Forums


How to have discussion forums in eComsta?

Forum is an online community where people ask questions and you answer them based on your expertise. It encourages discussion and improves communication between customers and your website. You can use them to share your product or service knowledge with your customers.

Visit the Components->Forums section. The first tab is the Summary which displays the total number of threads, posts, categories, and users on your website. It also displays the Top Visited ThreadsRecently Added Threads, and Latest Posts.

Before adding a forum, we must set up a category. Categories contain topics, they are the top-level forums, which are designed to group the same product's discussion in a separate section on the forums home page.

How to Add a Category?

  • Visit the Manage Categories tab and click the Add Category button to add a new Category.
  • Select a user. This is the user on whose behalf the category will be posted.
  • Enter a Name for your category.
  • Enter a Slug. A slug is the part of a URL which identifies your category online in an easy to read form. The slug field is optional.
  • Enter a Description. This is the detailed information about your category.
  • The Hits field displays the number of views on this category. Change this value only to reset the view counter.
  • Select Approved from the Status dropdown field to make this category active.
  • Check the Allow user to post a new topic in this category? checkbox to allow users to post topics in this category. You can keep this checkbox unchecked to disable thread posting in this category.
  • Click the Save button to save your category.

After adding a category, you can proceed with Thread. The category is a must for a thread.

Manage Threads

All threads added by your users are displayed here. You can add, modify and change their statuses as per your requirements. Click the Votes button to view votes on a specific thread.

How to Add a Thread?

A Forum Thread is the idea, question or concept a user would like the admin or other users to discuss. In other words, it is the question asked by the user.

You will need to add at least one topic so that site participants can post messages. The user can also add a topic after logging to his/her account.

  • Click the Add Thread tab to add a new thread.
  • Select a User; this is the user who asked the question. This user information will be displayed thought the site as the thread creator.
  • Select an appropriate category for your thread.
  • Enter a Subject; this is the tagline/summary of your question.
  • Enter detailed information about your question in the Message
  • You can add Tags in a comma-separated value. Think of them as keywords used for topics discussed in this thread.
  • Enter a lower priority value to display this thread at the top of the list in the selected category.
  • Leave the Hits field as it is, this is the number of views on this particular thread. You can reset Hits by entering a 0 value in this field.
  • Select Approved from the Status dropdown field to make this thread active and click the Save button.

Once a thread is approved, it will be visible to front-end users. They can now post their views or answers.

How to convert Thread to a Ticket?

You can also convert a thread topic to a Ticket for an expert solution.

  • Click the To Ticket button to convert a thread to a ticket.
  • Select a Product, Department, Priority, and Status using the corresponding dropdown fields.
  • Click the Save button to convert your thread to a ticket.

How to Add a Post?

A Post is a user/admin response to a Forum Thread.

  • Visit the Manage Posts tab and click the Add post button to add a new post.
  • Select a user; this is the user on whose behalf you are posting your answer.
  • Select an appropriate Thread for your post.
  • Enter a Subject. This is a summary of your answer.
  • Enter a Slug. The slug field is optional.
  • Enter detailed information in the Message field.
  • Select Approved from the Status dropdown field to make this post active.
  • Click the Save button to save your post.

How to Add a Status?

You can add new statuses to organize your threads or posts. 

  • Visit the Manage Status and click the Add Status to add a new status.
  • Give a Name to your status.
  • Check The Name Text is a Language String? checkbox if the name text is a multi-language string.
  • Select a color value for your status. The status text will be displayed in this color throughout the site.
  • Enter a Priority value.
  • Check the Status checkbox and click the Save button.

Manage Reports

Users can report a thread or post if they found it non-relevant or spam. All reported threads or posts will be displayed here. You can approve or disapprove them here. As an Admin, you can also report a thread.

How to Report a Thread?

  • Visit the Manage Report section and click the Add Report to report a topic/post.
  • Type a name in the user field to select a user. This is the user on whose behalf you are reporting the thread/post.
  • Select Threads/Posts from the Module dropdown field. Select Threads to report a thread or Posts to report a post.
  • Enter an ID. This is the ID of the thread/post you are reporting. Visit the Manage Threads/Manage Posts section to view the IDs of the thread/post.
  • Enter a description. The detailed information why are you reporting this thread/post.
  • Select Approved from the Status dropdown field to immediately block the access of thread/post.
  • Click the Save button.

Manage Email Templates

All the forum email notifications that are sent to your forum users are managed here. You can modify or add them as per your requirements.

How to Add an Email template?

  • Visit the Manage Email Templates tab and click the Add Template button to add a new template.
  • Select a Module from the dropdown list.
  • Select a User. The Site Owner emails will be sent to the email configured at Settings->Settings->Main Settings tab.
  • The Action is the event on which the email will be triggered.
  • Give a Name to your Email Template. This is just for your reference.
  • Enter a Subject. This is the single line of text email recipients will see when they receive this email in their inbox.
  • Enter detailed text in the Message field.
  • Click the Save button to save your template.

How to Add Negative Keywords?

A negative keyword is a content match type that allows you to restrict users not to post content containing some specific keywords. For example, when you add "gambling" as a negative keyword, you tell forums module not to allow your users to submit a post or thread containing the gambling keyword.

  • Visit the Manage Negative Keywords tab and click the Add Negative Keyword to add a new negative keyword.
  • Enter your keyword in the Name field. E.g. gambling, medicines, etc.
  • Click the Save button to save your keyword.

Settings

Here you can change the settings of your forums as per your requirements. The details of the options are as follows:

  • Only Subscribers can post and report? The user who bought at least one product can only create threads and posts. Check this checkbox to limit forums to paid users only.
  • You can also change the default statuses to be assigned to Threads and Posts on their creation and modification. Change the dropdown fields as per your requirements.