Forum Integration

DAP currently integrates with all WordPress-based Forum plugins (some of them mentioned below) as well as two non-WP based (vB & XenForo).

So if a member logs in to your membership site via the DAP login form, then they will also automatically be logged in to your forum. That’s called “Single Sign-on” and DAP supports it with all of the above forum software.

Which Forum To Use With DAP?

The WordPress-based forums listed above (Simple:Press, Mingle, etc) are not really full-featured (like XenForo or vBulletin). DAP doesn’t – and cannot – protect individual forum posts or threads if you used the basic WordPress-based forums. But they’re all free, have pretty decent forum features, easy to set up and use, and will work just fine for most people.

However, if you want a more full-featured forum software that will give you greater control over many details, allow you to protect content at a thread or forum level, and want tons of user and admin features, then we highly recommend going with XenForo (XF) or vBulletin (vB). XF and vB are not free, have a slightly bigger learning curve than the simple WP forum plugins, and require more setup and maintenance overall. And if you want the best forum plugin, and are willing to pay the price (dollar-wise as well as effort-wise) and put in the time to set it up, then XF is the way to go, and DAP integrates extremely well with XF.

Now, the rest of this post is about integration of DAP with the WordPress-based forums.

(For XenForo integration details, click here

(For vB integration details, click here)


Integration with BuddyPress, bbPress, Simple:Press, Mingle, etc

What this essentially achieves, is that once your forum plugin has been integrated with DAP (explained below), anyone who is a member in your DAP-powered membership site, will also be automatically be logged in to your forum when they log in to your membership site.

So they won’t have to log in twice [like, once into DAP and once into your forum].

Here’s how you set up the DAP/forum integration.

  1. Download the 3rd party WordPress forum plugin
  2. Install it as per their instructions. We don’t support the installation or setup of the forum plugin itself.
  3. Log in to your DAP Admin Dashboard and click on “Setup > Config”.
  4. You have two settings on the page that applies to forum integration:
    Sync DAP User data and WP User data
    Sync WP data only for PAID users
  5. Pick “Y” or “N” for each of them, and you’re all set.

Now, a quick explanation of both settings.

1) Sync DAP User data and WP User data

If you turn this to “Y” (for “Yes”), then every time someone logs into DAP, they’re automatically logged into WordPress too (with a “user” WordPress role). And because they’re logged into WordPress, that means they’re also logged into your forum (because you are using a WordPress-based Forum Plugin which already integrates with your WordPress installation)

2) Sync WP data only for PAID users

This one matters only if you have set (1) above to “Y”.

So once you have decided to turn on the DAP/Forum plugin integration, then if you want only your “PAID” members to have access to the forum, then set this to “Y”.

If you want both FREE and PAID users accessing your forum, then set this to “N”.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 66 comments
Fred - March 4, 2010

Ravi lets say you have multiple products and one recurring product and you would like to give access to forum only for paid members of the recurring product but not to paid members of other products, is there a way to do that?


Ravi Jayagopal - March 4, 2010


No, that is not possible at this time.

You can give access to your forums to …

1) all PAID users (OR)
2) all FREE users (OR)
3) None.

– Ravi Jayagopal

Debra - March 18, 2010

Have you tried this with a buddypress install? For some reason buddypress pages aren’t working with it.

Ravi Jayagopal - March 19, 2010


DAP doesn’t integrate with BuddyPress yet. Hopefully, that will happen in the next couple of months.

– Ravi

Dallys - March 21, 2010

Thanks Ravi, I’m still getting organised for the launch of my membership offering, but this will help a lot. It’s a real pain to have to log in twice.

Chad - April 1, 2010

Does it work with vBulletin?

Ravi Jayagopal - April 5, 2010

Not yet. But it will, in the next version – v3.8. Hopefull end of April. Keep ’em crossed 🙂

Russell =) - April 24, 2010

Hey Ravi,

Is it possible to sync forum posts with their access level of content?

What I mean by this is if someone has access to only the first month’s content, I don’t want them to be able to access forum posts that are about month 3 or 4.

Because we don’t want them to get confused or ahead of themselves and obviously we don’t want them to get access to what’s to come before they’ve paid.

Thanks =)

Ravi Jayagopal - April 24, 2010


That is not possible with DAP. Also, that would make it extremely complicated even to design, because now you are talking about dripping even forum topics – just like blog posts.

