WordPress phpBB integration
WP_w3all integration help install docs

WP w3all WordPress plugin install help page

WP w3all phpBB, WordPress phpBB integration plugin, provide users login/registration, cookie based, between WordPress and phpBB cms installations on same domain or subdomain.

Easy, light, secure, powerful.

WP_w3all let users interact between WordPress and phpBB as one, while CMS files and databases are completely separated. WP_w3all is secure, and run fast.
Despite this explanation tutorial seem to be long (to let understand the more possible and for various integration tastes) you can have phpBB integrated in WordPress in five minutes. You can remove WP_W3all at any time: WP_w3all is completely cleaned up when removed. It add few rows into WP db options table, and nothing into phpBB.

What you MUST know:

Please, read ALL the follow with care before install

WP_w3all is tested using latest WordPress and phpBB default releases. Minimum phpBB version required is 3.1 or better.

It is required that default profile fields in phpBB exists: please read this post if you have add custom profile fields for users in phpBB, or you removed some default phpBB profile field.

WP MU-MS (Network installations) read !important note about how WP_w3all need to be configured on each subsite: WP_w3all for WordPress MS MU (Network installations)

Users can login/out/register on both sides (if you allow this on respective admin settings)  phpBB or WordPress, using respective login/registration forms. If there are existent old WordPress users when integration start, they need to be transferred into phpBB through wp_w3all transfer option. Old phpBB users are added into WordPress automatically, when as logged in they visits WP first time, or when they login WP first time. Old phpBB users, need to use their password to login. Old transferred WP users need to login using WP password (but these old transferred WP users may have to reset their password to correctly login phpBB side. Read more about existent old WP users transferred and their password behavior when integration start, into After Install Questions Help more below).

Duplicated usernames found in phpBB during transfer process, are rewrite about email and password. You can safely repeat/restart the WP users transfer any time.

When the path to a correct phpBB config.php file has been setup, so the plugin become active, the installer user can be logged out, if at same time not result logged in into phpBB also. Re-login using phpBB password at this time.

The phpBB install admin is logged in, on WP, as WP install admin, and viceversa, also if they have been created with different usernames.

You need to setup phpBB forum permissions options to NOT ALLOW users to change their usernames on their profile or re-use email for different accounts (because these are possible features in phpBB but not in WP).

It is also time to inform all lovely and cool people about how bad is my English … i’m sorry!

Install and Configure wp_w3all plugin

phpBB side

Can change username and email permission

If it is not already, you need to setup phpBB permissions options for ALL users to NOT ALLOW change their usernames on profile, and Not Allow email address re-use: so on ACP under
BOARD CONFIGURATION -> User registration settings 

Allow username changes: set to NO
Allow email address re-use: set to NO

Save settings.

limit username chars

same as above, on ACP under BOARD CONFIGURATION -> User registration settings -> Limit username chars: DO NOT choose Any character, or ASCII option, choose instead as option, between others available: Any letter, Number and Spacers, or Alphanumeric options.

Save settings.

phpBB cookie SETTING

If your installations are on subdomains read also hints*, if not, just:

Set phpBB cookie to be available over all the domain:
go under ‘phpBB ACP admin -> Server Configuration -> Cookie Settings’

Cookie domain set as (for example): .yourdomain.com
note the dot (if localhost, leave as is)

Cookie path set as single fraction slash: /

If changed, logout, clean cookies on browser, re-login phpBB.

read also external phpBB login redirect if on login redirect you’ll get phpBB error about potential security issue (this problem can come out only on redirect when login is done by using the wp_w3all login widget, not when login is done on respective phpBB or WordPress login forms/pages).

*If your installations are on subdomains, about phpBB integrations and subdomains, you should also read this three help posts about phpBB cookie setting, phpBB external login redirect, and correct file inclusions on subdomains:

disable open_basedir in your php.ini (choose to include/use wp_w3all manual config.php and skip this step. See WP admin -> wp_w3all config page about Path setting) after plugin installed.

set cookie in phpBB to be available on domain and subdomains

external phpBB login redirect

WordPress side

Install WP w3all WordPress phpBB integration plugin, so on WP admin open -> Settings -> WP w3all

Before to setup the path setting, that will activate the plugin, be sure that the admin user you are logged in WordPress, exist also into phpBB*. If not exist, create manually the same user with same username and same email address in phpBB, or you will not be able to re-login into WordPress after path setting setup (note: using install admin on WP (id1), that is recognized as install admin in phpBB (id2), even if they have been created with different usernames, this not affect). You can disable ever the plugin if something wrong. Read After Installation Help on bottom.

