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.
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.
To add a forum page to your site:
The forum page will now appear on your site, subject to any access restrictions you have set.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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
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
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 display a summary of the most recent forum updates by adding a forum updates gadget to any content page.
Forum updates gadget
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.
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 pictures, document, 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
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 pictures, document, 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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Either the member or an administrator can change the member's forum subscription settings.
To change their forum subscription settings, members:
To change forum subscriptions for a member, an administrator: