We’re Launching a Forum Plugin

For the past few months we’ve been quietly working away on building the next generation forum plugin for WordPress. Now has come the time to announce this to the world and let you know why we are building the plugin, who is behind the plugin and what you can expect from it.

Who?

The forum plugin is being launched under our Jungle Plugins brand which also includes the free plugins: User Menus and Content Control.

Jungle Plugins is a joint partnership between Daniel Iser and Calum Allison. Daniel is leading the development of the plugin whilst I am handling the other areas of running a business including heading up customer support.

Daniel and I have been involved in the WordPress community for many years with both of us having existing plugins (Popup Maker & Ultimate Member).

We are taking our combined knowledge and experience from running our other WordPress plugin businesses to launch Jungle Plugins.

Why?

Through running Ultimate Member for the last two years, I would get frequent requests from users of the plugin to create a new forum plugin for WordPress.

Users would often say to me that existing forum plugins were outdated in design and functionality.

When I looked at modern non-WordPress forum solutions such as Discourse and compared them to the native WordPress forum plugins, it was clear to me that there was a space in the market for a beautiful and elegant WordPress forum plugin.

So a few months ago I made the decision to create a new forum plugin and got in touch with Daniel to see if he’d like to build it.

What to expect

Whilst we’re not able to share a working demo of the plugin right now you can expect a carefully crafted, lightweight plugin that will keep your site loading lightening fast.

The design will be very clean and modern and will fit in nicely with most theme designs. The plugin will be fully ajaxed with auto loading of topics as you scroll. We’ve focused a lot on the UX and removed a lot of unnecessary page loads so that the conversations will flow faster.

Business Model

We have discussed various different business models but we’ve decided to launch Forums as a premium only plugin. This may change in the future but with us both currently running freemium based plugins, we wanted to experiment with a premium only model used by plugins such as Gravity Forms and AffiliateWP.

What this means is we will have a lightweight core plugin and then provide various add-ons which can be used to customize the forum to your needs. These add-ons wont be purchased individually but will be offered as part of various pricing plans.

When?

We don’t have a set launch date at the moment but the aim is to release the plugin in the first quarter of 2017. In the meantime we’ll be sharing updates and screenshots via Twitter and Facebook.

If you’d like to be informed when the plugin launched you can also subscribe to our mailing list here.

Feedback

We’re excited to start sharing more information about the plugin and getting feedback from the community. If there are any important features/functionality you’d love to see included in the plugin leave a comment below so we can learn what users of WordPress are looking for from a modern forum plugin.

1 Comment

  1. Kristy Dalton on February 1, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    Wow, I am so excited for this! We launched our Ultimate Member site for our new member organization in October 2015, and the only drawback is that we have to use bbpress as our forum. We would happily pay for a premium forum plugin that integrates seamlessly with UM. bbpress is clunky and nested comments don’t display well on a mobile device. I KNOW we’d get more interaction in the forum if the user experience was better.

    As an Ultimate Member power user, and user of bbpress forums, here would be my wishlist for a new Forum plugin (since you asked 🙂 –

    – Seamless integration with Ultimate Member
    – Excellent usability via mobile
    – Search function is an absolute must! We have 227 topics and 947 replies in our current bbpress forum, and people keep posting the same questions because they’d have to click through 15 pages of old forum posts to see if anyone has posted something similar.
    – User notifications that make sense.
    – Tool to transfer/import posts from existing bbpress forum. You’re going to get a lot of users who want to use your product, but can’t leave their existing forum solution because they’d lose all that history.
    – A non-critical feature that ‘would be nice’ is the ability to hover over a user’s gravitar in the forum and see a popup with their key stats (name, organization, etc.).

    Happy to share more about my experiences with UM and bbpress! Our 200+ members pay $185/year to be a part of our online-only organization, and it’s my job to make sure they have a great user experience. Thanks!