Online forums are web bulletin boards where users ask questions or share their feedback anonymously. The forums assist in building credibility for online brands and businesses, as forum users recognize the business’s efforts to reach out to the audience.
Moreover, the success of question and answer style forums Quora, StackOverflow, and Yahoo! Answers have garnered tons of imitations and interestingly WordPress has its fair share of possibilities.
Therefore, adding a forum to your website can not only help you improve your brand’s visibility but also boost your sales and build a healthy relationship. So, if you are planning to add a forum on your WordPress website, here are some of the best plugins that can prove to be extremely helpful.
bbPress is the standard forum solution for WordPress that is developed by Automattic. The plugin seamlessly integrates and is extremely easy to use making it one of the best WordPress forum plugins around. The plugin allows you to manage everything about your forum within your WordPress Dashboard. Powered with various widgets, implementing forum becomes a lot easier. BbPress allows you to import forum posts from various other forum tools.
Impressive features of bbPress
- Simple step by step installation walks you through your options
- Supports multisite forums
- Comes fully integrated with one central account
- Easy to step up, use and moderate
- Allows registered users to make edits, flag spam, make stickies and delete posts
BuddyPress is yet another popular forum WordPress plugin that boasts of clean and secure code. The plugin is feature-rich and makes it convenient to integrate a range of social network features into a WordPress powered website.
BuddyPress allows your users to easily create profiles and user groups and monitors other users activity streams. Thanks to the Groups feature, you can render your users the ability to build micro-communities. Plus there are tons of free BuddyPress plugin extensions you can use to add extra functionality.
Impressive features of BuddyPress
- Allows private conversations and make connections conveniently
- Completely social media friendly
- Lets you build a community of any niche including sports team, school, and company
- 100% fully responsive design layout
3. WP Symposium
WP Symposium is basically considered as the ultimate WordPress social network plugin but has everything to power your forum of any niche. The plugin allows your users to connect and interact in various different ways.
The core WP Symposium plugin is absolutely free but to get access to all the extensions of this plugin you would have to upgrade to the premium version. WP Symposium comes with 24/7 support via their own forum, TeamSpeak, Helpdesk, and live chat.
Impressive features of WP Symposium
- Lets you create unlimited forums with attachments
- Lets you choose from a wide range of layouts
- Offers a number of customization options to customize the forum as per your needs and requirements.
- Social media friendly
- Comes with around-the-clock support through helpdesk, live chat and Skype
4. CM Answers
Developed by Cminds, CM Answers is an ideal choice for those who are looking for a more question and answer style of forum. The plugin allows you to auto-create Q&A list pages and show settings depending on most user votes, most views, and most responses. CM Answers also comes in a premium version with additional features such as front-end text editor, access control, categories, comment support, multiple attachments, shortcodes, advanced authorship permissions and so much more.
Impressive features of CM Answers
- Equipped with Advance user access controls
- Allows users to add tags to categories
- Enables drag and drop attachments
- Comes with user-friendly dashboard
- Supports multiple file uploads
- Comes integrated with BuddyPress
AnsPress is a profound and easy to use WordPress plugin that allows you to add question and answer section just like quora.com and stackoverflow.com. Equipped with a range of customization options, the plugin allows you to change the look and feel of your forum. AnsPress also boasts of one of the best interfaces among all the plugins tested.
The design is simple and clean with the amazing use of the color scheme for distinguishing between answers, comments, and questions.
Comments can also be integrated with both questions and answers.
Impressive features of AnsPress
- Integrated with Ajax based form submission
- Comes with a Theme system
- Has moderate and Flag posts
- Allows voting on question and answer
- Equipped with Advance user access controls
- Offers Email notifications to admins about posts
- Allow users to add questions to their favorite
Simple:Press is widely touted as one of the most powerful and popular WordPress plugins that seamlessly integrates into the WordPress website. It can easily be adapted for adjusted for use on large as well as small forums. The plugin makes use of templates and themes to allow easy customization. Being extremely lightweight, Simple:Press reduces the load on the server while executing.
The plugin conveniently integrates with various other well-recognized services for extra conveniences such as TinyMCE, WP SEO, AIOSEO, Gravatars, SiteMaps, MyCred, ShareThis, Slack, and BuddyPress.
