Almost everything in a PlushForums community updates automatically, without you refreshing the page. That means more engaging, real-time discussions and private conversations. You always know when there's new content to read, wherever you are on the site. It even works for Guest users who aren't logged in.
There is no live forum experience like it.
PlushForums includes a built-in blog that seamlessly integrates with your forum. Forget flimsy comment plugins and expensive WordPress integrations. Just open a Discussion, check the 'Blog' box, and your story is published. Comments are powered by your forum. Job done.
Your information, organised
Subscribe to forum categories and watch the discussions stream into your feed in real time. Drill down the category tree to pinpoint the information you need. There's no better way to organise and share knowledge in your organisation.
Real-time notifications ensure your members won't miss an opportunity to get involved. Mentions, replies, quotes and private messages all trigger instant notifications, presented with context to maximise their usefulness. Email notifications are available too, of course, including the ability to subscribe to discussions and private conversations.
Easy to Brand
Starting an online community doesn't need to be a long and expensive project. With PlushForums you can have a polished and well-branded site up and running in minutes. Brand your site by filling in a single form. Upload logos, background images or alter the colour palette with just a few clicks. There's even a logo generator if you don't have one already.
Have a look at our styling ideas to see the different looks you can achieve.
Conversations are like private forum threads between two or more members. They're just like forum discussions in every way, including the ability to add files, images, videos and rich text. Participants can add new members to the conversation at any time.
Made for Mobile
Our modern hosted forum software is tailored to work beautifully on iOS and Android smartphones, with no compromise on performance, functionality or branding. It's a mobile forum experience your users will love.
Absolutely vital for privacy, security, performance and SEO. Plush includes SSL support at no extra cost, ready to be activated in a single click.
PlushForums uses a simple, lightweight editor that supports instant previews, drag-and-drop uploads and automated drafts. You can comfortably work on a post while jumping from page to page, or even from your laptop to your phone.
The editor supports mentions, hashtags, tweets, videos, images, links, smart quotes, citations, rich text, lists, spoilers, code snippets and file attachments. Formatting is applied using BBCode, which is consistent and easily understood by forum users of varying technical experience.
We also support LaTeX mathematical notation, making PlushForums ideal for academic environments.
Start typing in the Search Bar to get instant results, including forum discussions and member profiles. The Search page itself is powered by the renowned Sphinx search engine, delivering the relevancy and usefulness your users expect.
And say goodbye to opening 50 browser tabs to find the information you need. Forum posts are presented in full, so you can read them there and then. This is the forum experience your members deserve.
Positive Reputation System
A simple and transparent feedback system keeps your online community engaged and rewards positive contributions. All-time and monthly rankings are maintained, and trophies are awarded for the top contributors. Peer feedback also helps curate your site's content, as the best-ranked posts rise up the Trending section of the forum.
Enhanced Content Discovery
Everything in a PlushForums community is designed to help your users discover new and relevant content.
Follow people and watch as their posts stream into your Following page. Catch up on your community's best content on the Trending page. Most Viewed tracks the most engaging discussions on a range of timescales. Bookmark your favourite threads for easy reference, or view content from a single member.
Privacy and Private Forums
PlushForums has robust private forum functionality, making it the perfect collaboration platform for your business. SSL support (at no extra cost) prevents people from snooping on your employees, wherever they are. Elevated password-strength requirements and brute-force hacking protection ensure their accounts stay safe.
We also support content controls based on a granular Roles and Permissions system, so your users will only see what you intend.
Ideal for delivering customer service or creating a knowledge base, Q&A lets you identify the definitive answer to a question. When people are looking for answers, Plush helps you provide solutions, fast.
Smart History remembers what page you're on in every discussion or conversation, and highlights whether or not you have new posts to read.
Smart Replies, Quotes and Citations
You can quote someone by selecting some text from their post, then clicking the Quote button that pops up. All quotes contain a link to the original post, so your discussions always have context. Re-quoting an existing quote works too!
You can also use the Quote feature to cite a story from another website with ease. Smart Replies link one comment to another, ensuring the conversation always has context.
