GD bbPress Toolbox Pro 4.0

Version 4.0 is the biggest update to the GD bbPress Toolbox Pro and adds many new features (canned replies, say thanks to authors, source code BBCode, tracking online users…) with improvements and fixes.

In the past 3 and half years since GD bbPress Toolbox Pro was released, this new version 4.0 is the biggest update to the plugin and it brings many new features, many updates and improvements with more fixes for reported bugs. To check out full plugin changelog, check out the changelog page. Without going in too much detail about every feature, you can check out the list of most important major new features in this version:

Users Online Widget
Users Online Widget
  • Say Thanks for Topics and Replies
  • Canned Replies for Moderators
  • Track users and guest online status
  • Secondary Action toolbar under the content
  • Widget to display users online status
  • BBCode to display syntax highlighted source code
  • Forum based locking and extra attachment settings
  • Temporarily Lock any topic
  • Secondary action area for topics and replies
  • More bbPress related links for NavMenu
Say Thanks List and Secondary Action Toolbar
Say Thanks List and Secondary Action Toolbar

Also, there are many updates and minor features that will be very interesting to many plugin users:

  • Many more notification improvements
  • Rewritten several of the plugin modules
  • Allow participant role to use TinyMCE Add Media dialog
  • Fix bbPress bug with 404 error on some page types
  • Various tweaks for removing some bbPress filters
  • Improvements to all widgets to allow template control
  • bbPress related links for WordPress NavMenu
  • Integrate signature and signature editor anywhere
List of Canned Replies for insertion
List of Canned Replies for insertion

GD bbPress Toolbox Pro 4.0 knowledge base is updated, and more articles are coming in the next few days. For now, check out some of the latest additions, check out the videos for some of the new plugin features:

In the past 7 days, plugin was tested extensively, but it is still possible that some bugs have been missed, so please, let me know as soon as you find any issues with this new version.

GD bbPress Toolbox Pro 3.8

Three years ago today, version 1.0 of GD bbPress Toolbox Pro was released. And now, brand new version to celebrate it’s birthday is here along with the special limited 33% discount for all new purchases for all Dev4Press plugins for WordPress.

I would like to thank all users of GD bbPress Toolbox Pro for the continuing support in the past 3 years and I hope that we can continue to work on improving the plugin and making it better with every new version. It is very important to note that all features added in this release are based on the suggestions from plugin users. Special thanks goes to Mattias Tengblad from WordPress Sverige community for translating plugin into Swedish, and the latest version of the translation is included with the plugin.

New version includes many new options for finer control over bbPress: you can remove links for Split/Merge of topics, you can expand HTML support to include class attribute for image tag, enable option to open attachments in new blank page/tab, include author in the New Posts widget, change templates used for some of the widgets, include close topic checkbox with replies (for selected user roles). Few things are improved with default styling, and few things are improved with attachments dislay. Display of image attachments without caption had some alignment issues and those are fixed now. And, there are many small improvements all over: admin side styling, TinyMCE integration styling, improved display for Quote buttons and more.

New major plugin version will be 4.0, and that one will take a bit longer to do than usual, and currently there is a long list of planned features for that one. Roadmap will be updated soon with more information about that version. If you have any suggestions, let me know.

As usual, if you find any issues with the new version, use the forums to report it, and include as much information as you can.

Special 33% Birthday Discount

For a limited time, for only 5 days, until the end of this month, you can get 33% discount for this and all other Dev4Press plugins for WordPress. Discount code for this promotion is GDBBX3YEARS. This discount coupon is already applied on the purchase page Buy Now links.

Purchase GD bbPress Toolbox Pro

You can find more information about the plugin on it’s features pages. You can buy license for this plugin here.

GD bbPress Toolbox Pro 3.7

GD bbPress Toolbox Pro 3.7 is available few weeks ahead of the roadmap schedule, and in scope is a bit smaller than previous major releases. Still, it brings several new features, number of bugs fixed and many improvements and updates.

Before we go to what’s new in this version, it is important to note that GD bbPress Toolbox Pro is a safe plugin to use. In the light of recently discovered potential XSS vulnerability threat, I am checking all my plugins and GD bbPress Toolbox had one instance using ‘add_query_arg’ function where the URL is not properly escaped. This was on admin side only and it is not very big issue. But, this is fixed with this 3.7 version.

As usual: keep your website safe by always updating both WordPress and plugin you use. If you find any security issues with any Dev4Press plugins, please let me know as soon as possible.

