Forums serve as crucial gathering spaces where individuals with shared interests can meet and engage in discussions. They play a significant role in fostering active community participation. If you’re using WordPress and planning to establish a social network community, incorporating forums is a vital step.
Forums can be integrated into various website types, including dating sites, sports sites, community websites, Q&A platforms, and discussion boards, to name a few. The best free forum plugins for WordPress facilitate easy communication among users, allowing them to connect with others who share similar interests.
There are numerous free forum plugins available for WordPress, which can help you integrate forums into your website. In this article, we will highlight some of the best forum plugins for WordPress that will assist you in creating a forum website.
Free Forum Plugins to Create WordPress Community Website
We’ve compiled a list of the top WordPress forum plugins for building a community around your website or business:
1. bbPress – Best WordPress Forum Plugin free
The most loved forum plugin of all time, bbPress is a lightweight and incredible plugin to add a forum on any type of WordPress site. This plugin uses the same core as WordPress to help you build an interactive forum. Since it is built by the team behind WordPress, it seamlessly integrates with WordPress.
Being lean and fast, this plugin offers the simple feature of adding a forum to your WordPress website and allows your users to start a conversation and leave a comment on the forum.
You can also extend the functionality of this plugin with the help of many dedicated add-ons available in the market.
If you have a PeepSo social community website and wish to integrate bbPress in it, you can easily do so with the help of PeepSo bbPress Addon. This add-on allows you to sync your forum discussion with PeepSo Activities.
Thus, bbPress is a great plugin to help you create a forum website of your own without delving much into the coding aspect of WordPress.
2. wpForo Forum – WordPress Forum Plugins free
Another amazing free WordPress forum plugin, which lets you add forums on your WordPress website, wpForo Forum plugin is a full-fledged, easy and light forum plugin.
This plugin offers stunning modern and responsive forum layouts and styles. Moreover, this plugin as well integrated with community plugins like BuddyPress and Ultimate Members.
wpForo plugin offers three layouts which include a simple layout, an extended layout and a question and answer layout.
You can also customize the bulletin board with colors and styles. It also provides a built-in user group system with a user rating system. Other amazing features of this plugin include Built-in forum SEO functions, Built-in forum SEO functions, Social Network Share Buttons and many more.
3. ForumWP- Best Free Forum Plugins For WordPress
Finally, there is forum software without any bloat. This plugin provides you with core forum features with added extension capability via their modules. ForumWP lets you create and edit forums. Decide its visibility settings, style each forum, and upload images for each forum list and page.
ForumWP gives you access to topic lists that shows you stats including views, likes, replies, and last updates. Users get to create a new topic without leaving the page. They can also search for similar forum topics already created. While the replies can be sorted into oldest, newest, or most likes. The plugin also allows replies within a reply.
The added functionality of the profile page gives each user a profile where topics and replies are listed. The user can even manage all their profile details from this page. And if you want more you can just purchase a module and increase the functionality of the plugin.
This is a fast, lean and simple forum plugin that allows you to easily set up a lightweight forum. The process is simple, just create a new page and add a shortcode to it, you will have a forum set up and running.
You can then add this page to your menu so that users can easily access your forum.
Other amazing features of this plugin include Simple Content Management, Profiles & Members List, SEO-friendly, Guest Postings, and many more.
5. DW Question & Answer
This is a great plugin which allows you to add a complete question and answer type of forum to your website. The user-submitted content is also indexed by Google thus giving a boost to the SEO of your site.
Moreover, this plugin supports multi-languages, uses reCAPTCHA and also notifies about the activity via email.
Users can post answers, comments and also vote on the comments and answers. It also offers you multiple shortcodes and you can also make a question sticky or follow them.
6. Discussion Board
An easy plugin to add a forum to your WordPress website, Discussion Board comes with a one-click installation feature. It allows users to register and log in via a front-end form, and post new topics using a single form, each topic is displayed on its own page where other users can reply.
You can use this plugin for adding a discussion board to any type of website such as community forums, education websites, support forums, job boards, E-commerce website, and more. You can also register users in a specific role and assign them various levels as well as block registration from specific emails.
7. Simple: Press Core Plugin For WordPress
A feature rich and easy-to-use forum plugin for WordPress, Simple: Press allows you to create one forum and expand to as many as you need. It also allows you to set visibility options for each message.
Moreover, you can also customize your forums by choosing from a wide selection of themes and color options.
Simple: Press is an easy-to-use and SEO-ready plugin that gives you everything you need to run a successful online community.
