If you’ve thought about creating a question and answer website similar to Yahoo Answers or Stackoverflow, you can do this with WordPress. In fact, WordPress may be the best content management system (CMS) for the job. With the right tools, you will be able to create an entire site dedicated to just questions and answers.
You will need a specific WordPress plugin to make it possible to create your Q&A site. This plugin is called the DW Question Answers plugin.
Using the DW Question Answers Plugin
Once you’ve installed and activated the plugin, you will be able to set it up the way you prefer. Here are a few steps to follow to set up the plugin properly.
Step #1 – Changing the Page Titles
Go to Pages >> All Pages and change the titles of the “DWQA Ask Question” and “DWQA Questions” Pages.
Just click to edit both of these pages and change the titles to whatever you prefer.
Step #2 – Setting Up User Registration on Your WordPress Website
In order to let others ask and answer questions, you will need to allow users to register on your website. This is done by going to Settings >> General and scrolling down to the “Membership” section. Just click the box for “anyone can register” and set the default role to “Subscriber.”
After registration is enabled, you can actually set up the rest of the DWQA plugin.
Step #3 – Adjusting the General Settings of the Plugin
Start by going to the DW Q&A >> Settings area that was created when you activated the plugin. This section is found in your WordPress dashboard in the left column.
Here, you can choose the page for the question form and one for a list of questions. You will also be able to set the timeframe for how long a question remains highlighted as a new question. Just enter the number of hours in the box next to “New Question Time Frame.”
From this menu, you can also set up a CAPTCHA code, to help prevent spam.
Step #4 – Setting your Notifications
The Notifications tab, in settings, will allow you to make a few changes, as well.
In this section, you can customize the email that will be sent to a user after they ask a question, add a new comment or answer a question. You can add a logo and set the email to send to you, as well.
Step #5 – Setting the Permissions
The permissions tab will allow you to change what you allow each type of user to do. You can set the permissions to allow some users to edit and delete questions and answers, while others can only read and post.
Once you’ve completed these steps, you are all set up with a new question and answer WordPress website.
How to Manage your Q&A WordPress Website
Managing your question and answer website is very easy. Simply go to the DW Q&A >> All Questions section found in the WordPress Dashboard.
This section will allow you to delete and edit any of the questions submitted to your site. You can also use this section to add categories for questions and manage the tags added by users submitting questions.
The plugin will work with most WordPress themes and will display the questions on a page looking like this:
Users can search for questions according to status, views, answers and categories. They can even vote on answers and questions, along with adding their own comments. Visitors can even follow a question by clicking the star icon. As the administrator, you can mark a question as resolved, which will allow users to still read the answers, but they won’t be able to submit a new answer.
If you want to set up a question and answer website with WordPress, this free plugin will allow you to do exactly that. Just download the plugin and follow the steps listed above.