I used to be a member of a popular forum, and made a few online friends there. We would chat back and forth, but wanted to have a forum that had a broader range of topics.
After some discussion, I decided to try my hand at creating a forum. I looked around and different types of software ad hosting services, and finally settled on one from Sparklit.
Called “Active Board”, the forum software is very adaptable to a variety of needs. The setup was quick and easy, and there are plenty of ways to customize it so it will work well for you, There’s options to quickly cut and paste in html code in the header and footer if you want to add Google AdSense or some other monetizing system.
There is plenty of space to add as many forum topics and sections as you like, and you can easily pin posts as you see fit. there’s also an optional rating system for threads.
Handling user accounts is quite simple. You can set it up to accept anonymous posting, or require a membership to post or even read the forum or selected sections of it. You can also set different levels of access for different users. The hosting service tracks users and visitors, and will even show you where they are from.
Forum moderation and banning by IP addresses is not difficult, and that option, as well as many others, is available through the administration panel.
You can choose to add a button that allows people to make a donation to support the forum, and these funds will go directly towards paying the monthly fees, which are quite low and based upon the number of visitors.This makes it an excellent option for not for profit groups.
I really like the “chatbox” option, as it shows, in real time, new discussion threads, and can also be used to post messages to users, etc. For individual messages, there’s profile whiteboards and private message options, and also chatting. You can even add polls to the forum
Through provided link buttons, it easy to tie the forum to social media, and users and guests can share posts that interest them. you can even choose to put snippets of the forum on blog pages, and these update in real time.
This who are adept at writing html code ( which is soooo not me) will be able to add even more levels of customization, but it’s not necessary. Anyone can easily set up a forum.There’s a forum policies template that you can use as is, or adjust to suit your needs.
One of the things about Sparklit that I really like is their level of customer support. They are friendly, and answer all of your questions based upon your level of knowledge. They go out of their way to be helpful, and you never feel like they are talking down to you or wasting their time with a foolish question. They’re also Canadian, which I like, as I try to support “made in Canada” whenever I can.
In short, I would say that, whether you are an “internet wiz” or ” computer dummy”, this is the forum software for you.
I'm a freelance writer with several years of experience in writing blog posts, advertising copy, product reviews and other web content. I have an undergraduate degree in Political Science, and a diploma in plant science technology. While that may be a strange combination, it's given me a wide knowledge base that I can call on when I write.
When I'm not writing for work, I enjoy writing pieces about mental health advocacy, sustainable living, gardening, autism, birds, animals and the environment.
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