I don’t think we’re ever going to go that far. Better not to worry too much about the forums. Just control the main content using the dripping. Leave the forums alone.

Endlessly trying to lock down every tiny piece of your site is not going to be very productive for you, and it would probably be annoying for your members too. Just a thought.

– Ravi Jayagopal

Russell =) - April 26, 2010

Thanks Ravi,

Is there a way to create different user levels for the same product? Where you could set it so each month that they progress forward, they gain a higher access (to the next consecutive user level)?

Also, does dap use the actual WP Roles in any way? Here’s the response I got back from the Simple-Press Admin…
you can control who has access to a forum¦ but not topic or post¦ please see our wiki getting started section about user groups and permissions¦

what membership plugin? many folks using wishlist with lots of success¦ as long as the membership uses wp roles, you can map an spf user group (and hence permissions) to a wp role and control access to forums¦ the mapping is on forum “ options “ member settings¦

Thanks again,

Russell =)

WordPress User Sync — DAP Documentation - May 4, 2010

[…] Also see: Forum Integration […]

Jake - May 11, 2010

Hi Ravi,

I’m using SimplePress with DAP. When I sync them with both settings to Y, my forum page redirects to my DAP Admin page. I can’t get to my forum at all?

Iyoume - May 12, 2010

I don’t like the utilitarian look of most forums. I would like to set up a forum sync membersite with Ning. Do you have a way to do that with DAP? If not, I suppose I could have a link to the NING site within the membership portion of my website and members could access it that way. I would want them to be able to come back via a link and not have to re-login. Is this possible? BTW, NING and other such sites are more attractive and social than the usual forum, so if you don’t sync with them, it may be a nice idea for the future. Thanks

Ravi Jayagopal - May 13, 2010


There’s no automatic syncing with Ning at this time. Ning is a great service, even though they’ve gone premium (no more free communities).

We are definitely going to be checking out their API at some point, but for now, you’re better of just managing the adds and removes manually. Don’t let them register directly. You manually give them access via the DAP Dashboard. But without a DAP/Ning integration in place, I’m afraid they will have to log in twice.

Lars - May 24, 2010

Hi Ravi,
Thanks for a great program. Do DAP integrate with SMF, SimpleMachines Forum?

Thanks / Lars

Ravi Jayagopal - May 24, 2010


DAP doesn’t integrate with SMF yet. We have this on our TODO list. Hopefully within 2-3 months.

– Ravi Jayagopal

Veena Prashanth - May 27, 2010

If you are logged in to DAP as an admin, then first logout from DAP dashboard and test the sync to Simple Press/ WordPress using a regular user login.

Karen Tax - June 5, 2010

We’re using DAP and buddypress together right now – hoping that the integration will be tighter soon. What’s the status of your work on this?!

Lex - August 3, 2010

Just an FYI: When you synch with a forum, only new users who register after you’ve set up the synch will actually be synched. Any users who were previously registered before you started the synch, will need to be manually added to the WP database.

Lars - September 4, 2010

Is DAP integrate with SMF, SimpleMachines Forum yet? Was 2-3 month in May, is it closer?

Have everything but just need the “one” login to make it better.

Thanks / Lars

Veena Prashanth - September 5, 2010

DAP 3.9 will integrate with vBulletin. It will be a full-fledged integration where you can allow access to different forums based on the user’s membership level.
Next on the list is DAP integration with SMF. It is still a couple months away from launch.

Veena Prashanth - September 5, 2010


>> When you synch with a forum, only new users who register after youve set up the synch will actually be synched. Any users who were previously registered before you started the synch, will need to be manually added to the WP database.
<< Not true. Say the users registered before sync was setup, then after you setup sync, if these users login to their membership area and access content, they will automatically be sync'd at that time to WP.

Oliver - October 26, 2010

wow, A “full-fledged” integration for SMF (Simple Machines Forum) would be realle awesome…

Are there any new information about the release date of the DAP version that supports this?! =D

Veena Prashanth - October 27, 2010

The extent of DAP integration with SMF will depend on the APIs and documentation offered by SMF. Hopefully the SMF integration will allow users to configure and control the SMF access based on membership level like we are able to do now with vBulletin and DAP.

