Top 6 bbPress Plugins for a great Community Forum

When it comes to the question, which forum software is the best for wordpress, it’s clear.
bbPress is the most extensive and lightweight forum software that just works.

If you agree – read on. 🙂

The following listed plugins, assume that you have installed the plugin bbpress for your basic wordpress community forum.

Let’s start:

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1. WP ULike

With the plugin WP Ulike you can add a Like-Button to your forum posts. This is actually good, because it allows the community to value comments and give feedback to each other. This seperates good and bad forum entries & engages the community in another way, that can make it more alive!

Screenshot of the Like Button:
Of course you can style it in different ways, I would choose something that matches your site colors and content.

WP Ulike provides the Like possibility not only for bbPress, but also for buddypress, normal comments and for all posts and pages if you activate it. Try it out!
View Plugin

2. Mycred

Mycred is the perfect plugin for gameification.
Gameification means that users are part of a “game” through their activity. Making comments or viewing content, bring points onto your user account and raise your standings in the leaderboards. Based on the point amount, endless ranks can be given.

Mycred brings charme into bbPress forums and in my opinion is the best plugin to add to your community.
Here is a screenshot of one of my bbpress community forums, where I used Mycred:

What does Gameification through Mycred is useful for?

  • Active users get rewarded, because they have a lot of points and ranks, which can be displayed in their profile or directly in the forum sidebar next to the avatar and username
  • Increased user engagement
  • Visitors can see, that users are active and are more willing to join the community

View Plugin

3. GD bbPress Attachments

The plugins from developer dev4press for bbPress are definetly not perfect and feel a bit old – but they do their job.
The GD bbPress Attachments plugin is easy to understand:
Forum users can upload files, when commenting.
It is up to the administrator which files are allowed and what is the maximum file size for the images and audio.

A great community forum should not miss the functionality to allow users to upload images in forumposts! 🙂
View Plugin

4. GD bbPress Tools

The GD bbPress Tools comes up with mixed possibilities.
The best thing for me is, that users can create forum signatures for themselves and to use BBCode.

Features for bbPress

  • BBCode can be used this means [b] this is bold [/b] and so on. Forum users do like this.
  • Quoting of forum posts
  • Signatures (with images)
  • bbPress admin access control

View Plugin

5. Open external links in a new window

When having comments active or when having a community forum this plugin is useful.

Outgoing links, made by users that refer to an external webpage, open in a new tab.
This is quite important, it prevents users from leaving your awesome page!
View Plugin

6. Buddypress

When using bbPress you should always consider adding buddypress – for a community it has only advantages. In case you got only the forum, you maybe not need buddypress. For websites with different areas of content, buddypress is perfect.

Advantages of bbpress with buddypress

  • Buddypress with bbpress belong together and complete each other
  • Buddypress has the perfect avatar upload functionality
  • Great Profiles with an activity feed and info sections about the user
  • Buddypress brings your community on to a new level

In my opinion, when having a community page created with worpress, buddypress is very usefull and shouldn’t be left out. Decide if you need buddypress for your community forum, or even as an extension for your member site.
View Plugin

Conclusion – Why only 6 Plugins?

On the market are hundreds of bbPress plugins. In my opinion 95% of these plugins suck a lot and are not even worth to install them.

Choose wisely and only install plugins you really need!
Save your server capacity and use as few plugins as possible to ensure a good loading time and a lovely usage of your forum and website.

If you think, we really missed a plugin, that is worth to try and brings high benefit – then share your knowledge! 🙂

– Kev