Creating a easy to use, innovative forum structure is key to ensuring a successful community. InstantForum.NET allows you to easily create unlimited forums & sub-forums, associate moderators to forums and configure numerous access and feature settings for each forum either by member group or specific permission set associations.
Difference between Forums and Categories
Categories only ever appear on your community homepage and are used to group several forums into a single category. This can be helpful if you have a "Products" category for example and which to create a forum for each product within the Products category. Similar you may have a Company News category and have several forums within this for example Latest Announcements, Latest Updates etc.
You can see a basic example of a forum and category below...
Creating A Forum
To create new a forum go to, Manage Forums » Add New Forum. You will be presented with a screen similar to below...
Details about the information you should provide for a new forum are provided towards the bottom of this page.
Editing a Forum
To edit existing forum go to, Manage Forums » Manage Forums.
This will display a list of available forums, you can navigate your forum structure by clicking forums to view any sub-forums. You should use the drop down list aligned right of each forum to manage existing forums as shown below...
The editing options next to each forum will allow you to edit the existing forum, edit the forum member group & permission set associations, associate forum moderators, sort the forum, create child forums, close the forum, open the forum or if you wish delete the forum and any child forums.
Deleting a Forum
To delete an existing forum go to, Manage Forums » Manage Forums. This will display a list of available forums; you can navigate your forum structure by clicking forums to view any sub-forums. You should use the Delete Forum option within the drop down list aligned right of each forum to delete any specific forum. Deleting a forum will also delete all child forums and any topics within child forums.
Creating & Editing Forums
The options below are available when creating or editing forums.
The name for your forum category.
Optional description for the forum, if provided this will appear below the forum name within the forum index. The description can contain valid HTML or IFCode.
The parent forum or category. You should select the parent forum or category for the forum you are creating or editing.
Select member groups who can see and access the forum. Only member's who belong to the selected member groups will see and have access to the forum and its contents. The ensure child forums also have the same member group associations you should tick the "Propagate member groups to all child forums".
Redirect URL - If provided the forum will act as a redirect forum linking directly to the provided URL. Leave as default to create a normal forum.
Redirect Target - If Return URL is provided you can optionally set a target for the link here.
Redirect Count - Contains the total number of clicks to date for a redirect forum if enabled.
If provided these notes will appear above the topics within the forum to all member groups who have access to the forum. You can use notes to provide instructions within a forum, create an announcement or highlight an important post within the forum. Leave as default or empty to disable forum notes.
Determines if new topics, replies or both should be moderated within the forum. If enabled new topics, replies or both will be placed into the moderation queue and will only be live once a moderator has manually approved the post. If enabled moderators of the forum will be sent an email notification informing of queued posts. Select "None" if you wish for posts to appear immediately within the forum without moderator approval. If you make a forum moderated please ensure you associate moderators with the forum, please refer to Creating & Editing Moderators for more information.
Forum skin - Optionally select a skin to use for the forum, to ensure child forums also have the same skin you should tick the "Propagate skin to all child forums" check box.
Forum wrapper - Optionally select a wrapper to use for the forum, to ensure child forums also have the same wrapper you should tick the "Propagate wrapper to all child forums" check box.
Topic & Post Options
Closed Forum? - If "Yes" the forum will be closed and will not accept new posts unless overridden by a permission set.
Allow posts within forum? - If "No" posting options (Add Topic, Add Poll etc) will not be displayed. Useful if this should act as forum hosting only sub-forums.
Bump member total post count when posting to this forum? - If "No" the users total post count will not be incremented when posting within the forum. Useful for test or private forums.
By default topics should - Select which database column topics within the forum should be sorted by as default.
By default sort topics - Select the default sort order to sort topics by.
By default show forum - Select how many topics should be displayed by default when viewing the forum.
By default show topics in forum - Select the default maximum date-range to use for returning topics within the forum.
By default display topics in forum - Select the default display mode for the topics within the forum.
By default show topics in forum - Select how many replies should be shown on each topic page within the forum.
Include this forum within searches?
If No the category will not be searched and will not be available within the forum selection upon the search page.
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