It is easy to add a forum to your WordPress blog using WordPress forum plugins. Well, WordPress(WP) has evolved quite a bit since 2003 and now stands to be more than just a blogging system, it’s a full Content Management Service (CMS).
One technology important to any thriving community is communication between its members. A forum is a great way to facilitate the many-to-many conversations within a community that a blog cannot address.
This article compares the popular service offerings available for adding a Forum to your WordPress site.
1. Tal.ki Embeddable Forums
The Tal.ki Forum plugin for WP is simple to install and configure as it automatically detects your WordPress theme and styles itself accordingly. Tal.ki really shines with it’s social network integration, allowing members to publish topics to their Facebook and Twitter feeds. Tal.ki is unique from the other plugins as the same forum can be embedded onto multiple websites, and not just WordPress.
The most popular forum plugin, with over 57,000 installs is WP-Forum. WP-Forum supports different skins and admins have the option to turn guest posting on or off with optional Captcha. Tight integration with WordPress makes this plugin easy to use and administer. One thing to consider, is that while popular, WP-Forum hasn’t been updated since 2008 so there are security concerns as patches haven’t been released for known bugs.
3. bbPress Bulletin Boards
While not a conventionally installable plugin, bbPress is made by Automattic, the people behind WordPress. bbPress is separate software from WordPress and requires a bit more experience to set up, but it closely integrates with a WordPress blog and it’s membership.
Simple:Press is a feature rich forum plugin for WordPress. It is fully customizable and comes with a number of skins and icons. Through it’s powerful and flexible permissions system it is suitable for those who wish to run private, specialist forums with invited members but is equally able to accommodate open, public forums that allow guest posting.
5. Zingiri Forum
Zingiri is a unique plugin that integrates existing forum software, myBB, into WordPress. Zingiri provides the glue to connect MyBB, an easy to use, powerful, multilingual, feature-packed, and free forum software with WordPress. MyBB also includes a reputation system, multi-quote, and the ability to create custom BBCode (called MyCodes).