As the world becomes more and more social, the way businesses interact with their customers has also had to change. It’s no longer enough to simply have a website acting as your placeholder. You now have to create communities of customers, engage with them effectively. You also need to be open and transparent about your business policies by displaying them properly on your website.
The current decade has seen the steady rise of community websites dedicated to building tribes and leveraging social networks to attract more customers. No matter what type of business you’re running, you need a community of followers who believe in your business.
What is a Community Site?
Keeping your web visitors interested in your content enough for them to keep coming back is pretty tough in today’s competition. However, the new tactic of running a community website is paying off big time.
A community site is basically a private social network where people engage in topics that are of similar interest to all members.
Running a WordPress community site has been made easier by the availability of a myriad of WordPress community plugins. They are handy tools that will get people hanging out and engaging on your site for a very long time.
What’s the Importance of a Community Site?
Community sites are great because they bring together people who are already interested in what you have to say. For someone to join your community site, they must have liked what they saw and want more of it.
Community sites are a perfect way of driving traffic to your website. The more people join your community site, the more interactions will take place and thus the higher your web traffic.
The engagement that goes on in a community site makes your website rank higher on search engine results. When people take the time to read your content and interact with others, then your bounce rate will go down increasing your street credit among search engines.
Sold on why you should have a community site? Now let’s take a look at the 5 best WordPress community plugins that you should consider.
14 Best WordPress Community plugins of 2020:-
Meet Youzer The #1 Community & User Profiles Plugin and it’s the right choice for your business. It comes with all the features you need and more to bring life to your website and give your website users much more space to express themselves, showcase their information, skills and interact with each other.
What makes Youzer very unique is the modern, responsive and eye-catching design which comes with many profile headers variation ( 14 Header Styles ), powerful admin panel with over 700 options to take the full control, 16 color schemes, +22 profile widgets, +22 WordPress widgets, a very creative 404 profile page and also you will have the ability to add unlimited custom tabs and unlimited custom widgets.
One of the things that make Youzer the best WP user profiles plugin is the huge number of the powerful social features starting with the social wall that contains more than 10 Post Types ( Status, Quote, Link, Photos, Slideshow, Audio Video, Files, Embeds … ), Members Directory, Groups Directory, Global News Feed, Friendships, Groups, Follows, Messages, Notification, Mentions, Reviews, Notices, Badges, Ratings, Likes, Comments, Notices, Emoticons, Bookmarks, User Tags, Sticky Posts and many many more social features …
Youzer also comes with an advanced and secure membership system where you can manage signups and it includes the social login and registration, ajax login, login popup, unlimited registration fields, information privacy, captcha, limit login attempts system, hide the dashboard and toolbar for users, +240 forms style and the ability to disable the whole membership system with one click and much more!
Also, Youzer is translated into many languages and it’s integrated with many popular plugins like BuddyPress, bbpress, woocommerce, mycred, MailChimp. Youzer proved that it’s the top community and user profiles plugin in the market of all time.
AR Member is a powerful WordPress community plugin. It is an all in one solution for membership, subscription and user registration. It comes bundled with tons of user-friendly features:
Advanced membership features: AR membership allows you to create multilevel membership on your site. You can have different membership modules. One user may have more than one type of membership simultaneously. You may build a membership directory using the built-in template editor.
Social login options: The plugin allows you to create various login options for users using the customization editor. Members may also log in using their social account like Google, Facebook, Instagram etc.
Easy content protection: With this plugin, you can restrict certain contents to only a number of specific types of members. Content restriction is a matter of just a few clicks. User wise private content is the most interesting feature of the plugin.
The plugin is available at $49.
3. UM Profiler
UM Profiler is one of the most popular WordPress community plugins of the year. Its gallery extension and membership cards make it the ultimate community membership plugin. It offers you hundreds of features that you need to build a community website with WordPress:
Designing options: You can design your membership cards the way you want. There are 9 template designs and a gallery feature. There are options to change the designs of membership cards to fit the different website designs.
Compatibility: The plugin works well with most of the modern WordPress themes. To increase the functionality, you can go for various Ultimate Member addons like – Friends, Followers, User reviews, Private Messages and Verified Users.
User Friendliness: The plugin is ready to use and well documented. Anybody can install and activate it with just a few clicks. It is available in both free and premium versions. Any moment you can upgrade the free version into the premium one.
The plugin is available at $26.
