Looking for the best WordPress forum plugins to let users on your site discuss ideas and share information? Well, we’ve got you covered.
Forums are great platforms to start relevant discussions on various topics. They’re the best for creating a niche society where everybody can have a conversation. Anyone who wants to add a forum page to their website can simply do it by using a forum plugin.
However, selecting the best forum WordPress plugin from the vast lineup can be difficult. Therefore, we’ve narrowed your choices down to the 11 most versatile and feature-rich forum plugins for your WordPress site.
But before exploring the list, let’s find out why one requires a forum plugin.
Why Do You Need WordPress Forum Plugins?
Similar to what we’ve mentioned above, WordPress forum plugins are effective community-building tools. Your site visitors and members can actively participate in the community and engage in different conversations.
On top of that, they can post questions and answers and share solutions and ideas. Hence, using a good WordPress forum plugin, you can:
- Increase user engagement and participation on your website.
- Provide SEO value to your site since unique issues are discussed.
- Create an alternative way of providing general support to your customers.
That’s why we recommend adding a functional forum to your site using a forum plugin. Now without further delay, let’s get to the list of the 11 best plugins to add a forum to your WordPress site.
11 Best WordPress Forum Plugins
bbPress is hands down the best plugin when it comes to integrating a forum into WordPress. Anyone can easily create a forum on their WordPress site with this extension as it’s extremely easy to use.
bbPress uses the existing WordPress core to power your forum and is built the WordPress way. It’s open-source software so it can be used unlimitedly, that too for free.
Key Features of bbPress:
- Fast and lightweight
- Maintains multisite forums from one dashboard
- Follows the same coding standard as WordPress
- More than 200 bbPress extensions are available
- Integrates with any WordPress themes without any hectic modification
Pricing: Free or $35
BuddyPress is an official WordPress plugin that lets you build your own social network inside your WordPress site. It also follows the same coding standards and practices as WordPress.
You can create a full-fledged online community with user profiles, streams, user groups, and a networking system. Similar to social apps like Facebook, it allows your users to add people and start conversations individually or in groups.
Key Features of BuddyPress:
- Helps create blogs
- Compatible with API
- Open-source platform
- Integrates with any WordPress themes and plugins
- Helps site builders to add community features to their sites
3. wpForo Forum
wpForo Forum is the perfect choice for creating highly interactive and fully responsive online forums. Even users with no coding skills can build an online community easily. Frequently updated, this plugin has over 30000+ active installations.
Moreover, this plugin has unique and powerful features to run an efficient, professional community. It’s a full-fledged yet simple and light solution for your site.
Key Features of wpForo:
- Multiple layouts
- SEO optimization
- Fully responsive
- Drag and drop system
- Social site sharing button
Pricing: Free or The Add-ons start at $11
Asgaros is a lightweight and beginner-friendly forum plugin. Thus, anyone can easily set it up and use it. If you’re looking for a plugin with a very intuitive design and a simple interface, this is it.
This high-rated plugin is designed for small as well as large forum communities. You can find customizable themes, statistic displays, and ad management to build a complete forum with it.
Key Features of Asgaros Forum:
- Compatible with multisite
- Fully customizable posts
- Simple content management
- Polls and Widgets are available
- Profiles and member lists for your users
DW Question & Answer Pro enables you to create a complete question and answer (Q&A) section on your website. So, if you’re creating a system like Quora or Stack Overflow, this is an excellent choice to start with.
Unlike other plugins, it allows your users to vote for answers so that the best answer gets priority and less important answers go to the end. Furthermore, you can display all questions on one page of your choice with different filters.
Key Features of DW Question and Answer Pro:
- Multilingual support
- Send mail notifications
- Shortcodes included
- Uses CAPTCHA to combat spam
- Instant searches through keywords
Pricing: Free or $29 for a Regular License
Sabai Discuss is a premium plugin perfect for creating Q&A pages on your WordPress site. Like Yahoo Answers and Stack Overflow, this plugin features the ability for users to ask questions and answer them.