Impressive features of Simple:Press
- Allows all-inclusive search options
- Offers Forum Stats including online list
- Integrated with Custom icons for forums and groups
- All-inclusive selection of RSS feed
- Provide hidden ‘spoilers’ in posts
- Render Optional WP shortcodes supports
- Offers Email notification to admins of all the posts
- Custom smileys including uploads
7. DW Question & Answer
DW Question & Answer is a free plugin that is extremely lightweight and optimized for speed with an assortment of options at the disposal of the user. It also allows you to add a Quora and StackOverflow-style forum to your WordPress powered website. The plugin also offers an add-on that enables you to add questions on various different places of your website and share Q & A section on social media platforms.
DW Question & Answer comes with a comprehensive settings page which enables easy management of almost all facets of the plugin such as the capability to entirely edit all seven email templates and an extensive permission.
Impressive features of DW Question & Answer
- Allow users to Submit / Filter / Order / Edit / Delete Question
- Also, allow users to Vote and Pick Best Answer
- Offers email notification
- Supports more than 11 languages
- Supports different types of Captcha
- Comes integrated with Shortcodes
- Instant search by keywords
- Private/ Public for Question and Answer
- Questions / Answers follow function
- Sticky Question
- Renders related questions, popular questions, and two widgets
8. Bublaa Forums and Comments
Bublaa Forums and Comments is yet another popular WordPress forum plugin that enables you to add a forum to your WordPress powered website with the emphasis being on the real-time discussion. The plugin combines a commenting system and a forum to build a thriving and active discussion community.
Bublaa Forums and Comments is packed with three different tools including Bublaa Activity, Bublaa Comments, and Bublaa Forum that seamlessly work together. The plugin is equipped with various other features such as multimedia support, rich text, social sharing capability, easy to use forum interface and more.
Impressive features of Bublaa Forums and Comments
- 100% Fully responsive layout
- Offers a unique forum interface
- Comes equipped with Link preview, video, and rich text
- Allow Email notifications
- Has admin tools and Moderation
- Also, allows Social login and sharing
- Is completely Search-engine friendly
- Requests and bugs support
9. MiwoVoice – Discuss your ideas
MiwoVoice is an exclusive and premium WordPress plugin that allows your users to leave feedback on your website. It is basically a WordPress forum-style user feedback plugin that offers a platform to your users to discuss, vote and share ideas. Listen to your user’s feedback and distribute your services by including your users into your discussion via MiwoVoice.
It lets you keep your insights and ideas in front of your visitors and gather their feedback. The plugin also allows you to share endless ideas, offers support for avatars, an Ajax-powered interface and interactive and intuitive design. It also enables for customization and involved automatic upgrades.
Impressive features of MiwoVoice
- Comes with user-friendly AJAX Interface
- Integrated with a Bad Words Filter
- Offers SEO (Metadata) and SEF URLs
- Equipped with an inBuilt comments system
- Allows Social media sharing
- Comes with Advanced configuration options
- Easy-to-use interface
- Shortcodes support
- On-site automatic upgrades
- Migration tools
10. WP Pro Forum System
WP Pro Forum System employs a number of options to help you create a user-friendly and feature-rich forum. The plugin boasts of various powerful features to build a modest yet professional looking helpdesk/forum with ease. Webmasters can easily manage all tags, categories, replies, topics and forums from the WordPress admin area.
From user profile creation to moderation, WP Pro Forum System is packed with all the standard forum features. In addition, since the plugin is translation-ready, it can easily be incorporated into any theme. WP Pro Forum System is a premium and a regular license can be availed at $21 at CodeCanyon.
Impressive features of WP Pro Forum System
- Equipped with standard WordPress image Uploader to allow users to upload images into their topics and replies
- Creating threads and replies are extremely easy with an integrated WordPress text editor
- Comes integrated with a custom shortcode to enable registered users to add clean code
- Lets you make certain content private
- Highly customizable and allows you to change the style of the plugin pages to make them look exactly like your website.
11. Question Answer
The Question answer plugin is a free plugin on the WordPress repository which will allow you to create your Question and Answer website. The theme already includes schema.org support, front-end submission via a shortcode, account page via a shortcode, it’s translation ready and will work with your existing theme (or any other theme). This plugin has a pretty nice layout/design by default, answers can be thumbed up or down, questions can be marked as “solved” and as a site user you can even subscribe and favorite questions. It’s very robust and complete question and answer plugin for WordPress, definitely work checking out!
There you have it – 10 of the best question and answer forum plugins for WordPress. We hope you’ve found a plugin that will work great for your needs. Let us know which plugin you’d recommend or if we missed an awesome one on our list. Just leave a comment below!