Having a discussion forum on your WordPress blog will help you to create a community around your blog. There are many ways by which you can add a discussion forum on your blog. If you don’t want to spend your time learning another forum software such as Xenforo, VBulletin or any other, it’s best to use WordPress plugin which let you achieve the same.
Today, I will be sharing a detailed guide on how to integrate a discussion or Q&A forum in WordPress using free DW Question & Answer WordPress plugin. This is a feature rich plugin which offers almost all the features which you need for your Q&A forum.
I am an engineer and currently working as a freelancer and It was very comman to hear from most of my clients is, Is there any free plugin to start a Question and answer forum? and After a clear research on web I found a fantastic plugin namely DW-Question-&-Answer
I used DW-Question-&-Answer plugin on many of my clients’ blogs and also got good results by this plugin. So I highly recommend this, if you want to start a Question and answer forum for free.
Features of DW-Question-&-Answer plugin
- Submit / Filter / Order / Edit / Delete Question
- Answer / Comment
- Vote and Pick Best Answer
- Notification Email system
- Instant search by keywords
- 11+ languages supported
- reCAPTCHA supported
- Shortcodes available
- Private/ Public for Question and Answer
- Questions / Answers follow function
- Sticky Question
- Available in 20 different Languages.
How to Setup DW Q&A WordPress Plugin:
In this plugin we can find many options and can be accessed through the menu “DW Q&A” which is located at the side bar of the WP-Admin panel.
Above in the screenshot you can see the options –
- All Questions: Here you can see the list of all questions asked by the visitors/users
- Add New: Here you can create your own questions and publish
- Question Categories: If you want to create a categories for questions then you can set it here
- Question Tags: This is the way where you can create some tags for questions
- All Answers: Here you will find the list of all Answers
There are 3 main settings panels from which you can configure all the plugin settings as per your requirements.
- Question List Page: Select the page where you added the Question List Page shortcode [dwqa–list–questions]
- Ask Question Page: Select the page where you added the Ask Question Page shortcode [dwqa–submit–question–form]
3. Private Question: Check this if you want to allow users post Private questions.
- Email_logo: Upload a logo which is to be displayed at the top of the email sent.
- From Email: Put the email address which will be used as the sender of the outgoing emails.
- Send A Copy to Admin: Check this if you want to receive a copy of every Email
This Plugin provides 7 Email Templates
- New Question Notification: Send an Email to Admin regarding a new Question posted
- New Answer: Send an Email for Question’s author if any new answer is posted
- New Comment to Question: Send an Email for Question’s author if anyone comments on his question
- New Comment to Answer: Send an Email for Question’s author if anyone comments on the answer for his question
- New Answer (to Followers): Send an Email to question followers if any new answer is posted
- New Comment to Question (to Followers): Send an Email to question followers if anyone comments on question he followed
- New Comment to Answer (to Followers): Send an Email to question followers if anyone comments on an answer of the question he followed.
Here you can set who can read/Post/Edit/Delete the Questions/comments/answers.
Create a new sub-domain just like forum.example.com, if you want to have a different database for forum users and set the Questions List Page as Static front page and you can do it at theme customization. Keep text link in the menu of your main domain. You can also add a new WordPress installation at sub-directory such as domain.com/ask & use this plugin to add a discussion forum.
If you have a growing blog or even a new blog, having a Q&A forum can increase your blog popularity in the short span of time. The simple reason behind this is, your readers will feel like home & they have more people to communicate with. You should check out ShoutMeLoud forum which is created using 3rd party software call Discourse, and the community is growing every day.
Go ahead & use this plugin to create your own discussion forum. If you have any follow-up question or question-related to plugin configuration, feel free to ask me in the comment section. If you enjoyed this post, do share with your friends on Facebook & Google plus.
This is a guest post by Nagaraj, who is a freelance WordPress Developer. If you would like to submit a guest post here at ShoutMeLoud, check our submission guidelines.