Simple_Press vs bbPress


If you’re looking for forum software there’s a good chance you’ve already encountered bbPress!

bbPress is, quite possibly, the most popular forum plugin for WordPress – by far! It has over 300,000 installations!

So why would you choose anything else? Well, we can think of three reasons you might consider – in addition to those outlined in our DETAILED REVIEW of Simple:Press vs bbPress.

1. Support

This is far and away the best reason to use something other than bbPress.

bbPress and almost everything related to it is free. That should be a good thing, right?

Well, not really.

Even though bbPress is free and has over 200 free add-ons available for it, all of those were written by different authors.

This means that there is no one group responsible for making sure that they all work nicely together. And many of those add-ons have been abandoned.

Who can say if the one you adopt today will be around tomorrow? A commercial plugin like Simple:Press ensures all of its add-ons work together – and you have a place to turn to for support when they don’t!

2. Approach To Forums

Every plugin has a different way of attacking a problem-space and bbPress is no different. It could be that you simply might not like the way it tackles forums therefore you might find out that you prefer a different plugin.

For example, bbPress screens are tightly integrated into the sometimes archaic WordPress UI and makes liberal use of Custom Post Types. Custom post types in many cases can also be a performance hog on larger sites.

So, an alternative plugin such as Simple:Press that primarily uses custom tables with custom indexes coupled with an alternative UI – well, that might be a much more attractive option for a WordPress forum plugin.

3. Size

bbPress is huge. Or at least it can be. Other plugins might have a smaller code-base while still doing what you need it to do. This could mean that your site runs faster than if you implemented bbPress.

4. Bonus Reason – Popularity

bbPress has a 4 star rating on Most users would think that this was quite a good rating. But, given that it has 288 reviews, its actually on the low side for something that has 300,000+ active installations.

A plugin that is this popular should have something much closer to a 4.5 rating. And a much higher number of reviews. That extra half a star might not seem to be much but it takes a good number of reviews to move the needle that much. (You can see other plugins with a similar number of installs on

What does this mean? It generally means that users aren’t happy enough to want to rate the plugin – hence the low review count. And a larger than normal percentage of those that do bother to review it are unhappy.


So what are some alternative plugins? Well, of course, there is Simple:Press! But two others are wpForo and Asgaros Forum.

A full list of lesser known alternatives is included in this January 2019 article: 10 Best WordPress Forum Plugins (compared). Be warned – some of those listed there are actually WordPress themes and not plugins. Still, its worth reading so you can understand all the options out there!

And finally, don’t forget to check out our head-to-head features review of Simple:Press against bbPress!

Did you find this article useful? Or do you use Simple:Press today?  If so, please support Simple:Press with a review on  Every review goes a long way towards bringing other users on board!

Click here to review Simple:Press on

More From Simple:Press

User Story: Keeping The Brooklyn Triathlon Club Connected

June 13, 2019

This article is the third in a series of “user stories” where our users describe how they built their sites using Simple:Press. In this story you will learn how Vicky Wei built out a WordPress membership site using Simple:Press and the WishList Member plugin. Introduction The Brooklyn Triathlon Club has been around since 2004 and…

Read More

2nd Quarter 2019 Progress Report: New Plugins and Recent Updates

May 21, 2019

Over the last couple of months we’ve been busy making tweaks and enhancements to a number of our plugins and themes. The result of this work can be see in the following updates: New Simple:Press Core Release Version 6.2.0 Simple:Press is now available in the repository. This release includes the following changes: New: SVG…

Read More

How We Do Backups

May 10, 2019

Introduction Occasionally we write about how we run out business – the tools and technology we use. This article is one of those and it covers a very important topic that many sites and business don’t pay enough attention to. Hopefully by reading this you’re reminded to take another look at how your backups work…

Read More

Move To Semantic Versioning Complete

May 3, 2019

If you’ve never heard the term “semantic version”, don’t feel bad – most end users of software have never heard the term either. But more and more, software is using the concept to govern the release numbers that are assigned to new public releases. In the case of Simple:Press, we’ve completed our to move to…

Read More