Support Board is a flexible plugin for WordPress communities. It allows you to automate the communication system of your members. The plugin does this using artificial intelligence-driven bots and chat systems integrated with the most widely used platforms. The other key features are as follows:
Easy user management: You can engage your members with 6+ rich message types. You may also combine them to create a poll, survey or forum. Users can directly register or log in from the chat board. The plugin can be translated into 19 languages for the convenience of the users.
Advanced chat options: The plugin offers a beautifully designed chat system for better user experience. Fast, lightweight and support board is the best chat solution for any business or other purposes. That is what the plugin offers.
Modern admin area: A smart and simple admin interface is designed with an objective of increasing productivity. You can manage users, settings and conversations from one place. There are features to install the admin panel on your desktop.
The plugin is available at $59.
This is one of the top-rated WordPress community plugins available. Features-
Integration: The plugin will integrate seamlessly many other WordPress plugins that you may be using already.
User profile: You can create customized, front-end user profiles with UserPro. Add unlimited custom fields, Twitter-like verified badges, custom header background and more.
Member directory: Display members beautifully using default or enhanced member directory option. Comes with custom search and filter options.
Follow/Unfollow: The plugin allows you follow or unfollow users, all accounts are verified before being added to your site. Flexibility to choose which content to share with your community members and which one to restrict.
Responsive Design: To add to the plugin’s versatility, UserPro comes in fully responsive design.
Customizing: The plugin has unlimited CSS ability. You can also customize it fully or take advantage of the five ready to use skins included in the plugin.
The plugin also comes with unlimited Google Fonts support as well as 350+ Font, awesome icons that you can use for enhancing the aesthetics of your site.
User Badges: The plugin lets you add user badges and achievements on your site to entice more interaction in your WordPress community site.
Easy and Safe Registration: Anyone interested in joining your site will be required to register using their email addresses and will be able to set a password to keep their accounts protected. In case they forget their passwords, they can use the plugin’s front end password reset.
Available in 12 Languages: The plugin is available in 12 languages giving your diverse members more language flexibility.
Social login: It allows your users to sync their social media profiles (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Vkontakte).
Content restriction: UserPro lets you restrict content on your website based on user roles and membership status.
Price – $39
It is a premium WordPress Community plugin built by Azzaroco on CodeCanyon. It is packed with dozens of features like:-
Custom fields: To create custom registration forms and user profiles.
Recurring payments: Offer multiple payment options to users for buying memberships on your community site. These include one-time payment, monthly recurring payment, trial period, limited time offer payments, etc.
Multilevel access: Ultimate Memberships Pro allows you to create a multi-level workflow. Create access for a limited time, long term or specific time period like holidays.
Drip content: Release content at regular intervals using the drip content feature. You can set the intervals based on subscription time or user levels.
Easy sync: – Easily sync members from other platforms like bbPress, BuddyPress, WooCommerce, etc. into your community.
Member directories: Create beautiful member directories using different themes and color scheme splits. Allows member search using different search and filter criteria.
BuddyPress is a great WordPress community plugin meant for social networking on your site and comes with a host of features.
Social Networking Features: The plugin allows members to create profiles, create group chats and also message each other privately just like you would on a social network.
Sophisticated Features: This plugin goes beyond being a forum plugin, giving your users extra features that make engaging on your site more sophisticated. The plugin will make your site truly social.
Easy Customization: Most of the features can be turned on or off making BuddyPress fully customizable and adaptable to your site.
Easy to Install: Besides its awesome features, the plugin is easy to install and use and does not require and technical know-how.
Another one to the list of WordPress community plugins that lets you add stunning user profiles to your community site. The plugin goes a step further and allows you to create advanced online communities. Other features include:
Hassle-Free Sign Up: With Ultimate Member, your users can sign up and become members of your site hassle-free from the front-end of your site. The creators of the plugin have one major focus; to make creating a community site simple and flexible. This plugin delivers on this fully.
Pro Version: If you want more features, try out the Ultimate Membership Pro. This version allows you to create a community site with multi-levels that allow exclusive access to various types of users. So, you can base your member levels on Free packages or Paid packages. This feature makes it very easy for you to turn your community site into an income source by providing your most valuable content at a fee to those interested without losing the interest of the non-paying members.
Content Restriction: The plugin has the content restriction feature that allows you to protect your content sections, pages, categories, images, menus, products, and URLs by enabling restrictions.
9. Users Ultra
This is the best WordPress community plugin if you want to create an advanced user community in just a matter of minutes. Here’s why:
Integration: The best part about this plugin is that it can be integrated into any WordPress Theme allowing you to implement your own preferred design.
