We tested the best WordPress forum plugins so you can build a community of like-minded people quickly.
And for free!
(Okay, you can also choose a premium plugin and unlock many more features.)
It’s easy to add community and forum sections to your website with a plugin (no coding needed).
A forum can serve many purposes: support forums, sports clubs, dating sites, question-and-answer websites, discussion boards, fitness clubs, and any other group activity.
Also, forums can add to SEO. The content in any forum thread may answer a specific Google search.
And this is our favorite thing about owning a forum:
Once it gets going, you can get as involved as you want or stay away from it, focusing only on moderation, monetization and growth. It’s totally up to you.
What Are WordPress Forum Plugins?
A WordPress forum plugin is a simple (yet powerful) tool to add a complete forum to your website or blog.
The package includes everything you need to start with creating a forum immediately.
Enjoy the templates, the forms, the styling features and the necessary functions for the best user engagement.
Note: A free plugin (which also comes with a pro version) usually has limitations, but it’s an excellent start. On the other hand, unlock the true potential by going premium.
Why Add A Forum To Your WordPress Website?
There are many benefits of adding a forum to your website. One of the core ones improving your overall online presence (unless you’re building a forum-only website).
Use a forum to build a loyal community, grow trust and help users find the right information fast.
It’s also a fantastic way to chat with like-minded people, provide opinions and share knowledge,
tips and tricks.
You can also create a support forum for any service or product.
And you can also start seeing SEO improvements after a while of running an active forum.
A forum can reward your business greatly.
Friendly tip: Don’t start with the forum section if you have just built your website or don’t yet have a decent following (but you’re good to go if you have a clever marketing strategy – more below). It’s better to avoid a non-active forum.
Benefits of a forum:
- A user engagement boost
- Build a loyal community
- Increase trust
- Share tips, tricks, opinions, etc.
- Support (forum)
- Helps SEO
10 Best Forum Plugins For WordPress
|bbPress||Free||The best overall solution for building a forum in WordPress (for free!).|
|BuddyPress||Free||The best overall solution for creating a community website (0 fees!).|
|wp-Foro||Free||A great multipurpose plugin for forums and Q&A pages.|
|Asgaros||Free||Your best solution to build a niche forum.|
|PeepSo||Free||Use it for social networks and memberships.|
|AnsPress||Free||Do you want to build a question-and-answer site? Make it happen with AnsPress.|
|Discussion Board||Free||Build a community-oriented website that takes little time to realize.|
|Sabai Discuss||$24||Use the many advanced functionalities to create a powerful forum for all your needs.|
|Simple:Press||$199/year||An endless collection of features to realize any forum idea.|
|DW Q&A||$39||Do you want to create a Quora or Yahoo Answers lookalike? DW Q&A is the way to go.|
Many free plugins can help you add a forum to your website, from basic but highly efficient bbPress to feature-rich plugins. You can take your pick depending on the specific needs of your forum.
bbPress is an excellent plugin for adding a forum to your WordPress website.
It uses the same coding standards as WordPress and integrates seamlessly with all WP themes. It won’t require modification to fit any theme.
It doesn’t include a ton of functionality because it’s designed to be quick and lean, but various add-ons can greatly expand the plugin’s capabilities.
With a one-click setup, it’s easy to set up, and you can manage and control everything from one main account. With simple tweaks and no coding, you can have your forum appear anyway you want.
With the use of RSS feeds, you may help users build their forums and produce content for them. Akismet support is built-in, allowing you to keep spam at the door.
The plugin you need to add forums to articles and pages so that readers may make comments or start a discussion is called bbPress.
It is a fantastic approach to introduce a fresh subject, invite readers to participate in the comments section, and for stimulating conversations to emerge.
- Lightweight base
- Easy to manage and maintain
- Step-by-step setup
- Great for small/niche and large forums
- It can be too basic for some users (need to use add-ons to add more functionality)
It’s free from the WordPress repository.
You must also mention BuddyPress whenever you discuss bbPress. best friends!
BuddyPress is a social network plugin that gives forums a solid foundation from which to grow. BuddyPress adheres to WordPress coding standards, just like bbPress. This makes it simple to integrate with WordPress and compatible with the majority of WordPress plugins and themes.
After the plugin has been activated, you can form groups and rely on a variety of extensions that enhance the operation of the forum or community.
Create profiles, social connections, activity streams, private interactions, and more for registered users. You can choose to award points for any action.
Add some additional interest!
Similar to bbPress, BuddyPress is purposefully kept minimal, allowing users to only add the functionality they actually need. If you have WP Multisite enabled, you can get the plugin to track blogs, posts, comments, and even custom post kinds (with some code).
