Forums bring people together to discuss various issues. It is like a virtual gathering of the global community. Something like a world congress. The type of website you intend to run, be it a blog, an online store or whether you are offering website maintenance services, people need a forum where they can talk about various problems and share ideas.
All websites on the internet have a common problem: Maintaining a constant customer base. This is one difficult situation because pleasing people is a tough job. You need to keep people coming back for more and build a solid reader base before you can begin selling your product or service.
WordPress forums are a good place to start. These plugins are a perfect way for you to keep people around your website for a long time. They are more like a small social networking site and can help you build a community.
Today, we will be taking a closer, deeper look at some of the best WordPress forum plugins available in the market today.
This amazing plugin is one of the best WordPress forum plugins around as it makes it easy for you to create a forum on your website. It is lightweight meaning that it will not slow down your website’s load time.
bbPress is definitely built to fit into WordPress. This is because it uses WordPress’ core functionality to run your forum. This means that the code used to build this plugin is standard to WordPress.
Another feature is the integration with various WordPress themes. You do not need to perform any type of modification to fit this wonderful plugin with any theme of your choosing. More features include over 100 plugins that are bound to increase the functionalities of your website.
There are more features that are included in this plugin that you would definitely want to look at.
BuddyPress is another contender for the best WordPress forum plugins. It is a classic WordPress forum plugin and just like bbPress, BuddyPress uses classic coding practices as bbPress. WordPress.com even uses BuddyPress as a default plugin.
BuddyPress can easily integrate with any WordPress theme. This means that you do not need to break a sweat to make things work. Also coming with BuddyPress is more plugins. It also comes bundled with more plugins that add more functionality to your website.
Another feature that is sure to impress you is the fact that you can create usernames, profiles, post messages, create groups, and do so much more.
As much as this plugin is great it has some shortcomings. For example, it could be quite a challenge to migrate BuddyPress from one site to another. Also, the documentation for this plugin is not really detailed and so, it can be extremely difficult for users to find help.
III. WP Symposium Pro
The way most forums are built is discouraging to say the least. They are dull, archaic and no-interactive. This type of forum will most definitely chase visitors away. WP Symposium Pro is the real deal when it comes to interactive WordPress forums.
This plugin turns your site into something like a social network. The features included in the plugin are geared towards making your site more of a social networking site rather than a forum.
Features included are Facebook and other social media integration. With this you can connect and engage your customers on any social platform.
The plugin comes with several template styles that you can choose from. These templates can be customized to fit your website’s style. The plugin also features more benefits like the ability to create galleries, events and alerts among others.
WP Symposium Pro is a paid plugin. This means that you have to purchase this plugin in order to enjoy all the features.
IV. CM Answers
Have you ever been to stackoverfow? Well, if you have been there, CM Answers is not so far from what you have witnessed there. This plugin is more Q & A oriented. The forum is structured in such a way that anyone in need of a solution can post a question. The rest of the community will respond to your question in the form of answers.
What’s more is that you can filter various discussions and topics by the week, month and most recent. There’s a voting process that members perform in order to choose what discussion is of value to the community. If a certain discussion is found to be of less value to the forum, then it will be voted out.
CM Answers integrates effortlessly with almost every WordPress theme out there. No hard work is needed to fuse the two.
Once you upgrade to the paid version, you can access more wonderful features like choosing the best answer, social media login ability and so on.
V. Cinnamon Boards
Closing our top 5 list is the Cinnamon Boards. This amazing WordPress forum plugin steps up to the challenge in so many ways.
First of all, this plugin is fully responsive. This means that you do not have to worry about the type of device your visitors use to access your website. This plugin’s functionality is supported on all devices.
Another common feature is WordPress integration. It fits your WordPress installation effortlessly. It also includes features like categories, threads, messages and topics. With this plugin, you can create various topics that you wish your readers to discuss.
Again, this is a paid plugin, so this means that you have to buy it to use it. However, the features included are off the charts and are extremely worth the price.
That’s it for the top 5 best WordPress forum plugins. This does not mean that these are the only plugins available. There are so many other plugins that can fit the bill and work absolutely well for your website.
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