Top 5 Forum Plugins for WordPress
Hosting forums on your WordPress site is a great way to keep the conversation going and the community involved. We’re often asked on Twitter what the best forum plugin is for WordPress. The forum software you choose depends entirely on the range of features you require. A smaller, more simple plugin might be a better fit than something more robust.
Below you will find some of the major players among forum plugins, in no particular order, all of which are known for being stable and well-supported.
WPMU Dev Forum Plugin
The WPMU Dev Forum plugin is an elegant solution for those looking for a simple forum for their website. It allows you to create multiple forum installs on one site with an easy cut-and-paste of code. Although not the complex forum on the web, the WPMU Dev forum is a great solution for those who don’t expect a super high-traffic community or one with several levels of structure and hierarchy needed. An added benefit for those with WPMU Dev premium membership is the support WPMU Dev offers on the plugin.
The bbPress plugin is one of the most commonly used forum plugins for WordPress. The developers of bbPress are focused on keeping it light and lean. If there’s anything you find that the core bbPress plugin doesn’t do, you are very likely to find that extra functionality through the many bbPress add-on plugins available in the WordPress repository. This means that you’re able to keep your forum overhead light while only adding features you need. However, the downside is that you will be dependent upon the developers of the add-ons to keep updating their plugins, since some of the features you may need are not included in the bbPress plugin core.
Simple:Press is a full-featured forum plugin for WordPress, available for download on the Simple:Press website only. It has all of the normal features you would expect from a standalone plugin, including a comprehensive admin, powerful user and permissions system, spam prevention, public and private forums, subscription and watched topics, user signatures, avatars and much more. Check out our recent writeup: Simple:Press: A Fully Scalable Forum Plugin for WordPress
Also known as WP Forum Server, ForumPress is an advanced, stable fork of WP Forum. This plugin supports some valuable sought-after features, including: various topic statuses, guest postings, skins, email notifications, and SEO-friendly URLs. They also offer free support in their forums.
The Mingle Forum plugin works with or without the Mingle social networking plugin by Blair Williams. This plugin focuses on simplicity and boasts a setup time of under five minutes. One cool feature the developer has added is the ability to automatically create a forum post when publishing a WordPress post. Other notable features include media embedding (ie. Youtube, Flickr, Photobucket..), integrated HTML areas for ads, forum sitemap, quick reply, moderators, skins, locked forums, hot topics and more.
Have we missed your favorite?
Is there another forum plugin you prefer? Let us know your favorites in the comments!Tags: