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WisTex

What forums are easy to integrate with a website?

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I've found that websites that have integrated navigation between the forums, blog and the rest of the website usually have an increase of page views per user as visitors are able to go back and forth between sections of the website.

  • The simplest integration is usually in the form of common navigation and common themes/templates.
  • The next level would be a single login for the entire website.

What forum platforms make it easy to integrate with the rest of the website?

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It's tough as many don't integrate well.  It's almost easier if you're open to it to pick a forum software like IP.Board or Xenforo then use their plugins that allow you to have a front page.  This way integration is already there.  They are a little tougher from a design standpoint as not a lot of great base themes for the front page and a lot of css/html you have to do on your own, but you can still create a great user experience if you have the knowledge. 

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There is only one piece of forum software that will meet all of your requirements. Ok, it is not a piece of forum software but it is a Wordpress plugin called BBPress.

The only problem with BBPress is that it has nowhere near the features of dedicated software such as; MyBB, but with BBPress you are able to fully integrate a Wordpress blog with your forum rather than having to multiple pieces of software and having to have your users use multiple login details.

There used to be a blog plugin for MyBB, but it has not been updated in years, which is the only reason why I use the Wordpress plus BBpress combination.

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It depends on what content management system you are using really. Wordpress has quite a few plugins available that add a forum to your Wordpress site which means you don't have to worry about any integrations since everything works straight out of the box. The only problem with them is that they just aren't as good as the other forum software available like MyBB or even XenForo. In terms of standalone forum software, XenForo is probably your best bet because there is already a plugin that you can use to connect the two which would allow you to have users register on your site and use the same account on the forum.

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