Other features of this plugin include unlimited forums, sub-forums, group forums, lock forums, pin forums etc. This plugin also offers powerful user group and permission system, custom avatars, and well as capabilities to manage posts.
8. CM Answers
If you want to build a Q&A community for your WordPress website, you can try CM Answers. The basic plugin allows you to easily create a Stack Exchange like a forum. This plugin is also compatible with most of the WordPress Themes, comes with many customizable templates and supports many languages as well.
It also keeps a count of views and answers. The site admin can also moderate questions and answers, receive email notifications, create multiple forum categories and restrict user capabilities. Other attractive features of this plugin include choosing the best answer, best profiles, best comments and social media login.
9. Website Toolbox Forum
This plugin is a cloud-based forum plugin which allows you to easily add a powerful, intuitive and maintenance-free forum to your WordPress website.
It allows you to seamlessly embed forums into the layout of your WordPress website. It also allows users to automatically signed in to the forum while signing up for your website.
Some key features of this plugin include Facebook Integration, Instant Messaging, Chat Room, Set user permissions, and a lot more.
10. WP Symposium Pro
WP Symposium Pro is a social networking plugin for WordPress which allows you to create a forum website of your own.
This plugin gives you features such as profiles, activity, unlimited forums, email alerts, friends a lot more.
WP Symposium Pro plugin is not just simply a forum plugin but also allows users to manage their profiles, add friends, and communicate with them via forums.
This plugin also offers a collection of customization tools to customize your site beautifully. Other features of this plugin include Forum subscriptions, groups, private messages, Galleries, and much more,
11. AnsPress – Question and Answer
An open source and developer-friendly plugin for adding questions and answers to your website, AnsPress allows you to create a Q&A network which is similar to Stack Overflow and Quora. This plugin also supports shortcodes, multi-language, reCAPTCHA, email, push notifications and more.
Not just for Q&A, you can also use this plugin in a variety of ways such as BugTracker, Company Internal QA board, support tickets, FAQ etc.
Other features of this plugin include voting options, public and private questions and answers, Sticky questions, Follow Q&A, Basic user profile and a lot more.
12. Vanilla Forums
Vanilla Forums is a free WordPress forum plugin which allows you to create engaging and interactive online forums.
This plugin focusses on easy integration with WordPress and also offers a native mobile version for easy browsing and posting from any mobile device.
You can easily install this plugin to embed forums right in your blog as well as add forum widgets to your blog.
It also offers you options to manage your forums directly from your WordPress Dashboard.
Other features of this plugin include Discussion Types, Mentions, notification system, Private Messaging and much more.
13. BuddyPress – Best Free Forum Plugins For WordPress
This is a social networking plugin that helps forums get off the ground. BuddyPress, like bbPress, is a WordPress plugin that adheres to WordPress coding standards. It integrates seamlessly with WordPress and is compatible with the majority of WordPress themes and plugins.
When the plugin is installed on your site, you may establish groups and use a variety of extensions to enhance functionality. Users can build profiles, social connections, activity streams, secret connections, and much more once they register. You can also use points to reward any activity.
Also Read: Assign Groups Into Forums
14. PeepSo- Best Free Forum Plugins For WordPress
PeepSo is a little different from the other WordPress forum plugins included in this list. It’s an incredible tool for creating your own social network. You can now construct a modern, clean, and visually appealing social network within your WordPress website with PeepSo. That’s pretty cool, right? Instead of paying a costly charge to hire a coder and a designer, you can now do it yourself with a simple, yet powerful plugin.
PeepSo has a plethora of features. And you can always upgrade to the premium plan to take things to the next level. However, with the free version, you can get started right away and use it indefinitely if it meets your needs.
Discussion is the name of the game, but plugins like Muut are reimagining what form that should take. With only about 1,000 active installs, Muut is clearly still new in the discussion forum space, but a 4.3-star satisfaction rating made us think it was worth checking out.
Muut bills itself as a “better community platform,” and they’ve reimagined how people communicate on WordPress sites. Muut offers full-featured real-time forums with flat or threaded commenting, spam screening, and email notifications, combining the power of discussion forums with the immediacy of commenting. It can also be fully customized with CSS to match your website.
Final Thoughts on WordPress Forum Plugins Free
So, this was an extensive list of some of the best forum plugins for WordPress. I hope it helped you in deciding the best forum plugin for your website. If you are using any other free forum plugin which deserves a spot in this plugin, drop your suggestions in the comment section below and we will try to add it to our list.