Have you ever wondered how you can create a forum for your WordPress site? Forum is an excellent way to build a rich community for your business, drive traffic, and create a knowledge base for online users. WordPress allows you to create forums with easy drag and drop steps using forum plugins. Whether you want to create a fully-fledged forum site or include a forum section to your WordPress site, there are plugins for every option. Before we go to the best forum plugins for WordPress here is why you need to include a forum on your WordPress site.
Why Do You Need Forum in WordPress Site?
Build Community-driven WordPress Site
A forum provides an opportunity for your audience to interact and share ideas through Q&A and discussions. With this, your website receives a lot of traffic from visitors who come to the forum to seek knowledge and engage with other visitors. Also, frequent participation can boost your sales as your product and services become available and discovered by many prospects.
Offer User Support
If you’re offering products and services to users, then a support page is a good idea. A forum plugin lets you build a section where you can interact with your users and answer their questions concerning your brand. What’s interesting is that customers can browse through the already answered questions to find answers to their problems.
Improve SEO Ranking
Yes, a forum can improve your SEO score significantly. Popular threads on your forums can rank better than your ordinary posts. This is because user-generated content can have more sense and relevance to different issues thus, rank higher in the search results and drive search traffic to your website.
Forum site needs high server resources, therefore ensure to have a solid WordPress hosting like Cloud VPS from SiteGround to provide stable site.
Top 5 Forum Plugins for WordPress
With all the considerations in mind, here are the best forum plugins for WordPress that you can use to build a forum on your website.
|Simple Press||Yes||$99 for bundle|
bbPress is the popular forum plugin that lets you create discussion forums in your WordPress site. The popularity of bbPress results from its ease of use, seamless integration with WordPress products, and speed. With this, your forums will never be slow, bloated, or hacked by malicious users. The plugin is open source thus free to download and use in your site. You also get periodic updates and reliable support to make sure you don’t run into problems with the plugins.
If you’ve visited the official WordPress Forums page, then you have an idea of how bbPress works. The plugin allows you to create separate pages for forums and lets your users create accounts, post discussion topics, and replies. If you want to unlock the full potential of bbPress, you can purchase the premium add-ons and extensions to extend its functionality. There are over 200 extensions for different functionalities such as attachments, social sharing, and breadcrumbs amongst others.
The downside of the bbPress is that the free version comes with minimal features. You have to install the premium extensions from other developers to get advanced forum features.
2. wpForo Forum
wpForo Forum is a full-fledged yet simple and light forum plugin that provides everything you need to create and manage a professional community. wpForo Forum is one of the best forum plugins with plenty of features and forum layouts to create beautiful and feature-rich forums on your WordPress-powered site. There are four types of forum layouts that you can use to style your discussion page: extended forum layout, simplified forum layout, question and answer forum layout, and threaded forum layout.
The wpForo dashboard provides lot of features to customize the forum page to match your preferences. You can create an elegant and informative profile system for your users, assign ratings and badges based on the number of posts and reputation, build user groups, and assign access roles for easy moderation. The plugin is SEO friendly and fully responsive in all kinds of devices.
The plugin is free however, the plugin developers offer premium extension for extra functionality. Some of the premium add-ons include:
- Blog cross-posting
- myCRED integration
- User custom fields
- Ads manager
- Advanced attachments
- Private messages
3. Asgaros Forum
Asgaros Forum is a forum plugin for WordPress that lets you create lightweight and feature-rich discussion pages for your site. The plugin is easy to use and easily integrates into WordPress. Asgaros is one of the plugins that let you create super-fast and SEO friendly discussion boards. The plugin creates a forum page automatically during installation. You can then add the page to your WordPress menu to redirect users to the discussion boards.
Features of the Asgaros Forum plugin include the following:
- Simple content management to manage categories and forums.
- A powerful editor to create and customize forum posts.
- Profile and members list.
- Support multiple instances and multilingualism.
- Easy moderations with permissions and user groups.
- Other features include uploads, polls, reactions, search, statistics, Ads management, and guest posting.
Asgaros Forum is an open-source and completely free forum plugin for WordPress. The developers have a donation page on their site if you’d wish to support their work.
4. Simple Press
Simple Press is a robust forum plugin for WordPress that lets you create enterprise-class forums on your website. The plugin not only allows you to create a community-driven WordPress site but also generate revenue from it. Simple Press comes with paid memberships and subscription features that let you charge users for access to your forum. You can use the Ad module to display ads in the forum and increase your revenue.
As a forum plugin, Simple Press comes with tons of useful functionalities to create a powerful discussion board on your site. Build large communities with unlimited forums, private messages, and create a secure forum with user groups and moderation. Other features include:
- Forum management
- User management and access control
- Post management
- Integration with WordPress and other plugins and themes
- Ranking and gamification
- Login and registration
Simple Press is available in both free and paid versions. The pro versions give you access to more than 70 premium plugins, themes, updates, and reliable community support. Price starts at $99.00 for the Silver Bundle, $149.00 for Gold Bundle, and $199.00 for the Platinum bundle.
Bonus – ForumWP (Premium)
ForumWP is a premium forum builder for WordPress that lets you create clean, fast, and lightweight forums on your WordPress-powered website. ForumWP comes with only the important features to create a fully functional discussion board. Say goodbye to bloat and outdated forum software. The plugin integrates with your WordPress theme and flawlessly inherits the theme’s styles, fronts, and colors. You don’t need prior programming knowledge to install ForumWP. You can build a complete forum page within minutes with the drag and drop forum editor.
These are the features that make the ForumWP an excellent choice:
- Forum visibility to decide who can view each forum
- Forum customization and styling
- Upload images and other media attachments
- Different forum layouts to organize your discussion board
- Instant email notifications
- Easy moderation for topics and replies
ForumWP comes with different modules to extend its functionality such as subscriptions, bookmarks, and likes. The pricing for the ForumWP starts at $99.00 for a single site, $149.00 for 3 sites., and $249.00 for 10 sites. It is strictly a premium plugin; therefore, there are no free or trial versions.
These are the top 5 forum plugins for WordPress that you’ll find in the market. Some of the plugins come with free versions while others are premium only. Selecting the best plugin depends on your business needs and preferences. While the free versions are affordable, they often come with minimal features to create functional forums. Most premium forum plugins ship with advanced features and extensions that are crucial in creating a complete and robust forum site to build and manage large communities. Select one of the plugins and build a community-driven WordPress site to enjoy a lot of traffic and excellent SEO rankings.