If you have a website than sooner or later you have to get the forum functionality on your WordPress blog. If you have some knowledge about forum and you are running a WordPress website than you must have heard the name bbpress, there is absolutely no doubt that bbpress is an incredible plugin but this doesn’t mean that you don’t have any more choice. In fact you have many more options that can be suitable to you even more than bbpress, it all depends on what you are looking for different needs have a different perfect plugins.
There are a lot of forum plugins out there that can get you confused that which one to choose, just for this reason we compiled a list of best free forum plugins for WordPress. If you are on a tight budget or don’t want to spend on plugins then this list can be a gem for you.
Best free forum plugins for WordPress
List consists of all the top free forum plugins for WordPress that are available in the market.
1 – BB Press
This is the top-notch forum plugins for your WordPress blog. This is one of the most popular forum plugin out there with more than a million downloads. This plugin is very easy to integrate and is fairly easy to use. When ever someone installs a plugin, one of the main concerns is the speed then this plugin is not bolted with any code that slows sown your website in fact this plugin is made by taking special care for speed by the WordPress team itself.
If you want to add the forums with all the requirements that are needed by a user than this is the plugin, that’s why this plugin made it to the best list of or 7 best free forum plugins for WordPress.
2 – Vanilla Forum
Vanilla forum plugin is the plugin is more like a plugin for professionals, Vanilla forum plugin has already made its way to thousands of websites. This plugin has a professional touch to it, this is an open source software that lets you create customized community for you forum. In vanilla forums you can grant moderator rights to the members to keep your forum running under the rules and regulations you specify. Migration from other platforms to vanilla will be very easy with its built-in exporter which will take care of all your transfer needs.
This plugin is on the second number of our best free forum plugins for WordPress list. Once you configure this correctly you will be getting one of the most powerful forum experience.
3 – WP Symposim
Wp symposium is generally known as a social network plugin but what we don’t know is that this plugin is a complete solution for your forum needs. you can implement forum functionality in your post or page with the use of short code. You can also provide categories using this plugin and manage them using moderation. There are more options available like email for all forum, a specific category or a topic, you can also make a thread sticky so that it can remain at top. User can add a thread to favorite or you can also add an option to vote up or down to know the response of audience.
Once a user hits menu the they have many options at their disposal like search, latest activity, user’s own activity or favorite activity. With this plugin you can also change the layout, content of emails, managing posts, voting, attachments, permissions, assigning moderators and rights of users and moderators.you also get two widgets with this one is recent forum posts and other is topics without answers, these will help you get the info at a glimpse. This is a feature packed plugin that take cares of most of the needs of a forum. That’s why this plugin made to the third number of the 7 best free forum plugins for WordPress.
4 – Forums
Forums is a featured pack plugin which integrates Mybb to your WordPress website. Mybb is a bulletin board which is a free open source forum software. This plugin brings the power of Mybb to your WordPress website and you can enjoy all the features of Mybb with the use of this plugin. zingiri forums plugin has multilingual support which allows you to use this forum plugin in many languages.
5 – CM Answers
CM answers is a question and answer type forum plugin in our best free forum plugins for WordPress. This plugin gives the power of asking questions and getting answers, there is also a rating system that helps answers to get rated and this makes answers received more valuable. This is not as power full as WP Symposium, bb press or vanilla but if your need is solely restricted to question and answers than this is the plugin to go for.
This also have a pro version available for only ($29) which will add quite a few features to this plugin like customized permalinks, sticky questions, attachments, widgets, short codes, more moderation, full text editor, access control and social media integration.
6 – Ans Press
Ans press is another question and answers forum plugin in our list of best free forum plugins for WordPress. Ans press has a beautiful layout of question and answers which you will feel delight to have. This plugin will add two options in your admin panel one will be question and answers and other will be set of option in ans press tab in settings page. With this you can change the features according to your need.
Ans press hosts ability to comment on both question and answers, voting add to the user experience, question and answers both can be edited. What this plugin don’t have is ability to choose best answer or to subscribe to a question. Except these two think this plugin works exceptionally well.
7 – Threader
Threader is a very basic forum plugin which uses the WordPress comments and creates a simple guest book which is a simple forum. It is very easy to install and set up this plugin as this plugin uses the standard WordPress tables to create forums. All the moderation of the forum is handled by you, you can not assign moderators. With threader you can use two languages English and Swedish.
This is the most basic forum plugin in our list of best free forum plugins for WordPress.
Well as far as I’m concerned I would like to make a sub-domain with a fully featured forum software but if you like to manage all the things under same admin panel then you should check out the forum plugin best suited according to your needs. First take notice of what you want to do in the forums, is it a community forum or a question and answer one. Then chose the one best suited for your website and if you don’t have a perfect idea yet then i would suggest bbpress, vanilla or WP symposium all three of these are top of the line plugins for WordPress.