April 6, 2024

How to Get Started with Smart Forum Builder!

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The trend of people bringing their communities home from social platforms is gaining momentum!

Whether driven by a desire for more control over community's structure, access rules, and moderation, or greater control over data, or simply the declining reach of social platforms, the appeal of self-hosted community is undeniable.

 1-Click Setup Wizard

The complexity and steep learning curve associated with many community platforms can be a significant barrier for people looking to establish an online community.

Building an engaging community should be an exciting and rewarding experience, not a daunting task filled with technical hurdles.

Smart Forum Builder simplifies community-building process! You can create vibrant online communities without the need for technical expertise.

SFB comes with a 1-Click Setup Wizard, which streamlines the entire setup process by automatically creating essential forums and topics.

Let's dive into how SFB makes community building a breeze.

Installation

You can install SFB like any other paid WordPress plugins.

  • Log in to your SFB account on our site using your email and password.
  • After logging in, visit this page to download SFB.
  • Log in to your WordPress admin dashboard.
  • Click on the "Upload Plugin" button at the top of the page.
  • Choose the Smart Forum Builder plugin file (.zip) you downloaded from Wicked Cool Plugins and click "Install Now."
  • After installation, click on the "Activate" button to activate Smart Forum Builder on your WordPress site.

With Smart Forum Builder installed and activated, you can start building your online community by creating forums, topics, and engaging with your audience.

Getting Started

Upon activation, Smart Forum Builder will prompt you to set up your community. 

Step 1: Getting Started

Click on the "Getting Started" button in the SFB menu to initiate the community setup process.

It'll bring you to a page like this:

Step 2: Setup Community Details

To set up your community, you'll need to provide some key details. 

Community Slug:
The community slug is a unique identifier for your online community. It appears in the URL of your community's website and helps users and search engines identify and access your community. You can simply call it "community" or give it any name. You can always change it in the backend.

Who Do You Want to Bring Together:
This step involves defining the target audience or community members you want to bring together. For e.g., Online Business Owners, Nature Enthusiasts, Book Club Members, Fitness Fanatics, etc.

Community Name and Description:
The community name is the official name of your online community, while the description provides a brief overview of what your community is about. 

When choosing a community name, aim for something descriptive, memorable, and relevant to your community's purpose. Your community description should provide potential members with a clear understanding of what they can expect from your community, its goals, and the benefits of joining. Think of it as your community's elevator pitch – concise yet compelling. 

Here's an example:

Name:  Marketing Mavericks Community
Description: Join the Marketing Mavericks Community, the go-to destination for marketing professionals, growth hackers, and experimentation enthusiasts looking to elevate their careers. Our community provides a supportive environment for sharing ideas, discussing strategies, and mastering the art of marketing innovation.

Private community settings automatically restrict access to community content and discussions to only logged-in members. Non-logged-in users will be prompted to register or log in before they can view any content. You can always change this setting in SFB settings page.

AI Feature

If you're unsure about community name and description, and need some ideas, you can use SFB's AI feature, which generates community name and description ideas. Simply specify your target audience, and the AI will provide several suggestions tailored to your community's focus.

Step 3: Setup Community Brand Colors

Set up your community brand colors within Smart Forum Builder, creating a visually appealing community that reflects your brand identity.

Step 4: One-Click Community Setup

Smart Forum Builder offers a convenient one-click setup option to kickstart your community with pre-configured forums and topics. 

Click on the "1-Click Community Setup" button to initiate the process.

It'll install all key forums and topics.  You can edit and update/delete these forums and discussion topics as needed.

Pre-built Forums / Posts

Let's delve into the pre-configured forums and topics included in the one-click setup to facilitate seamless interaction and engagement within your community.

Forum 1: Start Here

Welcome 👋: Extend a warm welcome to new members and provide an overview of your community.

Introductions 💬: Encourage members to introduce themselves and share their interests.

Guidelines 📜: Establish community guidelines to ensure a positive and respectful environment.

Announcements 📢: Keep members informed about important updates, events, and announcements.

Share Your Wins 🎉: Celebrate achievements and milestones within the community.

Member Spotlight 🌟: Showcase outstanding members and their contributions.

Forum 2: Questions/Events

Ask Questions ❓: Foster knowledge-sharing and problem-solving by encouraging members to ask questions.

Upcoming Events 📅: Promote upcoming events, webinars, and meetups to enhance community participation.

Testimonials 🌟: Showcase testimonials from satisfied members to build credibility and trust.

Customizing Forums and Topics (Optional):

While the pre-configured forums and topics provide a solid foundation, you can customize them further to align with your community's specific needs and interests.

Step 1: Accessing Forum Settings
Navigate to the Smart Forum Builder dashboard.
Click on "All Forums" to access forum settings.

Step 2: Customizing Forums and Topics
Add, delete, or rearrange forums and topics based on your preferences.
Adjust permissions, moderation settings, and notifications to maintain a well-managed community.

With Smart Forum Builder and its intuitive Getting Started Wizard, creating a thriving online community on your WordPress site has never been easier.

By following this step-by-step guide, you'll be well-equipped to install the plugin, utilize the wizard to set up your community, and leverage pre-configured forums and topics to get started quickly. 

Ready to start?

Are you ready to kickstart your journey into the world of community building?

Let's embark on this exciting journey of community building together and create something truly special that will enrich your website and empower your audience like never before!