bbPress plugin creates lightweight forums for WordPress, and while that may be enough for some use cases, most forum owners realize that they need more advanced features to improve user engagement.
bbPress might be lightweight, but it is made to be expanded, and most parts of bbPress allow it to be expanded or changed in any way you want. There are many plugins available to help you expand bbPress features and make forums more engaging. Dev4Press has various Free and Pro plugins you can use for this purpose.
Let’s see the 5 features that can help you improve user engagement in the bbPress powered WordPress forums.
It is always nice to know that topic or reply is appreciated, and your forum users can show appreciation to other users for their posts by saying Thanks! Usually, you can have the replies saying just that, but such replies can dilute the discussion inside the topic, and it is hard to keep track of them.
Having a simpler solution – a button inside the topic or reply, users can press, and the thanks count for the topic or reply gets increased, and each user saying thanks logged – is a much better solution that can offer other benefits, like a neat list of users saying thanks, no wasted space with needless replies, and a reliable statistics that can be used for various things.
Say Thanks is a feature implemented with the GD bbPress Toolbox Pro plugin, and it has a widget showing the list of users with the most thanks received and it can display basic thanks statistics inside the user profile.
Quote previous posts
Another great way to make the topic thread discussion better is to allow users to easily reference some previous replies in their own reply. Quotes are very popular and often used in any of the standalone forum software, but bbPress doesn’t include such a feature.
The Quote is a feature implemented with the GD bbPress Toolbox Pro plugin allowing users to quote topic or other replies inside their own reply, with the option to quote full content, or only selected content. This feature is available also from the free GD bbPress Tools plugin.
You have seen this in most forums, and it can be very useful – allowing users to create a small piece of content (text, HTML, even images) that will be automatically placed at the bottom of every topic and reply to the user posts. Using signatures, users can include links to their websites or social profiles, or anything else really.
Signatures are implemented with the GD bbPress Toolbox Pro plugin, allowing the use of different types of editors for the signature, integration into profile editor, and other settings to control who can use it. This feature is available also from the free GD bbPress Tools plugin.
One of the things bbPress is sorely lacking in the search area. Forums can be huge, and users need a way to search all that information, with the ability to limit the search to specific forums, find content by a specific author, having one or more required tags…
Advanced Search is implemented with the GD Power Search Pro for bbPress plugin, with forums, authors, tags filters, datetime filters, and keyword highlight in the search results. This plugin has a free version offering a limited set of filters included in the Pro version.
Polls are very effective in driving user engagement, and they can be a great way to start the topic discussion. Usually, polls have two or more predefined answers, expiration date or conditions, limit the number of selected answers.
Topic Polls are implemented with the GD Topic Polls Pro for bbPress plugin, allowing you to define a poll for any topic with two or more responses, limit the users who can participate, limit the poll voting period, and more. This plugin has a free version offering a limited set of filters included in the Pro version.
That’s it for now; check out some of these features, and see how they can improve the users’ engagement in your forums. If you have examples of how other features can do the same for bbPress forums, let me know.