Did you know it’s easy to transform your WordPress into an interactive forum? These top forum plugins for WordPress do the job.
How to Create a Forum with WordPress
There are two ways you can go about creating a forum with WordPress.
The first option is to add a forum section to your website. This would supplement the content already on your site.
Let’s say you run a business offering vacation packages. A forum on your site could let users share their knowledge of holiday destinations and discuss their experience with your business.
Alternatively, you can go one step further and transform your entire WordPress website – turning it into a forum website in the style of Quora or StackOverflow.
Both of these options are possible with the help of plugins – but it’s helpful to know which functionality you want before you go searching for a forum plugin (and certainly before you make your final decision!).
So let’s get into our list of the top WordPress forum plugins.
The Top Forum Plugins for WordPress
All of these excellent plugins help you to create a forum on your WordPress website. Each has its own set of unique features and selling points. So it’s worth considering each one to decide if it’s right for you.
Let’s start with a classic – bbPress.
bbPress was originally developed by WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg way back in 2004. It’s the original, and still one of the top forum plugins for WordPress.
Because it was created for WordPress by WordPress it’s great for beginners. The interface looks just like WordPress itself, so it feels familiar and is super easy to use.
bbPress is a great choice if you want a no fuss, simple, classic forum. It’s not the all-singing-all-dancing solution like some of the plugins in this list, but it will certainly get the job done.
If features basic customization tools, and comes with a host of extensions that bolster what’s on offer here. It’s lightweight so won’t slow your website down, and is compatible with most WordPress themes.
Another big selling point is that bbPress (and all of the aforementioned extensions) are completely free.
If you’re looking for a plugin that’s easy to set up and even easier to run, you’ve found it in bbPress.
2. CM Answers
Want to transform your WordPress website into a discussion forum akin to Quora, Yahoo! Answers, or Stack Overflow? Look no further than the CM Questions and Answers plugin.
This powerful plugin comes with a range of awesome features including payment support that help you create the question and answer forum of your dreams.
Let your users ask questions and get the best answers from a knowledgable community. Create categories (and sub categories), let users vote on their favourite answers, set up user profiles, use tags and keywords for easy searching, and so much more.
The intuitive design lets you adjust the look and feel of your forum. You’re in complete control here. You can let forum users ask questions privately, control exactly who has access to what pages, and moderate every single post.
It has advanced features, but CM Answers remains user friendly. The design puts user experience first, so it’s easy to navigate. The payment support works with both WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads and support also MicroPayment. With payment users can be charged for asking or answer on per question/answer base or on a subscription bade.
CM Answers also support an expert questions module in which all question are sent directly to designated experts which on their turn can pick which questions to answer and communicate with the question poster.
Learn more: Expert Advice Solution
This plugin is fully responsive and mobile friendly, and also comes with optional add-ons that extend its functionality even further.
The CM Answers plugin gives you everything you need to build a functional, professional question and answer discussion forum in WordPress. What more could you ask for?
Next up for your consideration is wpForo.
If you’re looking for something that’s easy to use but has a lighter, brighter feel than bbPress, wpForo might be the top WordPress forum plugin for you.
It’s features include an advanced profile builder, with member ratings and the option to award badges to users for accomplishing milestones.
It also offers three different forum types: the extended forum, the simple forum, and the question and answer forum. No matter what type of WordPress forum you need, wpForo probably has the layout style to fit your needs. The plugin makes managing the forum easy with a drag and drop editor.
wpForo is completely free, with the option to pay for add-ons that give you more features.
It’s a great option if you want a top WordPress forum plugin that also comes with a host of built-in options like search engine optimization and anti-spam.
Any list of the top WordPress forum plugins wouldn’t be complete without mentioning BuddyPress.
Just like bbPress, BuddyPress is an official WordPress plugin – so you know you’re getting good quality here.
How does BuddyPress differ from bbPress? It’s a question worth asking (and answering!).
While bbPress gives you a straight forward forum building plugin – BuddyPress does something entirely different. With BuddyPress, you can transform your entire website into an online community with all the hallmarks of any good social media platform.
It’s features include detailed profiles, activity feeds, friend requests, and a private messaging system. It combines the features of a good old fashioned forum with the pizzazz of a modern day social networking site.
BuddyPress is entirely free, and new extensions for it continue to pop up left, right, and centre.
Granted this option won’t be for everyone, but it’s still worth looking into what BuddyPress can do for you. For instance, it’s great option for schools and companies that would like to create an internal forum for students or employees.
Learn more: CM plugins integrated with BuddyPress
5. Asgaros Forum
Last but certainly not least in our list is Asgaros Forum.
If you’re looking for a lightweight plugin, Asgaros is the perfect solution.
What makes Asgaros Forum so lightweight? Well, with this plugin you can add a forum to any page of your website by simply adding a shortcode. Yes, you read that right.
Asgaros Forum comes with a simple but elegant design, and is perfect for those who don’t want to spend hours tweaking the plugin. It’s functions are all really simple, but that doesn’t mean they’re not powerful.
It has a statistics page that is great tool for monitoring forum usage and their are a host of admin tools that let you moderate users.
If you’re looking for a top WordPress forum plugin that is simple and lightweight, Asgaros Forum is the one.
The Top Forum Plugins for WordPress: There’s Something for Everyone
WordPress plugins are never going to be one size fits all.
In these top forum plugins for WordPress, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a forum plugin that gives you tons of customization options and powerful features, or a lightweight plugin that just gets the job done.
Creating a forum on your WordPress site is a great way to foster a community and build a knowledge base – so why not get started with one of these plugins today?