WP w3all WordPress phpBB plugin install help page
WP w3all phpBB, the WordPress phpBB integration plugin, provides users cookie based login/registration integration between WordPress CMS and phpBB Forum installations on the same domain or subdomain.
It is easy, light, secure, and powerful.
You could skip directly to either the Common How To section or to the Install and Configure WP_w3all plugin section, both below on this install help page. However, it is strongly recommended that you read all the following information, and the After Install Help section at the bottom of this page, in order to get idea on several ways you can choose to integrate phpBB and WordPress and how generally it work.
WP_w3all enables seamless user interaction between WordPress and phpBB as a single cohesive unit, despite the WP and phpBB CMS files and databases being completely separated. WP_w3all is secure and runs efficiently. It only adds a few rows into the WordPress Options database table, and nothing at all into the phpBB forum databases. Therefore, you can remove WP_W3all at any time, and it will be completely cleaned up.
What you MUST know:
read ALL the following instructions carefully before proceeding with the installation
WP_w3all is constantly tested using latest WordPress and phpBB default releases. The Minimum phpBB version required is 3.1 or better (Note: If you wish to provide integration without necessarily linking the users, it will work with any old phpBB version). Remember: this is a WP plugin. It does not add anything into phpBB other than user accounts when an user registers via the WP side, nor will the plugin modify any of its code. The same goes for WordPress (except the addition of a few rows into WP Options database table, that are completely removed when you uninstall the plugin).
It is required that the default profile fields in phpBB exists (or on update profile fields, changes not affect, except for Email address and Password): please read this post if you added custom profile fields for users in phpBB, or you removed some default phpBB profile field, and you may want also the user URL updated, that is the unique notable and available field into a WordPress default install. For Buddypress profile fields (advanced) follow the same link above.
WP MU-MS (Network installations) read !important note about how to activate this feature and how WP_w3all need to be configured on each subsite: WP_w3all for WordPress MS MU (Network installations)
If you wish to install the plugin to display phpBB content into WordPress using Widgets or Shortcodes, without linking users between WordPress and phpBB also cross domain, then following steps here are not required (but see the Common How to more below) and you need to follow this instead:
WordPress phpBB integration without linking users
The phpBB install admin (uid 2) is logged in, on WP, as WP install admin (uid 1), and viceversa, also if they have been created with different usernames. If installation is done by an admin that isn’t the default install admin in WP, it is MANDATORY that an user with same username and email address, exists also in phpBB. So, if user superuser with email email@example.com is the admin installing the plugin in WP, and it isn’t the default WP uid 1 install admin, then an user superuser with email firstname.lastname@example.org, need to exists also into phpBB.
NOTE: if you’re installing the plugin using uid 1 (default WP install admin), then the phpBB install admin uid 2 need to exist into phpBB, for the same reason.
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 using the WP_w3all users 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 (also if there is available the phpBB to WP users transfer option, that by the way isn’t a mandatory step to execute when integration start). Old phpBB users, need to use their password to login. Old transferred WP users can login using their WP password in WP, but these old transferred WP users may have to reset their password to correctly login using the phpBB login side. Read more about existent old WP users transferred and their password behavior when integration start into After Install Questions Help more below.
NOTE: if you want to force user addition also into WordPress when user register in phpBB check this: add user at same time into WordPress when register/login in phpBB side
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 WordPress.
The most important things you need to be sure to successfully install this plugin are 3:
1) the cookie setting in phpBB. If after installation you experience a problem on login in WordPress, it is maybe caused by wrong cookie setting in phpBB. The phpBB cookie setting on ACP, need to be setup to be available over all the domain, and you may have to clean cookie on your browser (follow read).
