Have you ever considered adding a forum to your WordPress website?
If yes, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to bring with a comprehensive discussion on WordPress forum in this article, including the advantages of having a WordPress forum, best WordPress forum plugins available, as well as how to add a forum plugin to your WordPress website with minimal fuss.
Why You Need A WordPress Forum?
WordPress is one of the most powerful solutions amid hundreds of website platforms on the web, due to a large amount of themes and templates for design variations along with a wide variety of plugins for extending functionalities. No wonder multiple WordPress forum plugins are available to help add a support forum to your WordPress website with ease.
You may be perplexed about what is a WordPress forum and why you need it?
Simply put it, a WordPress forum gives your visitors a good place to connect and discuss, sharing ideas and collaborating with each other, analyzing problems together and contributing resources. As a website owner, you have a good chance to get all your website users involved in the community. It is a traditional way of online communication indeed, but remains effective and useful no matter how time change.
For one reason, a WordPress forum is a support platform that offers your website users or customers necessary support because you can answer their queries timely on the board.
For another, a WordPress forum is a huge social network of the website users, enabling everyone to discuss, share ideas and build connection.
Meanwhile, a WordPress forum can generate SEO value for your website. Sometimes, forum threads involve some useful content that are more likely to be crawled by search engines like Google, presenting it on the top search results and bringing a lot of search traffic.
There are still many reasons why you need a forum on your WordPress website besides above mentioned. Even for the very basic purpose of creating a simple yet easy way to connect and communicate with people, it’s worth having.
Now, let’s dive into the top 5 widely-used WordPress forum plugins on the web.
Best Forum Plugins for WordPress
If you have ever visited WordPress.org forums, you probably have some impression on how bbPress works. This plugin has been the first on the best WordPress forum plugins list for the ease of integration, usability, web standards and speed. Developed by the same people behind the WordPress software, bbPress ensures that your discussion forum will never be slow, bloated and hacked.
Currently, this plugin is available in about 43 languages and the development team seem to add a few more on occasion. Everything you would expect in a forum can be found with bbPress, so I would like to recommend you to try it before turning to any other solution.
DW Question & Answer
DW Question and Answer lets you build up a fully featured Q & A section on your WordPress site like Stack Overflow and Quora.
In addition to submitting questions and adding answers to other questions, with DW Question and Answer, your website users can search and filter questions by status, comment and reply to a question or an answer, or even vote and pick the best answer for question.
This plugin comes with multi-language support and it can be translated to over 20 languages.
Different bbPress, DW Question and Answer has both Free and Pro version to meet different needs. The main differences between the two versions exist in:
- Style: As you can see from comparison image in below, the Pro version is designed with a more neat and clean appearance.
- Extra Extensions: Four premium extensions are integrated into the DW Question and Answer Pro, including DWQA Markdown, DWQA Captcha, DWQA Leaderboard, and DWQA Widgets. The free version also features some of the extensions, but the functionality is limited.
Price: Free + Premium
CM Answers is also an amazing forum plugin for WordPress coming in a stack overflow style, making you capable of creating discussion forums where users can post questions and answers, leave comments, vote, and upload files in a discussion board format.
As an administrator, you are capable of moderating and approving the questions and answers; if you need, you can directly filter any unwanted content, and keep track of users’ activities in the help of a detailed log and statistics the forum activity.
Likewise, CM Answers also includes free and premium options. The free version of the plugin is limited to only basic moderation, answers & voting counts, while the premium version users can have access to advanced functionality as private questions & answers, ads integration, anonymous users posting, MicroPayment support, etc.
Price: Free + Premium
BuddyPress is another popular social networking tool to integrate into your WordPress website.
Built for ease of integration, ease of use and extensibility from the ground up, BuddyPress enables users to create profiles, make connections, have private conversations, create & interact in groups, and much more. Importantly, BuddyPress is charged for free so it usually described as an alternative to bbPress.
wpForo Forum is a fast-growing forum plugin for WordPress. With the excellent combination of well-designed front-end and back-end, the plugin is attractive and intuitive for users to use.
There are three layout options to choose from:
- Extended Layout: As a classic design for forum, this layout concentrates on showing deeper information. Therefore, users are able to see the both the latest topics and the latest posts under each topic merely from the Forum List and Topic List.
- Simplified Layout: With a more simple, beautiful and modern design, this layout display author avatars of topic and post on forum and topic lists. Due to the lightness, it works at a fast speed even on very large forums.
- Question and Answer Layout: Exclusively designed for professional support and Stack Overflow alike communities, this layout refers to a complete Q&A discussion board. Users can ask and answer questions and vote up and down ones through membership and active participation.
How To Add A Forum Plugin To Your WordPress Website?
Step 1: Go to your WordPress admin area and click on Plugins > Add New.
Step 2: Type the forum plugin name you want to install and click Install Now button.
Step 3: Now the plugin is downloaded and installed and you can activate it on your WordPress website.
Step 4: Configure the settings of your forum plugin based on your specific requirements.
Hopefully this article is helpful for you to find the best WordPress forum plugin. You should know that building an online community is definitely not easy and it requires lots of patience as well as consistency among other technical requirements. Wish you good luck with your new WordPress forum!