We also appreciate that the plugin is offered in a variety of languages.
- Compatible with any niche and industry
- Regular updates
- Great support and documentation
- Easy installation and use
- Membership gateway
- Great for beginner and advanced users
- Some users find it too basic
It’s a free plugin you can download from the WordPress repository.
wpForo can help you build both small and large forums.
You may create both small and huge forums with the aid of wpForo.
Note: You can also peek at our best question-and-answer WordPress themes for an even quicker start.
It’s simple to create a community that resembles Stack Overflow.
Create the bulletin board to your specifications so that it matches your branding and theme.
Additionally, there is an integrated user group system with a post count-based user rating system.
Users can make stunning profiles, join, and vote for or against any issue or response. Enable the required features and make it enjoyable for everyone.
Management and moderation of forums are made simple by the drag-and-drop feature. You receive every tool you need to successfully manage your forum.
It is the ideal forum for queries and responses. Additionally, add-ons are accessible for private conversations, embeds, ad managers, etc.
With built-in SEO, a cache system, and anti-spam, wpForo is responsive. Additionally, it is quite beneficial to move data from many forum plugins.
- Integration with other plugins
- Handy SEO functions
- Ready-to-use layouts (that save you a lot of time)
- Supports multiple languages
- Drag and drop forum management
- Members profile system
- Add-ons can get expensive (if you need many)
A free forum plugin for every WordPress user
4. Asgaros Forum
Asgaros Forum is a lean, fast, and simple forum plugin to quickly set up a lightweight discussion board.
All you have to do to get a forum up and running quickly is create a new page and add a shortcode.
Yes, it is as easy as it appears to be.
Add the page you create to the menu to have access to the forum. Following that, you may control posts, topics, and guest postings, make the forum searchable, and create sub-forums and user groups. (The search feature is ESSENTIAL!)
With a large number of hooks and filters, the plugin is user-friendly for developers and supports WP multisite.
It’s also cool that you can quickly ban people from the WordPress dashboard’s user edit screen.
In addition, you may access metrics, upload files, moderate, provide rights, and track topic activity.
- Novice-friendly installation and configuration
- It’s Google-friendly
- Allows you to create polls
- Tracking statistics
- Multisite and multi-language compatible
- More regular updates and improvements would make it more promising
You can get Asgaros on WordPress.org for free.
PeepSo differs slightly from the WordPress forum plugins in this collection.
You can create a modern, clean, and engaging social network within your WordPress website with PeepSo.
How cool does that sound?
You can now achieve the same results with a straightforward yet effective plugin rather than having to hire a designer and a coder (and shell out a high charge).
PeepSo has countless features. Additionally, you may always upgrade to the premium plan to take things to a completely new level.
However, if the free version meets your needs, you can use it right away and for as long as you like (although it can become somewhat constrained as your network expands).
Some of PeepSo’s specialties include front-end user profiles, customized reactions, blog post integration, email notification, real-time user notifications, built-in security, and RTL compatibility.
Style it accordingly and go live in little to no time.
- Great for newbie users
- Quick styling
- Compatible with LTR and RTL languages
- Easy to monetize
- User profiles with custom fields
- Many activity functions
- (Expensive) Subscription-based premium plan
- Free: Front-end user profiles, hashtags, built-in search, real-time notifications
- Ultimate Bundle ($199/year): Chat, gamification, ads, Easy Digital Downloads, audio and video files
AnsPress adds a proper question-and-answer system to your WordPress website, like QsAns or Quora.
You can add a Q&A page to an existing website rather than creating a brand-new one.
There are other ways to use this plugin than with any theme and type of website.
For an internal Q/A board or as a support ticket forum, AnsPress also performs admirably as a FAQ website.
It supports several languages, shortcodes, reCAPTCHA, email and push notifications, among other features, and is quick and developer-friendly.
Along with these features, AnsPress also supports tags, categories, labels, comments, featured questions, sorting options, voting on questions and answers, user profiles, and more.
Although AnsPress’s efficiency and optimization might be improved, we still think it should be updated more frequently.
If you need to create a Q&A website, we suggest it!
- Featured questions and best answers
- Recent activities and history report
- Media attachments
- 6+ free add-ons
- Some usability issues can be present (but are very rare)
A completely free WordPress question and answer plugin (download from WordPress.org).
7. Discussion Board
Job boards, school websites, technical forums, eCommerce, and any community forum will find Discussion Board useful in adding a helpful forum to their website.
Once activated, it will automatically build pages and install shortcodes so that your website has a functioning forum.
By requiring new users to click on an email link to complete the registration process, it enables you to allow people to log in and register on the front end while reducing spam.
The anti-spam fields on the registration form can be used to further restrict spam.