PlushForums gives each member a smartly designed profile page to track their content, mentions, achievements and biography. A global Member Directory and member search facility makes PlushForums an ideal private social network solution.
And if you run an intranet, we've got you covered too. You can easily add fields like Job Title, Department or Phone Extension using a simple drag and drop interface. If you have a newsletter, then the CSV Export function makes it easy to collate your members' contact information and opt-out status.
If you run a subscription newsletter or online course, PlushForums is the forum hosting service you've been waiting for. You can have a completely integrated PayPal subscription service up and running in minutes, with no plugins to install and no technical knowledge required. Just enter your PayPal details and the amounts you want to charge and you're open for business.
You have fine-grained control over what subscribers and non-subscribers can see. You can restrict entire forum categories, or use BBCode tags to restrict a specific piece of content.
The Paid Subscriptions service costs $0.05 per week for each active subscriber. If you charge $20 per month, this equates to 1.1%.
PlushForums also includes functionality to include adverts between forum comments, where they'll be read and clicked the most. Ads can be hidden from subscribers, giving your members another incentive to subscribe.
You can choose to moderate every post, or only those that contain media or attachments. You can also set a trusted user level, so regular commenters can skip moderation. You can even target a specific category, making PlushForums the ideal platform to conduct a live Q&A session, where you screen the questions in real-time.
Automatically synchronize your member database with MailChimp to create newsletters and email digests. And we mean a proper, automated two-way sync, with no management required. Members can unsubscribe and resubscribe via their profile. Unsubscriptions from MailChimp are synchronized back to your forum.
Static Page Creator
Your whole site is backed up every hour to one location, and every night to another. Our forum hosting service means you never have to worry about losing your data again.
PlushForums includes a built-in defence mechanism against bots (automated users), and you have the option of screening new users before their membership is approved. You can also restrict new users from sending private messages and uploading files until they've made a number of posts.
Finally, the highly respected StopForumSpam and Akismet spam-defence plugins come pre-installed and ready to be activated with a single click. We have an enterprise subscription to Akismet, which we've integrated with PlushForums, so you don't even need to buy your own API keys!
If you're starting an online community that revolves around products, reviews or news stories, this feature could be right up your street. Plush can automatically convert plain URLs into something more enticing and informative, complete with images, titles and descriptions.
Everything works automatically, with no user intervention required, and we think the results look great! See an example on our demo forum.
We all know a picture is worth a thousand words, or so the saying goes. Images in a PlushForums discussion are big and bold, much larger than their equivalents on Facebook or Twitter.
PlushForums has a dedicated Image Gallery feature, allowing you to showcase images from across your forum.
No Technical Knowledge Required
PlushForums has a simple, uncluttered dashboard that lets you set up your forum with ease. Forum categories, member profiles and user roles can all be configured using a simple drag and drop interface.
You can easily control how people access your site, manage users and review your moderators' actions. Even your Terms of Service can be generated automatically. Setting up a forum has never been so straightforward.
You can preview what the dashboard looks like here.
No Browser Left Behind
PlushForums is fully functional and looks great on older browsers, including Internet Explorer 8. PlushForums takes an inclusive approach and caters to all users, whether they're using the latest edition of Google Chrome or still happily using IE8 and Windows XP.
Finely tuned forum software with advanced caching technology, SSD-powered cloud servers and a global image-optimizing CDN mean PlushForums is super fast. Your site will feel snappy wherever your members are in the world.
If you want to run a private forum for your customers, we've got the perfect way to do it, without having to bind your product and forum together.
A simple API lets you send forum invitations from your application, so you can completely automate the onboarding process. You can also deactivate and reactivate forum accounts via the API, so you can control access to the forum as customers leave and rejoin your service.
Admins deserve a cleanly designed site too. Rather than cluttering up the forum, moderation tools are revealed with a shortcut, enabling you to easily move or delete comments and split or merge discussions. We also support pre-moderation and auto-moderation, where posts containing specific words or phrases are queued for review.
Own your Data
We hope to retain you as a happy customer, but we believe in open competition and have no intention of locking you in to our service.
If you choose to end your PlushForums subscription for any reason, we promise to provide you with a copy of your data for export into another online community platform.