Want to run a forum with the Worlds best CMS Solution aka WordPress? Then here’s an Excellent News for all of them who have been waiting for a decent solution. After Searching the internet for days with no perfect solution(Plugins are many..Wp-Forum/Forum server etc., but all had one or the other major drawbacks when compared) to run a Forum with WP CMS, recently I noticed a brief classified abt Gforums & was delighted at first sight. It is a normal wordpress theme like any other out there, but with a totally different purpose. Normal WordPress themes help you to run a website for a magazine, ecommerce store or just a simple blog, however Gforums was built to turn your wordpress site into a forum. Technically speaking, with the Gforums theme your Blog categories will become Forum categories, Blog Sub-Categories will become Forum Sub-Categories and so on..you get the idea!
So, I wanted to test this theme for a forum section on HostWisely, that I was secretly planning to start.. since few days back…
WordPress forums have been a recent trend on the web which has been undergoing revolutionary changes day by day. The main reason behind the hesitation of some bloggers or webmasters to remain away from having a wordpress forum is that it is much expensive and complicated. Paying 50+ dollars for a premium wordpress theme and another $30+ if it is a Premium forum plugin, is’nt going to be affordable for everyone. Also, if you don’t have a good programming knowledge then these Plugins are going to give you many troubles.
Though forum plugins are available out there, the configuration process is somewhat complicated and there are many other issues. A total newbie or those who were never been to any scripting shall be troubled with it, and as a result, managing such a WP Forum will be a tedious job. The gforums theme works almost similar to a normal wordpress theme from the backend.
Finally I got to setup the theme here http://hostwisely.com/forum for first round of testing after a brief chat with Gaby, the designer of gForums WP Theme.
However, I had some issues integrating my current header theme header into the default gForums theme… So, I asked for some help from Gaby on that and he was able to provide some professional & quick support, which I highly appreciated.
Finally based on first few hours of working on gForums, these are the Pros & Cons according to me ….
- Simple but cool appearance: Doesn’t come with many colors and designs but it looks really elegant. If you have the basic knowledge about CSS then customizing should be no issue.
- Easy to install and configure: Even a WP newbie can install the theme and start a forum all by himself in minutes, in fact it takes less time than a premium wp theme installation. No external Plugins required to achieve the forum functionality.
- The forum: Members’ registration and managing threads are some other cool stuff; its similar to managing WordPress users & Blog posts/comments.
- User friendly front end: As not seen in many other forums, the theme, appearance and usages of the forum are very easy to use and configurable.
- Great Plugins: You can use almost any wp plugin, eg: All in one Seo
- Though the theme has everything that a forum needs, some webmasters may not be happy with that simple appearance of the theme.
- Date/time of Post not available. However you can manually do it by calling certain WP Functions (UPDATE: Gaby Just Confirmed that this would be implemented in the Next Version).
- As it is one of the latest arrivals to the market, not enough reviews have been published online.
I Hope to see Many improvisations in the future versions of this great theme.
It is Priced approximately at $60, which I think is affordable for having such a nice functionality in wp theme.
gForums Official Website: http://thegforums.com
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