User Experience is a very important factor when it comes to any website, and even more when it comes to forums, because users expect to be able to navigate the forums easily and feel comfortable adding content and managing their own content.
This list contains the 5 most important features when it comes to user experience. Still, the GD bbPress Toolbox Pro plugin has many more features made to enhance user experience in the forums. Maybe soon, there will be another post with a similar subject and another list of features for improving the bbPress forums experience.
All the features in this article are implemented with the GD bbPress Toolbox Pro plugin. This plugin has over 50 major features with hundreds of settings, enhancements, customizable templates, and more for enhancing the bbPress-powered forums.
By default, bbPress uses a basic, plain text editor where you can enter the text without any formatting support. For experienced users, this can be good enough, but for most users, this type of editor is not really something that can be considered a good user experience. GD bbPress Toolbox Pro allows you to change the Topic and Reply editor and replace it with a few alternatives.
You can choose to use these content editors: Basic Textarea (Default Editor), Quicktags Textarea, TinyMCE Rich Text Editor, and BBCodes Toolbar with Textarea. And, for the TinyMCE Editor, you have additional options to control the size, variant of the editor, and more. All this is available from the plugins Features -> Content Editor panel.
This is not a widely used feature, but it can be very useful for some types of forums. A Journal topic is a public topic in the forum where only the topic author can post new replies. This topic is basically becoming the journal of one user, and that user can add more replies over time without being interrupted by other users. There are options to allow moderators to reply to the journal topics and also options to limit the use of the journal feature to some forums and some user roles only.
Journal topics can be marked with the icon in front of the topic name when listed in the forums or the views.
Now, this is a very useful feature for forums where you want to have registered users but still allow them to be able to post anonymously in some of the forums to protect their privacy and still be able to participate in conversations without needing to log out or create different accounts. The plugin allows you to control the name and email generated for anonymous posting, with options to store link between real and anonymous posts.
No matter which type of editor you use, the plugin includes support for parsing Markdown content. The plugin can parse Markdown regardless of the editor used. And, it can also parse BBCodes and have the HTML markup mixed with the markdown content. The content with markdown is stored as it was written, parsing is done on display only.
Each topic and reply in bbPress forums include the box showing the author information, including name and avatar by default. But, there are more things that we can show there, and give additional information about each user. Right now GD bbPress Toolbox Pro can show inside user stats area: registration date, number of topics and replies user created, and number of thanks given and received (if Thanks feature is active).
How to get all these features for your bbPress powered forum? Simple: get the GD bbPress Toolbox Pro plugin, it has so many more features for enhancing the forums, and it has plenty more to test and implement to make your forums better.