6 Best WordPress Forum Plugins to Create a Discussion Board (2019)

6 Best WordPress Forum Plugins to Create a Discussion Board (2019)

6-best-wordpress-forum-plugins-to-create-a-discussion-board-(2019)

Looking for the best WordPress forum plugin to create an online discussion board at your WordPress site?

ForumWP WordPress forum plugindiscourse exampleGet ForumWP

2. bbPress

bbPressbbPress exampleBuddyPress to add more detailed profiles, private messaging, and more.

If you want to check out a live demo of bbPress, just head to the WordPress.org support forums.

Price: 100% free, though you might want some premium third-party extensions

Get bbPress

3. wpForo

wpForo forum pluginBuddyPress and Ultimate Members to ramp up the social feel of your forum.

It’s from the same developer as the popular wpDiscuz comment plugin, which you might’ve heard of.

The core wpForo plugin is free and then there are various premium add-ons that you can purchase as needed.

The free version gives you a drag-and-drop editor to set up your forums and categories, as well as a lengthy settings area where you can:

  • Restrict access to certain forums
  • Create a custom reputation system based on post counts
  • Translate your forum text strings (great for localization)
  • Customize the looks of your forum
  • …plus plenty more – you get a lot of options

wpforo examplesimplepresschecking out the full feature list if you’re interested, but here are some of the highlights:

  • Private messaging
  • Lots of moderation tools, including automatic filters
  • Gamification with badges and ranks
  • @ mentions
  • Polls and surveys
  • Post ratings
  • User bans

The only downside is that the default design looks a little dated in comparison to the other forum plugins on this list, though it includes different themes and gives you options to customize your forum’s styling:

simplepress exampleGet Simple:Press

5. Asgaros Forum

Asgaros Forum wordpress pluginasgaros forum exampleGet Asgaros Forum

6. Discourse

WordPress.com

It’s super popular and it includes a distinctive design that you’ve probably interacted with.

DiscourseWP Discourse integration plugin at WordPress.org.

This plugin adds a few useful features to connect your Discourse forum with your WordPress site. You can:

  • Automatically create a new forum topic when you publish a blog post. You can also automatically embed forum replies as comments on the blog post.
  • Associate WordPress accounts with Discourse accounts.
  • Use WordPress as the Single Sign On (SSO) provider for Discourse. That is, people can log in to Discourse by logging in to their WordPress account.

So if you’re willing to host your own forum software outside of WordPress, Discourse could be a great option and is pretty easy to connect to your WordPress site thanks to the integration plugin.

Price: 100% free if you self-host it

Get Discourse Software Get Discourse Plugin

Get Started With Your WordPress Forum Today

So which one of these is the best WordPress forum plugin? Well, as is usually the case, that answer really depends on your needs.

If you want something that’s going to look and feel great out of the box, check out ForumWP for a premium version or Asgaros Forum for a free version if you don’t need a ton of features.

If you want the absolute most features and options, give Simple:Press a look. wpForo also has a good number of features, and bbPress can be pretty flexible because of the huge third-party extension marketplace.

Finally, consider the possibility of self-hosting Discourse instead of going for a straight WordPress forum plugin. While it adds a little complexity to your setup, Discourse is great forum software and it’s pretty easy to integrate into WordPress thanks to the integration plugin (though you’d still need to make your Discourse forum match the rest of your site’s design).

Any questions about which is the best WordPress forum plugin for you? Ask away in the comments!

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