XenForo to WordPress integration plugin preview

Mangini

Aspirant
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
48
Hi TAZ, today I'd like to share some info and screenshots about an upcoming WordPress (WP) plugin I plan to release that will be able to nicely connect your XF board to your WP site(s). I am currently running the beta plugin for my own business and have been enjoying some early successes so far.

A quick background: for years I have sold my own software and WP products online and have always preferred to use a forum for my main avenue of support. The problem with this approach as many of you know is the disconnect between the two software's and no real way to verify users on a forum when eCommerce is handled through the WP site.

My hacked solution was to manually promote forum users to secondary groups that can see the "customer-only" forums, but this process took a couple of steps and made the customer wait an unknown amount of time for me to get their account fully setup. It's a miracle my forums have grown at all over the years!

The first goal with this plugin was to automate this task, and rather than taking the complex and bloated approach of user syncing, the plugin gives the simply ability to any WordPress user to promote forum accounts by simply submitting their usernames into a form on the WordPress site. Here is an example below running on my live site now, and note the checkboxes that also give the ability to promote to different groups:

forum-users-dashboard.png

You will also notice some post data is being scraped from the forums to be shown next to the verify form (in reality these are two separate features), so the plugin does not stop at just user verification. I consider this creation to be a type of "Swiss-army knife" integration plugin with great performance.

The closer I get to release I will reveal more about the specific features of the plugin, but the key 1.0 features list looks as follows:
  1. User verification form - see above
  2. Thread comments - sync and create threads from WP to use as blog comments
  3. Forum widget - a customizable tab widget that can show latest posts, featured threads, and a forum listing
  4. Conversations manager - create conversations based on group promotions/demotions
  5. Developer tools - the baseline for future and 3rd party developers to build deeper integrations between XF and WP
I have attached more screenshots below to give you a better idea of just how deeply this plugin will integrate your XF board to WordPress, and would love to get any feedback and answer any questions you'd like to share here. I have been reading TAZ and the XF forums for months to research this product and I believe version 1.0 will prove to be as valuable for many of you forum owners as it already has been for me.

You can see a list of asked questions already for more info at my XF.com thread. Thank you for taking a look at the plugin and I hope to have more news for you soon!
 

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DigNap15

Adherent
Joined
Sep 14, 2019
Messages
378
I tried Wordpress years ago, and all I got was Spammers

I see Wordpress and Facebook etc as our (forum owners) oppostion.
So there is no way that I want to connect my forum to any of them!
 

zappaDPJ

Administrator
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
7,430
I tried Wordpress years ago, and all I got was Spammers

I see Wordpress and Facebook etc as our (forum owners) oppostion.
So there is no way that I want to connect my forum to any of them!

WordPress has co-existed with forums fairly well over the years, I don't really see it as opposition. In fact there's a lot of potential to be had if you can get both platforms to talk nicely to each other, hence the need for a connecting plugin.

In terms of spam, WordPress is much the same as any other kind of social media including forums. Take the necessary steps to prevent it and it won't be a problem.
 

tony45

Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 1, 2014
Messages
149
So you have to maintain your forum software + WordPress + the bridge between them. Too complicated
 

RisingSun

Aspirant
Joined
Oct 14, 2018
Messages
36
Seems interesting. I've stood up dozens of WP sites over the years and managed a few XF/vB forums. I'm not sure I have a use case for taking forum users and putting them on WP unless it was for shopping (ecommerce). What are the other use cases for connecting the two?
 

haqzore

Devotee
Joined
Dec 6, 2012
Messages
2,459
Very cool. Always good to have the option & capability.

But even the best bridges are hassle & headache waiting to become heartbreak.

In good times, you sit & wait for 3 different updates (platform 1, bridge, platform 2) instead of just 1.
In okay times, each time one side of your house gets updated you pray the other side & the bridge in-between don't break.
And when the inevitable happens, everything grinds to a halt when the bridge becomes supported.

Simply never worth it (to me). But I suppose it is to some.
 

Mangini

Aspirant
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
48
I tried Wordpress years ago, and all I got was Spammers

You have to find what works for you, and it sounds like you didn't set up any spam protection. I have worked with WordPress since 2007 and that has always been a non-issue for me, my clients included.

I see Wordpress and Facebook etc as our (forum owners) oppostion.
So there is no way that I want to connect my forum to any of them!

