I am still having XenFever since moving over last week! Yesterday I set aside some time to experiment with using XF threads as comments on my WordPress blog and made some good progress. I will soon be releasing this once fully complete - it's a bit crude right now.
Here's where the API connection in WordPress (settings page in my product) happens after you create the credentials in XF (dead API key btw):
...and what I have so far on the website:
So far I am optimistic about being able to finish, though the most uncertain part is parsing BBcode to HTML which is proving to be harder than I thought. If anybody has tips about that I'd be grateful, and I realize it is mostly a losing battle to try and do it perfectly.
Things left on my todo list...
Finish BBcode parsing
Offer option to toggle WP commments / XF comments
Optimize load request so data is only pulled when user toggles to XF comments (also use WP transients to cut down requests)
I am having too much fun with all of this. Reminds me of the vB3.x days only way better.
New progress update: Who knew a little button could do so much?
Once you add the Node ID to the main settings, you can publish any post as a thread on your forum from the WP post editor.
Now all replies to this topic will show under the post on the WordPress blog (see screenshots above). I think this will make the editorial process a breeze and allow you to publish the thread as soon as your post is ready. Made lots of optimization considerations I can explain later. So close to the first beta, can't wait to to start formally using.
Using XenForo for a little over a month has had a bigger impact on the activity and user cohesion of my community than years of my previous forum software. Granted, there have been many big developments and new content from my business itself, but I truly believe that the XF forum gave us the best chance of actually being able to retain that new influx of activity.
Since the most important strategy for having a forum is to give people a reason to be apart of it, I have been very adamant about encouraging people to post support tickets, bug reports, and suggestions to our forums - NOT email (I still respond to email but put in my signature that it is fastest to go to the forums, which is 100% true). If you sell software you've got to have some kind of a support system, and I went all in on the community forums approach.
Once you get people there and show that you are active in responding to their issues it will only a matter of time until what was known as a support forum becomes a community forum as all your members start to interact with each other. I can see more people are messaging each other, and even starting to showcase the websites they have created with Marketers Delight and helping each other out in general.
The best effect the forums have had so far is the impact on the direction I am taking my product. Any good software developer should always have their own agenda for development, but it is critical to listen to user feedback too and that is where I am finding this forum to truly shine.
All of the little bugs that have been found and reported by members has had a great impact on the stability of the product, and by using a similar bug report/features workflow as here on the XF forums has instilled a lot of confidence in my members that the feedback they post does get listened to and implemented - so of course they will keep coming back!
The XF to WP comments system I've also showcased in this thread has been coming in handy, and I am gearing up to continue its development and get a finished product out! I have been messaging a few members here on the XF forums and elsewhere for feedback about this idea as I'd like to release it as a plugin. You can see a live example of forum threads being used as comments in my latest blog post here.
Anyways, couldn't be happier with my XF forum and really grateful for the community here where I have learned a lot about XF development and am always finding killer new addons. Thanks for reading this community update so far, we will keep moving along.
I upgraded my site from XF2.1 to XF2.2 RC1 a few days ago with no issues (my forum is pretty simple). I jumped right in by enabling the new suggestions and questions types everywhere that made sense!
The thing I am most looking out for is to see how much the "Writing before registering" feature increases activity to my Presales forum, which I am now linking to from the front page of my site. Now that people write their message first, I can remove this old dusty conversion-killing notice:
I have been able to make many other enhancements to my main WordPress website thanks to XF2.2 (now RC2) and I go into more detail about those in another thread I posted earlier today:
Over the last few months since switching my forums to XenForo I have been building the addon I've always wanted since I started selling my products online - a way to let my customers verify themselves to my support forums. In years of selling products online I have been manually promoting new...