The purpose of building a website is to connect with people even if it’s not it should be.
And your audience might have a lot of questions. For the comment part, people can’t find the answers. So I don’t count comments sections as an evergreen part.
Thus we want to create something better where people can find answers even after years. That’s why we build forums there are all types of people, junior, senior, and intermediate, sharing their knowledge.
So now we know forums are the solution. Let’s see how we can build one, but first, let’s look at some Pros.
How forums can help you
- Forums are super helpful in building online communities. According to Reddit, there were around 430 million monthly users.
- You can monetize the forums with ad spaces, sponsored content, affiliates, and more.
- They are quite attention-grabbing, and people will recognize them as a solution. And you can build authority around your niche.
- Forums help to optimize your website for SEO (if your website is linked to it).
- And what else can beat the free content?
Now, we know the pros of having an online community. Let’s look at how we can build one.
Install and Activate the wpForo Forum Plugin
Now, head over to your WordPress dashboard. And click on Plugins in the sidebar, then Add New.
Search the keyword forum, look for wpForo Forum, click on Activate, and then Install.
Side Note: The Bbb Press is a good plugin. But from what I’ve seen in the last few years, some better alternatives with more features and customizations are available.
And now, you’ll see a new option of Forums in the sidebar. There are many settings here, and I will walk you through each of these settings later in this post.
Change the Member setting:
Important: Check the setting anyone can register. And, if you don’t have this option enabled, your forum will not work.
To change the register setting go to Settings >> General, scroll down to Membership, and check the box Anyone can register. And, don’t forget to click on save settings.
Editing the Forum
You will see a default forum under Parent Category. To edit the name, click on the pencil icon.
Now, enter the new name, and click on update.
If you scroll down the page a bit, you will see different settings as a slug, icon, and meta description.
Once done, you can again click on update.
Adding a new Forum
Creating a forum is super simple with wpForo click on Forums and click on Add New.
Edit the title, slug, and description, and once done, click on publish. Now, you might not see a successful message, but it should be published.
You can add the permissions and change the forum color, a section on the right side.
One more thing that I love about this plugin it makes creating hierarchies of different sections super easy.
Just Drag-And-Drop one forum under another to make it a child category.
wpForo Forum Settings
Now, from the left section, there is a Settings tab.
Inside settings, there are a lot of different options. In the Forum Base URL section, you can see the community in front of http://wppedia.org/.
If I type this full URL in my browser URL section, we can look at our forum online.
And, here is our forum that we just created.
How to add a new topic?
To add a new topic to your discussions list, click on Add Topic.
Then add the Topic Title, and click on Add Topic from the bottom right side.
The color format is matching with my theme. But I can change it anytime by going to settings >> styles.
Now, let’s explore different tabs of the settings section.
To change the title of the forum. Go to settings >> General (tab). And here, you can change the title for the forum.
In the General tab, you can change the title, description, slug, base URL, and dashboard menu position of the forum.
Here, you can change the recent posts count, so instead of going to another page for more questions, you can increase the question on the first page.
And, once done click on, Update Options on the bottom right side.
3- Forum Access
In this tab, you can assign permissions to different users and add new accessibility options.
Now in the Members area, you can add different URLs for your forum.
Like, for the member’s achievements section, you can add different rules.
There are different reputations level for the members of the community.
And there are a lot of different options you can look at and modify according to your needs.
Here, you can change different email settings for your users. Like, the email from (that is from you) when a new user registers or for any admin processes.
You can modify different email templates here, but I think you wouldn’t need it, but it’s your preference anyway.
And, once done, click on Update Options.
You can hide and show different options to your community members, like the show/hide admin bar. Change the way your community page will look, and make it more interesting.
In the Features tab, you can find almost all the options to customize the functionality.
In the styles tab, you can modify the color scheme of the forum, like the font size, and font color, font-weight, and size.
8- API (for Social Networks)
Enhance the power of your online community, add different social networks, API, like Facebook API.
I think this option helps boost your community power.
The wpForo has different in-built tools for their plugin, and I will walk you through each of these in a moment.
They have their spam controller, which helps you instantly notice any spam comments on your forum.
2- Privacy and Rules
3- Add Do-Follow domain
wpForo adds no follow to all the external links, so if you want to do-follow any domain, you can add them in the section.
In the Spam section, you can control different security settings for the members.
If someone shares a link, they will flag it, and if the message of the user compares with some spammy word, they will spam it.
Adding the Community to the Menu
After we create the forum, let’s add the community section to our menu so that users can easily visit it.
To do that, go to Appearance >> Menus.
From the pages, remember we had a Forum page, select it, and click on Add to Menu.
And, don’t forget to click on Save Menu.
Install and Activate the BuddyPress Plugin
Now, we need to create a login page and enable the permalinks, and for that, we need to install BuddyPress.
So, install and activate the BuddyPress plugin.
The users can register as a community member by typing in the URL, yourdomain.com/register.
And, this is pretty much it, so now, you have your community. You can play around with settings/options, try to add new cool things to your forum.