6 Best Joomla Forum Extension

In my previous post I discussed about best community extensions of Joomla. Now it is time to discuss something related to that. Yes, I am talking about Forum solution. Now a days forum is very popular section for any community based website. Inspire of that, if you have any product or service based website and you wish to interact with your buyer in an easiest way, forum solutions will definitely help you.

Here I am listing top 6 Joomla extension that can help you to enable forum features in your website. Also I am ordering all extensions as per their popularity rating, so you can review the most popular extension first.

1 – Kunena:

The Kunena Team announced the release of Kunena 1.6, Release Candidate 1. This is the first RC release and is stable enough to be used on live production websites in limited usage (primarily for testing) as long as minor issues are tolerated during the time before it becomes a final release.

Since the first beta release of Kunena 1.6, the Kunena team has been focused on fixing a great number of bugs, CSS fixes, IE7 compatibility issues and adding translations for more languages. Kunena 1.6 marks a major milestone for the Kunena project. A long list of open source contributors have committed over 2000 changes and have helped make Kunena the leading forum solution for Joomla 1.5 & 1.6. A long list of new features in addition with various optimizations and code restructuring have resulted in the most advanced Kunena version to date.

We continue to put a big emphasis on usability and easy of installation. As such the installer has been further enhanced to allow for multiple install and upgrade options. It performs its steps incrementally to avoid timeouts on slower hosts. It automatically performs actions as e.g. taking the forum offline during the install and re-enables it after completing the install.

Kunena now supports Joomla 1.6 style languages files that are backward compatible with Joomla 1.5. Multiple languages are included in the base install packages and more will be available and can be installed separately. Kunena 1.6 also support multiple languages to be installed on a single system and together with Joomla allows users to select their preferred language.

Templates have now been separated from underlying code and allow for version independent template development. Templates can embed various options that can be set via the included template manager (e.g. Avatar position left-right-top-bottom in the new default template – Blue Eagle).

The Kunena Team is fully committed to Joomla 1.6 and beyond and various modules have been developed to lay the ground work for future releases of Joomla.

2 – Agora:

This fully featured forum component is the result of a complete rewrite by jVitals developers after years of experience with the forked Agora 2.x. At all stages the community has been consulted, and with this extensive input Agora continues to be developed with a community focus.

jVitals’ large dedicated community has downloaded Agora over 100,000 times and implemented it on thousands of sites serving millions of users.

Agora can be installed and configured in as little as 5 minutes with correct permissions and groups pre-set for your convenience. All that is required to create a functioning forum is to set up a set of Categories and Forums. The simplicity of such a basic configuration can easily be expanded with numerous advanced setting for subforums, advanced user and group permissions, and easy to install Styles to create a powerful flexible forum posting system.

Translated into 31 languages, you can use Agora almost anywhere in the world and have it understood.

In order to be as convenient as possible to adopt Agora has been designed to compliment your site and existing community. The designers have created styles to match almost any look. Notification emails can be customized to match your community, Styles are easily customized, and numerous modules are included in the download. To ensure complete integration with existing communities popular social networking applications including Community Builder, Joomunity, Jomsocial and the upcoming jSocialSuite integration is included, as well as UddeIM integration.

With all these options, we have not forgotten what makes a forum popular.

The users of the community must enjoy using it. For the site’s users Agora has a powerful, easy to use BBCode editor, comprehensive profile setting and options, integrated User Map, advanced search options and much more. Agora’s integrated Private Messaging System automatically searches through existing usernames, allowing messages to be sent to 5 separate users while using the advanced editor to create custom styled messages.

Agora 3.0.136 now comes complete with built in converters free of charge for Kunena, ccBoard, SimpleForum, jooBB!

3 – ccBoard:

A True Joomla 1.5 Native Simple and Good Looking Forum. Some of the major functionalities are moderations, community features, ranks, avatar, CAPTCHA, CB/jomsocial integeration, Bad words filter, SEO/SEF, IP logging, Post preview, Search Plugin, Latest Post Module, Popular Posts Module etc.. Finally a whopping 34 Language packs.

4 – Joo!BB:

Joo!BB stands for Joomla! Bulletin Board. It is a highly customizable, fully Joomla! integrated forum software based on Joo!CM (Joomla! Community Manager). For the installation latest Joomla version is strongly recommended.

Current Installation pack includes (As of 20/08/2010):

  • Joo!CM Component 0.9.2 (required)
  • Joo!BB Component 0.9.2 (required)
  • Bulletin Board Editor Plugin 0.9.2 (required)
  • Latest/Popular Posts and Topics Plugin 1.0.6 (optional)
  • Forum Search Plugin 1.0.0 (optional)


  • Manage multiple designs
  • Manage multiple configuration sets
  • Avatars and profiles for site members
  • Moderation of forums, topics and posts
  • Access control for each forum
  • Joomla! user integration
  • and much, much more!

5 – Simplest Forum:

Many sites neither need nor want a complex forum, but want instead an easy way for users to communicate. This simplistic, bare-bones Joomla! 1.5 native forum component is the “simplest forum” possible while still providing useful functionality. Simplest Forum allows role-based viewing, posting and management and provides three views: a list of all forums, a list of topics, and a list of all posts for a specific forum. Forum, topic, and post list display are completely CSS based for maximum customization. Thanks to a handful of helpful folks, Simplest Forum’s front end has been translated into several languages as well (see contributions and thanks on our download page).

