What issues did you have with your previous forum plugin? What do you recommend now for a WordPress forum plugin? What should we look for when choosing a forum plugin?
Our previous forum plugin, Mingle Forum, has actually been removed from the WordPress Plugin Repository because of an unaddressed security vulnerability. We patched our local version, but that wasn’t the end of the issues with this plugin.
A few weeks later, their search functionality also broke, because it relied on deprecated code that was no longer supported in WordPress. Even from the beginning, it was less than ideal, because it required a great deal of custom styling to work for use here.
So the first thing I would say is to ensure that whatever plugin you choose has a stellar support team that is dedicated to maintaining the plugin for a long time.
I would recommend bbPress to anyone looking to add a forum to their site. It’s the most mature, best-supported forum plugin for WordPress. And, since it was originally created by Matt Mullenweg, the creator of WordPress, it has the best integration with WordPress itself.
But many websites don’t require a full-fledged forum. Our site, for example, is better served by a simple Q&A plugin, like the one we are using here.
Forums can be complicated. In fact, we’ve had many of our members ask for a tutorial on how to use the forum. That’s no good. It shouldn’t be that hard for people to simply ask a question and get an answer.
We chose the DQ Question & Answer plugin to power this Q&A board because we felt it delivered the best experience for our members. We’ve encountered a few bugs since installing it, but their support team has been quite responsive, and is already addressing our issues with an upcoming release.
At some point, we may just develop our own Q&A plugin, because there is still room for improvement, particularly creating an effortless, intuitive was for beginners to just ask questions.
If this helps you avoid the mistakes we’ve made along the way, the lessons will be well worth it.
To your success!