Top 8 WordPress Forum Plugins Compared

Whether you’re selling something online or just trying to establish your presence, the engagement of users is one of the primary aspects of the entire business. If your target audience isn’t involved with your content, achieving goals and objectives might become a difficult task. Out of all the practices, creating a WordPress forum website can be the best idea to keep visitors engaged in different conversations and discussions. So, if you’re considering to create one, here is the list of top 8 WordPress forum plugins that can help you do the job.

What Are Forum Websites?

Just as the name suggests, a forum website is one such platform that enables users and visitors to hold discussions over a variety of topics. Not just people can ask questions or answer but can also upvote the best answers, depending upon the available functionality.

Benefits of a Forum Website:

There’s a variety of benefits that one can gain from a forum website, such as:

  • Fostering relationships
  • Chatting with customers
  • Ensuring better qualitative services
  • User-generated content
  • Visitor retention
  • Increased sales
  • Community building

Top 8 WordPress Forum Plugins:

bbPress:

When you think about integrating forums into your WordPress website, hands-down, bbPress is the most considerable plugin for this task. This plugin is an additional project of WordPress.org; thus, it’s completely built for the platform and is compatible with the core of WordPress to power forums.

Easy to setup, moderate, and maintain, this plugin is quite clean and fast. Whether you’re a newbie or a professional, you can create a forum with bbPress absolutely quick. With its advanced functionality, it has the potential to help you out better.

Pros:

  • Compatible with every WordPress theme
  • 200+ bbPress extensions available
  • Lightweight & fast

Cons:

  • Limited features
  • Requires extensions for extended functionality
  • No quick support

Pricing:

This plugin is available free of cost. You can either download from the WordPress inventory or their official website.

wpForo Forums:

This one is a modern and feature-rich WordPress forum plugin that you can use for better output. Suitable for different types of discussion forums, this plugin can be used by both small and large communities. It comes with three different layouts, such as Question & Answer, Simplified, and Extended layout.

Adding more to it, wpForo Forums also comes with five astonishing premium add-ons. These add-ons are Advanced Attachments, Embeds, Private Messages, Ads Manager, and Blog Cross Posting. In the end, you can use this plugin to build a fantastic community.

Pros:

  • Inbuilt features for SEO
  • Paid add-ons to extend the functionality
  • Smooth integration and activation

Cons:

  • Basic elements in the free plugin
  • Complex settings for new users
  • Not compatible with WooCommerce

Pricing:

Although this plugin is available for free, however, the add-ons come with a price tag, starting from $20.

BuddyPress:

For online communities, BuddyPress is a significant go-to solution. Created by the same development group as bbPress, this plugin is a bit different than the former option. This plugin can be used for creating online community or social networks where your target audience can make profiles, send private messages, and join groups.

The interface of this plugin lets users send friendship requests. And, specific groups can be made for things like schools, companies, teams, and more. Easy to navigate, you wouldn’t have to face any problems while launching or using this plugin.

Pros:

  • Easy integration with plugins and themes
  • Several extensions available
  • Free and open source

Cons:

  • No advanced features
  • Challenging to migrate to another site
  • Not easy to find program documentation

Pricing:

This plugin is an open-source and free plugin and can be either downloaded from the official website or the WordPress inventory.

CM Answers:

Another one on the list is CM Answers. It lets you create a powerful forum with questions and answers in WordPress. The basic free plugin provides regular features that would be enough to set up a forum on your website.

Not just this plugin lets users post questions but answer and vote as well. Your audience can also subscribe to categories, upload files, and send private messages among everything else. Being the admin, you can customize questions and answers. And also, you can use manager users along with filtering out unrequired content.

Pros:

  • Integrates easily with WordPress themes
  • Users can vote to questions & answers
  • Additional features in the premium version

Cons:

  • Limit functionality to Q&A forum
  • Useful features aren’t in the free plan
  • Might be difficult to use

Pricing:

Along with the basic free plan, there’s a premium version to this plugin as well. The pro version has three different packages, costing $39, $59, and $99.

Asgaros Forum:

Asgaros Forum is one such plugin that comes without any cost; however, the developer has put a donation button. So, you can donate if you want for a better cause. Coming to its features, the list is quite long and precise enough to help you create a forum for WordPress.

This plugin allows you to create unlimited forums and sub-forums. With ease to use and moderate, Asgaros Forum also comes with frontend forum moderation and optional file uploads. Moreover, there are striking features like mentions, activity feed, reactions, and much more.

Pros:

  • Looks good and attractive
  • Convenient frontend moderation option
  • Comes with social integration

Cons:

  • There is no option for custom redirect
  • Less SEO options
  • No extensions to add more functionality

Pricing:

The plugin is free and can either be downloaded from WordPress.org or the official website. However, you can donate via PayPal to support the developer’s work if you want.

Discussion Board:

Whether it’s a school website or an e-commerce store, almost every community is going to find Discussion Board as a useful plugin when it comes to developing WordPress discussion forum. Upon activation, it creates pages automatically and inserts shortcodes to attach a working forum to your WordPress website.

This plugin also helps users to register and login on the frontend. To control spamming, users can also make use of anti-spam fields available in the registration form. Moreover, you can also assign new users in a specific role, block registrations from certain emails, and can assign several access levels to different roles.

Pros:

  • Can be used with any theme
  • Several handy shortcodes
  • Paid versions available for added functionality

Cons:

  • No powerful options in the free version
  • Can only create one forum in the free plan
  • Minimalist design for a forum

Pricing:

The plugin is available in both free and premium versions. The latter one has two different packages, priced at $49/year and $89/year.

Simple:Press:

Simple Press is another substantial forum plugin for WordPress that you can use to craft either a strong public arena or a small forum. Being light and fast, this plugin doesn’t pose any significant problems instead comes with an easy to use functionality.

The inbuilt templates and themes allow you to customize your forum the way you want it. Thanks to its robust structure and an extensive plugin library, you can flawlessly create striking forums for your WordPress website.

Pros:

  • Supports WordPress registration and logins
  • 70+ premium extensions
  • Helps to create SEO friendly permalinks

Cons:

  • Basic free version
  • Higher price for extended functionality
  • Lazy support

Pricing:

Apart from the free version, it has got a premium version that can cost you $99, $149, and $199 a year, depending upon your requirements.

WP Symposium Pro:

WP Symposium Pro is quite a good option when it comes to creating a social network with the help of a plugin. Similar to Facebook, it enables users to develop activity wall, profiles, set email alerts, add friends, join forums, and much more.

Designed to be compatible with any plugin or theme, you can even add this plugin to your existing website for better use.

Pros:

  • Extremely customizable
  • Option to buy individual add-ons
  • Video documentation availability

Cons:

  • Useful features in the premium plan
  • Notice for bronze membership
  • A bit difficult for newcomers

Pricing:

Although the plugin is free of cost, however, its extensions come with a price tag, starting from $99.

Wrapping Up:

When you contemplate creating a forum on the WordPress website, having a right set of tools can help you tremendously complete this job. Although all of these plugins mentioned above are adequate in their spaces, however, if you’re confused, you can go with BuddyPress. Not just it’s a free plugin, but also comes with several add-ons to extend the functionality. Therefore, it’d be a wise choice for beginners.

In case you know about any additional plugin, do let us know in the comments section below.

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