A lot of patience and above-average technical knowledge is required for building online forums. Beginners usually have to learn new software systems from scratch. You can now obtain a content management system (CMS) to build a vigorous online forum provided by plugins for WordPress. Getting a choice of Forum Plugins, so you can launch your new forum is a must.
To integrate a forum into WordPress; bbPress uses the existing core of WordPress to power the forum by using the same coding standards. No modifications are needed to integrate with any WordPress theme and almost one-hundred plugins are available. The bbPress is lightweight and fast.
It has one downside; it is not as full-fledged or as feature rich as phpBB, vbulletin, or Vanilla Forums. However, the easy integration web standards speed, and ease of use will overpower the downside of the system. It is also available in several languages.
This is similar to bbPress as an official WordPress plugin and follows the same standards and coding practices as WordPress. Its functionality excellent with plenty of plugins to create user profiles, social connections, activity streams, and groups. User engagement can be ignited with a points system. Buddy Press may not be easily removed to another platform and may be difficult to locate because it is not as documented as WordPress.
WP Symposium includes social networking features integrated forums and groups as an alternative to BuddyPress. You can acquire premium membership and receive more support. Built-in features include multiple template styles. Integration with Facebook and other similar groups is an advantage as well as features such as gallery and event alerts. One problem is gaining access to many of the useful features that would require a Bronze membership. When a Bronze feature is used a plugin will add a notice on the site.
A Question & Answers (Q & A) community can be built on the WordPress site with the use of CM Answers. The free basic plugin offers enough features to set up a site such as a stock exchange forum on the website. Seamless integration occurs with most WordPress themes and users can vote on question and answer panels. However, the premium version may be needed if you want more than a Q & A format. More features are available to best choose; the best answers, comments, profiles, and other information. Reviews have indicated the CM Answers is difficult to use.
DW Question & Answer
A question and answer site can be created with WordPress including tags and categories when you use the DW Question & Answer plugin. An SEO boost is given to boost user driven content. The CAPTCHA support helps fight spam. Your forum is limited to the question and answer formatting, but users can vote and comment on them.
The plugin receives frequent updates and is capable of receiving suggestions or feedback from you, the user. It also offers multiple languages. Other benefits include an email notification system, an instant search by key words, available shortcodes, and many other features.
With the information provided, you should be able to make the choice to see which WordPress forum plugins will best benefit you and your needs.