Discussions forums are a useful platform for enabling people to connect with one another and have conversations with like-minded people about shared interests
They help share ideas, log conversations, build communities, and are highly extensible. Moreover, you can easily find a forum for almost any topic whether it’s gaming, gardening, sports, cooking, or software troubleshooting.
In addition to this, there are various types of forum websites namely discussion forums, social network forums, and question and answer forums.
It’s fairly easy to set up a community forum website. All you need is a WordPress website and a WordPress forum plugin to create your own online forum platform. A WordPress forum plugin gives you complete control over the look and feel of your forum, as well as its functionality.
In this post, we’ll share some of the best WordPress forum plugins that can help you create and run your own online community forum.
bbPress is a WordPress forum plugin that enables you to set up an engaging community forum on your website. It is a user-friendly forum application built to help manage forums in blogs and CMS websites.
- You can set restrictions on certain users and limit their access.
- You’ll be able to moderate posts using a number of actions namely edit/trash/spam, stick (to front), merge, and split.
- bbPress lets you create a multisite forum and divide your website into sections.
- You can use shortcodes to include forum elements into your pages and posts.
BuddyPress is a user-friendly WordPress forum plugin that helps you build an efficient and professional social network on your website. It is a flexible, easy to use, and extensible community forum tool designed for site builders and developers
- Your site members will be able to create user profiles, send private messages, and create groups.
- It offers built-in support for bbPress and Akismet.
- BuddyPress comes with extensive documentation that is available in multiple languages including Russian, German, Dutch, and Simplified Chinese.
- BuddyPress supports global tracking of posts, comments, blogs, and custom post types.
#3: WPForo Forum
The WPForo Forum plugin is a complete forum solution for your WordPress site. It enables you to easily create and run powerful community forums where users can collaborate and seek support and assistance.
- This plugin is packed with beautiful and responsive forum layouts and styles.
- You can display social network share buttons on your forum posts and pages.
- The WPForo Forum plugin comes with a forum sidebar and widgets.
- You’ll be able to create ranking and badges for forum users.
- It offers seamless integration with many profile builders and membership plugins including Ultimate Members and BuddyPress plugins.
#4: Asgaros Forum
The Asgaros Forum plugin gives you an easy way to add community forum features to your WordPress website. It’s a full-fledged forum solution that helps you run a professional community in an effective way.
- This plugin comes with a customizable and responsive theme.
- You’ll be able to easily manage content and create and edit profiles and members list.
- It comes with a number of community forum features including polls, uploads, widgets, notifications and feeds, and guest postings.
- You can set permissions, create user groups, approve posts, ban and report users, and add moderators.
DW Question & Answer is a powerful WordPress forum plugin that creates a full-fledged question and answer system for your WordPress site. This offers a platform for users to ask questions and connect with other people to share unique insights and get answers.
- Users will be able to submit, filter, order, edit, and delete their own questions.
- Users can submit votes and help pick the best answer for questions.
- This plugin supports more than 11 languages including English, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, and Arabic.
- Users will be able to ask questions publicly or in private.
WP Symposium Pro is a user profile and social network plugin for WordPress that allows you to boost user engagement by turning your WordPress website into a social network similar to Facebook. It’s ideal for creating websites for schools, clubs, and interest groups and setting up gaming sites and dating sites.
- You’ll be able to customize your social network pages including the layout, text, and button labels.
- It comes with various social site features such as profiles, activity walls, forums, friends, and email alerts.
- You can use extensions to access additional features including private messages, groups, forum subscriptions, image and YouTube attachments, and galleries.
Discussion Board is a user-friendly WordPress forum plugin that helps you add a community forum to your WordPress website using its one-click installation feature. This plugin offers a simple, yet modern looking forum that lets users communicate with one another, ask each other quick questions and clarify assumptions.
- Once you activate the plugin, the necessary forum pages will automatically be created i.e., a log-in page, a page with a form where users can post new topics, and a page that shows existing topics.
- Its user management system lets you control who can view your forum and who can post content by setting user roles.
- When registering new users, you can require them to verify their email address.
#8: Sabai Discuss
Sabai Discuss is a WordPress forum plugin that helps you set up your own Q&A-style websites like Quora, Yahoo! Answers, and Stack Overflow. It’s perfect for boosting user engagement on your website as well as creating a discussion forum, a helpdesk portal, or a knowledge base for WordPress.
- Users can search questions and answers by category and keywords, and filter them by custom fields.
- Users will be able to vote up or vote down questions, answers, and comments.
- Its automatic spam moderation feature lets you easily flag questions, answers, and comments.
- Other useful features include close and reopen questions, hierarchical categories, and favorite questions and answers.
Price: Regular license costs $24
ForumEngine is a popular WordPress forum theme that lets you build community forums where users can communicate with each other, post topics, ask questions, get answers, and upvote or downvote topics.
- It’s a fully customizable theme that lets you change your website’s color schemes, layouts, font sizes, and menu colors.
- Topics can include questions asked or opinions shared by users. They can also add a link or a picture to a topic.
- You’ll be able to publish and modify content directly from your website’s front-end.
- Its user badge system lets you set rules regarding which users can access or edit status on your forum.
Price: Single theme costs $49
Simple:Press helps you boost engagement by adding forum features to your WordPress websites such as forums, forum groups, and public and private forums.
- Its simple user management system lets you restrict user access to wp-admin, create user groups, set permissions, and create custom avatars.
- You’ll be able to lock topics, pin topics, move topics between forums, and edit topics and topic titles.
- You can add ranking and gamification features to your sites like assigning ranks, upgrading user group membership, and assigning special ranks and custom badges to users.
#11: CM Answers
This is a WordPress question and answers plugin that allows users to post Q&As, give comments, vote, send private messages, and upload files in a discussion board format. It’s ideal for creating forums, support forums, customer support sites, and paid support sites.
- It gives you complete access to moderate questions and answers, restricts user capabilities, and create multiple forum categories.
- Users can subscribe to categories and certain topics, and receive notifications when new content is available.
- Admins will be able to moderate questions and answers and receive email notifications.
- It supports multiple languages including Russian, German, Spanish, and Czech.
ForumWP is a powerful WordPress forum plugin that helps you build your own community forum website without requiring any coding skills.
- You can moderate topics and replies both from the front-end and wp-admin.
- You’ll be able to easily customize your forum’s layout and appearance. This includes enabling/disabling forum visibility, changing icons, colors, adding forum images, and changing forum view layout.
- Users will be able to subscribe to topics and forums and receive email notifications.
- Users can add and remove bookmark topics and replies.
- ForumWP is mobile-responsive which means it will work smoothly on every browser, screen size, and device.
Price: Basic version costs $99 per year.
WordPress forum plugins are used by both small and large companies to facilitate conversations among team members and provide support to customers.
Based on the key features discussed above, we recommend:
- BuddyPress: for creating a social network website, with a most modern looking interface
- Simple:Press Simple:Press brings enterprise class forum capabilities to your WordPress site
- bbPress: for anyone who’s looking for a tried and tested plugin
- WPForo: for anyone looking for a modern looking forum.
What features do you consider when choosing a WordPress forum plugin? Let us know by commenting below.