The best way to allow your website visitors to interact with one another is via online forums. If you are searching for the best WordPress plugins to add this feature to your website, then you’re in the right place.
In this blog, we present you with a list of 15+ WordPress forum plugins. Using these extensions, you can easily integrate virtual communities, discussion boards, and social networking platforms on your WordPress site.
Before we move on to the main content, let us understand the importance of a forum plugin for your WordPress site.
Table of Contents
- Why Do You Need a Forum Plugin for Your WordPress Site?
- Best Forum WordPress Plugins For Your Website
- FAQs About Forum WordPress Plugins
- Wrapping Up!
Why Do You Need a Forum Plugin for Your WordPress Site?
The primary purpose of a WordPress forum plugin is to create an online community on your website. Your audience can use your discussion boards, forums, Q&A (Question-and-Answer) platforms, etc., for various purposes.
Let’s take a look at the significant benefits of installing a forum plugin on your WordPress site.
1. Bring Like-Minded People Together
You can create discussion boards and forums on various topics, like sports, dating, technology, etc. When you choose one of these topics, you encourage like-minded people to interact with it.
With this approach, these individuals get a platform to share their insights and talk to one another. Thus, your website will play an essential role in bringing people with the same interests together.
2. Build Trust From Your Target Audiences
As a business owner, it’s best to rely on content marketing to share knowledge about your area of expertise. It builds trust. Similarly, you can build trust from your target audiences using online communities as well.
When you allow individuals from the same professional background to interact with one another, they’ll try their best to solve others’ problems. As a result, your visitors will view your website as the perfect source of relevant information.
3. Solve Users’ Queries Using a Support Group
Forums allow you to build online communities to resolve users’ queries quickly. This is a crucial benefit that improves your customers’ experience with your business. If your customer encounters some issues regarding your product, they can insert a question in these groups.
When that question reaches your Question-and-Answer (Q&A) platform, several individuals will reply, providing the solution.
This approach also helps future customers when they face a similar problem. Instead of contacting you via email or phone, they can resolve it using the previously provided answers.
4. Get Honest Feedback From Customers
When your customers find some issue with your product or service, they will most likely talk about it online. Thus, when you provide that platform on your website, you will get to know the things that your users don’t like.
After that, you can make appropriate changes to your product and mention it in the community. This approach will further build trust from your prospects.
5. Online Communities Can Boost Your SEO Performance
Did you know that an active online forum can enhance your chances to rank higher in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)? It happens when your audience discusses a recent event or an issue in the community.
When the forum members share their opinion on a discussion platform, that particular thread will include tons of relevant information. Because of that, Google and other search engines will put your website as their main priority.
Best Forum WordPress Plugins For Your Website
We believe that you are well aware of how critical online communities can be for your website until this point. With that in mind, let’s take a look at 20 WordPress forum plugins that work best in 2022.
bbPress is a simple yet powerful WordPress plugin for creating easy-to-navigate online discussion boards on your website. It requires a lesser amount of effort to set up and does not include unnecessary features.
The bbPress plugin is lightweight and does not impact your website’s speed in any way. It also takes care of security to provide a safe discussion community.
This plugin features deep integration with WordPress and proper web standards. You get one central account and a unified admin area to manage settings related to your online forum.
bbPress provides you with simple step-by-step instructions for the installations of this plugin. It walks you through the customization options so you can adjust the settings appropriately.
- More than 300,000 active installations
- Open source and supports the GPL License
- Create multi-site forums by dividing your website into sections
- Includes hundreds of supporting add-ons, like DDP style pack
- Has a technical support group with tons of threads
- Provides descriptive documentation
BuddyPress is a sophisticated social network for creating online communities, teams, and groups in WordPress. This plugin helps you create forums and customize member profiles, activity streams, messaging, etc.
The BuddyPress plugin helps you build forums in diverse niche areas. Examples include school, sports teams, book clubs, movies, and TV shows, etc. You can also extend its functionalities using thousands of supporting third-party tools.
Your audience can create a user profile, make social connections, create groups and micro-communities, and more with BuddyPress. With this plugin, community members can send private messages to several members at once.
The BuddyPress extension also includes theme-compatible Application Programming Interface (API). Using this feature, you can make your online forums look perfect with whichever WordPress theme you use.
- More than 200,000 active installations
- Provides notifications with smart read/unread feature
- Supports sitewide directory and single thread
- Allows users to manage email, password, and other account settings
- Integrates the bbPress plugin to improve online forums
- Open source and supports the GPL License
ForumWP is a new generation forum solution that works perfectly with your WordPress site. This lightweight plugin loads fast, which helps your audience get involved with conversations quicker.
