A forum is one of the oldest website forms. In a classic understanding, this message board is an online discussion website where online users hold conversations in the form of posted messages with comments. Forums are different from chat rooms. They let the conversation happen over time rather than messages going back and forth quickly. However, one may choose a modern WordPress forum theme with a live chat feature. So, forums mostly focus on particular topics, brands, fandom, etc., which makes the main difference from social media.
A well-structured forum is usually organized into various categories. Choosing the needed category, one can post their question, discuss various subjects, and share personal or working experiences. Professionally designed forums are much more than simple pages with questions and answers. They allow posting multimedia content, and not only. Another popular feature of forums is blogs. It also has multiple essentials and trendy features to share content beautifully. How to build a forum blog? What features to search for? What are the best products for forum creation? Let’s figure it out.
5 Reasons to Create a Forum Blog
When launched professionally, the forum feature brings advantages to any website. You can run a stand-alone forum or add this option to the ready website. Here are the reasons why you might want to add it.
- Forums make it more user-oriented and allow learning more about the visitors. It is critical for business and eCommerce projects to investigate the audience. Besides, personal websites are also easier to promote when they are visitor-oriented. It gives the site owner an understanding of topics visitors are discussing and shows what they might be looking for.
- Creating communities = improving relations between site visitors. Adding a forum to the website helps create groups where people with similar interests can meet each other. These communications are beneficial for any project, from educational websites to product showcases.
- Capturing new audiences and attracting users. A good-structured forum would help you increase rankings and attract more people to the website. Once a user searches for a question that your forum covers, they will see your website. So, even those who haven’t heard about your company before would consider it. People would want to know more about your project/business/services and investigate other pages if the question was answered and explained professionally.
- Adapting to the users. Another advantage is that it adapts to the time the user allocates to participate in these spaces. Besides, the site owner can see what people think about their business and benefit from detailed reviews and other forum themes. It attracts attention and gives additional scores to your business.
- Improving the website SEO. The more professionally produced content you have on the website, the more likely it will get a higher place in the SEO ranking. Ensure your topics contain relevant discussions and organic keywords.
Besides, when created properly, forums attract the attention of Google users, not only with texts. Those who search for images will also find your pages. Pro-designed forum themes come with visuals-oriented features.
10 Steps on How to Create a Blog Forum
Although a forum has a pretty understandable structure, it still can look different depending on the software, tools, and templates you use. To attract viewers, the result should be SEO-friendly. It also requires eye-catching, eye-friendly web fonts, harmonizable content elements, and visitor-oriented navigation. Actually, there are many things to consider for a winning blog forum creation. To get everything done without missing a thing, here are the main steps to perform.
- Choosing a location to host the website. One can look for normal web hosts or hostings optimized specifically for online forums. Blog forums are highly resource-intensive platforms, as they are used by multiple users reading the pages simultaneously. We recommend you prefer premium hostings to let people create content and communicate with each other. With increasing activities, websites become busier and consume more server resources than a regular website might need. Here are the top forum hosting providers to take a look at:
- A2 Hosting;
- Green Geeks;
2. Choosing software to build your content. The right choice makes all the work for you, as modern CMSs provide numerous ready-made products. For example, one can find a nice WordPress free forum theme for their project. Here are the most popular platforms for business, personal, and eCommerce websites to consider:
- WooComerce, etc.
- Designing the forum theme to organize your blog forum’ structure. Depending on the selected product, you have various options. To illustrate, MegaMenu allows managing the content and eases the search process with multiple categories and subcategories. One might choose between the hamburger menu and dropdown or use both features simultaneously. It makes it easier to navigate through the blog, find new topics, and use the website.
- Customize your template. If it is a brand/company-related forum, use your corporate colors for the blog color schemes. Choose products with simple live editing to tweak the settings without coding.
- Create pages for the main rules to explain to people what they can and can not do. Along with the ‘about us’ and ‘top posts’ pages, these sections should be ready-made if you use a WordPress blog theme.
- Study the plot of your project and look for the most popular related topics to start conversations. Popular requests with the proper tags and keyword usage would help you to provide interesting discussions.