Attachments have received another round of updates. You have new options to change the location of attachment field in the topic/reply form. Positions are limited by the bbPress own forms, but it gives you some degree of control over the field location. Enhanced attachments have new feature: file caption. You can add custom caption for each file and this caption will be used instead of the file name when displaying attachments. Here is the animation of how this feature works:


Plugin now features much improved process for loading of CSS and JS files, and this will improve the experience with third party plugins (like BuddyPress) or if you use shortcodes to embed forum elements. Plugin now can load dynamically CSS and JS if needed and not on normal bbPress page. Because of that, plugin no longer needs ‘always load’ option to force loading of CSS/JS files. This option is not removed, it is now moved to Advanced Settings, and you can continue to use if you want to.

Other improvements include: position in the form for private topic/reply checkbox, many improvements to styling (attachment field is responsive), TinyMCE styling with BuddyPress, changes to some default settings. Fixes include resolved problems with minified CSS files and display of upgrade notice in wrong position on plugin own pages (where it shouldn’t be displayed at all).

As usual, if you find any issues with the new version, use the forums to report it, and include as much information as you can.

Purchase GD bbPress Toolbox Pro

You can find more information about the plugin on it’s features pages. You can buy license for this plugin here.

Configure and Use BBCodes Editor Toolbar

Learn how to configure and use BBCodes toolbar for topic and reply editors. Tutorial will show how to control buttons used in toolbars, how to format content using buttons on the toolbar and how the content looks like with BBCodes.

GD bbPress Toolbox 3.6.3 Pro – Security Release

GD bbPress Toolbox 3.6.3 Pro is a security release. It fixes Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) issue that in very, very rare cases can lead to SQL injection attack. This is not a big security risk, but it is important to have all security related issues fixed.

This issue has been discovered in WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin few days ago, but there is no proof that any website is hacked using that security issue. And chances for that happening are very, very low because it can happen only if website administrator intentionally (while logged in) clicks on a link that is prepared for this type of exploit. So, this exploit can’t be used for mass hacking, it depends on administrator. This CSRF method uses sorting variables ‘order’ and ‘orderby’ received from URL to be used in SQL query. If not sanitized, they could be used to pass additional SQL queries. And to work, this SQL injection link must be created for a specific plugin, specific page in plugin admin settings, and attacked has to know which plugins you use, how these plugins operate to be able to tailor the URL for you. And on top of that attacker needs to convice you to click such link. So, very slim chance of this actually happening.

GD bbPress Toolbox Pro has 2 panels showing list of attachments and attachment errors. Both pages allow sorting for several columns. And, when building SQL query, plugin is using all proper checks and measures. But, there is no special check for order and orderby. With this new version plugin is sanitizing both variables by checking if the value is allowed, and if it is not what plugin expects, these values will be removed.

It is highly recommended that you update to this new 3.6.3 version as soon as possible because I believe that security issues need to be taken seriously and fixed as soon as possible. Your website is not in any danger as long as you do not blindly click links that look suspicions leading to you website admin side and coming from some third party source.

As usual, if you find any issues with this plugin, use the forums to report it, and include as much information as you can.

Purchase GD bbPress Toolbox Pro

You can find more information about the plugin on it’s features pages. You can buy license for this plugin here.

bbPress Breadcrumbs with Google Rich Snippets

Google Rich Snippets are small pieces of information displayed inside the search results to help users with getting better information and relevance of search results. There are many rich snippets Google uses, one of them is for breadcrumbs.

If your website uses breadcrumbs and they are formatted to support Google Rich Snippet specifications, than your page in search results will look like this:

Example of Breadcrumbs Rich Snippet
Example of Breadcrumbs Rich Snippet

This image is screenshot of real search result for official Dev4Press support forum topic. And, you have title on top, and content on bottom. But in the middle, under the title in green color you see a breadcrumb and that is done with use of rich snippet markup for breadcrumbs on the website. And that helps you to track exactly where the post is located, just like the breadcrumbs work on the website. And each element in the breadcrumb is clickable.

bbPress has own breadcrumbs placed on the top of the forum pages. But, they can’t be used for Google search results because they need to be formatted properly for that. And here is where GD bbPress Toolbox Pro can help you. This plugin can take normal bbPress breadcrumbs and modify them to add rich snippet code so that Google can use them.

To enable Rich Snippets Breadcrumbs support, open GD bbPress Toolbox Pro Settings -> SEO page and at the bottom of that page enable this features, as displayed on the image below.

