How to Create a Forum for Your Website
Mar 13, · How to Start a Forum Website in 3 Simple Steps () Step 1: Choose a Forum Hosting Partner. Even though discussion forums are some of the earliest web technologies developed, the communication method Step 2: Set Up Your Forum Software. Step 3: Create and Organize Your Discussion Topics. How Do Author: Laura Bernheim. May 11, · How to Start and Run a Forum Website Step #1: Choose a Web Host. The first thing you want to do is evaluate your current web hosting company and look at your Step # 2: Set Up. Once you have your hosting situated, it's time to decide on the type of .
Create a sense of community on your website by adding a forum. Go through 6 simple steps that detail everything from choosing a platform for your forum to setting up administrative rules. People tend to fall in the camp of loving online forums or thinking they are a waste of time. According to experts like Daniel Scocco of Daily Blog Tips, adding a forum to your website is a great idea if you have enough traffic to keep it active.
Quick navigation. There is no magic number here, but you should wait for 5, or more daily unique visitors before launching a forum.
Forums help build community, which can keep visitors coming back to your website again and again. Forum is a form of message board where users can interact with one another via posts and replies. More than likely you have participated in a forum at some point.
Forums go way back in the online world. Forum could be argued that they are the first social media spots online. It was a way for people to interact with one another on like-minded topics. Most forums are based around a specific topic or niche. If your forum becomes popular, your visitors will create unique content for your site, which can drive even more traffic and revenue as people seek answers on the topic your forum covers. The first thing you want what to do when a relationship is failing do is evaluate your current web hosting company and look at your other options.
Our hosting reviews here at WHSR can help you get a good idea if you're paying a fair price, how fast your server is and if the server can handle the load of a forum if it becomes popular.
For example, are there additional options for upgrading to a private server? If you are happy with your current web hosting company and would prefer not to move, you may want to utilize these uptime monitoring tools to how to rescreen a patio enclosure sure your hosting is the best it can how to make tornado in a jar and your site is not having downtime.
Once you've websitd down your selection of hosting rujor have decided to stay with your current websjte, take the time to contact them and explain what webste vision is for your online forum and if they will have options to handle the load should your forum have a noticeable uptick in traffic. Also, get details on the costs involved in upgrading should your forum become popular.
You can start small with a cheap website hosting in the beginning; but as your forum grows you might need a VPS or dedicated hosting to handle the forum traffic. Once you have your hosting situated, it's time to decide on the type of forum you'd like to set up on your site.
There are many different types of software you can utilize, and each has its own particular advantages. Visit online: muut. Muut is an interesting solution for setting up an online forum. One of the best things about this software is that you can completely customize it. Only how to speed up vuze downloads 2012 discussion without private messaging options?
Muut can do that. The platform is hosted on Muut servers, which is also an added bonus if you aren't quite ready to upgrade to a VPS. Visit online: www. You install the software on your own website and using it is completely free, other than web hosting fees.
Because it is open source, you can find online help from various developers that will help you tweak your forum to be completely customized. The styles database has 's of packages of styling and images that will help you further customize your forum. Simple Machines Forum SMF is a free software that lets you set up an online community even if you don't have a lot of coding knowledge.
It integrates with an SQL database and websute streamlined enough that it shouldn't pull extensive resources from your server. Changes can be easily froum via the package manager. You can get your forum launched in about 15 minutes and personalize it to suit your tastes and match the overall look of your website.
MyBB foruj free open source software. You can implement threads, private messaging. Since it is open host are many additional plugins and themes to help you customize your community. The admin panel gives you a lot of options for personalization. Kunena offers another option websitd a forum and is specifically for those who run their websites on a Joomla platform. Kunena is essentially an extension. It is a free forum and won't require you to write any hacks or bridges to use its features.
It frum merges the best of both worlds. With bbPress, you'll have only one admin area. It's easy to set up and moderate and won't bog down your speeds.
You can also create multisite forums and even allow your users to create content for you with this platform. There are a variety of plugins and themes for this forum software. Vanilla is another solution that allows you to either use it as open source software that you host on your own how to build wealth with real estate, or you can use their cloud-based solution.
You can try their cloud-based solution for a month for free to see what you think of the features included. The open source option does provide community support, but no official technical support. Once you get the actual software in place, before you open your forum to users, you'll want to come up with a set of rules to guide x on your site.
Most online forums implement rules in the following areas:. Of course, you'll want to consider your topic and think about what problems are most likely to arise around that topic. Once you have your rules implemented, post them in a top, sticky thread so that new members understand the rules.
