May 3, 2007
This article reprinted from the the TypePad Hacks Weblog. The original article can be found online:
© 2008, John T Unger
I've had a lot of requests since I started this blog to add a forum for readers to talk amongst themselves. I just did, and if you have a pro account, you can too! Not only that, but it's free and it's really easy.
First, go take a look the forum I created for TypePad Hacks. Nice, eh? If you have any suggestions for categories or topics, let me know in the Feature requests section.
Now let's get you a forum of your very own.
Start by signing up for a free account at FreeWebs. They provide other services as well, such as free web hosting, image hosting, widgets and so on. The hosted items on their sites are ad supported, but you can also use them on your own sites and servers and it appears that there are no ads when you do this. I don't see any on the forum I created, anyway.
Now let's build a page in Typepad to host the forum.
- Go to the Design tab for your weblog.
- Click on the link to open your Main Index Template.
- Copy the code and return to your design tab.
- Click on Create new index template.
- Give your template a name in the Template Name field (maybe "forum") and type forum.html into the Output File field.
- Paste the code from your Main Index Template into the Template Body field.
- Find and delete the code that brings the entries into your blog. If you haven't edited your Main Index Template it will be
If you have edited your Main Index Template it might be
$MTInclude module="entry-list-sticky"$>or it could be something else (for instance, I have blogs where I pasted the entry-list-sticky code directly into the Index Template rather than creating a separate module). In any case, it will be between the div tags for the main column of your blog, so it will look something like this:
<div id="alpha-inner" class="pkg">
- Click Save.
- Log in to your account at FreeWebs and click on Add-ons/Widgets in the menu on the left, under the Build & Edit heading. When the page loads, you'll see Forums at the bottom of the right hand column in the feature list.
- Click Forums. A nifty little piece of ajax loads and allows you to choose from several different skins for your forum. Pick the one you like.
- Click Save.
- Click Publish.
- Preview your page. You now have a live forum on your blog!
- You'll need to set up categories before anyone can post to it, but that's pretty self-explanatory.
- Don't forget to add a link to you sidebar or menu so that people can find your forum from the blog!