Enable Rich Snippet for Breadcrumbs
Enable Rich Snippet for Breadcrumbs

That is all you need to do. But, for this to work, there are few things you need to know:

  • This will work only if you use unmodified breadcrumbs bbPress generates. Plugin relies on the HTML format bbPress provides to use it and expand it with the HTML markup needed for rich snippet.
  • If you use some other Rich Snippet code too that is badly formatted and broken, Google might not use any other valid rich snippet it finds on the page. To make sure everything is fine, you can use Google Rich Snippets Test Tool.

Once you have enabled Breadcrumbs Rich Snippet, Google will be able to use that in the search results for your forum. But, there is no guarantee that Google will display this markup at all. And, for this to have effect, Google might need few days (or more) to revisit and reindex your forum pages so it can pick up the new rich snippet code you have added.

Purchase GD bbPress Toolbox Pro

You can find more information about the plugin on it’s features pages. You can buy license for this plugin here.

Best SEO practices for bbPress

bbPress has some basic features for SEO (just as WordPress does), and you will need to use some specialized plugin for complete SEO. And this is the way it should be, because specialized SEO plugins are necessary tools for best SEO results.

GD bbPress Toolbox Pro plugin adds some SEO related features to bridge bbPress with SEO plugins in some areas, and to add some things that SEO plugins usually don’t have. GD bbPress Toolbox Pro adds some control over generating page title and excerpt for topic and reply. Excerpt is used by all SEO plugins to generate meta description tag. So, add your SEO plugin, include GD bbPress Toolbox Pro and you will be ready to set bbPress for proper SEO.

What bbPress does?

bbPress serves filtered content for topics and replies for excerpt. But, this might not work as expected when used by some SEO plugins due to the order in which SEO plugins builds meta tags and requesting excerpt value. So, instead of proper content, excerpt is made by building whole topic page (wasting a lot of resources to do it) and getting some generic text each topic or reply has. And you end up with bad meta description. bbPress forums, topics and replies don’t have field for excerpt, only content. Excerpt is then generated based on content.

Biggest problem when it comes to building excerpt (content for meta description tag) is when it comes to single forums. To build excerpt you need content, and forum itself has no content. Using topics to build excerpt for forums is not good idea. So, forum excerpt is a real problem. What you can do is to open forum on admin side and add content that will be used for description/excerpt.

When it comes to title tag added to page header, bbPress generates solid titles and this for the most part works well with all SEO plugins.

How should you set bbPress and update content for proper SEO?

Excerpt for single Forums

You can’t build excerpt automatically for forums. But, since you usually have limited number of forums, there is one solution you should use:

Edit each forum, and in the content area write the short description for the forum. This will be used to build excerpt.

But, some users write content for forums to display on the front end, and in that case you might wanna keep the description/excerpt separated from content. This is where you GD bbPress Toolbox Pro comes in handy. You can enable excerpt field for forums, and use that field as excerpt should be used and set.

Enable some hidden features
Enable some hidden features

Open GD bbPress Toolbox Pro Settings panel. On this panel, open Advanced page. Get to section for WordPress extra features, and in Forum Features section enable ‘Excerpt’.

When you do that, when you edit forum, you will see new excerpt field, and you can use it to create proper excerpt for the forum.

As you can see on the image on the right, you can enable some hidden features for forums, topics and replies and regain metaboxes on the admin post edit page for these types so you can add excerpts, assign featured images (thumbnails) or assign custom fields as with normal posts.

Excerpt for single Topic or Reply

Thankfully, based on the content you can build topic or reply excerpt. There is no need to do anything else. And, if you want to have excerpt different from content, you can do the same thing as you did for forums to enable excerpts for topics and replies. It is very time consuming to write excerpts for each topic or reply manually, but if you want you can. If you enter excerpt data it will be used before plugin tries to generate excerpt from content.

Topic SEO Settings for Excerpt
Topic SEO Settings for Excerpt

But, there are some cases when that is not enough. If you use GD bbPress Toolbox Pro private topics or replies, you need a way to also protect excerpt for private topics. GD bbPress Toolbox Pro allows you to do that too. Open GD bbPress Toolbox Pro Settings panel. On this panel, open SEO page.  Both topic and reply have same settings for excerpt, as displayed on the image on the right.

You need to enable override. You can set length for the excerpt. And, you can enable special private topic (or reply) excerpt replacement. If that is enabled, excerpt for private topic or reply will hide actual content.

