There are various advantages to adding a forum to an existing website. You not only organize the online community and encourage active user participation, but you also increase the attractiveness of your website and expand its user base over time. Furthermore, forums provide additional information about your project as well as all of the relevant intricacies that the majority of people are interested in.
The process of creating a forum is not difficult, but there are a few stages that must be completed. The procedure's difficulty is also determined by the type and size of the forum you intend to construct, as well as the site building tool you use for this reason.
You may start and administer a forum website using a variety of services. Forum builder is the most feature-rich and sophisticated solution for launching this type of project, but open-source platforms are still a viable option. Many of them are designed specifically for forum construction and so perform admirably for this purpose.
What is a Forum?
Forums are online discussion boards that allow a group of people with similar interests to share information. They have a tendency to concentrate on various specific issues. A mommy forum, for example, is likely to feature issues such as childcare, home remodeling, and even women's wellbeing. One of the most efficient ways to attract an interested audience and interact with potential consumers is to add a forum website to your Strikingly website. It can be a good source of ideas for product research and development as well as for marketing and brand building.
Every successful business owner knows how crucial it is to maintain your ears to the ground, and forums design is a great place to start. By knowing how to create a forum, you may stimulate product discussions, learn more about the individuals who are most likely to benefit from your brand and service, and discover what their genuine issues are while using your product or service. It's a fantastic method to raise brand awareness and trust, especially if you answer questions and comments in real-time.
Forums are highly frequent among groups that involve various forms of multimedia, such as games and movies. But any good business owner knows how crucial it is to keep your ears to the ground, and forums are a terrific place to start.
Because they allow you to connect directly with customers, forums are excellent for customer service. They can also help your website's SEO. For starters, a forum is a great way to generate new content. User-generated material is preferred by search engines since it is more natural and real. In your forums, the more discussion threads you have, the better.
How to Make a Forum Website?
Businesses utilize forums to interact with customers and respond to questions about their products and services. These websites host in-depth talks about a brand and how its customers feel about it. Users can express themselves openly and interact with other consumers who have similar interests, concerns, or complaints.
Let's have a look at how to make a forum website for your business in this post. After that, we'll go through some best practices for using it as a customer service channel.
- Decide Where Your Forum Website will be Hosted
- Select Software for Building Your Forum Website
- Organize the Structure of Your Forum
- Create a Theme for Your Forum
- Make User Guidelines for Your Forum
- Initiate Conversations by Posing Intriguing Questions
- Make Your Forum Public on Your Website
- Make an Effort to Reach Out to Your Target Audience
- Monitor User Interaction and Reply to Customer Questions
- Collect Feedback from Users
1. Decide Where Your Forum Website will be Hosted
Image is taken from Strikingly
The first step is to choose a location for your forum. It could be a page at the end of a URL, such as www.example.com/forum. It might also be a subdomain at the beginning of the URL, such as forum.example.com. The location you choose is determined by your existing web hosting provider and the structure of your website.
To construct a forum website these days, you don't need any web programming or design experience. You can delegate all technical tasks to a website-building platform like Strikingly, allowing you to focus solely on content creation. To create a forum, start with a forum website template and fill it with the content you want your target audience to see. Learn how to construct a forum website out of your existing site using Strikingly's built-in app store by incorporating the Disqus forum or a comparable third-party program.
2. Select Software for Building Your Forum Website
After you've decided on a web address, the following step is to pick a content management system. This program creates your forum's pages and allows you to customize and organize the information. The appropriate software can make all the difference, so make sure you pick one that matches your present website's look and functionalities.
3. Organize the Structure of Your Forum
Consider how you'll organize themes before you start developing pages. Customers should be able to discover what they're seeking quickly, and your forum's navigation features should accommodate their needs.
Begin by identifying the themes for which you want to hold talks. These can be for specific products and services or for more broad topics such as customer suggestions and workarounds. If visitors are seeking a certain page, you should also provide a search bar so they may skip across categories. Users will be able to explore your site and find information that is relevant to their interests if you organize your forum this way.
