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Joined: Sep 2nd 2012 11:41pm
#1 Apr 22nd 2014 1:26pm
If you are using phpBB 3.1, please note that you will not be able to use BridgeDD. BridgeDD PRO supports phpBB 3.1+.

If you are installing a new phpBB board for your WordPress installation, please install phpBB 3.0.14 or the latest version of phpBB 3.1. If you are thinking about migrating to 3.2.0, please hold off. If you want or need compatibility with PHP 7.0, automated patches are available for phpBB 3.1.9+ and also for phpBB 3.0.12+.

Based on my extensive testing, the new phpBB 3.2.0 does not appear to be a stable product, and you are best off waiting a couple releases and then migrating to perhaps 3.2.2 or 3.2.3. You have been warned.

Before you attempt to install BridgeDD, or to become a subscriber in order to obtain BridgeDD PRO, please make sure to download and activate the BridgeDD Requirements plugin. If you receive an error message on the plugins page after activating the requirements plugin, or if your phpBB installation fails its checks, your server, phpBB installatiom, and/or WordPress installation is not compatible with BridgeDD or BridgeDD PRO. Also make sure to check whether your site has any of the compatibility issues listed below.

To those thinking about becoming a BridgeDD Subscriber in order to use BridgeDD PRO, please read the above paragraph carefully. I will not issue a refund of your subscription if the requirements plugin determines that your site does not support BridgeDD PRO, or if your site has any of the compatibility issues listed below.


BridgeDD is designed to work with all WordPress 3.9+ and phpBB 3.0.9 - 3.0.14 installations. However, there are some known issues which can cause BridgeDD to not install properly, or to not install at all. Let's go through the various issues:


WP-United and other bridge plugins/MODS

First and foremost, if you are currently using a bridge plugin/MOD, deactivate the bridge plugin in WordPress and uninstall the bridge MOD in phpBB before installing BridgeDD. Failure to do this will (not can, WILL) result in a corrupted BridgeDD installation. Make sure to follow the uninstall instructions for the bridge carefully. I cannot stress strongly enough how important this step is, so please make sure to get all parts of the bridge uninstalled!

This is the very issue which made me decide to write BridgeDD. I thought it was ridiculous to be forced to install things in both phpBB and WordPress, and oftentimes in a particular order, in order to install a bridge. BridgeDD is a WordPress plugin. PERIOD. You don't need to install anything in phpBB.

If you had previously installed a WordPress↔phpBB bridge, please read this section carefully. Bridges do not completely uninstall themselves when they are deactivated, BridgeDD included. This is to insure you, the user, can re-activate the plugin and not lose any integration data. Unfortunately, there are some bridge plugins/MODS which leave behind files and database information that can impact the use of your phpBB board.

The worst offender is WP-United. When its WordPress plugin is uninstalled, it does not remove most of its saved settings. When its phpBB MOD is uninstalled, its permissions and database modifications remain in phpBB, some versions leave system files in places it shouldn't, and it doesn't always remove the modifications it makes to phpBB files. One file in particular that is sometimes left behind by WP-United will break BridgeDD (and I suspect all other bridge plugins), and it must be deleted before you install BridgeDD. This file is in the phpBB includes/hooks directory, and its name is hook_wp-united.php. Even if WP-United is uninstalled, this file will attempt to load WordPress at numerous times, and it will significantly slow down rendering of your phpBB pages. If it exists, please make sure this file is deleted before installing BridgeDD.

In its description, WP-United states: Once your forum is up and running, you should not disable this plugin. Now you know why; consider yourself warned.

Problems created by previous WP-United installations have been the single largest cause of BridgeDD not installing properly, or not installing at all. I will do my best to help people work through the (large) task of cleaning up after WP-United. However, if you had previously used WP-United and are having problems installing BridgeDD, please don't get mad at me...it wasn't my plugin that messed up your site!


PHP and Apache security extensions

BridgeDD must be able to access your filesystem in order to connect to phpBB. Unfortunately, security extensions such as mod_security for Apache and Suhosin for PHP have the ability to block BridgeDD from accessing your filesystem. If BridgeDD is installed when filesystem access is blocked, all integration with phpBB will fail. These security extensions tend to do more harm than good, and in many (most?) cases, your site will run better with these extensions disabled.

BridgeDD and BridgeDD PRO will not work if a Suhosin or mod_security rule blocks access to the WordPress and phpBB filesystems.

Many of the support issues for BridgeDD and BridgeDD PRO have been due to a recent change in mod_security rules in cPanel/WHM which now block BridgeDD from connecting to phpBB. If these changes affect your server, you must make a decision: deactivate and delete BridgeDD, modify the mod_security rules to allow BridgeDD to work, or disable mod_security. That decision is yours to make.


Your server setup

Since introducing BridgeDD to the public, I have encountered all sorts of server setups. Most are good, some are...not.

BridgeDD must have the ability to create and modify files in both your WordPress and phpBB installations. It must also have access to your WordPress and phpBB databases. If your server is set up in a way that does not allow BridgeDD to create and modify files and to access both databases, you will have problems. BridgeDD will think it's installed properly when in fact it is not, and that's not a good thing!

