Many WordPress users may find this CMS is a great blogging and publishing tool. You can acutally do a lot of other things using WordPress, such as creating an ecommerce site with WordPress, making a WordPress forum, etc. In this article, we will show you how to easily add a discussion board or forum to an existing WordPress site or blog. There are many benefits of running your own forum either for local business, shopping sites, community sites, et. For example, a support forum allows your customers to ask and answer questions, you can get valuable feedbacks from your clients, you can build customer loyalty, you can discover for new ideas, you can promote new products and releases at the first time. In this post, we will be using bbPress WordPress forum plugin to show you how to add a forum to WordPress site or blog. This is a very easy-to-use forum plugin for WordPress users who like to create a forum based on their WordPress sites.
We are going to add a forum into an existing WordPress site below. So if you do not have a WordPress site or blog yet, you can go to create one following below instructions:
How to Add a Forum to WordPress site or blog?
bbPress is the easiest solution you can integrate a full fledged forum into your WordPress site or blog. bbPress is easy to configure for even new WordPress users. You will be impressed of how ease it is to run and manage a WordPress forum with it. The install of bbPress forum plugin is just like you add any other WordPress plugin. You firstly log on your WordPress dashboard, then go to Plugins from the left navigation panel, select Add New item from the Plugins section. Under the Search tab, type in ‘bbpress’, then hit Search Plugins button, you will find this plugin. Click Install Now button to install bbPress to your WordPress site.
Go to activate the bbPress plugin, you will then find three new tabs in the left side menu of your WordPress admin panel: Forums, Topics and Replies. See below screenshot.
The first step to use bbPress forums for WordPress is to add a new forum from the Forums section. You can create multiple forums or directories for forums. Once a forum created from the admin panel, your website visitors will be able to post topics from the front page of your forum, and forum members will also be able to reply to each other as well. All forums or replies created will be listed under the Topics and Replies section separately, so you can easily access and manage them from WordPress dashboard.
To access a forum as a visitor, you can open below link(s) on your web browser:
- http://www.yoursite.com/forums (If you have pretty permalinks enabled, replace the domain with your own domain name.)
- http://www.yoursite.com?post_type=forum (If you do not have pretty permalinks enabled, replace the domain with your own domain name.)
Sometimes you may want to customize the forums for WordPress. The WordPress forum template or plugin is very easy to customize. Go to the WordPress Dashboard >> Settigs >> Forums.
For advanced forum administrators who want to make everything looks pretty, you can adjust the CSS of your theme as needed via FTP or from WP dashboard >> Appearance.
Adding forum to WordPress troubleshooting
1. If you find users can not register to post or reply topics on your WordPress forum created, make sure you to allow users registration from WordPress dashboard >> Settings >> General. There will be a ‘Anyone can register’ option you can check to enable besides the Membership item.
2. If you do not want to open the WordPress forum for public registration, you can disable the membership registration, and go to manually create forum members. To do that, go to WordPress dashboard >> Users, create a new forum member with username, password and an email address. After that you can invite the target forum users to the discussion forum by sending them the login usernames and passwords. You can grant different members with different permissions or priviledges by grouping them into different user role group when creating a new member or editing them from WordPress dashboard >> Users.