Having a discussion forum on your WordPress blog will help you create a community around your blog.
There are many ways by which you can add a discussion forum to 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 plugins which let you achieve the same.
Today, I will share a detailed guide on how to integrate a discussion or Q&A forum in WordPress using the free DW Question & Answer WordPress plugin. This is a feature rich plugin which offers most of the features you need for your Q&A forum.
I am a freelance engineer. Many clients have asked me if there is a free plugin to start a question and answer forum by a lot of my clients. After some research on the web, I found a fantastic plugin called DW-Question-&-Answer
I have used the DW-Question-&-Answer plugin on many of my clients’ blogs and also got good results with 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 they can be accessed through the menu “DW Q&A” present on the sidebar of the WP-Admin panel.
In the screenshot above, 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 questions and publish.
- Question Categories: If you want to create categories for questions, you can set it here.
- Question Tags: This is how you can create tags for questions.
- All Answers: Here you will find the list of all Answers.
There are three main setting 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 to post private questions.
- Email_logo: Upload a logo to display 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 seven email templates:
- New Question Notification: Send an email to admin regarding a new question posted.
- New Answer: Send an email to the author when there is a new answer posted.
- New Comment to Question: Send an email to the author if someone comments on his question.
- New Comment to Answer: Send an email to the author if someone comments on the answer for his question.
- New Answer (to Followers): Send an email to followers when there is a new answer.
- New Comment to Question (to followers): Send an email to followers if anyone comments on the question (s)he follows.
- New Comment to Answer (to followers): Send an email to followers if someone comments on an answer to the question 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. Set the Questions List Page as a static front page. You can do it in 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 at home and have more people to communicate with.
Go ahead and use this plugin to create your discussion forum. If you have any follow-up questions or question related to plugin configuration, feel free to ask me in the comment section. If you enjoyed this post, share with your friends on Facebook & Google Plus.
This is a guest post by Nagaraj. If you would like to submit a guest post on ShoutMeLoud, follow our guidelines.