Create a forum

Updated on 18-January-2017 at 10:05 AM

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Driving customer interaction can be achieved in many ways. One of them is the use of forums. Forums are a great tool because not only do they provide users with a well known classical method of communication, but they also consolidate your user base, as every new visitor that registers to a forum becomes a CRM entry on your site. The workflow for adding a forum consists of the following steps:

  1. Create and configure a forum module.
  2. Insert a link to the forum in a page or a menu.

Create and configure a forum module

Creating a forum on your site is pretty much a two-step process. First off let's Create the forum. To do this:

  1. Go to Site Manager > Modules > Forums
  2. Click "Add Forum" to open the Forum Builder
  3. Specify the forum name and customize details such as the use of a template, the use of user images (avatars), expiry and release dates, etc. For details on these options see the managing forum posts section.

Check out the tool tips next to each option for descriptions of each functionality

One of the most important options you need to think about from the get-go is whether you will enable post moderation or not. Turning off moderation will give the forum a real-time conversation advantage, but will also expose it to spam/foul language. 

 

Click the Save button to confirm the creation of the forum.
With your forum now virtually enabled, you just need to allow users to access it. You can accomplish this by either placing the forum on a page, through a module, or linking directly to it from the menu.

Link to the forum from a page

This scenario would make sense if you have multiple forums on your site. This way you can add all the forums to a page (like an index of forums if you like) so the site visitor can see all forums that are active on your website. To create this forum index first create a page called "Forums" (yourdomain.com/forums). We'll place the forum here by accessing the toolbox and selecting Forums > List of Forums.

What this module does is list one or more forums on the page, according to your selection from the Display Criteria. Once you've saved, yourdomain.com/forums will list your new forum. If you have multiple forums they will all be listed on this page.

Link to the forum from the main menu

If you have created a menu on your Business Catalyst site, you can add a menu entry to point directly to the forum.
This is very useful and easy if you want the forum link to be visible on all the pages on your website.

  1. Access Site Manager > Menus, and open your menu
  2. Click Add Item
  3. Specify the properties of the menu item that will be pointing to the forum
  4. Specify the link to the forum as follows:
    1. Click Select Link next to the Item URL text box.
    2. Select the Forums category in the Link Manager, and then select the forum.
    3. Click the Select button.
  5. Click Save Item.

At this point your menu is updated and all pages containing it will display a link to the forum!

Now the forum is created let's take a look at the views (or layouts) that are available and how we can edit the way they look like

Check BC Gurus for a video-tutorial on building forums

BC Gurus - Using the Forums Module