The release is atleast 8 weeks away. If all goes well, it will be part of DAP 4.0.

mark - December 21, 2010

Can someone help? Still trying to get my head around whether this scenario can be done with DAP in tandem with Simple:Press (as you know, SP simply uses existing WP user db, like DAP):

– at opt-in, members are given the choice of a free or paying membership and presented with the appropriate aWeber form which puts them on the appropriate list (and DAP puts them in the right user group)
– the forums have a forum or forum group (guess it doesn’t matter) which is ONLY readable or postable by paying users (only the forum/group link is visible, so they can still see the names of threads etc).
– forum also has a PUBLIC group which can be READ by the public and by search engines, and posted to IF they sign up as a ‘free’ member (and go on my autoresponder). The free public group is kind of a teaser for the private group.

Can this be implemented in DAP, i.e. users given permission to access/read/write a particular forum depending on their paying status?

Grateful for a reply, I am considering the very good offer to get two licences for the price of one by Christmas Day so hope I can clarify this before then 🙂

Veena Prashanth - December 21, 2010

>> Can this be implemented in DAP, i.e. users given permission to access/read/write a particular forum depending on their paying status? << DAP cannot control access to a particular SP forum depending on membership status (paid / free / non-members). DAP access control will apply to all forums and not just a specific SP forum. What you are asking for can be done with vBulletin and DAP but NOT with SP and DAP at this point. In future, we will try to incorporate more granular access control for free WP forum plugins but that support is not there currently.

markowe - December 21, 2010

OK, thanks. It would be great to have this and very much in keeping with the whole DAP idea. Plus I REALLY don’t plan to invest in vBulletin right now..! Kind of a shame I can’t do it right now as it feels like I am limited before I even got started 🙂 But I know what it’s like to be inundated with feature requests, I am sure the list is as long as your arm.

BTW I asked a similar question over at the forum (http://www.digitalaccesspass.com/forums/threads/51-Forum-integration-choices), but wanted to know if there was a workaround, by having DAP protect forums on a URL level. But I guess you would have though of that if it COULD be done..?

Robert Lawrence - January 26, 2011

Does DAP work with Buddypress?

Veena Prashanth - January 26, 2011

Forums cannot be protected at a URL level.

Veena Prashanth - January 26, 2011

Yes, DAP works with Buddypress.

Just the same way it does with bbpress and simple:press.

mark - January 27, 2011

Just a quick note about how I implemented this with Simple Press at the site in my link above. Not perfect, but:

1) User registers through DAP and because Sync with WordPress is set to Y, a user is also created in WordPress as a Subscriber and therefore in Simple Press in the Members group (I guess that is how SP does it)
2) In Simple Press you define who has READ access to which forums – e.g. in my example above, non-logged-in visitors (i.e. with Guest status in SPF) can see the ‘EPN’ forum and even read posts, but if they go into the Making money online forum they can only see thread titles, they cannot read individual posts because these are limited to Members. This is all done in Simple Press, not in DAP, and I imagine you can do something similar with BP etc.

Now the BIG drawback still, and this is something I am eagerly awaiting, and I know a lot of others are – we cannot grant different levels of POSTING access to different forums. E.g. I would really like to allow non-paying visitors to be able to register but only be allowed posting access to the EPN forum. That is not currently possible with DAP and the WordPress-based forum plugins unfortunately. I understand this IS now possible with vBulletin, but obviously vB is a very heavyweight (not to mention expensive) option for many of us who want a simple, free forum solution.

Hope that helps someone, and hope more granular integration with DAP and WP forum plugins will be possible in the near future – I am sure that presents plenty of new programming challenges, as if you guys don’t have them already 🙂

Crystal Coleman - June 15, 2011

Does DAP work with phpBB?

Holly Cotter - July 5, 2011

Mark, I just wanted to say “THANK YOU” for sharing how you did that… I’ve been going crazy trying to figure out how to set up the same type of system. You saved me a ton of time.

Mark - The Word Bay Guy - July 6, 2011

Holly, awesome, it’s always worth updating just in case someone else finds the info useful 🙂 By the way, this is still working reasonably well for me. I have to say I had problems with DAP login seemingly not always syncing with WP-SPF login, but that could have been a caching problem. I should add a suggestion – that you set SPF not to log users out at all if possible (I can’t seem to find that option right now, SPF admin panel is confusing). Nobody ever logs out of forums anyway so it will save any trouble with login syncing issues. Good luck!

