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  1. Web Design
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18 Best WordPress Community Plugins for 2022

Read Time: 16 mins

Whether you’re an online freelancer or running a brick-and-mortar store, having a website is no longer enough to get and retain customers. Along with your website, you need to create a community of customers and engage with them.

Online communities continue to create enormous value for businesses. A WordPress community plugin will help you create your own social network or online community. You don’t need to create a community platform from scratch. There are plenty of community plugins available to help you out.

WordPress, BuddyPress Users Chat Plugin
Users Chat Plugin is an example of WordPress community plugins and themes on CodeCanyon and Envato Elements.

When choosing a plugin to start and host your online community, here are some things to consider:

  • It must be easy to use, flexible, and adaptable to fast-changing technology.
  • It must be fast: as your community grows, loading speeds become important.
  • It must be fully responsive and compatible with all devices—desktops, laptops, and mobile.
  • It must seamlessly integrate with other WordPress plugins that you’re using.

Before we look at the plugins, let's explore the benefits of a monthly subscription to Envato Elements

Subscribe to Envato Elements

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Best Community Themes on Envato Elements

Envato Elements gives you unlimited downloads of 54+ million creative assets (including community themes) under one no-strings-attached subscription covered by a lifetime commercial license.

If you're looking for a community theme instead of a full-fledged plugin, then try one of these themes below.

1. Scisco: Questions and Answers WordPress Theme

Scisco - Questions and Answers WordPress ThemeScisco - Questions and Answers WordPress ThemeScisco - Questions and Answers WordPress Theme

Scisco is a questions and answers WordPress theme specially designed for online communities. It follows the same concept as StackOverflow, Yahoo Answers, or Quora. Since Q&A websites handle lots of traffic, the theme is made with SEO and speed in mind. Users can ask questions, answer questions, create front-end profiles, send private messages, get likes or dislikes for their answers, and acquire reputation points. 

In addition to being a Question and Answer theme, it is also a fully functional job board theme where you can create a job directory and let your members browse jobs by filters.

Since it's fully compatible with WooCommerce, you can create a fully functional online store and sell anything from your website.

Additional features include: 

  • supports RTL languages
  • compatible with Mailchimp for WordPress
  • compatible with Contact Form 7 plugin
  • one-click demo import
  • translation- ready 

2. ViralVideo: User Membership News and Magazine Theme

ViralVideo - User Membership News / Magazine ThemeViralVideo - User Membership News / Magazine ThemeViralVideo - User Membership News / Magazine Theme

Viral Video allows you to create engaging community and membership websites that boost viral traffic. It allows for front-end submission, one-click demo installs, sticky sidebars, and it is also perfect for user-generated content, user-submitted posts, and more. 

Features include:

  • drag-and-drop builder
  • front-end user profiles, registration, and login
  • user content and content restrictions
  • custom fields 

3. KICKCUBE: Membership and User Content Sharing Theme

KICKCUBE - Membership & User Content Sharing ThemeKICKCUBE - Membership & User Content Sharing ThemeKICKCUBE - Membership & User Content Sharing Theme

KICKCUBE is the best theme for user-generated content that makes for a vibrant community website. Your users can create, edit, view, and delete posts. They can show and share their stories with every one. Premium members can have their stories appear on the front pages of the theme. 

Notable features include:

  • one-click demo install
  • beautiful pricing tables
  • infinite scroll 
  • instant post publish for premium members

WordPress Community Plugins on CodeCanyon

There are currently over 100 premium community plugins for WordPress on CodeCanyon. You can use them to add all kinds of community-based functionality to your websites. This includes things like user profiles, user testimonials, team member pages, forums, and much more.

WordPress Community Plugins on CodeCanyon

Using a premium community plugin gives you access to free lifetime updates and six months of support.

Top WordPress Community Plugins

We have created this list of top WordPress community plugins to help you save some time.

