In this modern era, social media is all around us. People use social media to communicate, to promote their businesses, and to arrange events. However, when might using a forum be better than using social media? We will be discussing the situations in which using a forum site would be more beneficial to you and also how to create a forum site.
What is the Difference Between Forum Site and Social Media?
A forum is an online community in which users can share information and content about various topics. The primary purpose of a forum is to hold online discussions by posting messages under the category of choice. These messages tend to be fairly lengthy, particularly if they have the purpose of sharing knowledge or explaining a topic in detail. The categories tend to branch off and expand in several different directions if a new thought is introduced.
Social media is also a platform that allows users to share photos and content. However, it differs in the sense that the idea is to share a quick message or idea. For example, Twitter posts have a maximum limit of 280 characters. The purpose of the platform is to relay a short message and have it reach a lot of people quickly. Some social media platforms, such as Instagram or TikTok, do not even have the option of writing text, they are only meant for sharing photos and videos.
Advantages of Forums over Social Media
One of the major advantages of forums over social media is better moderation. If a user is posting inappropriate content to create a scene, they will be removed from the conversation. An initial breach of the rules will result in a warning from the forum moderators, and it will eventually escalate to being permanently banned. Achieving a similar result on social media takes a lot more time and effort.
Forums are often a good way to find a specific database of information. A visitor to the site can simply search for the topic that they are interested in, and they will be directed there. Using a forum encourages discussion about a particular topic, and readers can find out and contribute information. It is a great tool for business to promote their products, as customers can communicate with one another with any questions they have. Forums attract plenty of new visitors because they will be attracted by the vast array of information available to them. Reoccurring visitors will want to keep checking to see if there is an answer to solving their problem, or they will post a question about a new scenario entirely.
How to Create a Forum Site
Creating a forum is not a difficult task. The initial step will be to choose a web host and a domain name. Hosting websites are readily available and can be found by a quick internet search; many of these sites charging less than $20 per month. The hosting will store all of the forum’s files. Meanwhile, having an appropriate domain name is important because it adds credibility, and customers will recognize it as belonging to your company. Often, a domain name will be the company name or a slight variation if it is not available.
Many forum sites are integrated into WordPress, as this is one of the easier sites to operate. Designing your WordPress theme is important, as it creates an aesthetic that suits your brand image. As well, having a pre-made theme means that there is less customization that you need to do yourself.
The next step involves choosing a plugin for WordPress. This plugin will be adding features and performing tasks for your website. Many plugins are free but do not come with a guarantee of tech support. This means that you should research carefully before deciding on which one to install. Also, be sure to read about which plugins do what, as some may have functions that you do not want or need.
Setting up your forum is the next step. You will need to customize your plugin settings so that you can control how users will interact with your content. This will enable you to set the privacy, user subscription, and reply threading settings, among others. This is also when you set up a home page and allow users to view all your forum topics by clicking a dropdown menu on the website.
When everything is customized to your satisfaction, all you have to do is publish your forum. Making your site live will enable users to view and add content via posts in the discussions. Make sure to double-check that everything looks good, and all the content is accessible. If not, you can return to your customization step and ensure that all the settings are correct.