Having a vibrant community is a cool thing for a website. More than website traffic, a community means a lot.
Not many of your visitors will stick around. Some of them will be the floating crowd, and casual visitors.
But those that stick around become your loyal visitors and potential customers.
Having a community makes that happen.
And, having a forum on your website helps you to build a vibrant community, ground up!
Another advantage of having a community is that you easily get to know about the problems and pain points of your potential customers, right at your website.
You don’t have to look elsewhere to find out what their interests and questions are.
A forum is a great place where your readers will share their problems, question, and much more!
This will help you to serve them better, isn’t?
And, with WordPress there are plugins for just about everything! Forum? Sure. Why not?
Let’s see 5 WordPress forum plugins that will make it easy for you to add a forum to your website.
BuddyPress is a well famous forum plugin with lots of documentation and help. If you are looking for a WordPress forum plugin you would have already heard about BuddyPress.
The plugin won’t disappoint you since it is feature rich yet simple. Your users can set up their own profiles, create groups (micro-communities) and catch up with each others’ activities.
With such a set up, your site’s forum can easily become another social media for your users where they can hang out and discuss relevant stuff.
As the site owner, you can create custom profile fields for your users to fill out. The plugin is also compatible with many third party add ons so you can expand its features.
BuddyPress also enables you to add points system so your users are encouraged to interact and participate in the forum.
With all its sleek features, the plugin is so simple and clean.
#2 DW Question & Answer
Even though DW Question & Answer doesn’t have much of full functionalities of a forum, it can serve the purpose.
It is not feature rich but if you want to add a simple question and answer feature to your website, this plugin is all you need.
Apart from looking at it as a forum plugin, you can use it for knowledgebase if your website has a product or a service.
Your customers can post support questions and get answers directly from you or from other users.
Some of the handy features include the ability to put up sticky questions, upvote answers and comments, private answering, follow questions, and much more.
If you want a simple, yet effective plugin to help you add a forum to your website and don’t need all the bells and whistles, this plugin is a great choice.
This plugin is handsdown the best option if you want to fully integrate a forum in your website, since this plugin takes care of pretty much everything.
bbPress integrates seamlessly with all WordPress themes. And the plugin is lightweight, so you don’t have to worry about compromising on site speed while enjoying this feature rich plugin.
It has quite a lot of widgets to make your forum user friendly.
You can also give the right permissions to users (moderators) so they can delete posts, flag spam, edit posts and do the regular moderation stuff.
The plugin also has addons in case you want to extend certain features.
#4 AnsPress – Question and answer
This plugin is a great, free option if you want to add a simple forum for your website. Simple, as in, you don’t have to spend a lot of time and energy in setting it up.
The plugin offers a simple and effective frontend while a robust backend with cool settings.
Users can mark a question as his/her favourite. They can vote on questions and answers. And they can sort questions and answers by various options too!
Users can also edit their profile, add cover photo, add friends and follow and much more.
The submit form is ajax based.
#5 CM Answers
This plugin is more of a question and answer plugin but serves great as a forum plugin too.
Your users can ask questions and either you or other users can answer the questions.
Users can also vote for the answers, hence making the most useful answer popular.
CM Answers operates on a freemium model. The pro version of the plugin has much more bells and whistles though!
A sleek feature of the plugin worth mentioning is that users can filter the discussions by hot at the moment, or by week or month.
Forum plugins for WordPress
As I said, having a forum in your website will help you build a vibrant community for your business.
And with WordPress you can integrate pretty much any functionality to your website with a plugin!
I’ve listed 5 free plugins in this post, while there are premium (paid) options too!
Let me know which of these forum plugins did you like best. Or if you have a forum plugin to add to this list, please do so.
If you want to set up a forum for your website, don’t hesitate to contact us.