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Custom Forum Fields (Forum Extensions)

Purpose

With custom fields, you can add optional or mandatory fields that can be completed when creating the first post on a forum.

A common example is a helpdesk forum, where you may want to know the user’s version, operating system, etc.

Creating a Forum Extension

These custom fields are referred to as Forum Extensions (similar to Profile Extensions for users). They are created in a similar way, via WPS Pro->Forum Extensions->Add New.

The title is for the extension, and then a brief description for the user in the editor. For example, you might create one to work on a helpdesk for a software application, and enter the title as “Version” and in the editor enter “What version are you currently using?”.

Then, to the right, is a box entitled “Forum Extension Details”. In this box you can choose what type of field this forum extension is (text, text area, list or URL) and depending on what your extension type is, a set of questions.

Required (text, textarea or URL)?
Sets whether the forum extension is mandatory (required) or optional.

Repeat as editable under replies?
This is useful if the value of the field may change frequently. For example, you might have a forum extension called “Next action with…” and the values “User” or “Support Department”, which will change depending on who has last replied.

Values (for list type only)
Enter the values for the list, seperated by a comma. The above example would be entered as “User,Support Department”.

Order
The order in which the forum extension fields should appear on the screen for the user.

Adding an Extension to a Forum

Forum extensions, when created, are not attached to a particular forum. This is because they can be used on more than one forum if required, avoiding the need to create multiple forum extensions that are the same.

Instead, you simply edit a forum via WPS Pro->Setup->Manage All Forums (and then click on Edit below the forum).

Scroll down the page and there is a section allowing your to choose which extensions should appear on this forum from all those you have created.

Screenshot_12

Note that all the forum extensions appear, you simply choose those you want for this particular forum.

Those forum extensions will now show when you create a new post on the forum (here, with mandatory * beside them):

Screenshot_13

And then, as the “Repeat as editable under replies?” had been checked, when replying, that forum extension can be changed if need be:

Screenshot_14

Showing forum extensions as a column on forums

Another powerful feature of forum extensions is being able to display them as a column on your forum.

With our example of who is expected to act next (“Next action with…”), this would be a useful column to quickly spot which forum posts need to be reviewed by the support department.

Forum Reply Extensions

These are similar to forum extensions (above), but are for replies on forums. Perhaps you are asking for replies and a specific piece of information with each reply?

Availability

Provided in the Extensions Plugin.

Customising

You can use the global shortcode settings via WPS Pro->Shortcodes in the admin dashboard, or add them to the shortcode as options.

Access Forum Extensions and Forum Reply Extensions via WPS Pro->Setup.

Example

For example, to include the “next-action-with” and “version” columns, you would add the extensions shortcode option (see below) as follows:

[wps-forum slug="general-forum" extensions="next-action-with,version"]

Which would appear as follows (note that I’ve renamed next-actionwith to “Owner” at this point as it fits better!):

Screenshot_16

Options

An additional option is added to the [wps-forum] shortcode:

extensions
A comma seperated list of forum extension slugs, to include on the forum.

The forum extension slug can be seen via WPS Pro->Forum Extensions:

Screenshot_15

 

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