Introducing a forum to your site can be a great way to increase user engagement and improve the community aspect of your site. And if you’ve got a WordPress powered site, there are many options for adding a community section but which is the best for you? We’ve gone ahead and picked the best forum plugins for WordPress for you.
1 bbPress – The bbPress plugin is a side project of WordPress.org so it’s no surprise to see it as being the most popular option for users looking to add a forum to their WordPress site. Extremely easy to set up and manage, bbPress uses the WordPress core to power your forum so you won’t have to worry about it slowing down your site.
Furthermore, with a large collection of bbPress extensions, you will be able to add functions to the forum that you may not be able to with other WordPress forum plugins (including a points system courtesy of MyCreds). However, it’s important to remember that this has been developed with it being lightweight in mind so several “basic” features may require a third-party extension.
Pros & Cons of bbPress
+ Built specifically for WordPress making it lightweight and easy to integrate with themes & plugins.
+ Large number of extensions available to extend your bbPress forum.
– Lack of advanced features that you may find with fully fledged software like MyBB or phpBB.
2 Asgaros Forum – Another lightweight solution, Asgaros Forum is a great plugin to add a forum to your WordPress site (it’s also the solution that we went with for Admin Loop!). Configure a few basic settings, use the shortcode on the page you want your forum to be on and you can start posting straight away. Furthermore, with a simple & minimalistic style, an Asgaros Forum is suited to almost any WordPress theme you use.
Unfortunately, it being simple & lightweight isn’t always the best. It’s extremely limited in terms of features that you would expect from a forum and it can hold you back if you want to have a fully fledged forum on your WP site. However, it can be a great solution if you are happy with just the basics of a forum.
Pros & Cons of Asgaros Forum
+ Simple & lightweight solution to add a forum for your WordPress installation.
+ Built-in advertisement system allows you to monetize your forum very easily.
– Lack of extensions means that you cannot extend your forum and add new features.
3 wpForo Forum – Growing in popularity, wpForo is slowly becoming a favourite for admins looking to add a forum to their site. With a unique feature of being able to choose different layouts for your different categories, the plugin caters to whatever needs the admin has including having a normal forum or a Q&A style section.
And if that wasn’t enough to convince you, wpForo also offer a migration tool that lets you move over from other WordPress forum plugins and even forum software such as MyBB and phpBB! The plugin also comes with built-in features for SEO, XML sitemaps and spam prevention.
Pros & Cons of wpForo
+ Built-in SEO, XML Sitemap and spam prevention features.
– Advanced features such as an advertisement manager and private messaging require paid extensions.
– Overload of settings makes it complex to set up and manage for beginners.
4 DW Question & Answer – Slightly different to the other plugins we have mentioned, DW Question & Answer is more of a question & answer forum. For those that have visited or been a regular user of StackOverflow, you will be able to create something similar to that with this plugin.
Your users will be able to post questions for others to answer, vote on questions and even mark their questions as “Answered”. However, if you’re looking to create a normal discussion board, this plugin is probably not for your site.
Pros & Cons of DW Question & Answer
+ Perfect solution for support forum or basic question & answer style forum.
+ Built-in Captcha feature allows you to prevent spam on your site easily.
– Only works for those looking for a Q&A style setup and would not work as a discussion board.
The above plugins are some great solutions for when you want to increase community engagement on your site. If you have any questions or issues regarding any of the above plugins, feel free to leave a comment below or send us an email.