1. UserPro: Community and User Profile WordPress Plugin

UserPro - Community and User Profile WordPress PluginUserPro - Community and User Profile WordPress PluginUserPro - Community and User Profile WordPress Plugin

With UserPro, you can do just about anything you need to build your WordPress community website. Here are some things you can do:

  • build your own community with a searchable member directory
  • give each user an elegant custom profile
  • customize registration and login
  • restrict access to content based on membership level
  • enable social connect and instant profile sync via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram

2. Ultimate Membership Pro

Ultimate Membership Pro - WordPress Membership PluginUltimate Membership Pro - WordPress Membership PluginUltimate Membership Pro - WordPress Membership Plugin

For subscription-based communities that give access to content and other services depending on membership level, Ultimate Membership Pro is your plugin of choice.

Ultimate Membership Pro allows you to:

  1. Create your subscription-based online community with different membership fee levels.
  2. Provide different levels of access to content and other services based on the type of membership each user has paid for.

Here’s a look at some of its features:

  • manage your membership forms, membership pages, and content lockers directly from WPBakery Page Builder (Visual Composer)
  • drip content: release content at regular intervals, with settings for when each item becomes available based on subscription time or level
  • content locker: lock content based on subscription level
  • sell subscriptions using WooCommerce
  • integrated payment gateways: PayPal, Authorize.net, Stripe, and more
  • integrated with popular email marketing platforms

3. PrivateContent

Private Content Multilevel Content Plugin

PrivateContent is a powerful yet easy way to turn your WordPress site into a true multi-level membership platform.

It comes with complete user management, a modern form framework, and a unique engine to restrict any part of your website. All this without needing coding skills!

Some features that make PrivateContent awesome include:

  • five different ways to incorporate the login form into your custom WordPress theme
  • use third-party forms to register users and edit their data
  • WooCommerce checkout to create PrivateContent users
  • locked posts can be searchable and indexable but have hidden contents

PrivateContent is also integrated with Google Analytics to provide precise reports: each page view, login, logout, and registration will be recorded. You will be able to know exactly what users see. All in real time!

PrivateContent is a developer-friendly plugin and can be easily extended and customized by developers.

4. ARMember

ARMember WordPress Membership Plugin

Make the membership building process as simple as possible with the ARMember plugin.

ARMember is a one-stop solution to all your membership needs, including member management, payment tracking, drip content, and more. It is so easy to set up that within minutes you will have your own membership site up and running!

You can do so much more, for example:

  • set up custom grace periods for late or failed membership payments
  • upgrade or downgrade membership levels
  • invite-only membership signup
  • choose from a wide selection of striking and customizable templates for member profiles and directory listings
  • track member statistics and payment histories

Members are more comfortable signing up if they are being offered convenient and popular payment gateways. The ARMember membership plugin for WordPress comes with some of the most popular gateways like Stripe, PayPal, Bank Transfer, 2Checkout, and Authorize.net.

5. Team Showcase

Team Showcase

This WordPress plugin allows you to showcase different members of your team or company in a variety of layouts. You can provide some basic information like their title and social media links, along with their profile picture.

Here are some interesting features of this plugin:

  • filter team members by categories
  • reorder members using drag and drop
  • single pages for each entry
  • can be used inside widgets
  • user-friendly shortcode generator
  • and more

Consider using Team Showcase if you want your team members to be easily accessible for your readers. This could potentially increase their engagement with your website and give team members more recognition at the same time.

6. Youzify: BuddyPress Community and WordPress User Profile Plugin

Youzify BuddyPress Community  WordPress User Profile

Youzify focuses on creating beautiful community and user profiles. It offers a lot of tools to enable users to customize their profile and community pages.

Some of the features of this WordPress community builder include:

  • social login
  • extremely customizable, with many different header styles, profile widgets, and color schemes
  • fully responsive design
  • lots of social features: likes, follows, points, reviews, ratings, badges, mentions, comments, and more

It’s also fully compatible with the BuddyPress platform.

7. DW Question and Answer Pro

DW Question & Answer Pro - WordPress Plugin

With DW Question & Answer Pro, your website will have a full-featured question and answer section like Stack Overflow, Quora, or Yahoo Answers.

Using this question and answer plugin for WordPress, you can add a question listing page that integrates with many features such as filter, sort, pagination, and search.

