The Top 3 Best WordPress Forum Plugins for Discussion Boards & Community

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Adding a forum to your website might seem like a daunting task.

And it is – if you try to build yours from the ground up. In reality, it’s very easy to add a forum to your WordPress website thanks to the numerous forum plugins available.

The top WordPress forum plugins allow you to add a robust forum to your website without breaking a sweat.

You might like our collection of the best forum WordPress themes for creating your discussion forum.

WordPress Forum Plugins

Not only are these the easiest forum plugins to use, but they’re also the most powerful and feature-rich around.

Below are five of the best forum plugins currently available. And, four of the five listed below are completely free.

  • 1. bbPress

    bbPress plugin

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    Plugin Description

    bbPress is the most mature and developed forum plugin for WordPress. Made by some of the best developers in the WP community, it’s a reliable and efficient solution for building an online forum.

    bbPress it easy to set up and use, and ensures an intuitive experience for your website visitors. There are lots of bbPress compatible themes to choose from.

    It’s been the de-facto WordPress forum solution for years, and its library of plugin extensions has climbed to over 200+. There is a ton of extra functionality you can add from sharing buttons to custom notifications.

    Top Features

    • Well-developed and reliable
    • Integrates with every WordPress theme
    • Simple, clean, and fast design
    • 200+ plugins available
    • Actively maintained and updated

    Learn more

  • 2. wpForo


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    Plugin Description

    wpForo is quickly becoming a top contender as the best WordPress forum plugin.

    This plugin has the rare combination of excellent front-end and back-end design. That means the forum is attractive and intuitive for visitors to use, and the configuration settings in the admin are comprehensive and thoughtfully designed.

    A quick look through the many screenshots will show you the incredible amount of control you have over your discussion boards.

    Top Features

    • Three forum layouts
    • Mobile friendly
    • Complete member profiles
    • Ratings and badge system
    • Simple moderation tools

    Learn more

  • 3. Discussion Board

    Discussion board plugin

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    Plugin Description

    If you want to set up a basic forum quickly, Discussion Board is likely the best choice for you.

    While it’s not as full-featured as the other plugins, this one gets everything right. Members can register, edit their profiles, and post topics and responses.

    Members also have a complete editor for creating rich messages, and you can restrict access to different forums based on the user role. Displaying a forum is as simple as adding a shortcode to a page.

    Top Features

    • Front-end posting
    • Automatic setup
    • Login and registration forms
    • Works with any WordPress theme
    • Anti-spam protection

    Learn more

Which Forum Plugin is Right for You?

Building an active online community on your website takes time and patience. Using one of the WordPress forum plugins above makes it much easier.

Though each plugin has its own pros and cons, they all provide highly effective solutions to those that want a forum on their WordPress website.

Which one will you use? Share in the comments below.

Ben Sibley
Ben Sibley
This article was written by Ben Sibley. He is a WordPress theme designer & developer, and founder of Compete Themes.