Fields Customizer Tool: The plugin allows you to add as many fields as you want to your site through the use of the Fields Customizer Tool.
Safety Feature: The plugin also comes with reCaptcha to protect your site from spammers and bots.
Flexible Signup: The plugin lets your users signup and log in by using either email or social media accounts including Facebook, Google, Twitter, Google, or LinkedIn.
Customization: You can customize all the available components giving you the power to make your community site as unique to your brand as possible. This will also let your community site stand out and attract more members.
Follow Feature: The plugin also comes with a Follow feature that allows you and your members to follow other users whose content they are interested in. Mainly, this will greatly increase user engagement on your site. Because this is an advanced community, the plugin gives your users the prestige of sending a friend request to other users and also share photos privately or publicly.
bbPress is a forum plugin by the WordPress community that is free and open-source. If you wish to hold online discussions, bbPress is one of the best options for you. In addition, it comes with one-click installation, one unified admin area and one core account.
User Experience: There are multisite forms which allow you to divide your site into sections. Your users may also create contents for your site. The plugin is fast and light. Its clean code assures good user experience. It is highly extendable.
Highly Customizable: The plugin comes with customizable templates. It allows you to design your forums the way you wish to. You can customize the design as per the choice of the community members. This feature makes your site attractive to everyone. And, there are RSS feed and advanced spam protection.
11. Ultra Community
Ultra Community is a powerful WordPress plugin for community development. It comes with almost all the features that you need for building community relationships. With this, you can create your own community site without any knowledge of programming.
Easy User Management: Ultra Community offers an interactive frontend user login. There are error handling and custom redirection support. You can create customizable user profiles. Moreover, there are features to create many user roles and assign each role its capability and permission. You may allow your users to create and join groups.
Member & Group Directory: The plugin comes with member directory and group directory. You can filter the users with user role and groups by group type.
Email Notification: You can set up and customize email notifications. Emails will be automatically delivered to the users after an event talkies place.
Translation Ready: Further, The plugin is multilingual ready. You can translate it into German, Italian and Swedish.
12. WP Symposium Pro
WP Symposium Pro is a social networking WordPress plugin. With this, you can develop your own social network on your WordPress website by just clicking a button.
Easy User Management: The plugin allows you to have users profile, hold unlimited discussion forums and create and manage groups. There are private messaging system, login and registration pages and admin dashboard protection.
Powerful Display: It has beautiful featured images and image galleries and Facebook connects option. You can play Youtube videos on your site.
Extendability: WP Symposium Pro is highly extendable. It works well with most of the latest WordPress themes and plugins. It is easily customizable and available in both free and premium versions. Anytime you can extend the plugin to the pro version.
Nextend Social Login is a modern and professional WordPress plugin for community building. It allows your users to log in to your site with their social media accounts. It supports three networks -Google, Facebook and Twitter.
Powerful User login: The plugin easily integrates with your WordPress login account and registration form. Users may add or remove accounts on their WordPress page. A single user may add as many social accounts as he wants. It has a one-click user registration option.
Extendability: Nextend Social Login is WooCommerce compatible. It comes with multiple login layouts. It has login widgets and easy shortcodes. Also, there are customizable texts and designs. The plugin is available in both free and premium versions.
14. Wise Chat
Wise chat is a modern WordPress chat plugin. It comes with easy installation. You can install it with simple shortcodes. It needs no extra server. The regular hosting is enough for this. You may embed many chat installations on the same page.
Localization: Wise Chat comes with localization option for many different languages, backup, moderation and opening hour control.
Easily customizable: the plugin has features for detailed appearance settings. You can detect spammer and block them anytime.
Responsive: Wise chat is responsive. It fits any screen or device easily with no difficulty.
Pro Features: The pro version of the plugin allows you to use your own emoticons, edit posted messages and let the users talk to each other in private mode. There are multisite support and user list search options. The plugin is well documented and user friendly.
Memberpress is an all in one WordPress toolkit for building membership websites that allows you to sell your courses or other services online, lets you integrate with different payment gateways and introduce a price to digital downloads. It’s features include:
Access rule: You get to control who can see your content and making some contents available for everyone while restricting some to registered members only.
Highly extensible: The plugin supports a wide range of services. You can integrate it with any other modern WordPress plugins to increase the functionality of your website.