Features of this include:

  • ability to set up the "ask question" form on a sidebar or a separate page
  • manage questions on the front-end
  • comment and answer feature
  • people vote for other people’s questions that they’re interested in
  • automatically counts views each time someone views the question
  • and many more

8. Sabai Discuss Plugin

Sabai Discuss Plugin

You can use the Sabai Discuss plugin in your WordPress website to create a question-and-answer forum. The plugin allows users to ask and answer questions, similar to websites such as Stack Overflow.

You get a lot of features with this plugin, such as:

  • filter questions and answers
  • post comments on both questions and answers
  • tag questions with auto-suggest
  • profile pages
  • close and reopen questions
  • and more

You should definitely check out this plugin if you want to build a solid community of users based around the content of your website.

9. Chat Support Board

Chat Support Board

This chat support board plugin is a great way to automate basic interactions with customers using artificial intelligence. The UI is similar to popular chat services, making it easier for everyone to use it.

Here are some of its features:

  • rich messages and surveys
  • registration and login
  • multilingual and RTL support
  • email and desktop notifications with sound
  • and more

The plugin also offers a lot of great tools to admins to help them manage different conversations and users. Admins are also able to save replies and find, sort, or filter users.

10. WordPress, BuddyPress Users Chat Plugin

WordPress, BuddyPress Users Chat Plugin

With this plugin, users who are logged in to any user-based WordPress blog, forum, community, directory, eCommerce, or BuddyPress social network can automatically chat with each other.

11. WordPress Chat Room, Group Chat Plugin

WordPress Chat Room, Group Chat Plugin

This community builder plugin will work on any user-based WordPress blog, forum, community, directory, eCommerce BuddyPress website. It uses BuddyPress for group chat. Users in a chat room can chat privately with each other. You can create BuddyPress groups and control members. The plugin is multisite enabled.

Notable features include:

  • image, file, and video sharing
  • private auto-chat invitation popup
  • online/offline indication
  • member search option
  • auto-scheduled chat history cleanup feature to free up hosting space

12. Forym: Modern Discussion Forum for WordPress

Forym - Modern Discussion Forum for Wordpress

Forym allows you to add a clean and user-friendly discussion forum to your website. You can easily use it to create a professional-looking forum with a Q&A. Forym is search-engine optimized, and it's designed to work on the front-end of your website.

Forum admins or moderators can manage all forums, topics, replies, categories, tags, and templates from the admin area. This allows them to create topics, replies, and templates using popular WordPress page builders.

Other features include:

  • front-end editor
  • drag-and-drop file uploader
  • profanity filters
  • block users
  • role manager for moderators
  • vote answers up or down

Free WordPress Community Plugins

You can also find quite a few free WordPress community plugins out there. We are listing five good ones here that have decent reviews. Before going ahead with free plugins, keep in mind that you might not always get regular updates and support.

ProfileGrid

This is a custom user profile plugin that aims to bring together all kinds of user data from a variety of plugins. It is basically an all-encompassing user profile builder that makes managing user data easier.

BuddyPress

This plugin allows you to create a community similar to popular social networks. Members of your website will be able to create their profiles, have private conversations, and interact in groups.

PeerBoard Forum and Community

Peerboard Forum and Community

This WordPress forum plugin brings everything you need to build a truly branded online community, connect with your customers, and grow without a single tech headache.

wpForo

WPForo

The wpForo plugin allows you to integrate a full-fledged forum into your website. It comes with a variety of layouts, with built-in SEO and a caching system.

PeepSo

Peepso

PeepSo is a free community plugin for WordPress that lets you integrate a social networking function into your website. It's quick and easy to set up, so you can focus on attracting users and building up your online community.

What Is an Online Community?

An online community is:

"a network of people who communicate with one another and with an organization through interactive tools such as e-mail, discussion boards and chat systems." — Business Dictionary

Online communities come in different forms:

  • online forums
  • social networks
  • community blogs
  • email groups
  • subscription newsletters

Communities are hosted on a variety of platforms. Each community serves a specific purpose. Before you decide what platform you will use to start and host your community, here are some things you should consider:

  • What specific purpose is your online community going to serve?
  • What value are you going to provide for your members, and how will you provide it?
  • What type of community do you want to create?
  • What kind of content do you want to share with members?
  • Finally, how you will keep the community going?

