How to Set Up a User Forum in Drupal 8?
Introduction: Building a User Forum with Drupal 8 Core & Taxonomy.
Drupal 8 has a Forum module as part of the core CMS distribution that is quick and easy to install with a well-designed interface that works with most themes.
This tutorial walks new users through the basics of Taxonomy & Nodes in Drupal 8, allowing for a new User Forum app to be created from open source software solutions.
Let’s get started.
Step One: Navigate to the Forum Taxonomy Section.
As the Forum module is part of Drupal 8 core, just navigate to admin/modules section in administration and enable the script to begin the installation.
The Forum module includes a single Taxonomy term for “General discussion” that can be changed or deleted as required:
Installation: There are two main options in the Forum Taxonomy section:
- To create a new term with a description that will be used as a Forum Category, or
- To create a Container section that will be used to organize Forum Categories.
Depending on the needs of the website, Drupal administrators and site builders can easily use Taxonomy Terms with descriptions to build out a User Forum app for Drupal 8. Make sure to set the description of each term to add more information to the Menu display.
Step Two: Start Building with the Default Drupal 8 Forum Page.
After entering in new Category terms in the Drupal 8 Forum Taxonomy section, the Forum display located at /forum will automatically populate with the information.
- Users with permissions can then create Forum Posts as Drupal Nodes within each of the Category sections.
- Users reply to a Forum Post using the Drupal Comment system, which can also be sorted with Views.
Through this method, the simple Drupal 8 Forum display enabled by default & shown above can be transformed into a more content-focused bulletin board app for knowledge sharing:
Note: The Default Theme settings for the Forum module are based around Views which can be edited or customized through the CSS in a subtheme.
Step Three: Create Forum Topics for Each of the Taxonomy Categories.
Forum posts are Drupal Nodes with the same possibility to add custom fields or sort through Views as article or blog content types. Follow the /node/add/forum link to add a new Forum Post into a Taxonomy category. Make sure that comments are enabled by default on the content type settings page. SEO tags can also be established for Forum Posts using the Metatag module. Forum nodes use the Drupal core text/image editor for content creation.
Note: Drupal Administrators can also add Tags to Forum Posts as a filtering option by enabling the configuration settings in the Content Types section.
Step Four: Review the Forum User Permission Settings.
Before going live with a Drupal 8 Forum, make sure to review the User Permission settings for each User Role. Most Drupal Admins give Registered Users the ability to create and comment on Forum Posts, while others reserve this privilege as a paid upgrade feature. Review your site permissions settings to make sure Unauthorized Users cannot post spam.
Recommended Forum Permission Settings:
- Forum topic: Create new content
- Forum topic: Delete own content
- Forum topic: Edit own content
- Forum topic: View revisions
- View published content
Hints: Another option is to create a new User Role for Drupal specific to Forum users. Make sure not to give these Roles options for creating other Content Types without fine-grained permission controls & review the HTML language permissions for each Role as well.
Recommended Comment Permission Settings:
- Edit own comments
- Post comments
- Skip comment approval
- View comments
Hints: Pay close attention to the Forum & Comment permission settings for User Roles, as these will determine who can View, Post to, & Participate in your Drupal 8 User Forum App.
Step Five: Use Blocks, Views, & Menus as Navigation Elements.
The last step to integrating the User Forum into your Drupal 8 website is to create Blocks, Menus, & Custom Views which make the dynamic content from the community available on other pages. This can also be set to display on User Profiles in social networks.
Installation: It is recommended that you install the Taxonomy Menu module to make use of Forum Taxonomy in Drupal Blocks as Menu links.
Hint:Recent Forum Post Blocks on Article or Blog Pages can lead readers from one section of your site to another organically through Content Recommendation features.
Summary: Drupal 8’s Core Forum Module is Quick to Install & Use.
This Tutorial shows how easy it is to install and build a User Forum app in a Drupal 8 using the core module functionality. It largely depends on the site creator and particular needs of a website as to how much focus to place on Forum Posts as a content type. Drupal’s CMS features allow Forum Posts to be sorted with Views & used as Dynamic Content.
Many personal blog sites, social networks, & business information portals using the Drupal CMS will find the Forum module helpful for their knowledge sharing requirements.
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