2) the fact that in phpBB need to exists an user with same username and same email address, like the one that is installing the plugin in WordPress (possibly already logged in phpBB when installing the plugin, but this not affect nothing except the fact that if a valid phpBB cookie isn’t found when plugin become active, the installer user will be logged out: use the phpBB pass of this user to re-login in WP at this time, if it is different by the WordPress password). If you’re installing with the WP admin installer UID 1, then also the installer admin UID 2 in phpBB need to exist. If not, select option to not link the installer WP UID 1 with the admin UID2 in phpBB, before to activate the plugin adding path to a phpBB config.php file. You can use any WP admin to install the plugin, maybe create a new one in this case, and check that an user with same username and same email exist also in phpBB.
3) the Path setting that need to point to a valid (custom or phpBB root) config.php phpBB file. When the path to a correct phpBB config.php file has been setup, the plugin become effectively active.
Check well, and execute in order these points and you’ll be up and running in minutes without any problem. Just follow Install and Configure steps here below, will be easy and short …
If any problem and to correctly uninstall the plugin in any case, remember to refer to the Common How To section where How to: no panic instructions.
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
change username and email permissionS
If these haven’t been set already, you need to configure phpBB permissions for ALL users to NOT ALLOW changes to their usernames, and NOT ALLOW email address re-use. Check that this is it for all your phpBB users (unique email for unique account)
So on ACP under
BOARD CONFIGURATION -> User registration settings
Allow username changes: set to NO
Allow email address re-use: set to NO
limit username chars
Just like above,
on ACP under
BOARD CONFIGURATION -> User registration settings -> Limit username chars:
DO NOT choose the Any character, or ASCII option. Instead choose from the others available: Any letter, Number and Spacers, or Alphanumeric options.
(What about old phpBB usernames that contains characters not allowed in WordPress?)
phpBB cookie SETTING
Set the phpBB cookies to be available across the entire domain:
Go under ‘phpBB ACP admin -> Server Configuration -> Cookie Settings’
Set the Cookie domain value as (for example):
NOTE: if localhost, may leave the value as is, localhost. If on subdomain, like myforum.mysite.com, set it as above using only domain name so mysite.com
(older browsers still implementing the deprecated » RFC 2109 may require a leading . (dot) to match all subdomains, so .mysite.com)
Cookie path set as single fraction slash: /
If changed, save settings, logout, clean the cookies on your browser, and log back into phpBB.
NOTE: if cookie setting changed to be available over all domain because it was not, then you may want all phpBB users to re-login using new board’s cookie settings: to force all phpBB users to re-login in case they saved their session cookie with a ‘remember me login’, can be done by accessing phpBB ACP main page, check for option
Purge all sessions
Purge all sessions. This will log out all users by truncating the session table.
Click the Run now button.
Be sure that the cookie setting is correct before to execute these steps, or you’ll be logged out by your board until you’ll not reset to the correct cookie domain value.
NOTE: if your installations are on subdomains (ex: myforum.mysite.com), and you choose to not use/include the custom phpBB config.php file (so you go to activate the plugin by setting the path to point/include the root phpBB config.php file) you may read this help post about correct file inclusions on subdomains:
disable open_basedir in your php.ini
If installations are on subdomains it is better you choose to include a custom phpBB. See WP admin -> wp_w3all config page about Path setting or follow the help link to setup the custom phpBB config.php file.
NOTE: This is also recommended (that you include/use a custom phpBB config.php file) because some plugin will interfere with db connection, so if some error with some plugin and his db connection, this is the way to resolve any incompatibility.
phpBB ACP under option Security settings
option: Allow “Remember Me” logins:
This option need to be set as YES or phpBB will not recognize (nor release) cookies (so the plugin will logout the logged in user).
Install WP w3all WordPress phpBB integration plugin, so on WP admin open -> Settings -> WP w3all
Before to setup the path setting to a phpBB config.php file, that will effectively activate the plugin, be sure that the admin username 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 with this user 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 create the same user in phpBB at any time if you’ve lost this step. You can also ever disable/remove the plugin with easy. Read After Installation Help on bottom.
