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Setting up and using forum pages

Setting Up and Using Forum Pages video: 06:10

You can add a forum page to your Wild Apricot site so that members can post messages and reply to other messages. Adding a forum page provides your members a place to congregate, collaborate, and discuss ideas.

Sample forum

You can embed a Wild Apricot forum on another website using widgets.

Setting up forum pages

You can create as many forum pages as you wish. You can limit access to a forum page by placing it under a restricted access page. If you make the page public, you can still use the forum settings to control functionality for visitors and members.

Adding a forum page

To add a forum page to your site:

  1. Click Web pages.
  2. Click Page management.
  3. Click Add new page.
  4. Enter a name for the new page (e.g. Forum).
  5. For the page Type, choose Functional page.
  6. Click the Page template list box and choose Discussion Forum.


    Adding a forum page

  7. If you are ready for the forum page to go public, click Anybody under Access.
  8. Click Close.
  9. If you want to restrict access to the forum page to members only, create a Restricted Access Section functional page (unless one already exists) and drag the new forum page under it.
  10. Click Save all changes.

The forum page will now appear on your site, subject to any access restrictions you have set.

Adjusting forum settings

Now that you have added a forum page to your site, you can adjust the forum settings to control the appearance of the page and the ability of visitors to read, respond to, and post forum topics.

To adjust the forum settings:

  1. Under the Web pages tab, click Site pages.
  2. Go to your forum page.
  3. Click Edit settings.


    Editing forum settings

  4. From here you, can adjust various forum settings, as described below.


    Forum settings

Description

Provide a brief introduction that will be placed at the top of the forum page. You can use formatting options and insert links, pictures, and documents.

Permissions

Control what visitors to the forum can do. You can control functionality separately for visitors and for each membership level.

For visitors and each membership level, you can choose from the following permission settings:

Icon Name Description

No access Cannot read forum topics.

Read Can read topics, but cannot reply or post new topics.

Read, Comment Can read topics and reply to them, but cannot post new topics.

Read, Comment, Create Topics Can read topics, reply to them, and post new topics.
Public visitors (non-members) can never create new topic. Administrators in admin view can always view, reply to, and create topics (and modify and delete any topic or reply). In public view, administrators are subject to the same restrictions as others at the same membership level.

Member pictures

Select a picture field from your contact or membership database if you want to display a picture above the member's name in forum messages. You might, for example, allow members to chose avatars to represent their online identity.

Displaying member pictures

If member pictures are enabled, the member's picture will be displayed in their forum posts unless the picture field is restricted under your privacy settings.

Category

If you have multiple forum pages, you can assign each one to a category. The categories are used to group forums on a forum summary page.

To create a new category, click Assign to a new category, then type the category name in the field below.

Create a new forum category

Enabling anti-spam settings

To prevent automated software – known as spambots – from bombarding your forum with spam posts, you can enable Wild Apricot's anti-spam Captcha feature. With Captcha enabled, visitors to your forum would have to enter a set of characters – proving them to be a person rather than a program – before being able to submit a forum topic or reply.

Entering Captcha code for a forum post

To enable Captcha for forum posts, go to Settings, and click Anti-spam settings (Captcha) under Security. On the screen that appears, click the checkbox beside Forum topic/reply then click Save changes.

Enabling Captcha for forum posts

Some spambots can use OCR technology to bypass Captchas, so you might consider restricting forum replies to logged in members. If you continue to receive a lot of spam, contact us and we'll try to identify and (at least temporarily) block the spammer's IP address.

Adding a forum summary page

For a summary of the activity in your forum pages, you can create a forum summary page.

Forum summary page

The forums are grouped by the categories you assigned in the forum settings.

The forum summary page is a functional page you can add from Page management. You can configure it to show all forums or only selected forums. To do so, display the page in admin view then click Edit settings.

Forum summary page settings

You can also enter a text message which will appear at the top of your forum summary page.

You can embed a Wild Apricot forum summary on another website using widgets.

Adding a forum updates gadget

You can display a summary of the most recent forum updates by adding a forum updates gadget to any content page.

Forum updates gadget

Using a forum page

When you visit a forum page, the options available to you may depend on whether you are a member, and if so, on your membership level.  

Adding topics

If you are authorized to create new forum topic, a Create topic button will appear above and below the topic list. After clicking this button, you can enter the subject and the body of the new topic. You can use the edit toolbar to format the text and add tables or links. Once you are done composing the topic, click Create. The topic will now appear on the main forum page.

Normally, the topics you post will identify you using your first and last name. If member pictures are enabled, your picture will be displayed unless the picture field is restricted under your privacy settings. If you chose to hide your entire profile from others in your privacy settings, the topic will identify you as Anonymous. If you restricted access to both your first name and last name in your privacy settings, you will be identified as Anonymous member.

