At present, the forum section has become an integral part of most websites, especially for some e-commerce and business sites that are coming with a large scale. With it, you can engage your readers and maintain their interests on your topics easily via various online discussions.
It seems great, right? However, the truth is that most websites already have a large audience size and immense daily traffic to set up a forum, but fail to get enough threads to stimulate the debate or discussion. In this case, many webmasters decide to turn their posts comments into the forum threads. One reason for doing so is to enrich the forum content and bring more popularity. In addition, a single comment left for a specific blog post may not be encouraging, but if you transform it into a forum thread, it may trigger a great discussion related to your post topic. Always remember that reader engagement caused by forum discussion can be beneficial for the growth of your loyal visitors.
In the following, we’d like to introduce the detailed guidance about how to turn WordPress comments into forum threads.
Set Up or Configure Your Forum
It is true that there are a lot of forum building tools available, but not all of them can seamlessly integrate with the WordPress powered websites. In this case, we highly recommend you to try bbPress for the creation of forum site, which is developed with a twist from the developers of WordPress.
If you have already set up a bbPress forum for your site, you can pass this step. Otherwise, you need to install the bbPress plugin via your admin panel. After that, you need to click the newly added area in your back-end that is named as Forum and hit the New Forum button.
Now, you can generate a new forum by giving it a name, entering the forum introduction and deciding the forum attributes of Type, Status and Visibility. Then, click the Publish button.
To help readers find your forum easily, you’d better add it to your main navigation menu. To do this, you simply need to click Appearance > Menus on your admin. In the right hand of the setting page, you can find the Forum option. Simply choose your forum name and add it your navigation bar by dragging it to your preferred location or clicking the Add to Menu button.
Now, the bbPress forum is already integrated into your WordPress site. Here, if you want to prevent the spam posting, you can add the registration system via the below steps.
- Go to the General Settings of WordPress to tick the box that allows anyone to register.
- Create two special pages with the names of Register and Lost Password using the shortcode of [bbp-register] and [bbp-lost-pass] respectively.
- Go to the Widget section to drag the bbPress Login Widget into the sidebar. Do not forget to enter the URLs for the Registration page and the Lost Password page.
Lastly, if needed, you can also configure some minor settings for your forum, such as the number of topics and replies on each page, the allowance of revisions and forum search, the default user role for new participants and many more. All can be set up by clicking the Forums button from the Settings tab.
In fact, we have found that there are a large number of webmasters who choose to set up their forum sections using phpBB, BuddyPress and vBulletin. If you are the one, we highly recommend you to use the CMS 2 CMS plugin to transform them into a bbPress one. After all, only bbPress allows an easy and straightforward way for turning a comment into a forum topic.
Turn WordPress Comments into Forum Threads
To turn your post comments into the forum threads, you need to leverage an add-on plugin that is named as bbPress Topics.
After installing it, you can configure it by entering the Discussion Settings page. Here, you can find the newly added section just like the below screenshot showcases.
Now, you firstly need to choose the forum that threads will be created from the drop-down menu. After that, tick the box of the third option that will copy your post comments into the forum, acting as the newly published topics.
In addition, you can decide whether to showcase the entire topic in a single page or only display the replies, whether to show a link to the topic and how many replies can be showcased in each page.
After clicking the Save Changes button, all your newly added comments can be showcased as the fresh threads in the forum section. Here, if you want to turn your old comments that left by your readers some days ago into the forum topics, you need to click the button that allows you to apply these special settings to all your existing blog posts.
Also, it is possible that you want some of your articles to pass this special setting. For these posts, you need to enter their post editing pages and tick the box of Discussion from the Screen Options. After that, you can find a special Discussion area from the bottom of the whole page. Here, simply uncheck the box of the third line to disable this converting function.