Importance of Online Communities

Because they are integral to the success of your business, here’s why it makes sense to create an online community as part of your business growth strategy:

Reach

You will be able to reach a very large number of people, which means you will have access to high-quality leads that you can market to cheaply and convert to reliable repeat customers. You won’t have to rely on expensive traditional advertising.

Longevity

Having an online community means that you will be challenged to provide information that is of value to your users. This will help you build a loyal following, which means longevity.

Engagement

Through the community, you'll be able to constantly engage with your customers. You can post questions about what changes your customers want to see and get immediate feedback about what they think of a new product or service. This level of engagement keeps them coming back.

What Does an Online Community Need?

Online communities need tools to facilitate direct engagement between users and your content, between users and the business, and between the users themselves.

Some tools needed to facilitate engagement in your online community are:

  • membership tools for users to sign up, create profiles, and log in
  • means to engage with content through commenting, posting, or liking
  • ways for members to communicate with each other
  • the ability to join groups and have private conversations

Ultimately, the kinds of tools you need depend on the purpose you want the online community to serve.

Why Is WordPress the Perfect Choice for Building an Online Community?

Millions of websites are now powered by WordPress.

WordPress is built specifically for content. It started as a blogging tool, but was later revamped into a fully fledged content management system. It is highly adaptable and can be customized by adding themes and plugins to get the desired results.

The fact that it’s easy to customize makes it an ideal choice for building your online community.

Building an Online Community With WordPress

WordPress is a content management system that has user management built into it. This takes care of your user registration and login tools.

WordPress also comes with a built-in posting and commenting mechanism. This lets users engage with content you make available, ask questions regarding your products and services, and communicate with each other.

The basics of hosting an online community are already there with WordPress. And thanks to WordPress's flexibility, any other features you could want for an online community are available as plugins, either in free plugins from WordPress.org or more full-featured premium plugins from CodeCanyon.

Now that you understand the importance of having your online community, I’m sure you can’t wait to get started creating your online community so you can grow your website and engage your users.

Important Tips to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Plugin

Here are a few tips that will help you in choosing the best community plugin for your website:

  1. Make sure that the plugin looks great on mobile devices. More and more people are now using the internet on their mobiles instead of their desktop computers. This makes it important to choose a plugin that loads quickly and looks great on mobile devices.
  2. Forum and social networking plugins will require comparatively more server resources. Be aware of the resources that a plugin might need to work properly. The most feature-rich plugin will do you no good if the website starts showing 503 errors with only ten users!
  3. Spam can be a big issue for community-based websites. Any plugin that you use should come with tools to help you easily moderate content and prevent spam.

Harness the Power of Video on Your Community Website

Video injects life into your community website and creates instant engagement. Videos make for a perfect recruitment tool because they keep visitors longer, allowing them to get a full picture by learning more about your community and making a connection that will lead them to join the community. You will find engaging community video templates on Envato Elements. 

Here are some video templates that will up the stakes for your website and draw in members for the community you want to create. 

Community Opener

Community OpenerCommunity OpenerCommunity Opener

Community: Multi Photo Frames Logo Opener

Community - Multi Photo Frames Logo OpenerCommunity - Multi Photo Frames Logo OpenerCommunity - Multi Photo Frames Logo Opener

Also check out this post full of video resources including tips that will help you market your community effectively. 

Invest in a Community Plugin Now!

There are currently over 100 premium community plugins for WordPress on CodeCanyon. You can use them to add all kinds of community-based functionality to your websites. This includes things like user profiles, user testimonials, team member pages, forums, and much more.

Endless customization possibilities built into WordPress have made it easier than ever to build and host your own online community. You don’t need to build your community platform from scratch. There are many WordPress community plugins to help you get started. Once you have established what purpose you want your online community to serve, you will find community plugins for every need on CodeCanyon.

WordPress Community Plugins on CodeCanyon

Using a premium community plugin gives you access to free lifetime updates and six months of support.

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