You can install and set up ForumWP using a simple procedure in just two minutes. This plugin allows you to customize the forum visibility settings within three available options: public, private, and hidden.
The ForumWP add-on allows you to insert an icon, color, or even upload a featured image. Besides, it displays a topic list that shows topic views, likes, replies, last updates, and other crucial stats.
You also get the settings to manage the replies received on your website forum. For instance, it lets you sort the responses by oldest, newest, and the ones that got the most likes. This plugin also displays the time for each reply.
- Uses new topic modal to create additional issues without leaving the page
- Includes click-to-reveal sections for sub-replies
- Provides a profile page for every user
- Easy-to-change details in the ForumWP forums
- Logs in quickly using login and registration forms
- Easily edits and manages email settings
4. Sabai Discuss
Sabai Discuss is an ideal plugin to create a community-driven question-and-answer WordPress site. You can also use this tool to design discussion forums, knowledge base, helpdesk portal, and more.
With the Sabai Discuss plugin, your users can search for questions and answers using both keywords and categories. It has a user-friendly auto-suggestion feature. You can also filter out the Q&As using multiple custom fields.
Its visual editor provides an interface to create search and filters for your form. Your website audiences quickly post questions, answers, comments and also edit them from the front-end.
Additionally, Sabai Discuss includes the automatic spam moderation option. Using this feature, users can flag various elements of the form, like questions and comments. This plugin is also responsive and supports every WordPress theme.
- More than 3000 sales
- Includes CAPTCHA, Date, Video, Upload, Email, and other fields
- Provides live preview using the PHP Markdown editor
- Uses Google Prettify to highlight code syntax
- Consists of five shortcodes and nine WordPress widgets
- Translation ready with RTL language support
The AnsPress WordPress plugin helps you build interactive Q&A networks, discussion boards, and online forums. You can create a website similar to Quora and Stackoverflow with this open-source extension.
AnsPress allows your website audiences to mark specific questions as featured, which stick at the top of the page. The users can also vote on their queries to express their opinion regarding that topic.
This forum plugin has a faster load speed and runs smoothly with any server type. AnsPress also works perfectly with many cache-related add-ons. It is also SEO-optimized and supports schema.org markup features.
You can award reputations or rewards to your network audiences for their activities on the discussion boards. It encourages them to use your platform more. Besides, the users are also able to flag/report inappropriate and spammy content.
- Sends email notifications about new activities on the forum
- Supports uploading media attachments
- Allows commenting on questions and answers
- Lets users add taxonomy tags in the questions.
- Create private queries for selected users
- Askers can choose an answer as the “Best Answer.”
6. wpForo Forum
wpForo Forum is a WordPress plugin to create forums for both small and large online communities. You get multiple layouts for your discussion board, such as extended, simplified, and Question & Answer.
The wpForo Forum plugin allows you to provide different access roles to your users. Examples include Read Only, Standard Access, Moderation Access, and Full Access. Besides, you can also set ratings and badges for the community members.
wpForo Forum is SEO-friendly and includes several SEO-related settings. Examples include permalinks, meta-data, crawling friendly content, etc. This responsive plugin also helps your forums to display correctly on all screen sizes.
You get a drag-and-drop forum management system with this plugin. It lets you customize the styles using various colors, settings, options, switches, and more. wpForo Forum also includes four layouts and designs for your forum.
- More than 30,000 active installations
- It consists of a built-in forum cache system
- Supports front-end moderation for topics and posts
- Includes WordPress .mp and .po files for translation
- Easy-to-set parent-child forum relationship (hierarchy)
- Informative profile system with statistics, bio, and other details
7. Asgaros Forum
Asgaros Forum is a lightweight plugin for creating feature-rich online discussion boards on your WordPress site. Its setup and installation process is simple. You get a forum page automatically after activating this plugin on your website.
With this forum plugin, you can create a list of profile members. It lets you manage various components on your discussion board, such as the uploads, polls, widgets, statistics, etc.
The Asgaros Forum plugin makes it easy for guests to post on your virtual communities. You can also take care of approving, banning, and reporting the content on your discussion boards.
- More than 10,000 active installations
- Optimized for Google, Bing, and other search engines
- Includes powerful form editor
- Compatible with multiple websites
- It lets you manage advertisements at your forum
- Settings for moderators, permissions, and user groups
Simple:Press is a perfect WordPress plugin to get you started with creating online groups, discussion boards, and more. You can create unlimited forums with this add-on. Your users can also add as many topics and posts as they want.
With Simple:Press, you can display advertisements in your forum and generate revenue. This add-on also allows your website audiences to send and receive private messages.
