Use a WordPress Forum Plugin to Spark Conversations

Nathan Ello / February 9, 2019

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Today, the internet makes it possible to drive an entire audience of customers to your WordPress.com Business site. One way to encourage them to interact with your brand is by providing a place for them to share their ideas, connect with others, and build a community. The best way to foster a community on your site is by using a WordPress forum plugin.

Of course, if mismanaged, forums can feel a bit like a bathroom bulletin board with just about anyone’s opinions scrawled across them. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Choosing the appropriate WordPress forum plugin is crucial for your online community — the right choice will empower you to create a meaningful space for your fans to come together and talk about the thing that brought them all together in the first place: your business!

In a world of endless plugin possibilities, there are two very popular options that you might consider using on your site: bbPress and Buddypress.

bbPress

Have you ever felt frustrated with slow or bloated software that failed to protect your server against hacks over and over again?

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then bbPress might be the perfect match for you.

This plugin is laser-focused on user-friendliness, ease of initial setup and integration, maintaining web standards, and (most importantly) speed. If you’re looking for the quickest way to get your community started, bbPress is the answer.

bbPress keeps things as lightweight as possible while still making room for additional features (which are available through the WordPress.com plugin ecosystem).

What does this mean for your website? bbPress is lean, mean, and ready to take on just about anything that you throw at it. To see this plugin in action, visit the support section of the bbPress website.

Here are three features that make bbPress a popular choice amongst WordPress.com site owners:

  1. Its forum setup is intuitive, well-documented, and simple.
  2. bbPress is highly customizable, so your forum doesn’t have to share an aesthetic with anyone else’s.
  3. Spam protection and RSS feed integration tools come built in.

We’ve hardly scratched the surface here. There’s so much more that makes bbPress great, so check out its other useful features.

BuddyPress

For those looking to implement more features, the BuddyPress plugin can provide an even more comprehensive solution.

BuddyPress reaches far beyond traditional (and basic) forum functionalities, which ultimately allows you to create a fully customized social networking website. By default, it comes with a feature set similar to Facebook and Twitter.

These tools let your visitors create profiles, add each other as friends, send direct messages, and more. The full list of BuddyPress features can be found on its website.

If you’re torn between which plugin is right for your visitors, here’s the best part: you don’t have to choose just one. bbPress and BuddyPress are compatible with one another. Head over to Buddyboss for a tutorial on how to implement both.

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