You may also want to ask them to agree to the TOS when signing up to access the forums. Here's a good set of rn template for your forum. Choosing what is my wife entitled to in a divorce uk sounds like an easy task, but you need to look at what topics you want to cover today as well as ones in the future. Finding a niche is an important element in creating a successful online community.
Yackity yack community isn't going to be nearly as successful as amateur golfer tips community. The key is to find an area people want to know more about or are passionate about and build on that concept. If you look back at the Warrior Forum example listed above in the excellent examples section, you'll see that they have some pretty general categories and then within those general categories the threads are what gives a corporation its legal status down further into specific topics.
By choosing general topics, you leave yourself some room for your forum to grow. If you own a business already, obviously you'll want a niche community related to that business. If you just want to build an online community and are just starting out, then the sky is the limit and you can choose any niche you'd like. Keep in mind that you should probably be an expert or in close contact with an expert on the topic as your members may have questions for the moderators and owners of the site.
Answer those questions and you'll have a better idea of the niche area your community should too. Before you become overwhelmed with posts and moderating comments, you'll want to get some help in place.
The best people to invite to moderate your forums are those fprum are already involved and comment regularly on your blog or contact you for discussion. Simply ask if they would be willing to moderate the forums. You may want to offer some small compensation for doing this task as it can be time consuming. One of the best ways to keep members engaged is to stay in contact. Here are some ideas for ways to keep your members engaged in the community and to draw in new members.
They will hopefully explain these events to newbies. Have you ever posted an idea or thought in an online community and had another member outright attack you? Most of us have experienced it over some thought or another. You probably were aggravated and either argued for a while and then realized it was taking up too much of your time, or you disengaged and left the forum.
Either way, when members don't feel safe to share their innermost foum and feelings without being attacked, they also are not going to be engaged. Creating a safe zone within your online community should resemble a family. Are you scared to be yourself with your family and closest friends? Probably not. That is the same feeling members of an online community should experience. Your community may be smaller, but if it is stronger, then that is a positive thing as well. Once you've form some boundaries that protect all your members, it is important to remind them of those rules from time how do i upgrade laptop memory time.
If your community is successful, you'll be getting a lot of new members, so these reminders are vital to keep everyone on the same page. Speaking of banning abusive members, don't be afraid to ban troublemakers from your forum, both via their registered account and their IP.
If someone comes into your forum and attacks other users, makes racial comments, or otherwise disrupts the flow of give and take, then they can do damage to your site and reputation. While it what do in orlando florida unfortunate that some people have to be banned, you sometimes have to do so for the sake of the rest of the community.
You have laid out clear rules to use your forum, so don't be afraid to enforce the consequences of those rules. The troublemaker isn't likely to convert into a customer anyway. They may be your competition trying to make you look bad or simply a snarky person. Probably one of the best ways to learn how to create a successful forum is to study those that are particularly well done and then implement the features that you think would work best for your own site.
ProBlogger is a website for bloggers. In addition to offering a hoq filled with useful tips, they've added a job board. The board is essentially a forum. Those who need to hire a blogger post potential jobs and job seekers can read the posts and private message the potential employers. The forum is set up to make a profit. Those who are looking for an employee can pay a small fee to post their jobs.
What Is a Forum?
Nov 24, · 1. Create an Account and Choose a Package. First of all, visit the DreamHost website at waltergretzky.com and click on get started. We’re going to be using the DreamHost one-click installer to keep it as simple as possible, and in order to do this, you need to have a fully hosted domain. Apr 20, · How to Create a Forum on Your Website. 1. Choose the right web hosting plan. If you’re ready to get started and create a forum on your website, then one of your first steps is to evaluate 2. Choose the right web forum software. 3. Create your forum. Jul 27, · As forum admin, you need to set the tone and determine what would be considered appropriate or inappropriate behavior in your community. Create an introductory post in which you list the rules for the community, and then pin the post to the top of a forum category. Encourage active waltergretzky.com: Wix Team.
Whether you run a business website or a personal blog, one of the main reasons to build a website is to reach other people. If you want your website to become a place people regularly want to visit, then your goal should be to build a community around it.
By enabling communication that goes more than two ways, a forum can create an active online community that not only engages with your content — but also allows users to interact with each other. In essence, a forum can become a valuable part of achieving your website goals.
If done well, creating a forum for your website can yield some significant benefits. A community is active and engages with your website on a regular basis.
They have a higher level of investment than someone just passing through. That makes them valuable partners in the overall success of your site. Many websites struggle with turning one-time visitors into regular traffic.
