Many believe that forums are dying because of social networking. Indeed, in the past, forums and message boards used to be our social media. But today, with all our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts we simply forget about forum discussions. Yet they still have great worth.
Believe it or not, but forums are still one of the most popular places to ask and answer questions about brands and products. Businesses use them as bespoke and more targeted, well-organized social media that they have full control over. Isn’t it great?
Another great news is that creating a complex forum is no longer a difficult task. There are many DIY softwares out there that let you set up a decent forum overnight. One of these is uCoz website builder.
If you’re a frequent reader of SWB, you already know a lot about this web service. But if you’re not, here’s a quick recap. uCoz is a versatile site builder that operates as a system of modules (website building blocks) that when activated create different website types: blogs, portfolios, forums, webstores and more. All these modules are free except for Eshop.
uCoz is targeting both the end user and professionals, as it offers both DIY and advanced editing solutions.
How to create a forum with uCoz
Setting up a forum with uCoz is very easy, but we still like to give a good thorough step-by-step walk through:
1. Register and confirm your registration. Registration is free and doesn’t require entering any billing info.
2. Select a domain name. Here I must note that with uCoz you have three options: 1) use a subdomain (sitename.ucoz.com); 2) attach a previously purchased domain; this option is available for free users, too; 3) purchase a new domain through http://domains.ucoz.com/.
3. Select a template. Again, you’ll have three options. Firstly, you can go with a standard template. Secondly, you can create your own design. Thirdly, you can opt for a paid one from the official store. I would recommend that you start off with one of the free, standard templates. You can switch it anytime. The most recent free templates are all responsive, and marked as Mobile-Friendly by Google for the mobile search results.
4. Enable Forum Module. There are 22 modules, including Mini Chat, Polls, Publisher, Blog, Site News, Tests, Ad Board, Forum and more. If you need to build a forum, it’s obvious that your core module will be Forum. However, nothing stops you from activating additional modules to extend your site’s functionality. Thus, you can add a blog, poll, ad board and even an Eshop to your forum if you so wish. The modules can be turned on and off any time.
5. Customize your forum, post content and go live. Now it’s time to customize your forum, specifically, you can:
- choose icons for your forum;
- set number of threads/posts per page;
- set maximum message length;
- set maximum uploaded file size and more.
Once you have finished adjusting the functionality, you can fine-tune your site’s look. To properly edit templates you must have a basic knowledge of CSS and HTML.
The Forum module is closely connected with the Users module which is installed automatically for each website. Adjust its settings to control who can leave entries, moderate messages, upload files, create polls, remove threads etc.
Once you have published the website, you can continue using it free. Pay attention to the fact that all free accounts have to display ads. In order to get rid of the advert, upgrade your website. Ad-free uCoz websites start at $5.99/mo. By the way, did you know that the official uCoz Community is based on the Forum module?
Forums are still part of the social media sphere and should be used as a way to create strong communities and bringing existing communities together. Here are some examples to show that forums aren’t just a spare tyre. It seems every site builder has a forum 🙂 . Forums aren’t dead.
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