Finally, you have option to add meta description tag based on the excerpt. If you use some SEO plugin, you don’t need this, SEO plugin will take care of that.

Enabling excerpt override here will also solve issues that some SEO plugins have with bbPress content, so it is highly recommended to enable it for both topics and replies.

Extra settings for private topics and replies

There is one more thing you can do for private content. You can add noindex meta robots tag. It will tell search engines not to index topic or reply page that is marked as private. Options for this are on the SEO page in GD bbPress Toolbox Pro:

Meta robots tag for private content
Meta robots tag for private content

Changing header title tags

This is not something you will necessarily need, and if you use some SEO plugin you don’t need to use title override options GD bbPress Toolbox Pro provides. But, if you want, you can customize how the title tag will be build for forums, topics and replies. You have options to control title for forums, topics and replies. All is on the SEO page too.

Setting up SEO specialized plugin

There are many SEO plugins you can use, and if they are updated on a regular basis they will also support custom post types and with that bbPress. Test how the SEO plugin handles bbPress pages to make sure you have proper description tags, titles are formed well and you don’t have duplicated content.

Make sure your SEO plugin can handle custom post types and bbPress, if it can’t, find another, better plugin.

Very popular WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin works with bbPress, but it has problems with getting proper excerpt for descriptions. With the help of GD bbPress Toolbox Pro, that problem is solved, and you will have comprehensive SEO support for your forums too. Other SEO plugins will also benefit from the SEO tools in GD bbPress Toolbox Pro.


SEO is not something you can turn on and leave as is. There are plugins to help you, but if you want best results you need to work on that, especially with forums. Making sure that each page on the forums has valid descriptions, proper title and other meta tags that search engines might use is very important, and will require you to test these things and adjust SEO plugin and the way it works with forums.

If you have any questions about this, or suggestions, please use the comments or support forums.

Purchase GD bbPress Toolbox Pro

You can find more information about the plugin on it’s features pages. You can buy license for this plugin here.

GD bbPress Toolbox Pro 3.6

Brand new GD bbPress Toolbox Pro 3.6 brings another batch of new features: SEO Tools, control revisions display, current topic information widget, tool to close old topics, more admin side controls, improvements to widgets and many bugs fixed.

This version has a very long changelog and it brings a lot new features, updates and fixes. Main focus is on SEO related tools, but there are plenty of other new things, most of them requested by plugin users in the past month or so.

SEO Tools: Topic Settings
SEO Tools: Topic Settings

New module for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) includes features that should improve some of the aspects related to SEO. Some SEO problems are related to various SEO plugins, some are related to bbPress itself, and new SEO Tools attempt to solve at least some of them. Plugin has options to override the title generated for title tag for single forum, single topic and single reply. For single topic and reply you have options to override auto generated excerpt and to also hide content if topic or reply are private. This solves issues that some SEO plugins are having when generating meta description tags. And if you don’t use SEO plugin, you can enable adding of meta description for forums, topics and replies. For private topics and replies plugin can add meta robots tag set as no-index. Finally, you can wrap bbPress default breadcrumbs into Google Rich Snippet code for breadcrumbs.

Widget: Topic Information
Widget: Topic Information

All current plugin widgets are improved and several things are fixed (content wrapper, several styling issues in profile widgets with some themes). But, this time, plugin adds a new widget called Topic Information. This widget shows various information related to currently opened topic. You can select what information will be displayed. Image on left shows full display with all currently supported information. Widget will show content only if on topic page, and will be hidden on all other pages. CSS for widgets is now in it’s own file to allow use outside of bbPress only pages.

And, here are some more new features included in this plugin version:

  • Protect display of topic/reply revisions
  • Tools to close old or inactive topics
  • Various admin side improvements
  • New forum metabox with Privacy override options
  • List current attachments in topic/reply edit mode
  • Select roles that can create private topic/reply

Finally, there are many updates to signatures, attachments, options and admin interface. As for the fixes, plugin fixes some signature related problems and regressions from previous version, some issues with private topics, and problems with widgets.

As usual, if you find any issues with the new version, use the forums to report it, and include as much information as you can.

Purchase GD bbPress Toolbox Pro

You can find more information about the plugin on it’s features pages. You can buy license for this plugin here.

Working With Attachments

This video shows how to work with attachments: attachment settings, enhanced interface and validation of files, inserting files into content, display control, metabox for forum attachments settings and more.