4. Create a Theme for Your Forum
Image is taken from Strikingly
The theme of your forum website should be consistent with the rest of your website. Customers should not be confused when they navigate to a new page if it has the same colors, logos, and layout as your existing content.
Some content management systems have themes that are compatible with the majority of website layouts. Users can choose from a range of alternatives when it comes to the theme of their forum in the example below.
5. Make User Guidelines for Your Forum
Visitors should feel confident in their ability to contribute to the discussions on your forum. To do so, all users must follow a set of principles that encourage healthy, informative dialogue. These guidelines ensure that discussions remain on topic and that everyone feels at ease contributing.
Here are some examples of rules to get you started:
- Always be respectful, even if you disagree
- There will be no profanity or derogatory remarks
- There will be no spam or self-promotion
- There are no links to external websites or businesses
- There will be no NSFW content (not suitable for work)
6. Initiate Conversations by Posing Intriguing Questions
Image is taken from Wearsuperheroesaleppo
You should compose some general discussion topics that promote dialogue before you publish your forum website. This will help new users feel at ease, especially if your forum is still young. After all, users may comment on a post far more easily than they can write their own.
7. Make Your Forum Public on Your Website
It's now time to make your forum public. Connect your forum's home page to your main site and make your pages live. When users visit your brand's main page, they should be able to quickly locate your forum website.
8. Make an Effort to Reach Out to Your Target Audience
Now that we've covered the technical aspects of creating a forum, the next step is to turn it into a vibrant community. Getting people to interact with one another might be a lot easier said than done, much like an awkward middle school dance.
Begin by contacting your most devoted consumers. These individuals are really interested in your brand and will be eager to join in your discussion forum. Other visitors will be more likely to join the conversation if you can start them chatting.
Badges are one type of incentive you can offer. Members that contribute to your forum on a regular basis should be rewarded with badges that other users can see. Your most engaged users can become "regular contributors," and by contributing to your community, they will feel a feeling of belonging.
9. Monitor User Interaction and Reply to Customer Questions
Forums are live, breathing, active communities, and if you want them to grow, you must participate in them. This means that your company should take the lead in discussions and use the forum as a constant source of customer feedback.
To moderate your forum website and reply to client inquiries, customer care representatives should be assigned. They should ensure that users are following the forum's rules and that any inquiries customers have regarding your products and services are answered. This will not only keep your forum busy but will also create a pleasant customer service experience.
10. Collect Feedback from Users
Image is taken from Strikingly user’s website
It's critical to collect input from your forum's users as it expands. Inquire about their enjoyment of the experience and how you might improve it. Users will be more engaged and satisfied with the content and interface of your forum if you do this.
How to Start a Forum Website On Strikingly?
For your online message board, you don't need a separate WordPress forum. Strikingly's HTML embed functionality allows you to add a forum area. You can test a variety of forum apps for this purpose, including Tribe, Muut, and Nabble.com, to name a few. Simply sign up for one of these platforms, establish your forum, then copy the HTML code to paste into your Strikingly site.
Image is taken from Strikingly
Forum website creation is a time-consuming, difficult, and complex process that necessitates specific skills, knowledge, and financial/effort investment. The complexity of the forum development process will be determined by your goals, objectives, talents, and level of web design awareness, as well as special project details. The software that is used to create a forum is equally important.
If you're a beginner, it's best to start with Strikingly, as it's the easiest and most comprehensive forum website builder available, along with strong forum-creating options. The system is so simple to use that you don't need any coding or web design experience to get started. It's up to you to choose the appropriate plan based on the functionality of your future forum website and the objectives you've set.
Forums, on the other hand, are still a part of the social media sphere and should be used to build strong communities and bring current ones together. Forums aren't just a spare tire, despite the fact that social networks are always developing. Every forum website builder, it seemed, has a forum. Forums aren't extinct.