How to Add a Forum to WordPress

In our modern and fast paced world, it’s important for businesses to come with new and effective ways to attract larger audiences to their websites, retain those visitors and catapult their website rankings. One effective tool that can help achieve these objectives is a forum, something that has become a very popular method of engaging and interacting with different people online.

Popular Forum Plugins for WordPress

Loved by just about everyone who tries it out. bbPress is one of the best plugins for WordPress forums on the market. Once you install it, it adds a number of options to your dashboard that help create and manage a forum. It wholly integrates with your website so it doesn’t get left out, making you easily manage topics and replies just as you would like.

The plugin also includes various widgets which make it easier to implement the forum. In addition, visitors to your site will have a number of options to interact with the forum, such as subscribing to the forum, to replies and specific topics. Users with permission can flag spam, make stickies, make edits, delete posts and so much more.

You also have the option to import forum posts from other forum tools, meaning that you won’t be tied down to a single forum solution for the remainder of your website’s.

Another forum plugin for WordPress that’s popular with many. This plugin makes it easy to integrate various social networking features to your website without the need to install hundreds of different plugins. The plugin was developed by WordPress, making the code secure and clean.

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It allows visitors to your website to create profiles and groups, do private messaging and monitor user activity streams. It makes an ideal way to create a dedicated social network for your niche topic, business, service and or product. It also serves a good way to offer additional support to your viewers.

You can build custom profile fields, manage account settings and optimize notification options quickly. You can also create Friendships to sustain conversations and even use the Private Messaging with many forum members at any point in time. You also have the option to enable users to build communities using the Groups feature, extend BuddyPress and view activity steams for members with third-party add-ons

DW Question and Answer
This is simple and easy plugin which allows you to build a question and answer WordPress site. It can pretty much serve as an effective support for your audience, a vigorous FAQ section and or a way in which your visitors can ask questions among each other and respond directly on the site.

Features of the plugin include, the ability to tag questions and categories, CAPTCHA to minimize spam comments, vote answers and comments. It also comes with support for 11 languages, the ability to “follow” questions and answers, private answering, placing certain questions as stickies and much more

CM Answers
If you require a more robust question and answer forum for your WordPress website, CM Answers is the preferred plugin for achieving this. This plugin is developed on a Stack Overflow discussion board that enables users to ask their questions and others to respond with answers. Members of the online community can then rate each of the answers to help enhance the accuracy and effectiveness of your forum. Free and premium versions are available.

The free version is very easy to use, and it appears good but does not include all the necessary whistles and bells that add up to make a plugin very exceptional. The premium version on the other hand includes various short-codes and widgets for easy customization. It also comes with various social media sharing options, customizable permalinks, a text editor, the ability for adding attachments to questions and answers and a lot more. There are also moderation tools and multisite support when you opt for the premium version.

WP Symposium
Although a billed plugin, it is another popular way to add a forum to a WordPress website. And it comes with many features. The free version is robust to a certain extent and allows site owners to add forums to their sites using short-code. You can also use the categories feature to create multiple forums. In this way, you can limit user access based on their roles.

Create sticky topics, vote replies up and down based on their usefulness, favorite topics as well as opt-in or out of email notifications. The plugin can setup a forum that allows you to perform searches, view your favorites and view latest activities on the forum. It also comes equipped with widgets that enable you display recent topics and forum posts that have not received any replies as means to encourage discussion.

The premium or paid version comes coupled with additional features, but rather focuses more on social media and may just be a bit too much for people simply looking to add discussion forums to their website.

If a Question and Answer format falls among the list of things you want, then AnsPress may just be a good option to try out. it is very simple and not as complicated as many of the Q&A plugins available for WordPress. It has low barriers of entry for people with little experience in customizing WordPress, and it does get the job done. It includes features like reCAPTCHA, tag suggestions, private message, question labels, built-in moderation, email notifications, categories and question tags, and many more.

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