If you want to implement a Question and Answer site, similar to the uber popular Stackexchange or Yahoo Answers, there are a variety of WordPress-based solutions you can try out.
Let’s take a look at the available plugins and themes below.
CM Answers is a responsive plugin for WordPress that enables forum members to post questions and answers, comment on existing topics and vote for best forum contributions. Users enjoy a wide spectrum of options such as multiple file uploads, social media login, user profiles, private messages and user votes.
Administrators have vast control over actions performed on the forum, allowing full admin moderation of questions & answers, varied access restriction capabilities, multiple forum categories and easy-to-use shortcodes. Our detailed log & statistics module enables easy tracking of actions performed on the forum so that you’re always informed of what goes on in your discussion forum.
The CM Answers plugin can also be integrated with several other WordPress plugins including the CM MicroPayments Platform which adds a virtual currency layer to allow users to pay for asking questions or answering. It can also be integrated with any cart system so you can sell downloads directly. There is also a free version if you wish to try out the basic features before committing to it.
WPMU Dev Q&A is a premium WordPress plugin that brings full questions and answers functionality to any WordPress site. It has full front-end capability together with a WYSIWYG editor for both the questions and answers.
It offers theme integration through the use of widgets and is fully customizable using the included template files. There is also a voting system for both questions and answers as well as an integrated reputation points system and dedicated user profile pages.
AnsPress allows you to easily add a question and answer section, just like in stackoverflow.com or quora.com, in your WordPress site. AnsPress is made with developers in mind and is highly customizable.
It even includes voting and commenting on questions and answers, a private message system, email notifications and user profiles, among other features.
SabaiDiscuss is a premium questions and answers plugin for WordPress. The plugin features the ability for users to ask and answer questions similar to Stack Overflow or Yahoo Answers. It’s an ideal tool not only for building a community driven question-and-answer website but also for building a discussion forum, a knowledge base, or even a helpdesk portal for WordPress.
Among its many features you will find the ability to search questions and answers by keywords and categories, the ability to post questions and answers from the front-end of your site, hierarchical categories, featured questions, user profile pages, and a lot more.
You can even check out the live preview of Sabai Discuss in action right here.
DW Question and Answer is a WordPress plugin which builds a complete Question & Answer system for your WordPress site, like Quora or Stackoverflow. The plugin supports multi-languages, shortcodes, reCAPTCHA, email notification system and so on.
Among its key features you will also find the ability to submit, filter, order, edit, delete, answer or comment on questions and answers, it offers users the chance to vote on and pick the best answer, an instant search by keywords, stick questions and a lot more.
There is also an Embed Question add-on which allows users to share any great question on Social media channels such as Faceboook, Google Plus, Twitter, Linkedin and Tumblr. You can also embed any interesting question from DW Question & Answer site into your blog post, page content and even the Text widget.
WP Answers is a great plugin to easily add a questions and answer community to your existing site, or to create a new stand-alone community. It integrates with any WordPress theme while also offering a clean, responsive, and easy to customise theme of its own if you need one.
It also allows you to auto-generate content from Stack Exchange in order to kick start your community by pulling content from its API and making your site look busy from the start. WP Answers even integrates with Facebook and Twitter to facilitate viral growth, and offers users the chance to obtain points which list them on a leader board to encourage participation amongst themselves.
As mentioned above, WP Answers offers a question and answer system for WordPress that allows you to add a Q&A community to your existing site, or create a new stand-alone community.
You can easily integrate the WP Answers plugin into any WordPress theme or use the included responsive theme that has many features and is easy to customize. It also integrates with Facebook and Twitter to spread your content virally by automatically posting to their profiles.
Templatic have a premium question and answer theme that allows you to create a fully functional Q&A portal that is user driven and content oriented. This focus on content is visible in the design itself with the homepage being dominated by the big questions section.
Questions are separated through large tabs marked as recent, most responses, unanswered, and recently answered. The header offers two menus with drop down capabilities, login and registration links, and a search bar. Users have the ability to vote answers up or down and the individual that asked the question can assign the best answer. The admin may allow users to post questions for free or charge them a fee to do so via PayPal.
Every user has profile page that keeps track of the user’s answered and asked questions as well as how many votes he/she has received. Each question can be assigned a category and the total number of views are registered.
QAEngine is a new generation of WordPress Question and Answer theme with a content-focused UX and a refreshing full-width layout design. Users can easily ask questions, inserting links or pictures as needed. They can also browse topics to find the information needed with an Ajax live search, as well as view single question listings for more detailed answers.
It is both powerful and highly customisable. It offers a style customiser, a ready intro page, front-end controls for publishing and editing content, a simple and modern design, user badges and points system, and a live notification system, all while being mobile friendly with an adaptive design.
AskIt from Elegant Themes effectively transforms your blog into a fully functional question and answer site. It allows your visitors to post their questions and have them answered by fellow members. Any visitor can post answers to these questions which are then voted on by the community until a “correct” answer is chosen by the question author.
Among its features you’ll find an ePanel for all the theme options you can need, shortcodes for designing and organising your posts, as well as page templates to make your life easier by giving you access to pre-made styles and functions.
Q-and-A is a simple and powerful question-and-answers-like WordPress theme. It doesn’t really matter whether you are about to run a specific niche Q-and-A site (like math, coding, marketing, etc.) or a simple questions and answers site relating to the product you sell, this theme will be very useful. Moreover, what you can end up with is a small or even large scale community site that binds people who share the same interest.
Both Questions and Answers are posted via the theme’s front-end which means site users will never reach the dashboard. By answering the question well users collect reputation points, otherwise their reputation could go down. Answers that get accepted by the question author should bring the greatest score. Everyone willing to participate in your Q-and-A site must be registered.
In general, the theme solutions seem to be easier to implement than the plugins, however this will then depend on the look and feel that you’re going for.
Have you used any of these plugins and themes? What’s your opinion, do they help to generate new traffic/more income?
UPDATE: This post was updated in June 2015 with new plugins and themes.