This plugin is an ideal tool not only for community questions but also to build a discussion forum. It even enables you to create a knowledge base and a help desk portal.
Key Features of Sabai Discuss:
- Custom fields to filter Q&A
- Includes 9 WordPress widgets
- Flat design and fully responsive
- Works with any theme
- Uses Ajax to improve page responsiveness
Pricing: $24 for a Regular License
Discussion Board is a forum plugin that makes it easy to add a forum to your website. When activated, this plugin will automatically create pages needed to keep the forum up and running.
One can restrict the user registrations, and manage the number of community members. Moreover, users can choose whether to publish new topics immediately or hold them as a draft for moderation.
Key Features of Discussion Board:
- Useful shortcodes are available
- Suitable for niche sites
- Option to approve new registrations
- Choice from three layouts
- Register and log in via the front-end form
Pricing: Free or $49/Year for a Single Site
8. CM Answers
If you’re looking for a plugin to create a multi-purpose online discussion board, CM Answers is the perfect fit. While using this plugin, admins have the full authority to customize Q&As and filter any unwanted content.
It is even better for advanced users who want a Stack Overflow-type discussion platform. So, users can post questions, give answers, rate the answers, and post comments.
Key Features of CM Answer:
- Supports BuddyPress integration
- Shortcodes to embed Q&A
- Allows editing Q&As
- Detailed logs and statistics
- Upload files in discussion board format
Pricing: Free or $39/Year for a Single Site
Simple:Press plugin comes with a business class forum for your site. Whatever feature you need, be it free or premium, the plugin has it all. It’s supported by a sole organization therefore; one doesn’t need to contact multiple vendors.
Simple:Press doesn’t use shortcodes, it directs the entire forum into the content area of the page you specify. Built for performance with custom tables, it is unified into WordPress’s user and security model and thus can scale up to thousands of users.
Key Features of Simple:Press:
- SEO compatible links
- WordPress integration
- 70+ premium plugins
- Powerful user group and permission system
- Supports both standard WordPress and multisite installations
Pricing: Free or $199/Year for a Single Site
ForumWP is yet another premium choice to add an online forum to your page. If you’re looking for scalable software to manage a growing business community, this could be an ideal plugin.
With ForumWP you can simply create forums and allow users to create topics and respond. Besides, it has different layouts so you can either use a traditional forum design or modern latest view, or even both.
Key Features of ForumWP:
- Real-time updates
- Compact and fast
- Various layouts
- Private replies
- Compatible with any device
Pricing: Free or 120/Year for a Single Site
11. WP Symposium Pro
WP Symposium Pro is the ultimate social networking plugin for your WordPress site. It gives you the liberty of creative forums in different ways. Using this plugin is super easy; just install it and with a single click you have your own social network.
For a better experience, this SEO-friendly plugin adds user profiles, activity walls, friend invitations, etc., to your page. Well, that’s not it, users can even send direct messages to each other while on this forum.
Key Features of WP Symposium:
- Easily customizable
- Works with WPML
- Profile security
- Short codes with options galore
- Compatible with themes and plugins
Pricing: Free and The Extension starts at $55.99
Wrapping It Up!
So that’s it for our list of best forum plugins for WordPress. To summarize, here’s our recommendation on what these plugins are most suitable for.
- BbPress: For a simple interface.
- BuddyPress: For a social network plugin.
- wpForo Forum: To create an online message board.
- Asgaros Forum: If you seek a beginner-friendly plugin.
- DW Question and Answer Pro: Best for creating a support forum.
- Discussion Board: For SEO-optimized forum plugin.
- CM Answers: Suitable for building discussion forum.
- Simple:Press: For managing large forums.
- ForumWP: To manage large communities.
- Sabaii Discuss: For creating a support forum like Quora and Stack Overflow.
- WP Symposium Pro: Perfect for clubs, schools, support sites, interest groups, etc.
Regardless of your choice of the online forum plugin, you’ll need hosting resources to run a successful online community. So, make sure to check our article on the best WordPress hosting providers and best blog hosting providers for WordPress