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
2. WP-Answers WordPress Q&A Plugin
The WP Answers Plugin makes it easy for you to create a questions and answers type of forum where people can sign up for a membership and answer questions to gain points or use their points to ask questions. It works very similar to the Yahoo answers website and in fact it can automatically pull content from yahoo answers (questions and answers) and add them to your site, so you can get content up automatically without having to do any work.
But WP Answers is not just a plugin. It also comes with 6 highly optimized WordPress themes for creating a Q&A site and enhanced with advertisement spots that are proven to maximize click-through rates and profits through programs like Google Adsense. Click on the preview or download button above to read more about this plugin and see a sample site in action.
Other WP Answers Features
- Transforms WordPress into a Q&A type site
- Point system encourages members to answer questions
- Members get their own profile pages
- Can automatically pull and post content from yahoo answers
- Full advertisement management to help you make money from your site
- Includes 6 themes in different colors
- Tutorials and support available
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
6. DW Question & Answer
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
7. DW Question & Answer Pro
Looking to add a dedicated Q&A section to your website, à la Quora? Well, with DW Question & Answer Pro, now you can! You can use the plugin to create a forum-style section for your visitors to interact, or community-driven FAQ sections.
Visitors are free to ask their question on your site’s front-end by filling out the straightforward question form. This question form can be placed on a dedicated page or in any widget space, plus visitors can add basic styling to their questions using HTML.
To help visitors hone in on useful questions, DW supports built-in sort, search, and filter functionalities. The question listing page also displays the number of views, comments, and ratings that each question has generated, helping visitors to identify the most active discussions.
DW also boasts lots of important features that benefit the site owner. This includes front-end question management, compatibility with any WordPress theme, and powerful anti-spam measures.
8. WP Pro Forym 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.
9. 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!
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.
Though the plugin doesn’t have a great overall rating on WordPress.org, it looks like people are unhappy with the premium version. Stick with the simple, free forum and you should be good!
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
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
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!