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Communities: How To Get Started
Communities: How To Get Started

It's easy to setup an online forum using our Communities Module. We'll show you how here.

Mike Lee avatar
Written by Mike Lee
Updated over a week ago

Setting up a community forum for your visitors or members is easy using our Communities Module. Much like our other modules, most of the setup is done from your Dashboard. Simply click the "Communities" button in your module list:

First thing to setup would be the areas of the Community. You can create as many categories as you'd like, and sub-categories within those. To create a sub-category, simply click the gear next to an existing category and select "Add Sub-Category":

Once you have your category or sub-category created, give it a name, fill out a description, and set the options for the category. You can choose whether you want to allow discussions and file uploads in the category, and below that, you can choose which Community roles will have access to the category.

Then, the next step will be to set the permissions for each of the roles. To do this, click "Members & Roles" at the top of your Communities module page, and you'll be taken to our Profile Module, where all of your users and profiles are managed across the WebTools modules. Click "Roles" at the top of your Profiles module, click "Communities" on the left sidebar to expand your Communities roles, and choose the role you'd like to edit.

Here, you can set a number of different permissions. Can the role create comments in a thread? What about if the thread is locked (signified by ".Locked")? How about creating discussions, or uploading secure files? Can they edit comments or discussions? Any, or just their own (signified by ".Own")? The default settings here should be fine for the majority of users.

Once you're happy with how you have the role setup, click "save" and move on to the next role. We've given you four roles to start with (Applicant, Member, and Moderator, and Super Admin), but you can add as many as you'd like by clicking "Add Role" in the top right corner.

The last thing to do, once you've finished setting up your Roles, is adjust your Communities settings. Return to the Communities module management area, and click "Settings" in the top right corner.

Here, you can adjust a few different things, starting with the age required to access the Community. When a user registers for an account, they'll be asked for their date of birth. If they don't match the minimum age you've set here, they will not be able to view or interact with the Community. You can also adjust the terms and conditions (we've pre-filled it with something basic for you), along with the notifications your users will receive for new threads and comments in your Community.

Now, all that's left is to add the Community module to a page on your website. Because of the way modules function in WebTools, you can only have one main module per page, so create a new page in your Site Contents area for the module. Then, simply click the gear icon in the top right of the Page Editor and drag the Communities module to your page.

The module *should* look great on your web site by default, but if you notice any glaring issues with your theme and the module, please connect with us using the chat/support button in the bottom-right corner of your WebTools Dashboard!

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