Monday, June 30, 2008

Adding A Forum To Your Blog

Once we get our blog working, with lots of steady reader traffic, we want interactions with our readers.

Eventually, we get tired of native Blogger commenting, and its inability to use comments to conduct casual and meaningful conversations with our readers. Sometimes, our thoughts turn to having a forum, where we and our readers can chat with each other.

One very light weight forum can be embedded in the sidebar.

CBox and Meebo are chat rooms embedded in HTML / JavaScript, and an IFrame. It's very easy to setup CBox or Meebo on your web site - just register and get the code for either, and add it to an HTML / JavaScript page element. You can see Cbox in action on my home blog, and Meebo on my Layout Test blog. ShoutMix is a similar, alternative product.

If you want a full featured forum, Google Groups lets you setup a forum as easily as you can setup a blog. Or any other forum will do just as well. It all depends upon what you want.

A full featured forum, using industry standard software, will involve hosting a phpBB based forum.
  • Load the phpBB software onto a suitably setup server.
  • Configure the software to provide your forum, as fits your personal vision of your forum.

Having setup the forum which pleases you, it's now a matter of combining your new forum and your blog, just like any two web sites - using blog feeds, iframes, and / or links - and your imagination.

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10 comments:

Alan A said...

Chuck,

I am in the process of setting up a site/blog(happinesshelp.org). A forum will be a very important part of my site. After reading your post above, I set up a google group, just to try it out. Not bad but I prefer the look & functions of many of the other free forums out there. Here's the issue...some forums allow for a custom domain whereas google groups does not. I think it will be very important to keep people in my domain as oppossed to them be routed to the domain of the forum. In this case the forum members could bypass my blog & go directly to the forum. Not good for my traffic. One forum company said in order to use my domain name I would need to direct my A records to their IP. If I did this I would no longer be able to use my domain name with my happineshelp.org blog, correct? It needs to be one or the other, right? I am not sure if there is a way to accomplish my goal without having another hosting company host my blog. Sorry for the long explanation & I hope you can help me. Thank you!

Alan

Chuck said...

Alan,

I used a Google Groups forum as an example - you can use any forum that you like. Just link the forum, and your blog, as with any two different websites. Use your imagination.

Andrew Fine said...

Your blogger blog is wider than mine (afineblog.com). How did you do it? Thanks, Andrew

Chuck said...

Andrew,

It was a bit of a stretch.

FinnishMetal said...

hey i cant put a cbox i try a lot of things can u help me with instructions please ??

Chuck said...

You need to post this problem in GBH: Something Is Broken, or in Nitecruzr Dot Net - Blogging, so we can help you effectively.

Andrew said...

Chuck-
Thanks. Fortunately, there are new templates for "stretch" on blogger. I changed the template and it worked. It did lose all of my counter codes, which I reinstalled.
My newest challenge is trying to get forums on my blog. Any hot ideas?
Thanks,
Andrew

Chuck said...

Andrew,

I use Google Groups (see above) for forums, and I've registered a couple dozen different ones. Define "on your blog". Define "get forums on my blog" - do you have needs that Google Groups won't meet?

Baphomet2013 said...

I want to add a forum to my blog but I want to keep the continuity of the site. I don't want to simply link my site to a Google made cookie cutter forum.

Is there an application where I can ad a post forum and not a chat to my website?

Harlan said...

Very helpful article. Now I need to learn more html to move the forum from the right to the left side of page.