If you are wondering how or even if you can make a forum with WordPress, you have come to the right place since I will show you everything you need to know about best WordPress forum plugins.
It definitely is possible to do that, and you can easily do it with WordPress. In this article, I will list some of the best plugins available in the marketplace that make it possible for you to turn your website into a forum.
Show/Hide Table of Contents
Table of Contents
As you should already know by now, WordPress is a powerful platform, and you can use it for almost anything you want to. You can turn it into an online store, a news magazine, blog, professional website, agency site, and much more. You can also turn it into an excellent forum.
All you would need to do is install a plugin from the list below, and you will be able to transform your WordPress site instantly. It’s not going to take a lot of time and effort to set it up but tweaking the settings definitively will. Without wasting any more time, let’s jump into the list with the best forum plugins.
Best 7 WordPress Forum Plugins
It is one of the most popular forum plugins out there, and it should be on the first options you check out when deciding on which plugin you want. Built similarly to WordPress coding-wise, it makes this plugin an even better choice for a WordPress-based forum.
One thing to keep in mind is that you will need a bbPress compatible theme to use this plugin. But considering how popular this plugin is, most of the forum themes out there are compatible with it anyway.
Once you are set on bbPress, the set-up process is straightforward, and the same is true about maintaining it. To get more from this plugin, there are also more than 200 extensions available that will allow you to do almost anything.
Since this is a free open source software, everyone is allowed to download it and give it a try; just remember that some features are not available for the “free” version, and you might need to pay to get the extra thing you need.
Another viral plugin that is used by many forums. Like bbPress, this plugin is also coded the same way as WordPress, and it’s an official plugin that makes them a more compelling choice. BuddyPress allows you to create a fully completed online forum with groups, private messages, profiles, and more.
All of these can be integrated very easily into WordPress, and to enhance your experience with it, you can combine it with bbPress to create the best possible forum you can. But the similarities between this and bbPress do not end there; this is also a free, open-source software.
BuddyPress is built with creating a forum similar to traditional social media, so some of the features that come with it aim to make a better “social media.” To make the experience better, there is a wide variety of third-party plugins that make it one of the best plugins for creating a forum.
While the core plugin is free, some of these other plugins might be priced, so depending on what features you require, you might need to pay to get what you want.
3. wpForo Forum
Despite this plugin not being as famous as the previous ones, it’s still an excellent plugin for anyone looking to make an online community. They are packed with a lot of features that will undoubtedly make your forum better.
The previous plugins are also free, but some paid add-ons add some exciting features that might be of use to anyone that requires those specific features.
One of the most significant features that wpForo has is the four design layouts that this plugin contains.
Other features included with this plugin are the built-in search engine optimizations (SEO), which can help with your forum’s rankings. Another thing to keep in mind is that this plugin can work seamlessly with BuddyPress, so you can make your forum better by using both of these powerful plugins.
But unlike bbPress and BuddyPress, this plugin is a bit more complicated, so new users and those unfamiliar with this line of work might have difficulty finding things at first.
As you can guess by the name, this plugin simplifies the whole process of turning your WordPress website into a forum that is also run on the WordPress platform. If you are looking to make a simplistic but at the same time convenient forum, then this plugin is the one for you.
SimplePress offers all the tools and features you would need to run a successful forum. You can have private or public forums, post threads as a user, lock or pin specific forum topics, have a private chatting system that is awesome, and many more cool features.
This plugin will not take you long to set up and configure since it’s effortless, as the name suggests. In terms of post management, there are some exciting options there too. You can moderate and handle posts before posting on the forum.
If you want to; there is a group and permission system to determine which threads a user can look at or not, custom aviators, and many more. Of course, the SimplePress plugin has more to offer, but there’s a Premium version if you want the whole package.
However, if you don’t feel like doing that, there are many add-ons available for free, so it’s just a matter of doing the proper research, and you will find what you are looking for.
This plugin works a bit differently than the rest on this list, but it’s still exciting and can definitively do the job. Think of it as a forum with similarities with message boards that are Q & A focused, such as Quora. If this is the type of forum that you were thinking of creating, it couldn’t be easier with this plugin.
It will take you no time to install and activate this plugin; however, you will have to spend some more time configuring it. There are many superb settings and options you can tweak so that the visitor can have the best user experience.
The DW Question & Answer plugin will help you build a friendly forum where users can post questions and answers, upvote or downvote the problem or the solution, choose which answer is the best, and many more.
Visitors will be able to look at a specific topic by searching in the search bar, and everything related to the keyword will appear. Whether it being a question or an answer, anything relevant will appear first.
Some other exciting features of this plugin are sending email notifications from the system, 11 language compatibility, a sticky question that will always appear on top, the captcha support, etc.
All these features that I mentioned you could get for free, but this plugin also has a premium version, and with that, you will get even more features, such as font styling, custom widgets, and many more. However, keep in mind that there are also some extensions for this plugin for free on the marketplace.
Asgaros Forum is a lightweight plugin that will help you turn your WordPress website into a forum quickly. The installation process will not take you more than 10 minutes, and the set-up is relatively quick as well, so no worries.
Even if you are a complete beginner, you will intuitively understand what to do without any difficulties. However, this plugin can also be complex and used very well by people who have mastery of the topic.
This is considered one of the best plugins that you can add to your existing website as well. For example, you have already built a website with an audience and want to create a page for the forum; you can easily do that. It will make the forum on that page and without messing with the rest of your website.
Some of the most valuable features of the Asgaros Forum plugin are the simplistic and lightweight build that it has, the potent but straightforward options available for content management, the member and permission options, the forum statistics, and the multisite compatibility.
You can get this highly-rated plugin and all the features mentioned above for free in the WordPress plugin marketplace. There aren’t any add-ons available for it, though, so what you get is what you have.
7. CM Answers
The CM Answers plugin, as you can guess, is another plugin that helps you create a forum in the style of a discussion with questions and answers. The whole process of installing it and activating it will not take you longer than 10 minutes; it’s so simple that even a beginner can do it.
With this plugin installed on your website, users can post questions, answer them, vote whether they think the problem or the answer is valuable or not, send private messages, and much more. However, the admin side is not left behind since you can do some amazing stuff there too.
For example, you can customize the questions, the answers, filter out whatever keywords or phrases you want, manage the content and the users, and more. The good thing about this plugin is that many add-ons will help you integrate something like payment systems, anonymous posting, etc.
It combines well with most plugins themes so that you won’t have a compatibility issue. You will get all the features that I mentioned above in the free version, but there is also a paid one that has even more. The choice is entirely yours, and remember that there are also add-ons available.
Building a forum nowadays is not that difficult and especially when you are using the WordPress platform. Any of the plugins that I mentioned in this article can do what you are asking, and even more so, all that is left for you is to make the right choice.
Hopefully, with my explanations, you can understand more clearly what each plugin does and figure out what you need. Before committing and purchasing one, I would suggest you try to get a feel for them first by installing the free versions for those that have it.
This way, you can experience the process of creating a forum first hand and find out what you like or dislike from the plugin. If you have any questions about the article or for the plugins, don’t hesitate to comment in the comment section below. I will try to answer all of your questions as fast as possible!