Path setting

(*Read the above warning about same user in phpBB need to exist)
Set the absolute full path to the phpBB config.php file (do not add final slash). Read on wp_w3all admin config page hints about this step. Example and help is here: absolute path how to help
Path Example using the manual WP_w3all phpBB config.php:
Path Example using phpBB config.php of the phpBB root folder:


If phpBB is installed at http://www.axew3.com/w3/phpbb

the URL setting will be: http://www.axew3.com/w3/phpbb

If there are existent WordPress users, activate wp_w3all transfer, and add all WP users into phpBB
Activate, configure and save Login and Topics Last Posts Widgets if needed


WP_w3all users integration between WordPress and phpBB is ready to run.

To embed phpBB into a WordPress page with iframe height responsive, follow read. Iframe or NOT

please read also all the After Install Questions Help on bottom of this page.

Template embed phpbb into WordPress

To add phpBB embedded iframe responsive page into WordPress:

  1. open Settings WP_w3all, under WP_w3all -> phpBB embedded on WordPress Template, there are valid names you can choose between: board, boards, community, forum, forums
  2. READ with care all hints and instructions included on WP admin Settings -> wp_w3all  page about phpBB embedded on WordPress Template (to avoid know problem about WP page named as phpBB install folder that reside into same WP root) . After the creation of template page (this step is mandatory even if you add manually the template page into WP template folder) on wp_w3all and iframe links option have been activated, and the blank WP page have been created, finalize following this procedure:
  3. WordPress phpbb embedded iframe responsive how to

After Install Questions Help

THE VERY FIRST TIME after wp_w3all has been installed (the phpBB absolute path to phpBB config.php has been correctly set on wp_w3all config settings page), the WP admin could be logged out due to the fact there is still no phpBB cookie. At this time the password to login in WP will be the password of phpBB.
NOTE: you may have to clean cookies on your browser if you experience problems on login. Note also that if any theme or plugin not respect the normal WP login flow, may the login in WP side fail while using custom login pages/widgets. Use the default WP login page to login and test all is working ok if experiencing any problem on login WP side.

Note that if on phpBB there are old users with old password hashes (previous phpBB 3.1), they may need to reset there password (remember that this plugin require phpBB 3.1 or better).

Profile and profile fields: any modification/update done to profile fields (URL, EMAIL and PASSWORD), if done on WordPress by admin or user, is done at same time also on phpBB user’s profile. Instead, any profile modification about url, email and password done on phpBB side by admin or user, is updated on WordPress when the same edited username will visit WordPress side. In this way, user experience do not change, admin experience instead can confuse, if you are not noticed about this behavior (that is maybe obvious, as wp_w3all is a WordPress plugin that run only on WP side). So, an admin can see that in WP admin Users Lists, there isn’t still present an user, but it exist in phpBB. This simply mean that the user have register into phpBB (if you let register on both sides) but he still have not visit WP side, so has not still been added into WP. The plugin take care of any aspect about users registration and profile updates. If updates or registrations are done in phpBB side, the update or addition of the user, will be done in WP when the user as logged in visit WP side, because remember that this is a WP plugin! It is possible to use these features for different scenarios, adapting any aspect with easy.

If you have DELETE or ADDED custom user’s profile fields into phpBB, please read this: WordPress and Buddypress phpBB profile fields integration

Any profile change about Password, email, URL or user Activation/Deactivation can be done on both admin sides. Just remember the above explained. At same time if on WP side, when user visit WP side, if done in phpBB side.

A deleted user in WordPress, will be deactivated (not deleted) in phpBB at same time (read IMPORTANT HINT more below ABOUT EASY USERS DELETION).