The Simplest Forum core is kept very simple and very basic so that it is easily installed and used with little effort. The forum is, however, powered by a flexible plugin system which enables standard Joomla! plugins to extend its functionality considerably. Simplest Forum has a number of existing extensions available for it including CAPTCHA support via Simple CAPTCHA, a basic (but very customizable) “Latest Posts” module, a Joomla! search plugin, a BBCode plugin, a notification plugin, an attachment / upload plugin, and an RSS plugin.

The Simplest Forum *does not* include profiles, statistics, or private messaging. You can be the first to write a plugin offering one or more of those functionalities, or you may be better off using one of the more advanced components such as Kunena, Agora, etc.

NOTE: This version requires MySQL 5.0 or greater, and PHP5 or greater. The CAPTCHA plugin also requires that GD is installed.

6 – Ninjaboard:

Ninjaboard is a revolutionary, native forum component for Joomla 1.5;
And has been built to take advantage of the new Nooku 0.7 framework.

Key features:

  • Codename “Chameleon” auto-skinning engine, adapts the look and feel of your forum to any Joomla! template.
  • Powerful permissions system. Create custom usergroups, and optionally assign users to multiple usergroups.
  • Integrates with Joomla! core. Users, Search, Breadcrumbs, Localization, SEF and more.
  • Update Ninjaboard right from the dashboard. Allowing you to keep your site up to date, even when you’re on the go.
  • Access control over different forums.
  • Premium custom designed topic icons, exclusively for use with Ninjaboard.
  • Topic icons by Parthiban Mohanraj, exclusively for Ninjaboard.
  • Backend fully MooTools 1.2, frontend use jQuery 1.4 to avoid javascript conflicts with templates.
  • Clean HTML output, no tables for layout!
  • Supports Joomla! html layout overrides.
  • Built in converters. Currently supports Kunena 1.6, phpBB3 (bridged) and Ninjaboard 0.5.
  • Sample data are optional, and imported on the same screen you import data from other forums.
  • Multiple settings profiles. Optionally assign profiles to menu items.
  • Beautiful and intuitive UI. Setting up a forum have never been this simple.
  • Customizable dashboard. Two module positions at your disposal.


  • PHP 5.2.7 or later.
  • PHP mysqli extension enabled. (mysqli means “MySQL improved”, gives access to new features in MySQL 4.1 and above).
  • MySQL v5.0.41 or later.
  • Suhosin users need to add tmpl:// to their protocol white list.

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Article Published by Souvik Banerjee

Souvik BanerjeeWeb Developer & SEO Specialist with 10+ years of experience in Open Source Web Development, specialized in Joomla & WordPress development. He is also the moderator of this blog "RS Web Solutions".

Leave a Comment

20 thoughts on “6 Best Joomla Forum Extension

  1. Hello sir, I wont to make a registation form component using MVC that display at frantend and store it in the backend table. so, if you have any this type of tutorial or any suggestion then please reply me.

  2. hello sir,

    am created one subdomain like, sub.domain.com in net4india. where i put my pages in subdomain ,how can i redirect to that page am using joomla 2.5

  3. Hi . It’s a very useful information for me . I was searching Joomla forum templates and find your article . For me the best forum template is Agora . I like it because I can translate it to 1 languages .

  4. I have a problem. I use Hikashop ecommerce system and Kunena on my website. The login system in Hikashop is somewhat awkward and creates problems with ordering. So I disabled it and all is fine. EXCEPT that without the login, no one can log in to Kunena.

    So it is either Hikashop or Kunena – And Kunena must go.

    Is there any forum program that can work with a different login system?

  5. help me plzzz i am getting problem to install joomla on my pcgetting error:Fatal error: Unknown function: memory_get_usage() in C:Program Filesxampphtdocsjoomla15librariesjoomlacryptcrypt.php on line 85

  6. Greetings,

    Thankyou for your reply.

    I want a forum that is easy to install and has simple features. Currently i want a very crude and basic type of forum that i can get started with.

    Thankyou for the email :)

    • Hi Souvik,

      in addition to ur post and maybe helpfull for Ayesha – for a very simple discussionboard I use this -> http://www.codingfish.com/products/discussions for all small business sites. It comes with an nice lightwight styled theme and without an overloaded userrights management. Just install and publishing it … ready^^

      @Souvik – I hope its ok to post another solution and link to it.

      Cheers Steve

      • hi, I did install discussion board from codingfish.com. I cannot log in or register from the forum page to access the forum but I can register or log in from my home page. How do I link the login form & register form to the forum page? Is that any way??

  7. Hi Souvik,
    The article was tremendous. Before I started reading the article i had a zero knowledge and i was completely wondering what to select for discussion board i am upto setup this article really helped me making my choice!

    Can you recommend the most simplest extension among the one you have listed.

    I have a few quires that I want to discuss with you, can you provide me with your email?

    • Hi,

      By the term “simplest” what you want to specify? Simplest in functionality (basic forum implementation) or simplest in configuration (easy install and customizable)?

      Yes you can email us our support team at: support[@]rswebsols[.]com

      — Souvik

  8. Hi,

    Just wondering if you could tell me how you got the side bar “follow me” widget on the right of this site. I want something like that – it follows up and down the page.

    Thanks, (gr8 article btw)