I wasn’t used to online forums, one day I came across Shout me Loud and boom I was in! So today I’ll share the online forums I visit when I need information or inspiration.
Forums are good place to hung out, not because you’ll know the latest gossip but because you’ll learn a lot. Well actually I don’t know if there is a forum for celebrity gossip, but we couldn’t care less right?
Anyway, the wisdom found there is endless. Besides, topics are constantly updated by users, so you never stop learning. Forums virtually touch every niche, from tech to fashion to design. All you need to know is there. And at difference of comments, users choose the topics.
We can say Forums are more democratic, since users set the standards. Although, topics have to match the website.
The first time I came across a forum I was looking for technical information. It was then when I discovered Shout me Loud a bloggers forum based on the website with the same name.
In this Forum newbies and professional bloggers share technical information. I can’t tell you the times I was running out of patience trying to solve an issue when this forum saved my life.
Stuff like ssl certificate or WordPress security are clearly explained. This is the kind of place I keep visiting.
Another Forum I hung around quite a lot is Product Hunter. This forum gives insights of what’s going on in the tech world. I also follow Indie Hackers and Hackers News, not like I see myself as a hacker but conversations there are a source of inspiration.
WordPress also have a community forum where you can find answers for various blogging issues.
Do you want a forum running alongside your blog?
I think this depends on your audience, community is good vitamin for a blog. The next question is what plugins should I use?
I did a bit of homework and I found few plugins.
These 5 forums plugins will help you build a community
Website Toolbox: is a forum plugin for your website. You can assign moderators and administrators to keep the forum in good shape.
This is a good solution if you’re running a business or a big website platform.
Asgaros Forum: lightweight, maybe not the most stylish solution for your website but it does the job. This widget has a clear interface, simple and pain free.
WPForo: this is more professional, for big sites or professional bloggers. You’ve multi layers, customisation and few extra features.
This widget is also good for high-tech bloggers.
bbPress: this is for comments and forums, an integrated option for WordPress users who are not very tech savvy or want something easy to use.
Compatible with most themes, this plugin is perfect for community building.
Discourse: it helps create a community around your blog with tons of customisation. You’ve a free plan and a pro version with more features.
If you’re a WordPress user you can try this widget for free and move on to a paid plan, once the forum has grown .
Not forum is right or wrong that’s the beauty of it. There are tons of forums, it’s not about the style but the quality of the content.
When choosing a forum think abou key features for your users. Remember at the end of the day you want something practical to build a community. You don’t want users to leave the forum frustrated because they couldn’t find the way around it.
Are you looking for a forum widget? Do you have a favourite one I haven’t mentioned here! Let me know in the comments section below.
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