- Use advertisements to attract first visitors.
- Search for badges to increase engagement. The feature would help you to reward users who actively participate in the conversations and highlight the accounts with the best answer. All of these improve onsite communications and bring the feeling of belonging to the same team by participating in the community.
- Moderate user participation with a powerful admin panel which gives control of the website and allows responding to visitor inquiries wherever you are.
- Collect user data and customer feedback to make it more prospect-oriented. Besides, this information would be helpful for promos, newsletters, landing-page websites, and other side projects and campaigns.
Now, let’s see how you can further the process and get the best of a modern forum with the properly chosen WordPress forum template!
3 WordPress Forum Themes & Templates with Blog Feature
Why should you pay attention to the platform? Let’s see what a professional theme for the forum website can contain. Here are a few worthy examples. Don’t hesitate to run the products’ demo versions to see how everything works in action. These examples provide 3 different design solutions. Which one to choose, corporate, minimalist, or bright appearance? It is up to you!
#1 Merimag – Bright & Stylish Theme
This feature-reach blog and magazine WordPress theme provides charming visual effects: Lazy Load and Parallax scrolling. It would make a marvellous addition to the blog pages. One can attract more views with these magical animation effects. Besides, this theme has a background video feature, which is also cool for showcasing products or use for custom videos. There are nearly 20 post templates, an easy-to-manage forum feature, and many other must-haves.
#2 Maria – Minimalist & Multifunctional Theme
This minimalist portfolio WordPress forum theme has a neat design with everything ready to customize. See the live demo to see how simple animation might improve your homepage. The menu also provides an unusual appearance with separate dropdowns for any block. Besides, look at the gallery with trendy animated effects showcasing related links and categories beautifully.
#3 Poket – Multi-niche & Corporate
Here is another multipurpose WordPress blog theme with various demos. It has a corporate style with simple and remarkable content elements. Everything is meant to highlight the presented services and generate leads. There are mobile-ready sliders, a stick-to-top menu, and easy-to-notice call-to-actions. It also contains trendy animations and effects like gallery blocks or the ‘About Our Company’ graphics section.
WordPress Forum & Blog Themes’ Freebies
There are many free items WordPress offers. Some of them are simple, while others might visibly change your online promotion level. Here are the top 5 free Gutenberg plugins to improve your blog.
As you can see, the modern digital market provides tons of services and products to run a feature-reach forum blog. With several millions of happy users, WordPress is a leading provider of supporting software. Forum hemes from TemplateMonster come with easy drag & drop editing and illustrate how one can run a progressive website without previous experience.
WordPress Forum Theme FAQ
How to select a WordPress forum theme?
The choice should depend on your needs and personal taste. It is also important to look for products with lightweight designs and impressive speed. The more users and topics your company is going to cover, the faster your forum should be. Among the other criteria are the next:
- SEO-friendly design with Retina-readiness;
- Comfortable, user-oriented navigation;
- Quick installation with simple content management and transport;
- Built-in drag & drop editor with stylish content blocks;
- Catchy CSS animating effects.
Where can I download a WordPress free forum theme?
Please look at the selection of 3,600+ free themes and templates. Almost each of them has a blog feature, and you can find multiple solutions for a built-in forum. There are designs from top creators with Parallax and other premium features.
What is the best WordPress forum template?
We can’t name one theme as the best decision for a forum on WordPress. The variety of digital products is too rich to limit your choice to a single item. So how to ensure you buy/download the right product? Here are the options to look for:
- Taggable gallery with animations;
- Social media integration;
- Newsletter and other CTA;
- Pop-up elements;
- Drag & drop builder;
- Live preview;
- Comfortable navigation;
- Live search;
- Smart interlinking;
- Crossbrowser compatibility;
- Mobile-friendly design.
How do I edit my forum theme?
Modern products cove with Elementor, Navi Builder, and other easy-to-handle page builders. They work on drag & drop functionality and provide simple, experience-free editing with drag & drop. Managing content blocks becomes simple when a theme has a versatile layout and tweakable settings.