Additionally, you can register new users in a certain position, give varying levels of access to various roles, and prevent registrations (from particular emails).
Shortcodes for topic archives, recently discussed subjects, and log-in forms are included in the plugin, which has straightforward styling to fit any theme.
Users’ ability to amend their remarks is another advantageous feature that lowers tension in case
Additional features including numerous discussion boards, subject status, categories, tags, image uploads, user profiles, and the WYSIWYG editor are added in the pro edition of the plugin.
You have everything you need to create a message board!
Discussion Board Pros:
- User registration approval
- Anti-spam protection
- Subscription to boards
- Media file uploads
- Top posters and comments
- 14-day money-back guarantee
Discussion Board Cons:
- Free version (can be) too basic
Discussion Board Pricing:
- Free: User management, front-end login, spam reduction, shortcodes
- Basic ($49/year): 1 site, all other features
- Pro ($89/year): Unlimited sites, all other features
8. Sabai Discuss for WordPress
Sabai Discuss for WordPress is minimalist and is essentially a Q and A forum.
Even yet, it resembles a real forum somewhat and has the potential to grow into a knowledge base. It can serve as a conduit for WordPress’ support desk as well.
many excellent choices!
On the front end, anyone can create profiles and post queries. People can contribute questions, comments, and files in addition to providing answers and remarks. (The comments are embedded.)
Sabai Discus offers autosuggest features to assist users in finding information quickly.
Custom fields and a visual form editor can be used to categorize and filter questions and answers. The plugin supports over 40 distinct permissions, including reputation and role.
With the use of a CSV importer/exporter, it is able to create exclusive RSS feeds for members only, permit guest posting, and import and export files.
Additionally, you can use the five shortcodes and nine widgets that are offered, as well as install numerous plugin instances. Sabai Discus uses ajax technology and includes a large number of template files.
Sabai Discuss Pros:
- Regular updates
- Built-in search for questions and answers
- Up and down votes
- Works with WordPress translation plugins (supports RTL)
- Allows guest submissions
Sabai Discuss Cons:
- Customer support can be slow
Sabai Discuss Pricing:
- Regular license ($24): 1 client, 1 end product (can’t charge users for it)
- Extended license ($120): 1 client, 1 end product (can charge users for it)
Simple:Press is a free plugin that can scale to match the needs of any forum. It has a huge plugin library, which you can use to add functions.
You may quickly and easily build sub-forums and control comments thanks to the plugin’s speed and minimal weight. Simple:Numerous plugins and services, including Share This, BuddyPress, MyCred, Slack, Sitemaps, Gravatars, and TinyMCE, are integrated with Press.
The various templates and themes make customizing simple.
It is able to set up public and private forums, give them ranks and badges, and put a permission system in place. You can set up strong user groups, enable member-only private RSS feeds, and store parts outside of the plugin.
Additionally, you can use custom smileys, custom icons, and image thumbnails and enlargements.
To make your life easier, you can use the extensive search features, forum metrics, optional support for WP shortcodes, and email notifications.
Additionally, you can visit the support forum for the plugin for one-on-one assistance and plugin discounts if you sign up as a member.
- Scales with you
- Built-in statistics
- Private and public forums
- SEO-friendly structure
- Help text throughout the plugin + support + documentation
- Expensive pro plans
- Free: Forum groups, unlimited forums, custom icons, custom avatars
- 1 site ($199/year): All features
- 5 sites ($358/year): All features
- Unlimited sites ($644/year): All features
10. DW Question & Answer Pro
If you want to add something slightly different to your website, skipping the traditional forum thing, DW Question & Answer Pro is the plugin you should check out.
It is a technology that generates a page with questions and answers, much like Quora or Yahoo Answers. You can use it to build a full web space or incorporate it as an addition to your current website.
Your decision is yours.
Outstanding features of DW Question & Answer Pro allow you to quickly build a complete Q&A-style website.
also without having done any coding before.
The question form, voting, views counter, email notifications, rapid search, and reCAPTCHA to prevent spam are just a few of the extras. Additionally, the DW Question & Answer Pro plugin includes seven widgets and two unique shortcodes.
DW Q&A Pro is fully compatible with any WordPress theme, allowing you to integrate it flawlessly.
DW Q&A Pro Pros:
- Effortless question management
- Private and public questions
- Instant search (live results)
- Predefined themes and styles
- Multiple permissions settings
DW Q&A Pro Cons:
- Bugs can appear from time to time
DW Q&A Pro Pricing:
- Free: Limited features (but still a great start to your Q&A platform!)
- Regular license ($39): 1 client, 1 end product (can’t charge users for it)
- Extended license ($130): 1 client, 1 end product (can charge users for it)