Premium forums: You can create and manage password-protected communities with this plugin easily and hold discussion forums only for the members.
Reporting feature: Memberpress keeps a record of all the activities and lets you access the data whenever you want.
Content Censor is a WordPress user-friendly tool that protects your site from profanity and unwanted issues. Here are the key features –
Protection from unwanted issues: If you run a membership site, many times objectionable comments made by the members create troubles. This plugin is designed to safeguard you from this kind of problem.
Easy content management: You can filter and remove unwanted words, phrases, or sentences from any page of your site. It has an ideal automatic comment moderation feature. You can also put a list of keywords and specify unwanted words or phrases and the rest will be automatically done by the plugin.
Forum Engine is a powerful WordPress plugin for building an online community. Its social media integration helps you to interact with your community members and send invitations easily. Here are the key features of the plugin-
Easy setup: Setting up the plugin is even easier than you think. You can do it within minutes with just a few clicks. No programming knowledge required for this.
Style customizer: There are tons of customization options that let you change the design of your webpages. You can customize layout types, header and footer styles, font size and colors, and also the background colors.
Advanced sidebars: There are multiple custom widgets. You can just drag and drop the widgets to your sidebars and create attractive content to catch the viewer’s attention.
Automatic updates: You just have to enter your license key to update the plugin. After that, the plugin will send you a notification whenever there is a new update.
Simple: Press is a feature-rich WordPress community plugin. You can choose from a wide array of themes and templates to make your site ready for the plugin. The following are some of its major features:
Multiple types of forums: The plugin lets you create unlimited forums of different types. You can create private or public forums, custom logos for each of them, and send forum messages to the members. It is possible to create as many forum groups as you want.
User management: You can create unlimited user groups with different types of permission systems. You can restrict admin access to only a few members and custom user roles.
Post management: The plugin supports unlimited posts of any topic. You can edit and delete a post with a single click. There are features to move the posts between the forums and topics
wpForo Forum is an elegant WordPress plugin for forum and community building that offers you a drag and drop interface. Here are the key features the plugin offers –
Flexible forums: With this plugin, you can create responsive small and large forums. There are options to set styles and colors of the forms. It allows you to rate members and award them with badges.
Forum integration: The plugin is integrated with many memberships and profile builder addons. It helps you to interact with the community members easily and ensures easy team management.
Forum translation: There is localization support. You can translate your forums into any language and cater to different member groups.
Forum layout: The plugin supports four different types of layouts- extended, simplified, threaded, and question and answer. You can use any of them as per your choice.
Asgaros Forum is a lightweight and fast loading WordPress plugin for discussion boards that easy to use and well documented. It offers you the following features:
Easy to install: When you install the plugin, a new forum page is automatically created. All you need to do is to add this page to your menu to allow the users to access your forum.
Easy content management: There are lots of custom widgets and a powerful user-friendly editor. Using the editor, you can add the widgets to the area where you want and create your desired content.
Compatibility: The plugin is multisite compatible. It is multilingual ready.
CM Answers is a WordPress question-answer plugin. It allows you to create discussion board using the question-answer features. Here are the key features of the plugin –
Community building: The plugin lets you create a discussion board and allow users to start their own discussion and forum. This helps you to grow a healthy community.
Powerful admin panel: Admin can moderate the discussion or edit the question and answers of the discussion board. There are features for views and answer count.
Responsive layout: The plugin is responsive and fits any screen size.
Discussion board is a powerful WordPress community building plugin. It is flexible and feature-rich. The plugin brings along the following features:
User management: You can make different types of user groups and restrict access to website contents by user roles or user groups. There are features for admin access to new registration.
Security: The plugin guarantees spam protection. It is possible to limit the frequency at which the users can repost or make a comment. You can decide which topics are to be published.
Customization: The Discussion board is easily customizable. You can change the colors through the customizer. There are three different layouts to choose from.
To Sum it up, our recommended 14 best WordPress community plugins of 2020 that will make creating and managing a successful community site a breeze. Whether you’re interested in creating a community blog, a forum, or a social network on your site, these are indeed the best options for you.
Before you get started, keep in mind the type of community you want to create, the kind of content you want to share with members, how you will provide value, and keep it going. Furthermore, Don’t just start a community site because others are doing it, do it because you have something valuable to give your members.
Finally, when settling for the best community plugin, put in mind its speed, flexibility, compatibility, and integration. These will be the features that will determine the kind of experience your site users have on your site. You want to make it the best. So choose wisely!