Cory Huff - August 23, 2011

I have sync turned on, but Simple:Press isn’t recognizing the user as logged in.

I’ve tried erasing the user and reupping with the sync turned on in advance. That didn’t work.

Any ideas for trouble shooting?

Veena Prashanth - August 24, 2011

Actually before you check DAP -> SP login, make sure the sync between dap -> WP is working right.

Did you set the ‘sync paid users only’ to “Y” in dap setup -> config area ? If yes, then dap will only sync ‘Paid’ users to WP.

If you have users opting in via a free sign-up form, the user will be marked as free user in dap but because of the ‘only sync paid users’ config setting, dap will not sync free user to WP and the auto-login between DAP / WP / Forum will not work.

If you have set the dap setup -> config -> ‘sync only if username exists’ to “Y”, then the users that are created in dap will not be automatically sync’d to WP. They will have to pick a username in their dap profile to be sync’d.

To test:
1) Add a user manually to DAP via dap admin panel
2) click on the user’s name in the DAP admin -> Manage User’s page, and pick a username and hit update/save.
3) Also note down the user’s dap login id/password
3) Open a new browser where you are not logged in to DAP as admin
4) Now login to DAP again but this time as the user you created in step 1.
5) Now visit any part of the blog
6) The user should have gotten sync’d to WP
7) Now login to WP admin -> users -> and see if the new user was created in WP

Shaun - October 9, 2011

Hi Veena. I have the software and was wondering:

Is there any way to stop people registering as a user on my phpbb forum (So the only way people can sign up is when they sign up to one of my products and they’re automatically signed up or given access to sign up)?

Thank you.

Veena Prashanth - October 9, 2011

Hi Shaun,

DAP does not integrate with phpbb forum.

Robert - October 20, 2011

Can DAP integrate with Xenforo? http://www.xenforo.com

It’s an awesome forum solution (from former Vbulletin’s senior coders).

Veena Prashanth - October 25, 2011

Hi Robert,

DAP does not currently integrate with Xenforo. We will look into it and maybe integrate it in a future release.

Russell - November 21, 2011

I asked this question about a week or 2 ago, but it didn’t get posted for some reason.

Can we allow access to different forums based on their user level with buddypress yet?

Thanks =)

Robert Lawrence - January 19, 2012

Any updates on integrating DAP with Xenforo forum software? http://www.xenforo.com

That’s basically what I’m waiting for before I can make a decision on DAP. I will be hosting a private members only forum and I need DAP to manage the membership access and billing. Am also looking at some other solutions but DAP looks pretty feature rich.

Veena Prashanth - January 19, 2012

Robert ,

Sorry, no updates on http://www.xenforo.com.
We might not be able to get to it for atleast the next 4-6 months. Our to-do list is already pretty full for the next few months based on feedback and feature requests from dap users.

chris - February 17, 2012

Can someone tell me how to protect my bbpress forum?

I would like a paid user to my site to be able to view my forum but someone who is just a visitor is not allowed.

I tried entering my /forum url in the protected content area, but it is not working. Any help?

Veena Prashanth - February 18, 2012

If you want to prevent view access, you will have to add custom code at the top of forum.php (under your bbpress installation) to look for logged-in state before allowing view access.

Something like this:

< ?php include_once "/dap/dap-config.php"; if( !Dap_Session::isLoggedIn() ) { header("Location: /dap/login.php"); exit; } ?>

chris - February 18, 2012

thank you Veena..but one thing..i can’t find a forum.php file anywhere–could it be page-front-forums.php?

Veena Prashanth - February 19, 2012

When you access the forum, what’s the first script that gets accessed… that’s the script you need to update.

chris - February 20, 2012

i have no idea ..sorry 🙂 can you tell from my site?


Veena Prashanth - February 20, 2012


Add it to index.php.
If that does not work, try to add to bbpress.php.

If that also does not work, pls open a support ticket with us with your ftp info and domain name and we will look into it.


LeeAnn - March 5, 2012

Do you have a recommendation for the best WP forum plugin – in terms of what integrates best with DAP? One key feature is that I want to make sure only DAP members (both free and paid) can access the forums – not just any visitor to my site. Ideally I’d like it to work the way other members-only pages do – once members are logged in they have access to protected pages and the forums. Your suggestions are greatly appreciated.


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