Creating a forum on your website is an excellent way to foster a community where members can form relationships with your brand and each other. vBulletin is an effective solution for starting up a forum. It can help you to create a thriving community where brand ambassadors are born.
vBulletin is open-source forum software that’s easy to set up, comes with built-in SEO features, and isn’t too expensive. Additionally, its developers provide a variety of add-ons that allow you to expand the forum’s functionality.
This article will explore what you need to start your own vBulletin forum.
Benefits Of Creating A vBulletin Forum
A vBulletin forum is an excellent place for readers, customers, and other audience members to create relationships with your brand and with each other. It can also serve as a resource for your customers and a place where they can ask questions about your product or service and get answers quickly.
Some advantages of having a vBulletin forum include:
- Added value for your audience
- Can function as a focus group for your product or service
- A birthplace for brand ambassadors
- A way to drive retention.
What To Consider When Building Your vBulletin Forum
The first thing you have to think about when building your vBulletin forum is whether you want to host it through vBulletin’s cloud hosting or whether you want to choose your own host provider. Choosing your own host provider for vBulletin forum hosting is the less expensive option. Optimized vBulletin hosting plans generally start at around $2.95 per month whereas, vBulletin’s cloud hosting starts at $14.99 per month.
Domain and Website
You will need a domain name and website to accommodate your forum. If you choose to go with vBulletin Cloud, your plan comes with a website and a domain. Depending on the web host you choose, you may be able to get a free domain. Additionally, many hosts allow you to build a website from the cPanel.
The Structure of your Forum
Ahead of building forum pages, you’ll need to think about how you want to organize your forum topics. You need to ensure that it’s simple for customers to find what they need, and your forum’s navigation features should support helping visitors find what they’re looking for.
To begin with, you’ll want to identify topics that you can create discussions about. For example, you could focus on how to troubleshoot specific products or services, or you could focus on general topics like workarounds or customer ideas. It’s also a good idea to include a search bar so visitors can get around categories if they need a specific page. In this way, you’ll help users navigate your site easily.
Design the Theme of your Forum
The theme of your forum needs to match the surrounding website. This means it needs to use the same logos, colors, and layout as your existing content, so customers aren’t confused when they navigate to a new page.
Users Rules for your Forum
You want to empower your site visitors to participate in forum discussions. Therefore, you will want users to abide by a set of rules that promote informative and healthy conversations. These rules will help ensure that discussions remain on topic and everyone feels comfortable adding to the conversation. Some examples of rules you could use are:
- Be respectful
- No spam or self-promotion
- No foul language
- No NSFW content
Once your vBulletin forum is set up, you’ll need to create an active community. Therefore, you’ll want to advertise the existence of your forum and encourage participation. You might first consider reaching out to loyal customers. Or you could run an advertising campaign on social media platforms that your target audience frequents.
To start a vBulletin forum, you first need to decide whether you’ll use vBulletin cloud hosting or whether you’ll choose your own hosting provider. You’ll also need a domain and website for your forum. Once these technical details are taken care of, it’s time to consider how to set up your forum. To set up your forum, you should think about how you want to structure it, how you want to design it, and what rules you want forum users to follow. Lastly, you’ll need to get the word out about your forum by advertising its existence.