The best Joomla Forum extension will help you build a sound relationship with your customers through effective communication and of course a great user experience. When it comes to understanding your audience, discussion plays a key role, and the best way to do it on your Joomla site is through forums.

In the first place, web forums are an effective solution for building online communities and engaging with your customers and visitors. Understanding what your audience needs and is up to a part of an effective business strategy, and what better way than Forums to achieve so.

But how do you do so? The answer is Joomla forum extensions, which are integrated with rich features and functionality. These plugins are effective in bringing the members back to your Joomla site community. But, with so many Joomla forum extensions out there, selecting the right one can be a daunting task.

If you want to have an interactive discussion on your Joomla site, the best way of doing so is through web forums. Therefore, in this article, I will discuss in detail the best Joomla Forum extension to choose from. Now, without any further ado, let’s start with the discussion.

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List of the Best Joomla Forum Extensions So Far

1. Kunena
2. Chrono Forums
3. TF Form
4. CJ Form
5.1 JFusion Forum and Category
5.2 JFusion Forum Posts
5.3 JFusion Forum Topic
5.4 JFusion Forum Notification
6. Dispute
7. Cobalt

Joomla Forum Extensions (Explained)

1. Kunena (Free Download) – Best Joomla Forum Extension

Joomla Forum Extension Kunena

If you are looking for the best free Joomla extension then without any doubt Kunena is your best bet. With 8M downloads in just a matter of 11 years, Kunena is one of the most popular forum extensions out there. It is an open-source community driver platform, GitHub, and documentation Wiki which makes it a preferable option among Joomla users.

Moreover, the extension is easy to use and has a handful of features for you to explore. You do not have to be a developer to use this extension, you can easily change the code using templates as well. Besides, the extension is quite fast with an average loading speed of 200% which is a dream to work with.

However, the only downside is that it does not offer most of the advanced features that you would otherwise get with other best Joomla forum extensions. Having said that, if you need a basic forum on your site, then Kunena is surely on board.

Core Features:

  • Easy Configuration
  • Uploading files is very easy and quick with drag and drop and the Ajax feature
  • Easily install in-built templates
  • Add polls in the topic and also ratings
  • Various integration plugins to work with like Community Builder, Easyblog, Easysocial, Easyprofile, and more
  • Supports messages embedded in social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud, and eBay
  • Supports microdata and open graph

Main Highlights:

2. Chrono Forums (Free Download) – Best Joomla Forum Extension

Joomla Forum Extensions Chrono forums

Chrono Forums is again one of the best Joomla forum extensions that are available for free. The extension is flexible and is integrated with many advanced features. Likewise, you can use this extension to distinguish your forums into topics, categories, and sub-categories. Moreover, Chrono Extension offers you complete control over your Joomla forum, so you can also manage various attributes on your forum.

Also, you can allow permissions and also have forum-specific moderators. Besides, enabling ratings, polls, and user trophies is also easy with Chrono Forums. You can integrate private message options on your forum and also allow users to upload files.

However, the only downside that I found while using Chrono Forums is that if you want to use the advanced features then you will have to purchase a license. So, you need to pay for each license you purchase. Make sure to check the Joomla version requirements for the particular extension and if needed update Joomla.

Core Features:

  • Nested Forum support
  • Advanced search option by relevance
  • Add a list of featured topics and favorites
  • Private messages option with auto-replies
  • Support themes (Only 1) and emojis
  • Supports multiple languages
  • User voting system
  • Email notifications/ reply to posts through email

Main Highlights:

  • Very easy to set up and manage
  • Strong moderation tools
  • Supports Bootstrap theme
  • The Highly responsive design interface
  • BBCode and WYSIWYG editors

3. TF Form (Free Download) – Best Joomla Forum Extension

Joomla Forum Extensions TF Forum

Up next on the list is TF Form, it is a free Joomla 4 forum extension that comes with threaded topics and replies. Besides, using this extension for creating forums on the Joomla site you can also use it to create a support system or help desk.

Moreover, the users can add topics, replies and also email them. It also includes topics like post-tagging.

This Joomla forum extension is great to use. However, it does not come with any premium plans. So, the extension will only allow you to create a basic forum on your Joomla site. Unlike other best Joomla forum extensions, you do not get advanced features with TF Forum. Besides, the functionality is not the best.

Core Features:

  • Post tagging option
  • Attach Files
  • Reply through email and also keep a track
  • Access level
  • Admin control
  • Free with no footer link

Main Highlights:

  • Mobile Friendly
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Private support

4. CJ Forum (Paid Download)

CJForum

The next best Joomla 4 forum extension on our list is CJ Forum– which is one powerful extension to use and offers an excellent user interface. In fact, it is a great platform to start a discussion on a specific topic. Besides, you do get a lot of interesting features integrated into this extension.

CJ Forum extension is mobile-friendly. Therefore, it works seamlessly on mobile phones and other devices. Moreover, the personal message feature allows the forum users to start a discussion and communicate with other forum users.

Besides, the in-built point system feature on the extension allows you to reward the users for their participation and encourage more discussions. Also, you can use the ranking system as well.

This extension is pretty good but it comes for a price, so if you are not willing to spend that much on a forum extension, then it is not the best option. As well as, the price is concerned, you can download the CJ forum for $75 for a year. In like manner, you can use the extension on unlimited domains without any limitations.