BridgeDD assumes you are using MySQL in your WordPress installation. This is true for perhaps 99% of all installations. With one notable exception (see next paragraph), this issue can be resolved with a simple change to one file in BridgeDD. If you are in this category, please make a post in the BridgeDD support forum to request assistance.

"WordPress Hosting"

You will note that the WordPress Hosting title is in quotes. This is because these hosting plans are typically standard hosting plans that have a large number of hardcoded server settings. These hard-coded server settings will oftentimes conflict with the operation of BridgeDD, and neither BridgeDD nor the Requirements Plugin are usually able to detect these hardcoded settings to warn you. We suggest that you avoid "WordPress Hosting" plans. One in particular stands out as a serious issue from a BridgeDD perspective.

If you are using GoDaddy's WordPress hosting, do not attempt to install BridgeDD. GoDaddy installs a heavily-modified version of WordPress that includes a number of things (such as a custom database driver and a "monitor" plugin, neither of which can be removed) which could potentially cause serious problems if you installed BridgeDD -- or any other bridge solution.

WordPress Plugins and phpBB MODs

BridgeDD was written in a way to minimize conflicts with plugins/MODs. However, there are tens of thousands of plugins/MODs out there, and unfortunately, not all of them will work with BridgeDD. I have listed some of them below.

WordPress plugins cannot use constants defined by phpBB, and certain class and variable names should not be used. In particular, use of the class names $db, $auth, and $cache, and the variable name $config, can potentially cause issues.

phpBB MODS cannot use constants defined by WordPress, and they must not call two specific phpBB functions (make_clickable and validate_username) without first checking for their new names (phpbb_make_clickable and phpbb_validate_username).

BridgeDD compatibility issues

There are several BridgeDD compatibility issues, ranging from fixable to incompatible to "I don't care". Here are the known issues. Please note that this list is subject to change at any time.

Membership Plugins/Software

Membership software is designed to limit access to protected content to specific users. This can have an impact on any bridge, not just BridgeDD. If your membership software takes control of WordPress logins (ex: Digital Access Pass), or if it uses a plugin to control logins to WordPress and its own site (ex: aMember PRO login plugin), BridgeDD will not work on your site. If your membership software maintains its own user/member database independent of phpBB or WordPress, and it does not inhibit the standard login/logout process (ex: Paid Memberships Pro), BridgeDD will work on your site. For all other cases, you should do a test to insure logins/logouts work correctly.

The membership plugin we recommend is Paid Memberships Pro. Not only is it compatible with BridgeDD, a BridgeDD add-on plugin is available that will allow Paid Memberships Pro to control content in phpBB as well as in WordPress.

PIE Register and UserPro

These WordPress plugins do not pass the correct information in certain action hooks as documented in the WordPress Codex. The result is that errors occur in BridgeDD due to the incorrect information being passed. Until the plugin developers fix the bugs in their code, BridgeDD is not compatible with PIE Register and UserPro. (To the developers of these plugins: check the WP Codex for the wp_login action hook, and then PLEASE fix the bugs in your plugin!)

Note: The UserPro developers have fixed their plugin starting with version 2.42. BridgeDD is compatible with UserPro 2.42 or later.

Tapatalk

Tapatalk installs its own PHP code and completely bypasses the phpBB code. This is why the Tapatalk app doesn't support phpBB MODS and a number of built-in phpBB features. (It is also why you lose all ad revenue from Tapatalk app users if your phpBB board contains ads.) Since a bridge application must load at least a part of phpBB, there will always be a compatibility issue with Tapatalk. Please consider using a mobile/responsive phpBB theme instead of Tapatalk. Tapatalk is NOT supported, so if you have installed Tapatalk, install BridgeDD at your own risk.

phpBB themes from RocketTheme

These themes are designed for integrating with Joomla, not WordPress, and they are well known for their compatibility issues with phpBB MODS. If you are using a RocketTheme phpBB theme, please make a post in the BridgeDD Support forum to request assistance, and include the name of the RocketTheme theme you are using. While I cannot guarantee your theme can be modified to work with BridgeDD, results thus far have been positive.


Final thoughts

BridgeDD also requires that WordPress is installed in the "base" domain, with phpBB being either in that "base" domain or in a subdomain of that "base domain". For example, test.domain.com is fine for WordPress if phpBB is in forum.test.domain.com, but it is not fine if phpBB is in forum.domain.com. This cannot be checked by the Requirements plugin. It is noted here for completeness since this situation is an extremely rare occurrence.

I did my best to make BridgeDD as compatible as possible with the near-infinite combinations of server, WordPress, and phpBB setups. I also did my best to support as many phpBB MODs and WordPress plugins as possible. However, some setups just simply cannot be supported, and I understand and accept this fact. If you are having problems installing BridgeDD, please request assistance in the BridgeDD support forum. I will be happy to help you work through those problems, so you can get BridgeDD running and your users integrated!