The Internet has been used for various reasons since its arrival, some use it to get information about the events happening in their surrounding, while others use it personal use as staying connected with friends and family.
Internet forums are one such wonderful ways to stay updated about the latest events, discuss ideas, get help from others or help others to solve their issues.
Internet forum, in other words, is an online discussion place where people can talk about various things, a place where you can ask questions about any topics and others can help you solve them, or vice-versa.
An Internet forum is different than online chat rooms, on an Internet forum you can write longer messages and the chats or discussions are archived momentarily so that other people can answer or use the forum discussions in the future.
An Internet forum might have different levels of users, where the users can have different rights and privileges. Sometimes the discussion or group moderators need to approve your suggestion or question before it is visible to other people.
Discussion forums has been using for a long time bu users but with advance technology, it is becoming easier to be part of these forums and solve your problems.
In this article, we will learn more about one such internet forum software, XenForo that is providing easy ways to build communities with each new post.
What is XenForo?
XenForo is popular internet forum software that is designed using PHP programming language. It works on Zend Framework and is designed by Mike Sullivan and Kier Darby who were previously lead developers at vBulletin. It was released in the year 2011.
XenForo is a forum hosting program that enables communities to be deploy on remote servers. Its working is similar to other forums like vBulletin, phpBB where others are open source and XenForo is a proprietary product.
The built-in reward system in XenForo makes it stand out from every other internet forum packages. XenForo enables users to gain points for helpful contributions and good suggestions.
The users also get different rewards for posting onto to XenForo, making it a fun process just like a game. It is also a good way to motivate users to put up new posts in order to keep the forums active.
XenForo has many features that make it different and easy to access than other platforms, here is a list of top features.
One of the most important features of XenForo is the award system where the user can earn “trophies” for most number of posts or most number of likes.
XenForo users get an alert when someone is replying to their post, this way they can stay connected and read each and every reply.
3) Activity Stream:
XenForo users can customize their streams to show recent activity streams.
Even though XenForo is a restrictive system, it allows users to use add-ons to customize their installation.
XenForo is integrate with SEO functionality, so users can look for their problems solutions to be shown as the top search results.
How can we XenForo?
XenForo can be integrate with Blogs, where the users can use them for forums. XenForo works well with SEO integration. And so it is the best way for companies to use this forum for customer service operations. Here is a step by step guide for how to install XenForo.
Step by step guide for installing XenForo:
1) To get started with your own forum you need two things, first a hosting account, you can choose the one that suits you the best. And another thing you will need is XenForo license that you will need to buy.
2) Once this is ready, log in to XenForo members area and put in the domain details where the forum is to be added.
3) Download the latest version on XenForo on your desktop, it will be around 20MB file.
4) Once downloaded, login into FTP for your hosting account and copy or upload the XenForo downloaded folder to the FTP root folder of the domain. Take precaution to upload into correct folders, you can use various file manager clients to upload the files.
5) After you upload the files you will need to do some changes by updating permissions for folders internal_data and data to 0777.
6) Go to open domain.com/install/ to go to XenForo installation Wizard. You can see a “Begin Installation” button there; click it to start the installation process.
7) Next step is to set up the database, for this, you will need log into cPanel. Here you can create your own database manually. Once you create the database, add the details to the Configuration Builder tab and test runs the database to move on to the next step.
8) After you complete and set up everything and all the verifications, the setup process will start.
9) After you complete the installation process, go to configure XenForo tab and set up the administrator details, here you can set your Administrator username, password, and email address. Clicking the “Create Administrator” button will create the XenForo administrator for you. You can set up other required details by visiting domain.com/admin.php. These steps will set up the XenForo forum for you. But you can log in into your XenForo forum to set up additional settings.
With the rewards facility, XenForo is one of the best options for forum keepers to start building a community. The rewards encourage users to add appropriate and helpful posts and suggestions instead of flooding the discussions with unrelated answers.
Many users find using XenForo easy and interesting as compared to other packages.
As per the users, it is fast and efficient. According to Mike Sullivan, one the XenForo developers who designed XenForo from scratch mentioned that it was hard to build it from a blank page, But they tried to make use of this opportunity to create something useful.
In an interview, he mention, “People can use to something working in a particular way. Because that’s what they have experience with, But we still need to make sure that’s the best approach.
Our focus is on having features that are good and, just as importantly, look good. Having a clean and intuitive interface is one of the primary goals of XenForo.”