I want to require my forum members to enter at least one word into the "tags"-line, when they are creating a new topic.

As regards plugins and solutions, what I found so far is the WyPiekacz-plugin which works well for posts: You can define rules for the data entered. It did not work for the creation of forum posts.

What I also found is the answer to "require one tag for each post" here in WordPress Answers which contains the code for a small plugin.

While exploring the php-files of bbPress, I added the last two lines to the following snippet within bb_post.php:

$topic = trim( $_POST['topic'] );
$tags  = trim( $_POST['tags']  );

if ('' == $topic)
    bb_die(__('Please enter a topic title'));

if ('' == $tags)
    bb_die(__('Please enter tags'));

In my understanding, that should do the trick - but still it doesn't. Or am I using the wrong file? My installation uses bbPress within BuddyPress.

  • Have you tried anything yet? Found any helpful research? – s_ha_dum Jan 24 '13 at 15:37
  • I added to the question what I found so far. – The_Fritz Jan 24 '13 at 15:55

In the back end, it's a matter of using the hook save_post, as topic is a Custom Post Type.

If no Tags are filled, saving is cancelled and a link is presented so the user can go back to the editing screen.
But, there's one caveat: the title is not preserved, if it is a new topic it comes back blank and if it is an existing topic any changes are lost. The content and topic attributes are preserved.
I'm not quite sure there is a solution for this...

missing tags

add_action( 'save_post', 'save_post_wpse_82956', 10, 2 );

 * Require Tags for new bbPress Topic
function save_post_wpse_82956( $post_id, $post_object ) 
    // Auto save or Ajax
    if ( 
        ( defined( 'DOING_AUTOSAVE' ) && DOING_AUTOSAVE )
        || ( defined('DOING_AJAX') && DOING_AJAX ) )

    // Correct post_type
    if ( 'topic' != $post_object->post_type )

    // First instance of the post (right after clicking "New Topic")
    if( 'auto-draft' == $post_object->post_status )

    if ( empty( $_POST['tax_input']['topic-tag'] ) ) 
        wp_die( '<a href="javascript:history.go(-1)">' . __( '&laquo; &laquo; Please, add tags to the topic' ) . '</a>' );


And in the front end, a couple of bbPress action hooks and a simple check are enough (when posting multiple replies, a Javascript workaround is necessary, check comments):

add_action( 'bbp_new_topic_pre_extras', 'check_front_end_tags_wpse_82956' );
add_action( 'bbp_new_reply_pre_extras', 'check_front_end_tags_wpse_82956' );

function check_front_end_tags_wpse_82956()
    if( empty( $_POST['bbp_topic_tags'] ) )
        // WORKAROUND FOR LINKS WITH HASH TAG, e.g., topic/lorem-ipsum#post-91
        // Necessary when posting multiple replies that generate hashed links
        // OTHERWISE A SIMPLE href="javascript:history.go(-1) WOULD WORK
        function goBack() {
            if (window.history && history.pushState) {
                history.replaceState("", "", "?no-tags=true);

        wp_die( '<a href="javascript:goBack()">' . __( '&laquo; &laquo; Please, add tags to the topic' ) . '</a>' );
| improve this answer | |
  • Thank your for your detailed answer with a lot of explanations! This afternoon, I will try it out in the local installation on my laptop. – The_Fritz Jan 30 '13 at 9:36
  • Tried it. It works! Just to mention it for other newbies: The part for the front end goes to functions.php in the active theme. – The_Fritz Jan 30 '13 at 10:24
  • I forgot to mention that I tested all the code inside a custom plugin, no functions.php, check: wordpress.stackexchange.com/q/73031/12615 – brasofilo Jan 30 '13 at 16:40

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