About users permissions, and how they are added on WP. On phpBB, users groups legend say: “Pre-defined groups are special groups, they cannot be deleted or directly modified. However you can still add users and alter basic settings”. Based on this, the WP w3all will add users on WordPress, following this rules:

  • Administrators on phpBB = Administrators on WP
  • Global moderators on phpBB = Editors on WP
  • All others phpBB groups = Subscribers on WP
  • NOT active users in phpBB = not added in WordPress

If there are existent users on WP when you start the integration, it is mandatory to transfer WP users into phpBB with the transfer process (old existent phpBB users are added on fly when they login in WP side or when they visits as logged in phpBB the WP side).

PASSWORDS NOTE: an OLD EXISTENT WP transferred user, is transferred in phpBB with his WP password. If the old WP password contain special chars inside, than this user (may not) have to reset his password in order to be able to login using  the login in phpBB (or need to reset the pass one time on WP or phpBB, than the pass will be updated and recognized by both WP and phpBB login). The same if the phpBB has been updated from versions previous 3.1, and there are old phpBB users that have passwords hashed in old format: these users may have (may not) to reset their password to correctly login using the WP login.

How to DELETE USERS: wp_w3all do not add a delete option for users, but you can remove users on both phpBB and WP with easy in this way:  delete users in WordPress, so  wp_w3all will set as deactivated in phpBB all these deleted WP users accounts: go in phpBB ACP, choose -> Users and Groups TAB: prune/delete (in one click) all phpBB deactivated users accounts (use with care powerful phpBB options about this!) at once.

MORE NOTE about DELETION of users: you could use this behavior as an antispam method: a deleted user in WP with WP_w3all plugin active, is deactivated into phpBB, until admin do not change his state. And until the user isn’t removed or reactivated in phpBB, the associated username/email, will not be able to login/register in WP.

About phpBB template for iframe mode,
In WordPress phpbb embedded iframe responsive how to procedure, if you encounter any problem on recompile the phpBB template, in case done modifications aren’t loaded into overall_footer.html after you have edit it (iframe not resize height), read this Topic/post at WordPress.org  WP w3all phpBB support forum.

WP MU-MS (Network installations) please read carefully this:
WP_w3all for WordPress MS MU (Multisite, Multiuser network installations)

How to use shortcode to display phpBB posts into WordPress posts

How to use shortcode to display Last phpBB topics/posts into WordPress posts

How to style widgets if they need to be adjusted to look like my theme

1.5.2> Usernames in phpBB that contain character not allowed in WordPress: if there are previously registered phpBB usernames with unwanted char in WP (like my’nice’uname) these users aren’t added into WordPress (at moment, may this will be fixed). A warning will alert these users on WP pages, informing that they can’t be added or be logged in into the integrated site, asking them to contact site administrator informing about the issue.

How are users identified when you add/transfer existent userintegration of same username/email users

About permalinks: if you are using plain permalinks into your WP, for the specific forum page, you’ll set manually the Permalink when you create or edit the page for the embedded forum. The WP page Permalink that will contain the forum iframe, need to contain the name of the page you have choose into wp_w3all config page as forum template page name. 

There are some useful Sticky Posts on WordPress phpBB forum you can check for furthers common helps.

How i can DISABLE THIS PLUGIN to test, or disable it to remove safely without problems? Normally you’ll remove/disable this plugin completely as any other plugin! You can also remove the path setting on WP_w3all config page or set it wrong for testing pourpose: when red info about path setting display, the plugin not affect in any way WordPress. If any HELP i’m in trouble! No panic. If using manual config path to custom config.php file folder, it is also possible to open the config.php file and reset the line


If you’re using the default root phpBB config.php file included, you can do the same into the phpBB config.php file (but in the while the board will result as not installed!), SO better way,

open wp_w3all.php file, more or less on top of the file you’ll find this code:

remove // chars in front of second line:

In this state, the plugin is disabled and not affect in any way WordPress.

This essential wp_w3all working online installation example at axew3.com, is updated and run with: latest available WordPress and phpBB releases.
Run fine tested on WordPress 4.0 or > AND phpBB 3.1 or >.

Said that, here we go!

WP w3all phpBB –  WordPress phpBB integration plugin