Adding a section to your WordPress site where your visitors and members can discuss on relevant topics is not only a smart idea to have more returning visitors, but means more useful content that is useful for SEO. In my point of view, one of the best ways is to add a questions to answers one. Why? Just think about the popularity of Yahoo answers.
There are many ways and plugins you can add a Q&A section. Here, I would like to give you some ideas.
WordPress Q&A Plugins
Question and Answer Forum
The first solution is a free plugin that can be integrated into your existing blog easily. It uses custom post types, and functions can be added by shortcodes like latest questions, question form etc. What is exceptionally good about this plugin is that questions and answers can be added without registration, and they must be approved by the administrator. So if, you want to allow anonymous posting this plugin is an acceptable solution.
Another thing that must be mentioned is that it is regularly updated and comes with detailed tutorials how to use and customize it.
- Ask a question form short code
- List questions short code
- Email admin when question is asked capability
- Custom email to author of the question when question is answered display of questions can be customised by theme back end question moderation
- Dashboard widget showing last 5 questions
- User profiles including a tables with the number of questions, answers and best answers they have provided.
- Best answers
This plugin is developed by WPmuDev and offers more features and better design. What it makes better than the one mentioned before is that it WordPress questions and answers comes with a voting system and reputation points, and we must not forget the functions of subscribing via emails. However, what I do not like is that it does not support anonymous posting which may result fewer questions and answers. (I hope this function will be added.)
Overall, this is the best solution for adding a question and answers part to your blog or even to set up a Yahoo answers clone site. There is a free and a premium version, too.
Alternative Ways to Add Question and Answers Section
Another solution can be to add a forum plugin and customize it to a Q&A forum. There are great forum plugins just search on WordPress.org. Personally, I suggest you to check BBpress as it supports anonymous posting and by using BBpress plugins moderation and spam preventing is also easy. Last, but not least it is extremely easy to customize and optimize.
When you customize your forum instead of adding “forum” name add “questions”, add modify the “reply” to “answers”. That is all! If you want to make your answers forum even more user friendly, you can add an editor if your forum plugin does not support. The disadvantage of this method is that, it is hard to add a voting system,for example, BBpress has a rating plugin.
Another way to add a questions to answers section is using a service called Qhub that allows hosting your answers forum and by using an HTML code you can easily add it to your site. I think, this might be the simplest solution. It comes with the most features though it not a free service.
WordPress Questions & Answers Themes
In that case, you would like to create a questions and answers website like Yahoo answers, there are good WordPress answers themes for this purpose. They are out of the box solutions, you just install theme like any other themes. They have all the features you need to run a Q&A portal and offers powerful features for the members, as well. Below you can find the best Q&A WordPress themes.