WordPress Plugin Review: Image Upload for bbPress Pro

BBPress includes a simplified image interface that allows users to post images from the web into their forum comments. Sometimes that’s great, but many users want to upload images from their own devices. The best and simplest solution is a plugin called Image Upload for BBPress.

Image Upload for BBPress is available in a free and a Pro edition. In this article, we’ll take a look at the Pro edition. As we’ll see, it’s much more than an image uploader. I’m using version 2.1.13 with WordPress version 4.9.6.

Image Upload for BBPress Pro Installation and Settings

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Upload and activate the plugin as normal.

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A new menu item is added to the dashboard settings menu called Forum Images. Add your license key and click Activate.

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Once the license activates you’ll see the settings screen. This is the Image Storage tab where you can specify the temporary directory and URL, and the storage directory and URL.

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The Limits tab lets you set the number of image per topic and reply, limit the size, set the thumbnail size, determine which user roles are allowed to upload images, and set the file size limit. If a user uploads an image that’s larger than the limit you set it will automatically resize to that limit.

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The Image Formats tab lets you process or preserve the original image, choose the format, determine the compression levels for PNG, JPEG quality level, and enable GIF’s. It will automatically convert images to the format you set, which is great for keeping your formats consistent.

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The Frontend Display tab lets you use the “teeny” editor or the complete TinyMCE editor, use a custom image dialog with jQuery options, and enable the lightbox. You can display thumbnail versions of the image in the content and the regular size version in the lightbox.

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The Statistics tab gives you a quick look at the number of images that have been uploaded, and the storage and directory size. You can recount the statistics to refresh the count. The cleanup feature deletes the files in your storage area that are not used in currently existing forum posts.

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The Translation tab allows you to provide your own custom text in place of the default text. It provides the original and fields where you can supply your own.

Standard BB Press Editor

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Before we see the Image Upload For BBPress Pro editor, let’s look at the normal BB Press editor for comparison. You can see that it’s a simple editor without a lot of features. It looks similar to the WordPress editor’s Text tab.

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To add an image, select the img tag. WordPress opens a dialog box where you can enter the URL of the image. Next, enter a description.

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The image is added to your post with HTML.

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Once you hit Submit, the image displays within the post. As the admin you have options to edit, move, split, trash, mark as spam, and reply.

Problems with BB Press Images

There are three main issues with the way BB Press handles images within posts, and one issue with the user interface (UI):

  1. You can only link to images using a URL. This means the image has to already be online somewhere.
  2. You can’t preview the image before posting. It only shows you the HTML. You can’t know how the image will look within the post, so if you need to make an adjustment you’ll have to edit the post after it goes live.
  3. In order to edit the image size you have to manipulate the HTML.
  4. The editor itself looks like you’re writing in HTML using the WordPress Text tab complete with HTML tags. This works, but it isn’t user-friendly.

Image Upload for BBPress Pro solves all of these issues. Let’s take a look.

Image Upload for BBPress Pro Features

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Image Upload for BBPress Pro adds a WYSIWYG editor with tabs for Visual and Text. The Visual tab includes standard text editing features, bullets, numbers, alignment, undo, redo, and an inline image feature. This is the default “teeny” editor.

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You can also enable the full WYSIWYG editor if you want more tools.

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The Text tab retains the standard features, complete with its original image link.

Using Image Upload for BBPress Pro

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Clicking the image icon in the Visual tab opens a module where you can drag and drop images, or tap or click the modal to open a window where you can select your images from your device.

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Once the uploading is complete the image appears within the editor.

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All the standard WYSIWYG TinyMCE image tools are here. In this example, I’m dragging the edge of the image to resize it. You can set the alignment, edit, and delete the image.

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Speaking of WYSIWYG, here I’ve set the image to left-align with the text and added bullets. The bullets touched the image, so I added some inline padding to add some space between the image and the bullets. I can see if I like it before hitting submit.

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Once you submit you’ll see the post looks the way it did in the WYSIWYG editor.

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You can add multiple images at once by selecting all of the images at the same time, just like uploading images in WordPress.

License and Documentation

There are two licenses available for Image Upload for BBPress Pro:

  • Single site – $49.99
  • 5 sites – $99.99

Documentation is provided as a PDF download and can be found on the Potent Plugins’ documentation page.

Ending Thoughts

Image Upload for BBPress Pro is easy to use and adds a lot of useful features to the BBPress editor. Users can upload multiple images in any format and you still have control over formats by having them automatically convert. They can edit, resize, and control the placement of images within the WYSIWYG editor before submitting their comment, improving the look of your forum and making it more useful to forum members.

We want to hear from you. Have you tried Image Upload for BBPress? Let us know what you think about it in the comments below.

randyabrown

Randy A Brown is a professional writer specializing in WordPress, eCommerce, and business development. He loves helping the WordPress community by teaching readers how to improve their websites and businesses. His specialties include product reviews, plugin and theme roundups, in-depth tutorials, website design, industry news, and interviews. When he's not writing about WordPress he's probably reading, writing fiction, or playing guitar.

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