Core Features:

  • The in-built private messaging system
  • Social sharing on popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and more
  • Support nested categories (manage content in a better way)
  • Rank and display the top users
  • In-built point system to reward the users
  • Flexible integration with Joomla tagging system
  • Secure your content with the ACL system
  • Multiple listings
  • Advanced search page option
  • Email subscription

Main Highlights:

  • GDPR Compliance updates
  • WYSIWYG Editor
  • Fully customizable designs with features like MVC design, one-click option, sharable designs
  • Mobile-Friendly Design
  • Excellent functionality

5.1 Jfusion Forum and Category (Paid Download)

Jfusion Forum and Category

Jfusion Forum and Category is the next extension on the list. It is related to the Jfusion library. So Phpbb needs to be bridged in Joomla using jFusion. Once you install an extension on the Joomla website, you can easily display categories and its forum in a list.

Moreover, this forum extension can also be used to send notifications and messages to customers. Also, the notifications and messages automatically update on your Joomla site as soon as a news message/notification is updated on the forum. The admin can choose the Jfusion plugin and item id to indicate the notification on the forum.

Core Features:

  • Name the Forum Directory
  • Add menu item
  • Jfusion plugin
  • Allow messages
  • Enable notifications

5.2 Jfusion Forum Posts (Paid Download)

Jfusion Forum Posts

Jfusion Forum post-module allows you to show all the posts in the selected period. As a result, you can display the forum posts that were posted at a particular period on your Joomla site.

Core Features:

  • The admin can select the time and display it
  • The users can select the time from the drop-down menu and check out related results
  • Display all the posts of the forum
  • Select and show search results

5.3 Jfusion Forum Topic (Paid Download)

This module allows you to display the post to the users in three different ways or assortments – latest, popular, and random. Also, the module is fully compatible with Jlibrary. However, remember to bridge Phpbb in Joomla using Jfusion.

Core Features:

  • Add the number of posts that needs to be shown
  • Enable/disable tabs to show posts in the front end
  • Easily reload the data in just one-click
  • Disable particular posts

5.4 Jfusion Forum Notification (Paid Download)

Jfusion Forum Notification

You can use this module to show the number of notifications/messages of the Phpbb forum on the Joomla site. As a result, when a new message or notification pops on the forum, it is automatically updated on the Joomla website. Likewise, the admin needs to choose the Jfusion plugin and item id to display the forum notifications.

Core Features:

  • Use Forum Directory Name to change forum with the forum directory name
  • Show/hide notifications from the Joomla site
  • Show/hide messages from the Joomla site
  • Add Jfusion plugin to fetch the notifications and messages
  • Choose a menu item to redirect the message and notification page in the forum

6. Dispute (Paid Download)

Dispute

With the help of Dispute, you can link each node individually as well as moderate with other notifications (as an option) on the alternate site. Additionally, the extension also supports export or import to XML or OpenXML.

Core Features:

  • Article discussion
  • Documentation tool
  • Menu discussion component
  • Dynamic knowledge base tool for structured information development
  • Source for more textual expansion
  • Application help system

Main Highlights:

  • Link every node individually
  • Single dispute
  • Mail subscription on new posts
  • Export.imports files in XML or OpenXML format

7. Cobalt (Free Download)- Best Joomla Forum Extension

Cobalt

Last on our best Joomla Forum Extensions list is Cobalt. Cobalt is one of the most popular and oldest Joomla extensions that is integrated with some of the best features. You can build a powerful forum community with Cobalt extension, however, it is the best-suited extension for the blog, forum, and support desk. Besides, you can also raise a private ticketing system using this extension and also build a small collaborative community that is up for discussions.

Likewise, with stunning features like CCK, you get access to various text fields, images, HTML, select/ multi-select options, and more. Additionally, the notification system allows users to subscribe to different categories and get notifications for the same. Also, when it comes to speed Cobal offers pretty good performance.

Talking about the price, this Joomla forum extension is available for free. However, if you need more elements like modules, plugins, and others, then you need to purchase a plan worth $99.

Core Features:

  • Flexible CCK
  • Highly customizable
  • The modern notification system allows you to get notifications each time the visitors subscribe to an article, category, or sub-category
  • Advanced search and filtering option
  • Personalize home page and add categories
  • In-built comment system
  • Add rating system
  • Templates can be managed using the Template manager
  • Integrate Cobalt with EasySocial

Main Highlights:

  • Free integration with J2Store and Quick2Cart
  • Substantial useful tools
  • Fastest loading Joomla Forum Extensions so far
  • Documentation tool

Best Joomla Forum Extensions Compared (2021)

Key Differences Kunena Chrono Forums Jfusion Forum TF Forum Cj Forum
Plugin Type Free Free Paid Free Paid
Compatibility J3 J3 J3 J4 J3 and J4
Plugin Version 5.2.6 2.0.11 1.1.0 1.3.5 4.0.3
Contains Component, Module, Plugin Module, Component Module Component Component, Module, Plugin
Ease of Use Easy to Use Moderate Simple to Use Easy to Use Simple to Use

The Final Words – The Best Joomla Forum Extension

Web forums are a great way of establishing communication with the users and engaging them on the site. With online forums, you can discuss buzzing topics, connect with like-minded people, learn about different point of views, initiate a discussion, and share information. However, if you want to create a forum on your website then it can be quite difficult.

With the Joomla extensions to create forums, you can surely make things easier for yourself. However, with so many options out there it can be quite intimidating to pick the best Joomla forum extensions. So, you can check out our list of top Joomla forum extensions out there. Each forum extension listed on this page comes with its very own features and highlights, so you can make the right decision.

So, go ahead and see which Joomla forum extensions suit best your needs and budget. Also, if you have any doubts or questions, then make sure to write them down in the comment section. We will surely get back to you. If you have more suggestions then write them out to us in the comments as well.