Online communication and interaction are rising exponentially. Forums are the stage for conversation or exchange of thoughts. This helps in bringing the audience together and creates a platform to connect with each other where they can give feedback /share experiences. In turn, this encourages people to engage in some activity.
This is the perfect time to make your own forum website, get traffic and generate revenue.
You don’t have to be a programmer to build a discussion website. You can get ready made clone scripts, easy software or plugins. Creating a website is easy, but making income out of the website is depends on your marketing strategies.
I highly recommend to read this post =>How to create a forum website? No Skill Required & different methods explained (10 minute website launch!)
When you go on searching for forum software you may get so many options but only a few stand as best. here are those few best software to build your online community which is reliable.
Below is the list of Best forum software to create your online community site.
- Wix Forum (Easiest and beginner friendly)
- phpBB (Quick, but limited customization)
- WordPress bbPress (Difficult, but advanced)
- Disputo bbPress
- Vanilla Forums
- Website toolbox
- Shopicial ‑ social forum (For Shopify website)
1. Wix forum
Wix Forum helps you to create your online community without scratching your head into coding. You can have your community ready with simple Drag and Drop. Wix is a trendy platform where you can get solutions for all your website creation likewise your community website too. This provides plenty of templates to choose from, or it will create a customized template for you according to your need, either way, your all free to customize the template.
Wix provides multiple styles to portray your forum, that keeps the front end realistic as well as elegant. you can choose cards or classic layouts which are further customizable and responsive on all devices. when your creating a community you always want it to be lively, this can be achieved by post, comments, like, share, and follow. Wix forum provides you all the mentioned which you would love to have on your site. This also provides personal profile pages where the rest of the members can follow them and see their posts.
We have massive forum software solutions which are costless, but Wix is the best. which is not self-hosted, you don’t have to pay for hosting, or for fixing technical errors. If you wish to create your forum inside your main website that is also possible with Wix.
- Elegant design templates
- Responsive on all resolutions
- Powerful social features
- Personal profile page and member pages
- Decide and set permission
- Push notifications and Emails
- Manage your Forum as forum admin
I highly recommend to read this post =>How to create a forum website? No Skill Required &Quick install (10 minute website launch!)
PhpBB is free open-source software written in PHP. This is the well-known and oldest community forum software which is upgraded with the latest industry trends and licensed under GNU GPL. Inturn is a bulletin board software where you can customize your own, unique and user-friendly forum easily. It is a self-hosted forum with built-in security and anti-spam protection.
Like other forums software tools, phpBB is also a flexible forum that enables the creation of boards. This tool has a strong ability to handle N number of users. This provides extended extensions and more theme options for your frontend and user experience. Users will get more verities of designs to choose from, for their posts and profile pages.
phpBB has all the basic features of the forum such as support, posting, responsive design, user preference, private message system. Along with this, it has SEO built-in, a management panel, and provides multiple hierarchy options.
- Flexible theme changing option
- Builtin SEO
- Private messaging with permission
- Customizable profile pages from the user end
- User-specific ranks
- Live notifications, instant messaging, and email
- Search option with a powerful plugin system
- Advanced caching system to increase performance
- Upload your attachment
MyBB is a fully customizable open-source forum where the user is allowed to create a forum of their own. This shares many features from phpBB, comparatively, this does not offer many extended features but it has the upper hand of design layout over phpBB. It posses a trendy look, elegant and modern frontend features that attract users.
MyBB provides all basic features, and additional plugins even though the list falls short. It has a long-running community that translated MyBB into over 30 different languages. If the user wants extended functionalities to be added like gamification, CDN capability, etc.. this allows doing so.
- Provides Rad community
- Offers advanced plugin system
- This keeps your user engaged
- Private conversation with registered users
- Forum moderation feature
- Administrative control
- Built-in template and theme editing options
4. WordPress and bbpress
WordPress is the most used Multipurpose CMS platform to create websites. This features all types of supported themes and plugins which in turn give a complete pack of a fully functional website. WordPress provides wide verities of themes and plugins forums and bbPress is top among them.
bbPress is software created by creators of WordPress which enables the functionality of the forum. This provides an elegant, timeless discussion board. This has a simple setup with full integration and provides a multisite forum. bbPress is a simple and powerful plugin if used with WordPress forum themes you can achieve an excellent social conversation board.
WordPress and bbPress are the best combinations for online community websites, with minimal coding or no coding efforts. Which provides a wide range of themes and addons that makes a powerful and interactive website. Below is the list of top-rated themes which are helpful in creating the forum sites.
