Community website is an excellent tool for expanding your business. People like to share their ideas and thoughts on subjects of common interest. An active community on your website means your website is generating enough traffic, and your business is always talked about. That is why the demand to create and have a forum has always been high.
You can easily add a forum to your WordPress site with some simple clicks. Most people use one or two specific plugins for WordPress community creation. But there are plenty of other options too. In today’s post, let’s take a look at some of the excellent WordPress forum plugins for community creation.
SEE ALSO: Latest WordPress Forum Themes
Let’s start with the most famous one, bbPress.
bbPress is the most obvious forum WordPress plugin for creating forum websites with WordPress. It is the most powerful WordPress plugin for forum creation and rightly so. Along with bundles of options for creating and managing your WordPress forum, setting up a forum is very simple with bbPress. The multi-lingual plugin is very light and fast and works smoothly with WordPress.
Essential features of forums like subscribing to specific threads or topics, commenting and replying on posts are available with bbPress. Specific users can have permission to post a new topic, review comments, ban users and edit posts. Posts can also be made sticky in order to focus on particular issues.
Multiple forums can be created with just one installation of bbPress. bbPress creates settings pages that are very much similar to the WordPress Core settings pages. As a result, it is very comfortable for users that are used to the working of WordPress admin panel.
The second most popular WordPress community plugin for creating forum websites with is BuddyPress. It has all the necessary features for creating forums along with the essence of a social networking website. The plugin offers a clean and robust structure that is highly functional for an online community.
With BuddyPress, it is easy to create groups and monitor user activity. Even private messaging is enabled so that users can chat with an individual user or, a group of users. Live activity stream will show what other users are up to. Like social networking platforms, the users can also send and receive friend requests from other like-minded users.
Users can create and develop communities for various niches. Individual users can express their personality with attractively designed personal profiles. They can check other people’s activities on their profiles, contact with each other, create groups for discussion and much more.
DW Question & Answer is a plugin that can be used to create a question and answer website. The simplistic nature of this plugin allows it to be used in the different sort of websites. It can be easily used to create a forum website too.
With this plugin, questions can be tagged and categorized which is suitable for forum sites. Questions and answers could be searched by using the keywords.If you find a question interesting, you have the liberty to “follow” it. Along with making a question sticky, the Up Vote feature is highly useful as well.
DW Question & Answer is a perfect plugin for creating FAQ section for your customers. The inclusion of reCAPTCHA will help you in removing spam from the forum. The plugin currently supports more than 11 languages including Arabic, French, German, Chinese, German, Spanish, Hindi, Italian, etc.
CM Answers is a plugin for creating fully functional WordPress forums. It comes with moderation, access control functionality and notification system. It follows the Stackoverflow style and supports posting questions and answers for them.
User registration is allowed by using social media authentication. So you can use your Facebook or Twitter to register a new account and use it to participate in the discussion. Users can choose the best answer from the answers section. The powerful notification system will alert both the users and the admins about new questions, responses and other events.
CM Answers offers a free version to test some of its great features. The free version of the plugin comes with everything you need to create a basic forum website. And naturally, the Pro version is provided with some premium goodies like powerful shortcodes, multi-level categories, customizable user dashboard, BuddyPress and Micro-Payments integration, statistics module, etc.
WP Symposium is one of the most popular WP plugin for forums. This is known as a social media plugin. But it can be used to create a fully functional forum on your WordPress site. If its reputation as a social media plugin makes it less attractive to you, you should think again. This plugin is loaded with some excellent features that are available with top forum plugins only.
You can add new forums to your WP site using shortcodes. It also supports multiple forums and lets you decide which users you want to provide access to different sub-forums. Additionally, you can choose to activate selected features only.
Favorite topic list creation, up-voting or down-voting comments or, making an important post sticky, live activity stream, private messaging between members – everything is possible with WP Symposium. Member directory and member groups will be helpful in finding out individual members.
Featuring a quora.com and StackOverflow inspired design, AnsPress is an easy-to-use plugin for building a simple Question and Answer forum. It has some typical forum features like posting and editing questions, up voting, flagging for spam. As the plugin was created for developers, it is provided with a lot of customization options.
An interesting feature of the plugin is its real-time loading facility. This allows you to refresh the page content without reloading the page. The answers and questions could be quickly sorted. The submission form is AJAX-based, which means users can submit responses on-the-fly.
Along with flagging and moderating posts, categorizing questions, voting answers, the plugin also comes with reCAPTCHA for spam removal, email notification and user level settings. Users can easily decorate their profile with badges, points, cover photo and more.The Private Messaging System will allow the users to interact between each other.
Bublaa Forum and Comments is a free forum plugin. This is a 100% responsive forum interface for your WordPress site. It allows real-time discussions on your site. By using this plugin, you can develop your community by combining comments and forums in a unique way. It includes pictures, link and video preview, moderation tools, social login, SEO friendly code and lots of other useful features.
Bublaa Forum and Comments includes three tools for developing a community on your website – Bublaa Forum, Bublaa Comments and Bublaa Activity. The uniquely designed Bublaa Forum provides a simple interface with easy navigation options.
Bublaa Comments will allow you to add an interactive commenting to system to your posts. And Bublaa Activity will show a live feed containing what other people are doing.These tools will work together to create a fully functional forum on your WordPress site.
SimplePress is an all-in-one plugin with most of the common forum features. It integrates itself easily into the core WordPress settings. It has all the features of a fully dedicated community website. It does not matter whether you want to create a small community site or an extensive brand forum, SimplePress has got you covered.
Forum ranks and badges indicate user level and their contribution to the community. SimplePress supports sub-forum to any level in order to increase flexibility of your forum. Avatar or Gravatar can be used to decorate personal profiles. It seamlessly integrates with popular WordPress plugins including BuddyPress, All in One SEO Pack, myCRED, TinyMCE, WordPress SEO by Yoast, ShareThis, etc.
Image thumbnails provide the perfect option for displaying post images. Custom icons for forums and groups can be attached to identify groups with a different purpose. Users can also create a comprehensive list of RSS feed. This plugin also supports WP shortcodes.
With all these free, ready-made solutions, creating a forum with WordPress is not very difficult. But choosing the right solution for creating your forum is important. Therefore, spend some time on each of these solutions and try to find out which one offers most of the things you want.
Do you already use any of these WordPress forum plugins? If yes, please share you experience with us. Or maybe you are using another solution that we missed. In that case, let us know by leaving a comment below.