(*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, the 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
NOTE: If your WordPress is served under https, then force also phpBB to be https, and vice versa, or http, if WP is http. See this post in case it is needed an help on how to resolve this: https/http for WP and phpBB integration
If there are existent WordPress users, activate wp_w3all transfer,
and add all old existent WordPress users into phpBB. This is a mandatory step
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
read also all the After Install Questions Help and the Common How To section more below on this same page
Template embed phpbb into WordPress
If you wish to follow adding the phpBB responsive embedded iframe into a WordPress page:
open Settings WP_w3all, under WP_w3all -> phpBB embedded on WordPress Template option
READ with care all inline hints and instructions, and avoid know problem: WP page named like the phpBB install folder and that reside into same WP root. After created the template forum page (this step is mandatory even if you add manually the template page into the WP template folder) on wp_w3all and the iframe links option activated, and the blank WP page created, finalize following this procedure:
Common How To:
How to: no panic instructions
How to SHORTcode – to parse/display phpBB posts into WordPress
How to SHORTcode – last phpBB topics/posts into WordPress
How to SHORTcode – last phpBB topics/posts into WordPress by Forums IDS
How to SHORTcode – last topics grid in WordPress with topic’s attachment (img or file)
How to SHORTcode – phpBB RSS last posts and/or any other FEED into WordPress
How to external phpBB login redirect if on login redirect phpBB return error about potential security issue (NOTE: 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).
For several more answers check Sticky Posts on phpBB WordPress forum (and possible add or improve one)
After Install Questions Help
WHAT ABOUT phpBB BANNED USERS?
Banned users in phpBB can’t login or register in WordPress.
The banned phpBB user (by username, IP or email) will result effectively banned also in WordPress.
UPDATING PHPBB to a more recent version: it’s required that you disable registrations and the WP_w3all plugin in WordPress.
disable wp_w3all plugin on WP admin, and disable registration in WordPress.
Re-enable these two options after phpBB has been updated.
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 installing WP admin could be logged out due to the fact that still there is not a valid phpBB cookie. At this time the password to login in WP for this user will be the password of phpBB.
NOTE: you may have to clean cookies on your browser if you experience problems on login. Use the default WP login page to login and test all is working ok if experiencing any problem on login WP side.
Important note about Profile and profile fields: any profile fields (URL, EMAIL and PASSWORD) modification/update, if done in WordPress by admin or user, is done at same time also on phpBB. 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 be confused, if you are not noticed about this behavior (that is maybe obvious, because this is just a WordPress plugin, that so run only on WP side).
NOTE: if you want to force user addition also into WordPress when user register OR login in phpBB check this:
Add user at same time into WordPress when register/login in phpBB side
If you DELETED or ADDED custom user’s profile fields into phpBB, read this: WordPress and Buddypress phpBB full profile fields integration
As said more above, it is required that default profile fields in phpBB exists (or on update profile fields, changes not affect, except for email address field and password). Remember: profile changes, updates at same time if update is done on WP side, when user will visit WP side, if profile update is done in phpBB side.
A deleted user in WordPress, will be deactivated (not deleted) in phpBB at same time.
How to DELETE USERS on both CMS: 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 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 more be able to login/register in WP.
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 plugin 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, then maybe this user (may not) will 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). Once the integration is running, passwords for users in WordPress are stored using the phpBB hash. Once the plugin will be uninstalled, WordPress will not be able to recognize these passwords, so WordPress users will need to reset the password to correctly login in WordPress.
WP MU-MS (Network installations) please read carefully this:
WP_w3all for WordPress MS MU (Multisite, Multiuser network installations)
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 may can check (or contribute to) 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 purpose: 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
// @define('PHPBB_INSTALLED', true);
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:
// Force Deactivation WP_w3all plugin // to clean uninstall if something goes wrong
// $w3deactivate_wp_w3all_plugin = 'true';
remove // chars in front of second line:
$w3deactivate_wp_w3all_plugin = 'true';
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 4.5 or > AND phpBB 3.1 or >.
Said that, here we go!