- Provides all the basic features of the forum
- comments, posts, interactive sessions
- Easy to create
- SEO optimization from WordPress
- Admin panel control
- Customizable User profiles
5. Disputo bbPress
Disputo is a highly rated WordPress theme made for the bbPress forum plugin. This theme when combined with bbPress will splash a stylish and beautiful online forum with fully packed features. bbPress is a free plugin for WordPress but if you need extended features then you have to go for paid add-ons. The Disputo theme itself loaded with its own set of forum features, you can easily enable the extras like ads manager which helps in your revenue graph.
Disputo has Facebook comment integration which encourages interaction. It also has social media login like Google, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram just in a few touch which makes users log in easily without signing up to the forum.
This also provides forum-related features such as like, dislike, comment, private messaging, customization, and much more. This makes the work simple where you can easily download the demo content and reframe it as your vision. Disputo theme is integrated with Drag-and-drop page builder which in turn gives more control on the design.
The Disputo theme not only supports bbPress, but it also goes beyond. This WordPress theme supports woo-commerce with ads management, MailChimp integration, and frontend post submission. It supports live search and Youtube TV(this is a widget used to showcase the top videos from selected youtube channels).
- Verified User
- Solved topics and best answers according to the ratings
- Gives the ability to the user to report against inappropriate content
- Woocommece integration
- Built-in Facebook comments
- Members can add signature
- Custom roles and badges for members and users
- Cross-browser compatibility
- Supports RTL Language
6. Vanilla Forums
Vanilla Forums is open-source and cloud-based community forum software written in PHP. This just not provides customer support it is a top-rated customer service forum. It’s free software and customizable discussion forums. this open source project got released in the year 2006, and cloud-based released in 2010 since then this software undergone many changes.
Vanilla cloud is based on Garden which is a PHP framework but can also be used as an MVC framework that is a complete re-write of vanilla. Vanilla FOSS(free open-source software) is a multi-lingual and extendable forum system that is designed to provide the core functionality of the forum, but the vanilla cloud has additional features like emoticons plugins.
- Provides ultimate customer service
- Single sign-on feature
- It matches for both web and app
- Social media login is available
- Embeddable forums and the user can import from another forum as well
- Members can add signature
- Emoticons added as extensions(plugins)
- WYSIWYG Editor also added as a plugin
- Community forum platform to submit ideas and to exchange thoughts.
7. Website Toolbox
Website toolbox is #1 Ranked Forum Provider. Not all forums need to be a basic right. create your customizable online forum with Website Toolbox which is a cloud-based forum and allows you to add a powerful, maintenance-free forum. This Tool provides the simplest way to create a community forum on the cloud hence that will not slow down your site and it does not require a database, code, software, or server.
- Easy steps to create Forum
- Can Embed in many platforms
- Simple Customization
- Provides SEO optimization
- Mobile Friendly
- Instant messaging, and share photos, files, videos, images, etc…
- Chat Room and the user can create polls
- Can Set user Permission
- Can import or export the data
The tribe is best rated cloud-based community platform that is designed for online communities. The tribe includes the elements like embedding widgets, easy customization, trendy design, comprehensive API, moderation tools, gamification, integration with popular tools, and much more.
It provides a feature to the community manager where he can customize the header and footer. It also enables the user to start their conversation in their community and additional features like organizing the event, asking and solving the questions, polling, commenting on discussion, and share content.
The tribe has both a free plan and paid where you’ll get functionality for multiple languages, along with support. This solution can integrate with multiple tools.
- Easy to use
- Best customer support
- Most trusted
- can add social components to any part of your application
- widget-driven and API-powered platform
Xenforum is a commercial forum software for your store, this helps to uplift the business. When a customer purchases your product and when they loved that they are intended to share the product details or about the product with likely minded people which creates an online community inturn encourages your business growth. you can create forums for notifications, FAQs, Product related queries, and customer care.
- Like posts
- User profiles
- Inserting images into posts
- Rating the products
10. Shopicial ‑ social forum (For Shopify Website)
Shopicial is a social forum for an e-commerce platform that is a product of the Xenforum team. Online community discussion keeps customers feel free to express their thoughts and experience. This Shopicial helps to create a private social network that makes your brand more professional and insightful.
- Create your posts
- Managing posts from the front end
- User profiles
- Admin has powers to customize
Jack is the Co-founder of WebsitebuilderLy, a Software Engineer from Standford University, An entrepreneur with 12 years of Website Creation, Management, Marketing Automation & App Development Experience. Worked for the world’s leading companies such as Roblox, HTC, etc.