I'm trying to build a community around a health support site with an LMS – similar to yours. Ideally, it would be best to have all the engagement centered on my site.
However, I find it difficult to use bbpress and buddypress from a customization standpoint. If I had to choose between the two, I would choose BuddyPress over BBPress as it's not the right fit for my audience.
Aside from these two plugins, what other plugins would you recommend for WordPress community building?
All the best!
This is really a hard question. I really think that WordPress is not well suited for building a community. With that said, I am using a free plugin named Anspress on this website and it is working out ok.
I don't know the long-term effects of using it if it will slow down my website over time.
But I will say it has been really good for search engine rankings.
You should test it out to see if it meets your needs.