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.
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.
- Well-developed and reliable
- Integrates with every WordPress theme
- Simple, clean, and fast design
- 200+ plugins available
- Actively maintained and updated
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.
- Three forum layouts
- Mobile friendly
- Complete member profiles
- Ratings and badge system
- Simple moderation tools
WP Pro Forum System is a favorite on CodeCanyon for creating forums.
This plugin includes everything you need to build a forum with a lively community on your site. It includes moderation tools, custom page styling, and image uploads.
Members get a full WYSIWYG editor for posting responses beyond just plain text, and can even vote on each others’ responses.
- Custom page styling
- voting system
- Forum moderation tools
- Image/file uploading
- Complete message editor
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.
- Front-end posting
- Automatic setup
- Login and registration forms
- Works with any WordPress theme
- Anti-spam protection
Unlike the other forum plugins on this list, DW Question & Answer doesn’t create a regular forum. Instead, the final product is akin to an interactive question and answer page.
DW Question & Answer is especially useful for Q & A sites or as a support forum.
- Supports multiple languages
- Question and answer forum
- Categories and tags boost SEO
- CAPTCHA helps stop spam
- Built-in email notifications
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.