XF 2.2 Forum and thread types

Forums contain threads and threads contain posts. It's been the essential framework of forums on the Internet since the public migrated from usenet to the web.

The structure is well known and well understood - though the origins of some of the terminology are lost in the mists of time. Who ever came up with the notion of your site being a forum, but these separate containers for related threads also being forums? 🤷🏼‍♂️

But back on topic, and we all know that visiting a forum (the second type) will usually show a list of threads ordered with the most recently updated near the top, and that clicking on any of those threads will show a page with the oldest post first and newer posts underneath and on subsequent pages.

Bending discussion forums to varying purposes

Over the years, forum administrators have been inventive and used the simple messages-in-named-containers structure of forums to build all sorts of content - let's look at the XenForo community as an example.

First, we have announcements and these "Have you seen" threads. These are quite focused on the initial post (or first few posts in some HYS threads), with these posts containing a lot of information... a bit like an article with subsequent comments.

Then we have the suggestions forums, where we ask people to up-vote the ideas they're interested in.

There are also support forums where people are looking for answers to questions or solutions to problems.

And of course there are also forums for general chat and discussions, which most closely fit the original notion of a discussion thread and where you can't really say the threads fit the same model as the other types.

Up until now, these forums and the threads within have all been displayed the same way.

But not any more

With XenForo 2.2, we are introducing the concept of Forum and thread types. This is a massive change with enormous ramifications for forums. Today, we're only really going to talk about the admin and user experience of the new systems, but in a few days we're going to follow up with a developer-focused HYS where we will talk about what's going on behind the scenes here, because we're really rather excited about the potential it unlocks.

There is a lot to talk about, but let's just dive into some examples...


We're prefer you to read all the details below, but if you just want the juicy bits:
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Well-known member
Question. I like presenting the thread types as tabs as that makes the options more obvious. But can they then be assigned prefixes?
Question thread gets a Question prefix. Suggestion thread gets a Suggestion prefix etc.?
With prefixes, people can easily see and filter specific thread types.

Or have you got a different method of filtering thread types?


Well-known member
I really love that these new forum types are literally threads and not some other system or widget-driven content. So serious kudos to the team! Now let's talk about the official add-ons for a moment. Resources allows the discussion to be in the forum via a thread... brilliant! Why? All of this has to do with incorporation and discovery. But Media Gallery is the outlier. Isolated. I'm hoping the team is thinking of ways to improve Gallery discovery. Whether via an incorporated feed with all content, or threads, or using the new Search Forums function. It's my #1 wish list item. And it's not even specific. I don't have the answer. But maybe XF does. Looking forward to the add-on HYS!!!! ;)
Show Gallery Discovery Some ❤️
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Well-known member
So if a member started a tread as discussion, but asked a question in it, do mods have ability to change a tread type, if it's in a forum, that allows all types? I can't find how.

Mr Lucky

Well-known member
So if a member started a tread as discussion, but asked a question in it, do mods have ability to change a tread type, if it's in a forum, that allows all types? I can't find how.
They can move it to a question forum (where it's questions only). It becomes a question.

Then move it back to the discussion forum that allows questions.

It remains a question from when it was converted during the first move.

Mr Lucky

Well-known member
Suggestion here:

(please upvote!)


This has been a long time coming! This is exactly the problem I was trying to solve when I released "Advanced Forums" for vBulletin, in 2010.

We developed that with the same idea in mind, that forums should have different layouts and "thread types" based on the intent of the user. We built some great stuff using that same mentality w/Advanced Forums. Not just with Q&A forums, but also marketplaces, site directories, wikis & more.

The reason I mention this is because I have a lot of thoughts on this topic and would love to chat w/the Xenforo team directly, if they'd be interested in bouncing ideas.


Well-known member
when I change the forum node to a question forum, the thread content disappears and the vote box doesn't appear in the reply...

Solved with Update style
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Active member
Thanks to the team for the great new features and improvements!

You simply go to the forum edit page in the Admin CP and click the "Change type" button in the top right corner.

This message will surely make me concerned before changing a node type including 5 million posts even I would do that in the test environment first.

Especially the "This may cause some data loss" part.

What I understand from this warning is the change action will remove the unrelated thread type fields from the existing threads. Such as votes, and solved markers.

So, if I switch a node from the Discussion type to Question, because the node only has questions, then basically nothing will be affected in the existing posts, but discussions will be considered as questions after the switch and posts will include upvote/downvote counters as well as the solved indicator.

Am I right?