Discussion Board

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Provide a simple discussion board for your site – users can post new topics and reply to existing ones.

Author:WP Discussion Board (profile at wordpress.org)
WordPress version required:4.3
WordPress version tested:5.4.2
Plugin version:2.3.15
Added to WordPress repository:04-01-2016
Last updated:22-06-2020
Rating, %:94
Rated by:30
Plugin URI:https://wpdiscussionboard.com
Total downloads:72 328
Active installs:2 000+
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Discussion Board is an easy way to add a forum to your WordPress site. It has a one-click installation and stacks of essential features that make it the leading WordPress forum plugin. In brief:

  • Users can register and log in via a front-end form
  • Users post new forum topics via a simple form
  • Each forum topic is displayed on its own page where other users can reply

One-click installation

Discussion Board has a unique, one-click set-up. When you activate the plugin, it will automatically create the three pages you need to get your WordPress forum up and running:

  • A log-in page
  • A page with a form for users to post new topics
  • A page to view existing topics.

Your WordPress forum is up and running straightaway with no need to do any further configuration if you don’t want to.

User management

A key feature of Discussion Board is the ability to control separately who can view your WordPress forum and who can actually post to it. You can specify the required role for users to post new topics and, separately, you can specify the required role for users to view topics. So, for instance, you could allow anyone to view the content but only permit specific user roles to post content.

Registration

You can specify which role new users will be assigned when they register. You can also require users to activate their registration by verifying their email address – this drastically reduces spam registrations.

In the Pro version, you also have the option to approve new registrations yourself if you want.

Front end log-in

Discussion Board has a complete front-end registration and log-in system. You can choose whether to use the standard WordPress system or keep everything on the front-end.

Spam reduction

As well as the restrictions over registration, you can limit the frequency that users can re-post. This will reduce possible spamming. As the owner of the site, you can also choose whether new topics should be published immediately or held as draft in order for you to moderate them. You can use standard WordPress settings to determine moderation levels for comments or set different rules for topics.

Even more, you can block specific email addresses or entire domains from being able to register accounts.

Styles

Discussion Board is designed to work with any theme. You can update colors through the Customizer. Currently, there is a choice of three layouts, using either the standard WordPress archive layout from your theme or more classic forum layouts.

Discussion Board should work out of the box with your theme. However, if you want to extend it and integrate it more closely, there are some optional templates supplied with the plugin that have hookable opening and closing wrapper tags so you can style the templates to match your theme.

Shortcodes

Discussion Board has a number of shortcodes. Some of these are installed automatically when you activate the plugin. Others are optional for usage around your site, including:

[discussion_board_form] – displays a form for users to post a new topic (automatically installed)
[discussion_topics] – displays a list of all topics (automatically installed)
[discussion_board_login_form] – displays a log-in and registration form for new users (automatically installed)
[discussion_board_login_only] – displays a log-in form without a registration form
[discussion_board_log_in_out] – displays a log-in / log-out link
[is_logged_in] – use this shortcode to display content only to users who are logged in
[not_logged_in] – display content only to users who are not logged in

What can I use this for?

You can use this plugin to create any type of forum that you like. Typically, this would include:

  • Community forums
  • School or other education sites
  • Training websites
  • Support forums
  • Discussion forums
  • Niche sites
  • Discussion groups
  • Question and answer sites
  • Technical forums
  • Ecommerce sites
  • Bulletin boards
  • Job boards

WordPress forum plugin demo

There’s a Discussion Board demo here. Note that this demo includes some features only available with the Pro version. Feel free to register and post some sample content.

WordPress forum theme

Although Discussion Board should work with pretty much any WordPress theme, we developed Singularity – a free theme that integrates with Discussion Board. It’s available to download from the WordPress themes directory.

Why have a forum on my WordPress site?

There are many, many reasons to want to install a WordPress forum plugin on your site. In brief, these might include:

  • SEO benefits – there are two key benefits to having a forum on your site. Firstly, you are benefitting from user generated content, where your users are writing your content for you and coming up with all kinds of keywords you never would have included in your content yourself. Secondly, users will spend longer on your site because of your forum, either writing their own posts or reading other people’s content. Google considers dwell time on a website to be a key quality metric.
  • Get closer to your users – a forum is a priceless way of learning more about what makes your users tick, whether the forum is support-based or just a general community discussion board.
  • Market more effectively – when users register for your forum, they are providing you with their email address, meaning that you have a great opportunity to market directly to people you know are interested in your offering.

Documentation

Full documentation and guidance on getting started with the plugin and on its features is here.

Is there a Pro version?

Oh yes, there’s a Pro version to give you even more possibilities with your forum. Features include:

  • Multiple Discussion Boards for different subjects
  • Set statuses for topics, e.g. ‘Resolved’, ‘Open’, etc
  • Categories and tags
  • Image uploads
  • User profiles
  • Topic following (subscribe to topics)
  • Board following – subscribe to a board and get notified of all new topics and comments for that board
  • Board permissions – set topics within boards to be post-only (so no replies) or author-only (only the author can view replies)
  • Admin approvals – optionally require all new registrations to be approved by an admin
  • WYSIWYG editor

Check out the Pro version here.


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