With this forum plugin, you can integrate the WordPress registrations and logins, Member Manager, Member Subscription, and other extensions. It lets you specify the custom redirect pages after users log in or register on your discussion network.
Simple:Press provides several colorful charts (analytics) that include your forum’s information. You can collect users’ data for each profile using custom fields. It also integrates the WooCommerce dashboard.
- More than 600 active installations
- Lets you add custom icons for all forums
- Restricts users’ access to your wp-admin folder
- Can move posts between topics and forums
- Includes tons of administration settings and options
- Allows guest posting without registration
Muut is a powerful discussion system that creates forums, commenting, and messaging on your WordPress site. It helps conversations flow smoothly using the clean and uncluttered forum design.
This responsive plugin creates online discussion boards that render with correct dimensions on all screen sizes. Examples include desktops, laptops, smartphones, etc. Muut is also lightweight and takes a lesser amount of time to load.
With Muut, you get an easy-to-use designing/styling tool for customizing virtual communities on your website. This add-on is supporting many discussion boards for companies, renowned brands, government agencies, and more.
- Powers more than 18 million online communities
- Easy to create different layout for your forum
- Forum design blends perfectly with your web page
- Its server handles large user counts and traffic loads
- In-depth articles on using the Muut plugin
10. WP Symposium Pro
The WP Symposium Pro social networking plugin helps you add unlimited forums on your WordPress site. It enables you to add online community features, such as user profiles, activity walls, friend invitations, etc.
With this plugin, you get unlimited adjustment options to customize your forums and discussion boards. Your website audiences can also send private/direct messages to each other while using the platform.
Besides, WP Symposium Pro is compatible with almost 99% of all WordPress themes and plugins. This forum plugin displays the YouTube thumbnail and website preview when you insert their URLs.
The forum members are also able to create groups, display calendars, setup mail alerts, etc. Additionally, you can change the forum settings by adding custom search fields for new posts, replies, and more.
- More than 600 active installations
- Lets you attach images and documents to the forum
- Includes Edit Profile option to add a personalized signature
- Supports the WYSIWYG toolbar in the forum editor
- Multilingual plugin, compatible with the WPML add-on
- Members can keep track of their favorite activity posts
11. CM Answers
CM Answers is a social networking plugin to create Question and Answer (Q&A) discussion boards in a stack overflow style. It includes various forum features, like voting, moderation, notifications, and access controls.
This plugin displays views count, answers count, and other crucial data. It is mobile-friendly and renders your forum with correct dimensions on all screen sizes. Besides, it also supports multiple levels of categories.
CM Answers plugin includes various powerful shortcodes that you can consist of anywhere. With this extension, you can add multiple attachments to your Question and Answer posts.
Moreover, its user dashboard is easy-to-use and has diverse customization settings. For instance, users get a full-text editor to format their posts. Your website audiences are also able to edit their queries, answers, and comments after posting.
- More than 1000 active installations
- Integrates micro-payment systems
- Tracks forum usage with log and statistics module
- Supports anonymous posting
- Lets users subscribe to categories and specific topics
- Translation ready and supports Spanish, German, French, and other languages
12. WP Discussion Board
WP Discussion Board, a WordPress plugin, requires only a single click to get your online forum up and running. It helps you make various sub-forums using boards. You can assign individual user permissions for each of those boards.
This extension is mobile-friendly and displays your discussion boards and virtual community correctly on all screen sizes. Examples include a laptop, desktop, smartphones, etc.
WP Discussion Board creates SEO-friendly forums that help you rank your website higher on the search engines. Besides, it also prevents users from sending spam and inappropriate content to your WordPress site.
With the WP Discussion Board plugin, you get the WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) front-end editor. You can use this forum plugin for unlimited websites with a single license.
- More than 2000 active installations
- Allows user login and registration from the front-end
- Works perfectly with every WordPress theme
- Allows following topics and boards to get notification
- Restrict usage and access by user roles
- Includes shortcodes for recent issues, archives, and more
13. DW Question and Answer
This Q&A plugin has a flat and modern user interface design that looks outstanding on every digital device. Examples include desktop, laptop, tablet, etc. Your website audience can post and edit questions, answers, and comments from the front-end.
DW Question and Answer supports three styles: default, flat, and helpdesk. It will display the user’s profile with different color themes. Besides, this plugin is also compatible with every WordPress theme.
Moreover, the DW Question and Answer plugin works correctly with more than 11 languages. Examples include English, Arabic, Chinese, Indonesian, Russian, Hindi, Catalan, Thai, etc.
