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Build Participation on Your Site with Forums and Discussion Boards

Forums and discussion boards help foster communities of like-minded individuals or those who share specific interests. A well moderated forum can build a loyal following for your site. The more people visit and participate in your forums, the more likely they are to view your content. One of the most common forum designs is SMF or simple machine forums. SMF is a free open source professional level software package, and you can generally find free hosting for SMF forums. In short: with free SMF hosting, and the fact that the actual SMF software is free, it makes adding a forum a rather affordable option for any business or community.

It’s usually not too hard to sell someone on the virtues of something free, but a confession of sorts is needed: Forums will require some sort of time and effort to moderate, and you might need to hire someone to manage those responsibilities. Often, community members will be happy to help out with moderating duties, but the need for a dedicated employee is a potential expense to keep in mind. However, that potential cost is generally a wise investment, as a well-designed and well moderated forum is usually a significant benefit to the site hosting it.

Community can keep people coming back if they enjoy their time on your forum. Fans will become more invested, which means that you will see increased sales of some of your merchandise, as well as the value of your advertisements. So in addition to the other business advantages of a forum and free SMF hosting, are there other advantages?

One benefit would be the connection with and feedback of consumers. If you want to learn more about your target market with regard to what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong, it can help to talk to the people who purchase what you provide. This communication can help you improve your product and potentially spot mistakes. For example, if you’re a sports website devoted to statistical analysis, an active forum community can help you learn the deficiencies in your models or assumptions. Though not every critic will be correct, sometimes having an insight into their perceptions can help you improve your product.

It’s rare when you get the opportunity to do so much for so little, and free SMF hosting opens you to a lot of potential benefits with very little expense. You should be able to easily find the program to build your forum, as well as a host of services for free hosting. You’re more likely to benefit from forums with certain types of products, and if your products fit into the category of intellectual property, it’s probably for the best to build a forum that allows people opportunities for discussion. With a bit of moderation, you can build something infinitely better than most comment sections. For more physical products, free SMF hosting lets you create a location to gather feedback from consumers and for them to discuss applications for your product and hopes for what it will be or do.

SMF Hosting provides you with a user-friendly, customizable forum platform. SMF Hosting packages at superb.net starts at $4.99/month. Get a
Free SMF Hosting for a 6 months after your first year here at Superb.net.

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