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Should You Add A Forum To Your Website? The Pros And Cons Explained

by Will Kalif

Have you been considering adding a forum to your website? There are some distinct advantages and some real disadvantages. Here is an overview of some of the pros and cons of having a forum associated with your site.

People can get very devoted to forums. They will check in every day and watch their favorite topics. They will make lots of posts. It is a great way to build community. All of this posting by other people will add a lot of content to your site! The forum is also a great way to become an expert in your subject and a great way to point people toward the stuff on your website. It is also very possible that after a while you can pretty much leave the forum alone (once you have found a moderator or two that will take on the workload). This will free you up to concentrate on more content for your traditional site.

Installation - A forum can be difficult to install and get running properly if you have to do it yourself. But many webhosting companies will do this for you with the click of a button. I host with a company called netfirms and all I have to do is press a few buttons telling them where I want the forum installed and they go ahead and do it then send me my admin password. It’s rather nice. And it uses phpbb which is a standard forum package and totally free.

Kick starting your forum - This can be difficult. People may go over to your forum and take a look but if they see very few posts they are probably not going to post anything. People want to see a lot of stuff that they can browse through. They want to find a thread that interests them. And this takes work! You may find yourself asking your friends to help you get some conversations started.

Management - Once a forum gets going it takes time to register people, monitor the messages and moderate the topics. With a popular forum this can turn into a full time job. But you can turn this over to volunteers. People love to become moderators of forums and you should be able to find trusted individuals to help you monitor and care for it.

Spambots - This is the worst part of forum management. Every day you are going to be inundated with spam selling sex and prescription drugs. They try to post messages to your forum in an attempt to get their links shown. You will spend time identifying and deleting spambots and their posts.

A forum is an enormous stone ball that can be very difficult to get started but like the stone ball once it gets rolling it really can build up a lot of steam and take off fast! My recommendation is that you start a forum, ask your friends to help populate it with interesting stuff, and you keep working it until it is going good. Then hand it over to trusted moderators and move on to other things. It is a good investment in time. But because it is about a subject you love you are going to find yourself reading through a lot of great stuff that other people post.

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About the Author:

Learn how to better blend your creativity with a website! -Forging the Iron of Creativity on the Anvil of a Website.

For more practical advice on how to earn money with your small website visit the authors tutorial website at:

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