Organizing online forums requires a lot of patience, hard work & sometimes more than average technical knowledge. For beginners, this usually means learning a new software system from the ground up. Forums give site visitors a chance to connect and discuss; share ideas and collaborate; analyze and contribute. They give your site visitors a way to participate in a community and feel like they’re actually part of something.There is no doubt in that a well-planned and managed forum can help you build an engaged community of users. Using a plugin will make setting one up a simple matter so you can go straight to interacting with your users.
You just need to know that managing a forum takes lots of time and efforts, but in returns, it will give you an incredible result in the long run. You are basically creating your own little social network situated around a single topic that other people have similar interests in.
Best 5 Forum Plugins for WordPress
Created by the creators of WordPress, but still in its infancy. BBPress is best if you are looking for a quick solution which just works. It integrates well and can share WordPress database out of a box. bbPress.org(bbPress) is the best long-term solution. With plugins and other extensions, the biggest concern is the lack of support down the road. With bbPress that’s not something you have to worry about, which is rare for a free product.(MORE INFO/DOWNLOAD)
Well-developed and reliable
Integrates with every WordPress theme
Simple, clean, and fast design
200+ plugins available
Actively maintained and updated
BuddyPress is a social networking tool to integrate into your WordPress Website, and I think it’s an excellent option a little bit better than the old one. The forum is known for being used by schools & companies to keep people in the circle when it comes to events or discussions.
People can also create usernames and make their profiles, manage groups and post messages in a forum-like format. In my opinion, the profile pages look a little like the old Myspace pages, but a whole lot cleaner.(MORE INFO/DOWNLOAD)
Easily integrates to any of the WordPress Theme.
Many of the plugins to extend the functionality.
Creates activity streams, social connections, user profiles, groups, etc.
Add a points system to kindle user engagement.
Vanilla Forum is something you can use & make it work with WordPress Database (Not an easy thing to do though, this guide may help: How to integrate Vanilla WordPress plugins and widgets).In the case of Vanilla, it’s aesthetically pleasing and very easy to match with your WordPress design. Also moderation, thread management controls are very easy to learn.(MORE INFO/DOWNLOAD)
Intuitive and Easy to Use
Total Theme Control
Q & A
Gamification & Reputation Engine
Seamless Single Sign-on
Total Theme Control
Works well with WordPress database. Good if you are looking for a simple solution. Doesn’t have too many (extension) plugins though.
Simple press forum system is built so that it can be extended in many ways using other Simple: Press plugins. Also, it integrates with many other popular services for added convenience, including BuddyPress, Slack, ShareThis, MyCred, SiteMaps, Gravatars, AIOSEO, WP SEO, and TinyMCE.(MORE INFO/DOWNLOAD)
DW Question & Answer
With over 20,000 active installs, it is a very popular plugin for adding functionality to WordPress websites. It comes on the top of our list with 4.4-star ratings. If we talk about complete question & answer forum system, then DW Question & Answer enables questions to be submitted,, ordered, filtered, edited and deleted. Users can also answer the questions or comment on other answers, and as well as vote and pick the best answer suited to them of those who had already provided. Questions and answers can be set accordingly to private or public, and users can follow a question or answer to be notified of responses.(MORE INFO/DOWNLOAD)
Supports multiple languages
Question and answer forum
Categories and tags boost SEO
CAPTCHA helps stop spam
Built-in email notifications
We hope this article helped you to find the best 5 forum plugin for WordPress. So now if you are thinking about setting up a forum system, pick one and get started today. Please share in the comments your experiences with forum plugins and any you think we may have missed.