In a recent article here at WP-Blogger, I wrote about the importance of building community and finding a simple solution for integrating a (free) forum on your WordPress site.
Simple:Press Forum was the easiest and also best realized solution to this problem. But now with WordPress version 2.8 looming, some necessary updates had to be made to the plugin, if you can call it that – I think I would rather call it a suite for all that it accomplishes so seamlessly within a WordPress installation. Here are the installation and upgrade instructions depending on your situation.
There is also an important notice at the end of these instructions for those upgrading that handles a small bug in the installation process in some cases. Â Please be sure to read this before performing your upgrade.
Also, please be sure to back up your database before performing any of the following actions. Â One way to do this is right at your cpanel level, another more efficient way to do this right from within WordPress is to install and use the WP-DBManager. Â If you don’t and things go wrong, it’s not my fault, and I can’t help you.
Having said that, the procedure is fairly straightforward and relatively bulletproof; I performed this install and/or upgrade on at least six sites and had no problems.
First Time Installation of SimplePress Forum On Your WordPress Site
UPLOAD: Upload the plugin to your WordPress ‘plugins’ folder. Simple:Press Forum must reside in a folder named ‘simple-forum’ directly inside the ‘plugins’ folder. WordPress 2.7 and 2.8 users may be able to use the automated zip file upload from within the ‘Plugins – Add New’ page. If not, use a standard FTP client for the upload.
ACTIVATE: Once fully uploaded, Simple:Press Forum should appear on your WordPress Plugins page listing. Click on the ‘Activate’ link on the Simple:Press Forum entry.
INSTALL: Unlike most plugins, Simple:Press Forum is not installed when activated. A new ‘Install’ link will appear against the plugin entry – or you can select ‘Install’ from the new Forum menu. Select ‘Install’ to load the Simple:Press Forum installer and click on the start button.
Upgrading From Versions 4.0.0/4.0.1/4.0.2
DEACTIVATE: If you are upgrading from version 4.0.x there is no need to remove the old Simple:Press Forum files or folder unless you plan to use the WordPress 2.7 or 2.8 automated plugin zip file uploader – this tool requires the old files to be removed first. If not using this tool then start by deactivating Version 4.0.x which will prevent users from seeing errors while the new plugin files are being installed.
UPLOAD – ACTIVATE – UPGRADE: Follow the instruction for a ‘First Install’ above. Note however, that the menu item will now be labelled ‘Upgrade’ and not ‘Install’. Â Click this button and on the following page, confirm you want to perform the upgrade. Â If everything goes as planned you see a pop-up window confirming this that also inludes some notes on the latest revisions. Â You can click X to close this window and go back to choosing options for your forum.
If you see an error message appear across the top of your page, read the Important Note below to fix it. Â It takes just a second.
Upgrading From Versions 3.X.X
Begin by removing all of the old plugin files. If you are upgrading from ANY version older than 4.0.0 then it is necessary to first remove ALL of the old plugin files. After doing this, follow the instructions above for an Upgrade.
If you perform the upgrade and see a scary line of code appear at the top of your pages talking about an error finding this or the other, it isn’t your mistake. Â It is a known bug discovered after the release of this upgrade that appears in some instanced. Â To fix it, simply go to your Admin panel, go to the Forum section that now exists as a result of your SimplePress installation, and be sure you are under the Â Manage Options section. Â This should bring you, by default to the Global settings (if not, the click the Global Tab.)
In the section on the left labelled Â WP Admin Pages AccessÂ make sure there is an ‘X’ beside the option titled “Block User Access to WP Admin Pages.” Â Make sure to click the Update All Options button at the bottom right of this page.
You may see the error one more time, but after that it will be corrected.