Blog Plus Forum

vs.

Standalone Forum:

Which should you do?

There are two types of online discussion forum communities.

There is a standalone forum where the Top-Level Domain (TLD) is the forum as the main website feature. Then there is a blog plus forum or a forum with a portal as its main page and the forum being the secondary feature. Which method should you consider for your online community?

It is a critical topic to be asking yourself, and in this article, we will explore these options.

 

The Blog Plus Forum Community

The blog plus forum community is where the main page is a blog as the first feature.

The blog is what new visitors come to first. The secondary feature is the forum is usually served on a subdirectory or subdomain. This means there are two types of communities to manage, the blog itself and the message forum.

There are good reasons for this type of system and wrong reasons.

 

The Standalone Forum Community

The standalone forum community consists of just the forum.

Instead of a blog plus forum type setup, the standalone forum contains the forum. The forum is located on the main homepage of the domain. The forum is the only community-type that you have to manage on the entire website.

In many cases, a standalone forum might be your best option.

 

The Blog Plus Forum Allows you to Pivot.

The blog plus forum system allows you to pivot from one feature to another in case you need to.

For example, this blog had a forum attached to it. The forum didn’t do well, so I closed it down. But I was able to keep the main page of this website as the blog, effectively pivoting to the blog being my main focus for the entire website.

This helps if you do not include the keyword “forum” in your website’s domain.

 

The Blog Plus Forum Setup Means More Work

If you choose to use this structure, you will have more work.

This structure means that you have to maintain two different core community features. You have to create content and maintain engagement and community features for the blog portion of the website. And you have to keep the forum portion of the website as well.

Running two communities can be overwhelming to some people.

 

The Standalone Forum will be the Easiest.

The standalone forum structure is more accessible than the blog plus forum structure.

With the standalone system, you have to worry about your forum. It would be equally important to keep the blog updated as your forum if you had a blog. Managing a forum instead of two communities will be less stressful.

If you choose your domain name right, you can pivot to a blog if you so desire to.

 

In conclusion, the blog plus forum system requires more work but allows you to pivot away from one another quickly.

The standalone forum system works great if you don’t want a lot to maintain. But the reasons above may make you want to change your mind, whether what route you choose. You have to ask yourself how much you’re willing to commit to the website.

What did you go with? Standalone or both communities?

SHAWN GOSSMAN

SHAWN GOSSMAN

Founder, Forum Tips Blog

Howdy! My name is Shawn and I founded ForumTips.Blog! I created this blog to share my 20+ years of message forum knowledge with other community administrators and moderators. Learn about useful topics here such as managing, marketing, profiting, and sustaining your message forum community!