In this article we’ll look at the 5 best forum plugins for WordPress. The first one is the bbPress.
This plugin was built for WordPress and it follows the same coding standards as WordPress does. It integrates nicely with thousands of themes without painful modification. It has over a hundred plugins to extend its functionality and it doesn’t have a lot of bloat to deal with. One of the cons is that its not as feature rich as some other forum content management systems, say like phpbb. The next one we’ll look at is BuddyPress.
This lets you build your own social network. It integrates with any theme, has plenty of plugins for functionality, and it creates user activity streams and has a point system to increase user engagement. A couple of cons are that it can be a challenge to move to a different platform if you need to. And it’s not well documented so finding help can be challenging. Number three is WP Symposium which is an alternative to BuddyPress.
It includes social networking features integrated into groups and forums. Some pros are that it’s premium support is available by upgrading to the premium membership. It also includes features like events, galleries, and alerts. Multiple style templates come built in with the plugin. Some cons include that with many of the useful features you need to have a bronze membership. And that the plugin adds a notice when a bronze feature is used on the site. The next one is the CM Answers.
And this allows you to build a Q&A community on your site. Like the others, it integrates with most WordPress themes and users can vote on questions and answers. It has a premium version with many more features to choose from. The cons are that the forum is limited to a Q&A format and that most of the useful features are only with the premium version. Finally we have DW Question Answers plugin.
And much like the CM Answers plugin, this is a Q&A plugin with voting and commenting on answers. It has CAPTCHA support to keep down spam and the only downside is the limitation to just a Q&A site.