Do you offer facebook registration/login or are you totally no Facebook? As somebody who uses a flip phone I respect that! I think XF and WP can be great companions as they are both similar in that they can both be owned and self-hosted by you, and they have very different strong suits. I see XF as the premiere discussion platform, where WordPress is the ultimate eCommerce/website solution.

So you have to maintain your forum software + WordPress + the bridge between them. Too complicated

If you make it so.

Seems interesting. I've stood up dozens of WP sites over the years and managed a few XF/vB forums. I'm not sure I have a use case for taking forum users and putting them on WP unless it was for shopping (ecommerce). What are the other use cases for connecting the two?

The creation of this plugin came from my need to get WordPress users into my forums! As WordPress is a powerhouse eCommerce platform I see this plugin becoming a valuable marketing feature for many sites that can make forums a more "premiere destination." I think the user verify part will be most useful to WP site owners who do have eCommerce (specifically WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads), but I can see even the "thread as comments" feature being useful to the casual blogger who wants to grow a forum alongside their blog.

I will brainstorm some more specific use cases to help paint a clearer picture of this plugin, and I may have to ditch the term "bridge" as I see that carries negative connotations in the XF community from past attempts at similar, err, bridges.

Very cool. Always good to have the option & capability.

But even the best bridges are hassle & headache waiting to become heartbreak.

In good times, you sit & wait for 3 different updates (platform 1, bridge, platform 2) instead of just 1.
In okay times, each time one side of your house gets updated you pray the other side & the bridge in-between don't break.
And when the inevitable happens, everything grinds to a halt when the bridge becomes supported.

Simply never worth it (to me). But I suppose it is to some.

Thank you. :)

I think the unfair advantage this plugin has over others is being able to use a much more mature XenForo API to power its core. This has given me far more time to solidify the actual features and connection integrity rather than spend months wrangling my own data structure.

-----

Thank you for the replies so far everybody (even you too DigNap15 ;)), this has been more useful than you might know!
 
Last edited:

bomb

Aspirant
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Messages
38
This is a cool feature. I need it like yesterday. But you may also need to check out the enhancements that CF has done on the article feature and see how you can leverage on that.

I usually find addons like Xpress to be unnecessarily complicated. Having to install loads of other addons just to support article style view. Which will now come as default in built on XF 2.2
 

Mangini

Aspirant
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
48
This is a cool feature. I need it like yesterday. But you may also need to check out the enhancements that CF has done on the article feature and see how you can leverage on that.

I usually find addons like Xpress to be unnecessarily complicated. Having to install loads of other addons just to support article style view. Which will now come as default in built on XF 2.2

Thank you! I don't quite see the any implications the Article type has on this plugin, did you have something specific in mind?

Yes, their solution seemed to be the full package which is why I think it is a more niche WP bridge solution. I have strived to create a plugin any site could use on top of an existing theme, and it currently weighs in at ~100KB zipped, making it the absolute most performant integration possible.
 

gConverter

Participant
Joined
May 7, 2016
Messages
89
XenForo is quite powerful and it's almost unnecessary to connect with WordPress. Why we should connect it?

  • If you use XenForo then just use XenForo + XenForo Extensions and nothing else.
  • If you use WordPress then use WordPress + Plugins and nothing else.

WordPress has a free and powerful forum plugin called wpForo, so WordPress users have nothing to do with XenForo and XenForo users have nothing to do with WordPress. Bridging is not a good way. It will bring you tons of problems in future when WordPress and XenForo release new versions. The incompatibility issue is the everyday issue for such websites.
 

Mangini

Aspirant
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
48
XenForo is quite powerful and it's almost unnecessary to connect with WordPress. Why we should connect it?
They are two different platforms with two different strengths (as I've explained above) and are actually perfect for each other.

If you use XenForo then just use XenForo + XenForo Extensions and nothing else.
Your use of the word just oversimplifies what is actually feasible for the average WordPress + XF users (i.e. non-developers). How do you just design landing pages with XenForo? How do you just create a membership site that doesn't look like a forum? How do you just create a modern eCommerce experience? These are things WordPress just does better!