Anonymous forum posting

Replying to a topic

To reply to a topic, display the topic then click the Reply button.  After clicking this button, you can enter the body of your reply. You can use the edit toolbar to format the text and add tables or links. Once you are done composing your reply, click Post.

To comment on a particular reply within a topic, click the Quote link above the reply. This will include in your message the text of the reply that you are commenting on. Once you are done composing your comment, click Post.

Commenting on a forum post

Modifying and deleting topics and replies

After you've posted a topic or reply, you can modify or delete it.

To modify a reply, display it then click the Edit link.

Modifying a forum post

To modify a topic (change the title, for example), click Edit above the first message in the topic thread. You'll be able to change the topic title as well as your message.

To delete a reply, display it then click the Delete link. To delete an entire topic, including all replies, click Delete above the first message in the topic thread.

In public view, you can only modify or delete the topics or replies that you posted. In admin view, an administrator can modify or delete any topics or replies.

Creating forum stickies

On each forum page, topics are ordered by the date of the most recent message. If there is an important topic or announcement that you want everyone to see, you can make it "stick" to the top of the forum – appear ahead of all other topics.

You can make a topic sticky when you are creating or modifying it, but only from admin view. To do so, click the Stick topic to top of forum checkbox. You can also set a time limit after which the topic will no longer be sticky.

Making a forum topic sticky

Within the list of forum topics, sticky topics are marked by a pushpin icon.

Sticky topic in forum list

Subscribing to a forum

Members can subscribe to your forum, or to individual topics within the forum, so that they receive email notifications of updates. After receiving the notification, a member can visit the forum to view the new topics or replies.

Only members can subscribe themselves to a forum or forum topic – the subscription cannot be set up by an administrator. However, once the member has subscribed, either the member or an administrator can set the frequency of the email notifications.

Subscribing to the entire forum

To subscribe to the entire forum, a member visits the forum page and clicks the Subscribe to forum link above the topic list.

Subscribing to a forum

The member will subsequently receive email notifications of updates to any of the topics in the forum, with links to the new or updated topics.

Forum update notification

To unsubscribe to a forum, the member clicks the Subscribed (Unsubscribe) link that appears in place of the Subscribe to forum link, or clicks the Unsubscribe link in the email.

Subscribing to a forum topic

To subscribe to just one topic in a forum, the member views the topic then clicks the Subscribe to topic link above the topic messages.

Subscribing to a forum topic

The member will subsequently receive email notifications of replies or updates to this forum topic alone, with the full text of the reply or update.

Topic update notification

To unsubscribe to a forum topic, the member clicks the Subscribed (Unsubscribe) link that appears in place of the Subscribe to topic link, or clicks the Unsubscribe link in the email.

Frequency of email notifications

By default, email notifications of forum updates are sent on a daily basis. Either the member or an administrator can change the frequency of the email notifications from daily to weekly or immediately.

Daily forum notifications contains a summary of the previous day's updates. Weekly forum notifications are sent on Sunday night/Monday morning, and contain a summary of the previous week's updates. For more information on the timing of forum notifications, see Automatic emails schedule.

The forum date, time, and format shown to the public is also based on your organization's timezone and date/time format.

Changing forum subscription settings

Either the member or an administrator can change the member's forum subscription settings.

By members

To change their forum subscription settings, members:

  1. Go to their profile.
  2. Click the Email subscriptions link.


    Email subscriptions link

  3. Click the Edit profile button.
  4. In the Forum subscriptions section, members can unsubscribe their existing subscriptions and change the frequency of forum update notifications.


    Changing forum subscription settings

    To unsubscribe to a forum or forum topic, members uncheck the checkbox beside the forum or topic name.

    To change the frequency of the update notifications, members click the dropdown and choose one of the following options:

    || Option || Description ||
    Daily A summary of forum updates for each day is sent the following day.
    Weekly A summary of forum updates for each week is sent on Sunday night/Monday morning.
    Immediately Notifications are sent immediately after an update is made (though the actual delivery could be delayed a few minutes or longer depending on the email server load).


  5. Once finished making changes, the member clicks the Save button.

By administrators

To change forum subscriptions for a member, an administrator:

  1. Finds the member in the contact database and displays the member's details.
  2. Clicks the Email settings and log link.
  3. Clicks the Edit button beside Email preferences.


    Editing forum subscriptions

  4. The administrator can now unsubscribe the member's existing subscription and change the frequency of the forum update notifications.
  5. Once finished making changes, the administrator clicks Save.

See also


Wild Apricot Inc. 144 Front Street West, Suite 725, Toronto, Ontario M5J 2L7, Canada
Sales & Support: (Toll-free) +1 (877) 493-6090
All other inquiries: +1 (416) 410-4059
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Wild Apricot™ by Wild Apricot Inc.