Threads will be where your primary forum content is posted. Each thread will be created within a particular forum, though they can be moved by moderators if needed.
At its simplest, a thread is created by a user with a title and the text that will make up the first post. All replies will consist of additional text (without a ticket). However, there are various ways to add additional structure and functionality to threads.
Thread prefixes allow you to apply pre-defined options to individual threads which is displayed before the thread title. This text can be styled in various ways to allow users to easily identify groups of threads based on their prefix.
Thread prefixes can be setup in the control panel under Forums > Thread prefixes.
When viewing a forum, users can filter based on individual prefixes. This makes them very powerful and able to fulfill many roles. For example, on the XenForo community, we use prefixes for:
- Allowing users to select the version their question relates to
- For tracking the status of bug reports and suggestions
- Allowing users to select the type of resource they're looking for (add-on, style, etc)
The prefix is essentially part of the thread title. It will be displayed with the title in virtually all contexts and will be indexed by search engines.
A thread may only have a single prefix at any time.
When configuring a thread prefix, you can control who can use it and where it can be used.
- If you select specific groups in the Usable by user groups option, only a user who is a member of any of the selected groups will be able to create a thread with this prefix.
- A prefix will only be usable within the forums chosen in the Applicable forums option.
Custom thread fields allow you to define additional structured fields for users to fill in when creating a thread. Similar to custom user fields, these fields can various types of form inputs, including textboxes, radio buttons and checkboxes.
Custom thread field can be setup in the control panel under Forums > Custom thread fields.
Custom thread fields relate to the thread itself and therefore are only applicable to the initial thread content. Replies will not be prompted to enter these fields.
Each custom thread field value will be displayed in one of several locations:
- Before message: in the body of the first post of the thread, directly above the message content.
- After message: in the body of the first post of the thread, directly below the message content.
- Thread status block: above the first post on the page, in a separate small block. Note that this will be displayed on all pages of the thread.
Like with prefixes, you can use the Applicable forums and Editable by user groups options to control where the field is displayed and who can enter a value for the field.
Thread prompts allow you to control the specific placeholder used when creating a thread in a particular forum. This can be used to encourage users to post a thread or to lightly direct them towards posting a specific sort of thread. For example, if you're looking for feedback, you could use prompts like "How can we improve?" or "Let us know what you think of our product".
Thread prompts can be setup in the control panel under Forums > Thread prompts.
If the user is viewing the list of threads in the forum, the prompt will be displayed in the "quick thread" input at the top of the thread list; if the user is on the full thread creation form, this will be displayed within the thread title input when it is empty.
If multiple prompts have been assigned to a forum, the displayed one will be randomly chosen. If no prompts are available for a forum, the default thread prompt value will be used.
RSS feed importer
The RSS feed importer allows you to automatically create threads by importing the content of RSS feeds. This can help generate new content for discussion on your site.
The RSS feed importer can be setup via Forums > RSS feed importer.
Before importing content from any RSS feeds, please ensure that you have permission to publish the content. You may wish to only use feeds which include a small snippet of the content they relate to.
When creating a feed, you must choose the forum the thread will be posted into and the user that the thread will be created using. If you select the guest option, the name associated with the thread will be the author value provided by the feed.
The "message template" option controls hows the feed content will be formatted within the thread. Any placeholder tokens used in this option will be replaced with values from the feed before posting.
At times, you may need to take the same action against a large number of threads. For example, you may want to move a large number of threads to a different forum or delete all the threads started by a user. To do this quicky, you can use the Forums > Batch update threads system.
When entering this system, you must first identify the criteria for the threads you want to take action against. If you want to filter these threads manually, on the next screen, click "view or filter matches". Once you've selected the threads you want, click "batch update".
Once you have only the threads you want selected, you can choose what action you want to take. This includes moving the threads, setting a prefix, and deleting the threads. When you have the action(s) that you want selected, click the appropriate button and the changes will be applied immediately. Depending on how many threads you're updating and the action taken, this may take some time to execute.
"Delete threads" refers to hard deleting the matched threads and removing them from the database. This cannot be undone!