Discussion Board Pro adds extra functionality to Discussion Board, the WordPress forum plugin, allowing you to create an even more powerful forum for your WordPress site.
WordPress forum plugin
Discussion Board is a popular and free WordPress forum plugin with a 4.9 / 5 rating on WordPress.org. It lets you add a simple forum to your site where users can register, post new topics, and reply to others’ topics.
Discussion Board features
The free version of Discussion Board can be downloaded from its page on the WordPress plugin directory. Its features include:
- One-click installation for easy set-up – you can get up and running with your forum in just a few seconds
- Optional front-end user registration and log-in
- Control who can view topics and who can post topics separately according to user roles
- Spam prevention features including account activation by email, email blacklists and limiting the frequency between posting new topics
Discussion Board Pro extends Discussion Board, giving you more forum features and functionality, including:
Discussion Board Pro allows you to create sub-forums within your site. Your users can choose which board to allocate their topics to, allowing you to keep your forum nicely organized and helping your users find the topics they’re most interested in.
Each board can display a thumbnail image, description, and meta data including:
- Number of topics within the board
- Number of replies to topics within the board
- Time since content was last added to the board (freshness)
- Number of users interacting on the board, either posting topics or replying to topics (voices)
Recent or most popular topics are listed below the meta data
Boards can also be hierarchical, meaning that you can create child boards under main boards, effectively giving you sub-sub-forums.
Different access permissions by boards
You can set different viewing and posting permissions for each board. For example, you can set one board to be viewable by anyone and another board to be only viewable by admins. Or you could define the posting permission for one board to customers and the posting permission for another board to admins.
In this way, you can have public boards and private boards, each with their own specific permissions.
Subscribe to boards
Users can choose to subscribe (follow) specific boards in order to receive email notifications of any new topic or reply posted on that specific board.
In Discussion Board Pro, users can subscribe (follow) any topic they wish. They’ll receive an email notification whenever another user leaves a reply on the followed topic.
Users can choose to un-follow a topic at any time.
Admin approvals for new registrations
Note that this feature is not available on the Basic, single site plan. It’s only available on the Developer and Unlimited plans.
The admin approvals feature allows you to decide who can join your discussion board. When a new user registers for your site, you’ll receive an email with the user’s details and a link to approve the registration. If you decide not to approve the user, they won’t be able to post.
With user profiles, you can choose to display selected user information about each user on a dedicated page. Information includes:
- Biographical details for the user
- Date of joining
- Number of topics posted
- Number of replies posted
In addition, you can also choose to display:
- A feed of topics started by the user
- A feed of replies made by the user
- A feed of topics followed by the user
Discussion Board Pro gives you the option to enable a WYSIWYG editor on the front-end.
Discussion Board Pro allows you to enable image uploads for new topics.
Categories and tags
You can define categories and tags for topics. Users can allocate their new topics to pre-existing categories and/or tags or you can choose to allow them to define their own.
WordPress Forum Plugin – demo site
There is a demo of the Pro features at discussionboard.pro. You can sign up, post topics and create replies to existing topics.
Further reading on WordPress forum plugins
If you’d like some more information about WordPress forums in general, check out this article on How to add a forum to WordPress. It provides detailed information on:
- The different types of forum you might wish to run on your site
- The benefits of having a forum on your website
- Installing and configuring Discussion Board
- Configuring the additional features in Discussion Board Pro
- A round-up of other forum plugins available