It is fair to assume that since the dawn of time, forums have existed. Well, more like the advent of the Internet (which is basically the same). Online forums allow the coming together of virtual communities to share information and enthusiasm. You will significantly improve user interaction and expand your online community by adding an online forum to your website. In addition, having a forum is useful in boosting the quality of your website and adds an element of fun for visitors to your site.
The community forum website platform reigned supreme as the key digital platform for customer-to-customer contact until social media enabled us to quickly comment and share content on the internet. Although the popularity of social media has taken over, millions of people still use forums to connect with other consumers and discuss various online products and services. Reddit, one of the biggest discussion sites in the world, currently has over 330 million active users on a monthly basis.
In order to reach consumers and address questions people have about their goods and services, businesses use forums. Such websites host important discussions about a brand and how consumers feel about the business. Users can talk candidly and collaborate with other clients who have the same desires, questions, and criticisms.
With the likes of Strikingly’s Idea forum, we will dig into the advantages of adding a forum to your website and the best practices for doing so. Setting your forum up is simple, intuitive, and free of charge, like other features in the Strikingly website builder.
Why would I want to create a forum website?
There are several reasons for having a forum or website for a forum. Believe it or not, forum participants are not exclusively concerned with fans of Billie Eilish or lovers of Minecraft. You can find thriving forums devoted to nearly every subject or niche, from candle businesses to newborn photography, if you check the internet. Creating a group around a common goal is the primary advantage of developing a forum. Your forum will provide a place for this group to share thoughts, compare perspectives, and even enjoy a discussion with individuals sharing a specific career, hobby, or worldview.
An online forum website also opens up a new contact channel between the owner of the site and visitors to the site. Newsletters and forum comments are perfect for visitor interaction, but both appear to put an emphasis on one side of the debate. On the other hand, a forum encourages user interaction that is more transparent and more organic. The moderator or admin of the forum maintains power over the site, but as long as participants abide by the rules, an eye-level discussion is free to create.
Finally, the development of a forum website will enhance the SEO of your web. Think of it as an alternative source of information on the internet that search engines can index. The forum basically produces regular, high-quality content that search engines love as long as it is involved, and as long as your members make good contributions to the discussion.
How to make a forum website in easy-to-follow steps
Now that you know the advantages of adding a forum to your website, let's discuss the steps to get started that you need to take. Here's how to create a forum website:
- Choose an advanced website or forum website builder
You may start building a forum by simply selecting the program for the forum. You can create interest in your site and keep website visitors engaged with your project, company, or brand by choosing a forum creator that completely integrates with your professional website.
Our best suggestion would be to try out Strikingly’s advanced and robust website builder. Not only do we support forum websites building, but also offer features that may help you with other niches and types of businesses.
Think about the particular themes that bind together your members and that might give them a common sense of community. In their eyes, which problems are relevant, useful, or entertaining? Choose a general subject that widely resonates with your audience, and then create forum categories to set up different discussion threads.
Strikingly’s website builder is packed with hundreds of themes that you can choose from. We are sure that there is going to be a theme perfect for your community.
- Be transparent and clear about your forum website rules
As the admin of forum websites, you need to set the tone and decide what in your group will be considered acceptable or unacceptable conduct. Build an introductory post in which you list the group rules, and then pin the post to the top of a category for the forum.
- Encourage your community members to participate
Forum websites rely on conversations and discussions. There won't be much action going on if the representatives are all passive observers. By asking questions, commenting on the posts of other people, or soliciting the opinion of a particular person, you will inspire them to participate. Whether it's opening up a persuasive conversation, starting a questionnaire, or reviewing events that are important to your group, try to get a sense of what makes your members react.
- Don’t be shy to promote your forum website regularly
When you first create a forum, by promoting your forum on external sites, you'll need to recruit as many new members as possible. To highlight particular threads, use your personal or business social media accounts and, if any members are especially involved, ask them to promote your platform within their own networks. Use it to invite readers to visit the forum websites if you are running a blogs page. By sending out updates that inform all members and readers of new posts, responses, and likes, you can also drive interaction.
- Keep innovating on your forum websites features
You can offer more value to users with special features that support both you and your community once you have mastered the fundamentals of how to create a platform.
Second, when they go from novice users to forum veterans, you will reward the members with member badges. This improves the participation of the group members, as it allows them to participate in forum discussions consistently. You can even customize badges to match your website or look and sound, as well as allocate different badges for different positions (e.g., teacher and student, businessmen, entrepreneurs, etc).
Lastly, by designing pricing plans, you can raise money from your forum websites. This includes limiting the use of forums to selected participants. Although keeping certain conversations open for general access is a good idea, you can provide exclusive membership to categories that appeal to a particular niche.
Tips for a better forum website community
What gives a forum its character is the ongoing contribution of material by forum participants. The most productive ways to sustain a lively, diverse online community are the following:
- Keep on track: The glue that holds the group together is a sense of mutual interest amongst participants. Make sure the discussions you begin, the questions you ask, and the visual materials you upload are directly linked to the theme of your forum.
- Don't over-thread: A perfect way to create a forum is to create multiple discussion threads with various focal points, but you should be careful not to set up too many of them. Visitors (especially first-time visitors) can get overwhelmed when too many threads are available. Too many subjects can also lead to a situation in which there is only very little discussion between certain threads. It's easier to narrow down the possibilities and keep on for a lively debate.
- Mind the aesthetic: Although forums thrive on words, it is also important for their look and feels to look beautiful. Make sure your forum websites are compatible with the overall design of your website, as members on a forum that is visually appealing, user-friendly, and resonates with their preferences will feel more at home. You can design your platform in a way that represents your project or brand and attracts new members by personalizing the theme, layout, fonts, colors, and more.
- Make your presence as the admin known: As the moderator of the site, you have an obligation to actively engage and contribute your own content to the discussions of the community. Be constructive, answer questions, begin discussions, and invite members of the group to share their thoughts.
- Be informed: You will need to demonstrate knowledge and authority in your field as the admin. It will allow you to add high-quality content to your group and keep your members involved in what you have to say by staying up to date with the latest news, changes, and trends. Turn your forum website into a credible information source and you will be rewarded with traffic from your audience.
Create a promising forum website with Strikingly
With Strikingly’s advanced website builder, creating a forum website is as easy as one two three. Within minutes, you’ll be able to start your own live and bustling online community. With our hundreds of themes and templates, your forum members and readers will feel at home on your website.