Whether you’re rallying a community around a cause, or are looking to discuss gardening tips or celebrity gossip, when you create a forum website, you’re encouraging conversations and placing your voice or brand at the center of it all.
Here are a few features that you can use to make your website a hub for discussions and community engagement.
Some WordPress.com themes, like P2, can instantly turn your website into a forum. This traditional two-column theme includes inline comments, a posting form on the homepage, live commenting, in-page notifications, and real-time updates. These features work together to make your site a place where people can interact with one another, and bond over their shared interests.
With a WordPress.com Business plan, you can install plugins to add bonus functionalities to your website. If you already have an optimal theme in-place, you can add a forum to it by installing a plugin like bbPress. bbPress is a free, open-source tool that empowers you to create a forum for your entire site or just a portion of it.
Where traditional forums encourage discussions about various topics, your comments section promotes conversations about your content specifically. So, if you’re less interested in the democratic dialogue of a forum and want to focus on hosting discussions between author and readers, the comments section may be the best way to go.
Visitors who leave comments can choose to receive email notifications whenever someone replies. This way, they can keep up with conversations as they unfold.
Dedicated site visitors will likely check your site for fresh content. Make this process easier by letting them directly subscribe to your website by adding a Follow Blog widget to your sidebar or footer. Once someone signs up, they’ll be notified by email every time you publish new content.
Like the Subscriptions feature, your website’s activity feed (also known as an RSS feed) helps readers stay connected to your content. Instead of receiving email notifications, fans can monitor your blog through the WordPress.com Reader. It automatically updates every time you publish new content, and enables site visitors to aggregate their favorite blog content into one convenient location.
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