- More than 10,000 active installations
- Option to set private and public status for Q&As
- Able to submit, filter, order, edit, and delete questions
- Includes seven email notification templates
- Translation ready and supports RTL scripts
- Comes with a built-in advanced permission system (ACL)
Forym is a modern discussion board, forum, and virtual community plugin for WordPress. You can create a professional-looking Questions and Answers (Q&A) network, helpdesk, etc., with this user-friendly extension.
With this plugin, you manage topics, replies, tags categories, and templates in the admin area. Its front-end editor allows you to create and edit forums using the drag-and-drop file uploader.
The Forym plugin integrates perfectly with almost every WP theme. It has a powerful text editor that allows you to create in-depth conversations. Besides, this add-on is SEO-optimized and can show up the Q&As in the search results.
You can determine who can view your forum content using its privacy control option. If you get nasty comments from users, you can also filter them with asterisks or other symbols.
- Around 500 sales
- Allows moderators to manage user roles
- 100% responsive and renders correctly with a laptop, smartphone, etc.
- Replaces WordPress default comments
- Can create predefined reply templates
- Customize forum style and permalink
PeepSo is a social networking WordPress plugin with a super-light design. This add-on helps you add online community, social network, virtual forums, etc., to your website effortlessly.
With PeepSo, you can integrate virtual communities in the main areas of your website. It also allows you to insert widgets for displaying users’ photos, videos, and more. This plugin provides a unique view counter section on the user posts.
Your website audiences can create profiles using avatars and cover images. PeepSo provides front-end registration, login, and user listing with search and filtering options.
PeepSo also allows users to provide custom reactions to posts/questions. They can schedule posts for specific dates and times on your forum. Besides, you will get real-time onsite user notifications and also via email.
- More than 5000 active installations
- Customizable profile fields, such as multiple/single select, date, etc.
- Share status updates with different privacy settings
- Markdown support in posts, comments, and user profile fields
- Provides built-in security from brute force protection
- Includes widgets for online members, hashtags, profile, etc.
16. Simple Forum
Simple Forum is a responsive WordPress plugin for creating bulletin boards and community forums. It allows you to choose from more than eight different color options and also integrates search features.
With this plugin, you get to link to your social profiles easily. Your website audiences can log in to the online community using Facebook, Google+, and eight other social media networks.
Simple Forum lets you display upto four advertisements in your website forum. It also provides you stats about total threads, replies, and members. Besides, you can set user roles among three options: admin, moderator, and member.
- Around 700 sales
- SEO-optimized and includes elegant design
- Includes built-in thumb up/down voting to rate threads
- Enable/disable the sending/receiving private messages
- Provides several email template files
- User registration and reset password options
17. Vanilla Forums
Vanilla Forums is a cloud-based customer community plugin for WordPress. This open-source software helps you create intuitive and engaging discussion boards, forums, virtual communities, etc.
Your website audiences can easily create social bonds with each other using this WP plugin. It provides a self-service support system for helping users in the forum. With the Vanilla Forums, you can generate trust among your prospective customers.
You can also integrate your forum into your blog posts. Vanilla Forums lets you add forum widgets to your blog, such as recent discussions, discussion categories, current forum activities, etc.
Vanilla Forums help you create modern forums for providing a comfortable and rewarding user experience. Your website visitors can submit, view, and vote on ideas that can drive innovations.
- More than 500 active installations
- Fully branded to match your website/app perfectly
- Supports single sign-on and CRM integration
- Easy migration from another forum plugin to Vanilla Forums
- Adobe, EA Sports, Qualtrics, and other renowned customers
- Mobile-ready, supports tablets, smartphones, and more
FAQs About Forum WordPress Plugins
Q. What is a WordPress Forum?
A. WordPress forum is a social networking platform that encourages your website visitors to interact with each other. They are more comprehensive and informative than other communication networks, like a chat room.
Q. How Can a Forum Benefit Your Business?
A. The best benefit of including a forum in a business website is that it acts as a source of information. Your potential customers can find out more about your services/products using such discussion platforms.
Q. Which WordPress Forum Plugin is The Best For My Website?
A. Among the WP plugins mentioned in this article, bbPress is the perfect product for creating online forums. It is easy-to-setup and integrates several powerful features, like unified admin area, speed-optimized, etc.
The above list should definitely help you select the best WordPress forum plugin for you. We recommend you check the detailed features before purchasing the premium version of those items.
If you are looking to set up an online forum on your website, you also need a WordPress theme that is well-suited for that. So, be sure to check out our list of 20+ Best WordPress Forum Themes.
Besides, don’t forget to mention your suggestions regarding this blog in the comment section below. If you know other WP plugins for creating virtual communities, then please let us know.