WordPress has a free and powerful forum plugin called wpForo
You took the opportunity to plug your product in my thread which is commendable but compared to the best forum software on the market you have created something that only skims the surface. I think you have a fine product in the context of the "one software to rule them all" market (which is where our goals diverge), but is not something myself or many, many forum owners would consider when a superior solution like XenForo exists.

so WordPress users have nothing to do with XenForo and XenForo users have nothing to do with WordPress. Bridging is not a good way. It will bring you tons of problems in future when WordPress and XenForo release new versions. The incompatibility issue is the everyday issue for such websites.
We strongly agree on this point and as mentioned, is not how my plugin operates. I think this will be more clear once I have the website/documentation created. See above why I mentioned I will be dropping the term "bridge" from my marketing.

Thank you for the challenge!
 

gConverter

Participant
Joined
May 7, 2016
Messages
89
How do you just design landing pages with XenForo? How do you just create a membership site that doesn't look like a forum? How do you just create a modern eCommerce experience? These are things WordPress just does better!
I think the answer is simple. If you have got such tasks, then you should not use XenForo, you just need to use WordPress.

You took the opportunity to plug your product in my thread
This is not our product. We just provide professional migration services, and we love when some new forum software changes the direction of forum migrations. It's good for our business. But this is not the case. I just wanted to mention the best forum option in WordPress.

. See above why I mentioned I will be dropping the term "bridge" from my marketing.
Nice! I have never liked the bridging. Our company have worked with thousands of forums since 2011 and I know very well the issues. We're having lots of customers who're asking us to migrate to WordPress or Joomla forum plugin after years of bridging with phpBB or other forum softwares. And not only to the CMS directions. People even leave CMS-es with blogs and shops and migrate to stand-alone forums softwares like IPS and XenForo which allow them to retain the same functionality. In other words, keeping two softwares together is a very difficult task and challenge. I hope your product will do that so smoothly that people will love it. Good luck on your mission!
 

Mangini

Aspirant
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
48
This is not our product. We just provide professional migration services, and we love when some new forum software changes the direction of forum migrations. It's good for our business. But this is not the case. I just wanted to mention the best forum option in WordPress.
Ah I see, the similar "g" branding led me to assume you were connected. My apologies!

In other words, keeping two softwares together is a very difficult task and challenge. I hope your product will do that so smoothly that people will love it. Good luck on your mission!
Thank you and I agree. It has been an ambitious project but something I've always wanted to see - can't wait to see where it goes.
 

Mangini

Aspirant
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
48
The plugin is nearing completion and soon moving to BETA. I am looking for a small handful of testers who would be interested in helping me test this plugin on their sites.

If interested please PM me the following:
  1. Link to XenForo forum:
  2. Link to WordPress site:
  3. XenForo license validation token:
  4. Feature you are most interested in:
If you have any questions let me know here or in your message. Beta testing should start in about a week and I will have clear expectations set for what I am looking for after approving your application. Thank you!
 

RisingSun

Aspirant
Joined
Oct 14, 2018
Messages
36
The creation of this plugin came from my need to get WordPress users into my forums! As WordPress is a powerhouse eCommerce platform I see this plugin becoming a valuable marketing feature for many sites that can make forums a more "premiere destination." I think the user verify part will be most useful to WP site owners who do have eCommerce (specifically WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads), but I can see even the "thread as comments" feature being useful to the casual blogger who wants to grow a forum alongside their blog.

I will brainstorm some more specific use cases to help paint a clearer picture of this plugin, and I may have to ditch the term "bridge" as I see that carries negative connotations in the XF community from past attempts at similar, err, bridges.
Ah, this makes more sense. If you have an eCommerce site using WooCommerce and you want to have a place for your users to go discuss things, having the two connected makes sense. Thanks for the explanation.
 

Mangini

Aspirant
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
48
The plugin is nearing completion and soon moving to BETA. I am looking for a small handful of testers who would be interested in helping me test this plugin on their sites.

If interested please PM me the following:
  1. Link to XenForo forum:
  2. Link to WordPress site:
  3. XenForo license validation token:
  4. Feature you are most interested in:
If you have any questions let me know here or in your message. Beta testing should start in about a week and I will have clear expectations set for what I am looking for after approving your application. Thank you!

I am making a last call for beta testers—there are only two spots remaining! For your time you will be awarded a one year license at no charge for this powerful plugin. Follow the steps in my quoted message to apply!
 

Mangini

Aspirant
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
48
New update:

Thank you to everybody who applied, I am about to finally move the plugin into beta and get it into your hands very shortly. I expect a quick testing period and am aiming to release the full plugin within the month - stay tuned and thank you for the support!
 
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