At present, the success of some Q&A discussion boards has inspired a lot of WordPress users for adding such kind of an area into their websites. After all, if you have ever entered the platforms of Quora, Stack Overflow or Yahoo Answers, you can easily realize that how great this kind of area can benefit the communication of your site. In this case, we’d like to tell you how to add the Q&A discussion board in WordPress.
Here, we need to note that no matter how large or how small your site is, you can add this board. After all, you can regard it as the social discussion that can foster the communication about your website effectively. Check the following to learn how to add this area easily.
Install the CM Answers Plugin
In fact, you can find plenty of plugins to add the Q&A discussion board in WordPress. Here, one of the most widely recommended options is CM Answers plugin. This plugin works in the way of Stack Overflow – a collaborative question and answer site. By adding this style of discussion board, your users can ask a question, submit an answer, leave a comment, upload a needed file and make a vote easily. And you can have the full control of the aspects of moderation, categorization, access limitation and many more.
Set Up the General CM Answers Settings
Now, you have to install this plugin and click the CM Answers tab in the admin. Here, from the Settings area of this tab, you should set up some basic and general options.
Before everything, you can check the link to the front-end of your Q&A discussion board. In most cases, the link is your domain name along with the “answers” suffix. Here, you’d better add this link to your main menu bar and change the menu label to something like “Q&A Discussion”. This way, people can find this special area easily and join the discussion.
After that, you need to decide the following settings based on your requirements.
- Enter the title of the question listing page. Most webmasters use the phrase of “All Questions”.
- Enable the ratings feature so that users can rate all the available answers.
- Enable the negative ratings, thus, users can give a thumb down for any answer.
- Showcase the total number of votes for all the answers, along with the best rated one.
- Approve all the submitted questions or answers automatically or enable the moderation. Personally, we think you’d better enable the moderation. This can avoid some spam submissions effectively.
- Enable the separate sidebar for your discussion board separately.
- Set the maximum width of the sidebar. If you are looking for the automatic adjust, you can leave the value of 0.
- Showcase the markup information box next to the forms of questions and answers.
Decide the Notification Settings
Next, you should decide the templates of the email messages that notify about the new questions and the new answers. Especially, if you activate the moderation settings, this part is important to set up.
Start the Q&A Discussion Board in WordPress
Now, all the necessary settings are finished. Here, you can start the Q&A discussion board on your WordPress site easily.
Add the Questions
To make this discussion board active, you firstly need to post some questions on it. Here, as you have already added the link to your Q&A discussion board on the main navigation, you can click this link to add a question.
For this, you simply need to enter the question title, provide the detailed question message and click the Add Question button. Note that you can check the box of notifying you of the following.
Or, you can add a new question directly from the WordPress dashboard by clicking the CM Answers > Questions button.
As for your users, they can only add the questions from the Q&A discussion board. Here, you’d better require people to log in before they can view and post a question from the plugin settings page. Even, you can allow the social login via Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus and some others.
In addition, users can click each question to enter the question thread page. From this page, people can vote, comment and answer this question. Even, they can follow this thread to get the later answers.
Answer the Questions
To answer the questions, users need to target the question, enter the messages, upload the files if needed and click the Post Your Answer button. As the webmasters, you can add the answers directly by clicking the CM Answers > Answers button.
Showcase the User Dashboard
For this, you need to leverage the following shortcode.
With these three lines of coding stuff, you can add the profile pages that are named as My Questions, My Answers and My Followed Questions. This way, people can know how they work on your site for what kind of topics.
Check the example of My Questions page.
Resolve the Thread
To resolve a thread, you can do this on the question page by clicking the button of Mark as Resolved. In addition, you can do this from the back-end by clicking the CM Answers > Questions button. Here, you can hover your mouse over the Mark as Resolved button and hit it.