An internet forum is a discussion area on a website where members submit posts, and then others discuss them. A forum can deal with various topics or can be dedicated to a single issue. These forums are also called as Message Boards, Bulletin Boards and Discussion Groups.
For website owners, forums are an important area of the site where members discuss topics that are of major interest to them. So it is important to ensure that the forum does not run slowly, and most importantly does not get hacked into. bbPress is an incredible WP plugin that provides a complete solution to these problems for any site built on a WordPress platform. It provides a fully functional and feature rich forum which runs fast and which also preserves the safety of data. It is also a support platform as well as being simply a forum system.
These plugins will allow you to extend bbPress’ features to get it running the way you want your forum to run.
WP User Avatar
It allows users to upload a local avatar instead of using Gravatars
GD bbPress Attachments
Lets you allow attachments to topics and replies. The plugin can embed attached files, and thumbnails can be generated.
Star Rating System lets users giving star ratings for forum topics (as well as posts, pages, comments, and BuddyPress topics).
Gives your forum a points management system that lets you control how points are awarded, used, traded, managed, logged, and presented
Give your users the option of replying privately to a topic, meaning that only the original poster (as well as admins) can see the reply.
Better bbPress Signature
Let's you give your forum users the ability to add signatures.
Helps stop spam comment, spam registrations, and spam through email contact forms.
Let's you display counts for each user. You can show their total number of topics, their total number of replies, and then their total number of the two added together.
Live Topic Suggestions
This could prove to be very useful for large forums. As a user begins composing a new topic, the plugin looks at the keywords in the title and tag areas and presents them with a list of similar topics that may answer whatever questions they have or address whatever topic they are talking about.
This plugin puts a little red “New” icon on topics that are new or that have new replies to them. Visible to admin/moderator only.
Let's you assign users to groups, and then you can control access to different forums by giving permission to view a forum to only certain groups.
Let's you create forums that disable new topic creation for certain user roles.