You work hard to provide valuable content to your visitors. And sometimes, other people in the community will have better answers anyway. Giving community members direct access to each other can be especially useful for any business that sells complicated products. Your customers can help each other do general troubleshooting, offloading some of your customer service burden while still resulting in satisfied customers.
We see this at work in the HostGator forums. When one web hosting customer asks a question, another often chimes in with the answer.
Newer members get the help of more experienced members, and long-term participants are able to distinguish themselves as helpful and knowledgeable in the community. If you do content marketing , then you know that coming up with relevant topics your audience cares about is an ongoing challenge. Businesses frequently spend money and time on market research to try and figure out what their audience is thinking.
When you have an active forum, all you have to do is follow the conversations your members have there to gain the same information. She can reference forum conversations and answer common questions she sees members ask.
Private forums can make sense for businesses that want to create a subscription community or membership website, but if you go that route you do lose out on this benefit. Ready to set up your website forum? Here are three steps to get started. If your forum accomplishes the goal of bringing a community of regular visitors to your website, then you can expect an uptick in traffic.
Make sure the web hosting plan you have now can support the forum software you choose to use and the increase in traffic likely to occur. Many of the most popular options are free and offer open-source software. A few of the top solutions to look into are:. Spend some time researching the different software options to get a feel for which will work best for you.
The right forum software should make this part relatively easy. The software you choose should offer resources to help you get started. Use them to get up to speed and start getting the basic structure of your forum in place. For your forum to achieve your goals, you need to approach it with a strategy.
These seven steps can help your forum go from a promising idea to a successful community-building tool. What is your forum going to be about? Before you launch your forum, clarify the primary themes and topics that people will be discussing there. When you launched your website, you hopefully took some time to figure out your unique positioning statement — what makes your website different from similar ones and why your visitors should care. What topics and issues will they want to discuss?
Now turn the themes you settled on into a clear structure. Decide on the main categories and subcategories to divide your forum into. Your URL structure should be intuitive. Organizing discussions into a few main topics will make it easier for your members to find the information they need. So again here, have your target audience top of mind. Know that your forum structure can evolve as needed, but do your best to make it intuitive and clear to begin with.
When people can interact with others anonymously behind their screens, some inevitably show their worst sides. You need to start out planning for the worst. For that latter question, a look at active comment sections around the web will show examples of what you want your members to avoid. Spend some time reviewing the rules of other forums around the web as well. Their rules can serve as a jumping off point for you to develop yours.
As an example, some rules you may want to include could be:. Make sure you post the rules at the top of the forum where everyone will see them. Add a note that everyone who participates in the forum is agreeing to abide by the rules.
How many warnings will you provide before banning a user? Are there steps a banned user can take to be reinstated? Write out what that system will be and make it accessible to your users in advance to avoid issues later. For discussions to happen, people have to show up. Create a strategy for letting people in your audience know about your forum. Many of the same online marketing tactics you use for your website will be valuable for promoting your forum as well.
Announce the new forum to your email list. Create content promoting it on your website and other sites around the web. Promote it on your social media accounts. Consider investing in PPC or social media advertising to get the word out. Once you have a decent number of members, this step will become less important. But it should make up the brunt of your efforts in the first days and weeks your forum is available.
New members of your forum who are still getting a feel for the place are unlikely to jump right into starting discussions. It will be your job to get the ball rolling on the first few conversations while people get comfortable. Have a few discussion topics in mind and start posting them with encouragement for others to chime in. Some forums also have consistent weekly discussion threads that can bring people together at an expected time to get talking.
Consider basing a weekly thread around industry news, new member introductions, or other topics you know your audience cares about. Moderation is a big part of the job of running a forum. Without moderation, your forum can fall prey to spammers and trolls. In the early days of your forum, you may be able to do all the moderating yourself. Keep an eye on all the active threads and react quickly to any that break the rules.
Over time, if the job becomes too big, you may need to hire someone or recruit active members of the forum to help with moderation. Be warned that moderation can be tricky.
As needed, you can point back to the guidelines everyone in the community agreed to by choosing to participate. So be willing to actively ask your community for their input and listen when they give it.
Even if your forum starts off strong, there will always be ways to improve it. Do your best to find out how you can make it better and improve the forum experience over time. Ready to start building your forum? Choose your forum hosting plan today and start creating a forum for your website.
Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based freelance content writer and lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity to learn new things. She uses that curiosity, combined with her experience as a freelance business owner, to write about subjects valuable to small business owners on the HostGator blog. You can find her on Twitter at atxcopywriter. HostGator often offers promotions, coupons and special offers to customers during their initial term. Please note that special offers are limited-time promotional prices that are available to new customers and are valid for the Initial Term only, and not for successive or renewal periods.
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