.
- A contact form in the core. For WordPress you'd need a plugin such as "Contact 7". Sure, phpBB's contact form has room for improvements through extensions (e.g. Contact Admin Plus
), but the default one will suffice for most needs... if there's going to be a #$%&!@ CAPTCHA!
- A blog? A forum can be styled to look like one. The posts are comment-ready. Whenever phpBB gets a new theme (hopefully with v3.3) we'll see good things. But right now it's kind of a fuss to make new styles and maybe that's why there aren't that many released. Anyway, there can also be extensions to provide the full experience, like this one that was almost released - the Ultimate Blog
- An official Pages extension. A very good one. Just add... multilingual support?
What are we missing? I think mainly these features:
- Live search
- Separate private messaging interface
- Multilingual support for the official Pages extension
- WYSIWYG editor (hopefully it will be ready for 3.3)
- Featured images. Images are everything as far as looks are concerned. There should be a way that a page or post can be associated with an image (the first attachment that meets certain size criteria?) so that extensions such as featured content sliders can display images for posts. Also, a blog or news page extension without images looks ugly. We don't need media library functionality - just a way to associate posts with their images in order to provide for beautiful extensions.
- CAPTCHA for the contact form