Everything you need to know to build the best forum app

Everything you need to know to build the best forum app

Whether you're building a forum from scratch or transitioning from a different platform, you're going to need some help. We’re here to guide you through building the best forum app for you. A forum app is a platform that allows you to create your own customisable and unique forum for your community. There are a number of benefits of using a forum app, including higher engagement levels, improved security, access to data and analytics, and opportunities for monetisation.

Choose your forum topic

What is your forum about? With so many forums available on the internet, if you want your forum to really stand out and make an impact, providing a fresh approach on the subject is crucial. So, for example, say you’re a beauty and make-up influencer, you may want to specialise in one aspect of a beauty regime, such as eyelashes, or manicures. That means you can become the expert in your field and your forum will be the best place to go online for information on that subject. The beauty of the internet is the number of people that are on it. Even if you think the topic of your forum is too specific, there are probably other people in the world who share the same passion and would love to discuss it. Often the more specific, or “out there” a subject is, the more passionate the fan base becomes as they are starved of communities that cater to it.

Select a forum name

Choose wisely as once you have your forum app set up and running, rebranding is going to be a hassle. The best forum apps have names that are catchy, memorable, and provide some information about the subject. For instance, Mumsnet and DIYdoctor are good examples of titles that stick in the mind and tell you what the content is going to be all about. When creating a forum app, you may want to research the best search engine optimisation terms, keywords and phrases around the subject. This can help improve the visibility of your forum on search engines like google and hopefully draw more users to the forum. Make sure to avoid commonly used phrases that will leave your forum buried down the search rankings.  So, if your forum is on modern art, don’t simply use “modern art” as your keyword. Try to be more specific and nail down which types of modern art, such as futurism, surrealism, etc.

Choose a platform for building your forum app

This might be the most important decision. Unless you’re an experienced coder or want to splash significant funds to hire one, you’re going to need to use an app building platform to get your forum app. There are many forum platform options out there. To make your choice, you should look for ones that empower brands, creators, individuals to build independent community platforms and forums. You should have full control over your forum, so don’t settle for less.  Creating forum apps using a good platform puts you in control, helps you grow engagement, and provides monetisation functions if you require them.

Decide on features and functionality

What do you need to include to make the best forum app for you? All forums are going to need users to be able to create posts and comment. But what else suits your forum?

  • Private messaging

  • Video / Live Streaming

  • Achievement systems to distinguish active users

  • Profile Customisation

By creating a list of the features and functions you need, you’ll speed up the decision-making process when choosing a forum app. It will also ensure that you’ll get a forum that will fit your needs over the long-term, rather than running into problems when you realise you can’t live-stream effectively for instance.

Design your forum app

Add some creativity when building your forum app. Maybe base the visuals on a theme related to the forum subject. But make sure you keep your forum app simple and intuitive to use.  You can also bring in your own personal branding to the appearance of the forum. Most forum platforms will allow you to choose colour schemes and include icons, logos, etc. so make sure you take full advantage of this.

Preview your forum app

Before submitting your forum app preview the final product to ensure everything works how you want. Previewing the app might cause a redesign or the addition of new features. You can preview the forum by running a “beta” release for a few selected individuals and get their feedback on it before going to full launch. Any problems can be ironed out and you’ll be more confident that you’re ready to go!

Submit your forum app

Finally submit your forum app to the app-building platform. This can be a tricky process as each app provider has a different set of guidelines for submission.  Also, if your app has any glitches, or doesn’t meet the platform’s requirements, you will probably need to raise a support ticket. With some forum apps, this can take days to resolve, with minimal support available. If you choose Disciple their support team will manage the whole submission process from start to finish, ensuring it is fully functional and good to go before hitting the app store.

Final Words

This is a guide for creating forum apps, you still have plenty of decisions to make about running your forum. Good luck, making the best forum app out there.  Remember, having your own unique forum can help you stand out from the crowd, create an  engaged audience, and help you monetise your content or services. 

Disciple is waiting to hear about your forum idea. Our team can provide everything you need for creating a forum app. Book your free demo here.