How to Add a Forum to Joomla in 2021

Do you want to add a forum to Joomla?

If you have been thinking of creating a discussion portal/forum in Joomla, where users can login, ask and answer questions, then you can easily add a forum to your Joomla website without hassle.

In this JovialGuide, we will show you how to add a forum to Joomla.

What Do You Need to Add a Forum to Joomla?

To add a forum to Joomla, you need an SSL certificate (HTTPS), domain name and a Joomla hosting account.

SSL certificate uses HTTPS for a secure connection. It basically lets you transfer data over a secure connection.

Domain name is the unique name your website users will use in finding your Joomla forum. For example; jovialguide.com is the unique name of this website!

Hosting lets you host or house your Joomla forum. We recommend A2 Hosting (see review) because it is fast, secure, reliable and affordable.

To learn more, you may want to see our detailed JovialGuide on:

How to Add a Forum to Joomla Using Kunena

For this JovialGuide, we will show you how to add a forum to Joomla using Kunena forum extension.

Kunena is a popular and one of the best Joomla forum extensions. It is available for free download. To get started, start by downloading Kunena forum extension.

After download, to install Kunena to your Joomla website, log into your Joomla website. Once you are logged in, click on Extensions &raquo Manage » Install.

Joomla - Extensions - Manage - Install

On the Upload Package File tab, select Kunena from where you saved it to and it will be uploaded and installed for you automatically.

After installing Kunena Joomla forum extension, you will see the Kunena forum dashboard, like the one below.

Kunena Forum Dashboard

If after installing Kunena Joomla forum extension, and you are not on the dashboard. To access the dashboard, goto Components » Kunena Forum » Dashboard.

Customize Kunena Forum

Let’s start customizing Kunena forum, by changing the Forum Title and Email Address.

To change the Forum Title and Email Address in Kunena forum, (still on the Kunena Dashboard) click on Config.

Kunena Forum Dashboard - Config

Alternatively, you can click on Configuration on the left side of your screen.

When it opens, change the Forum Title to the title of your preference. Then for the Forum Email Address field, enter the Email address that you want to use, then Save & Close.

Kunena Forum - Configuration

Note that if you don’t provide a Forum Email Address (when the field is left empty), it will use your Joomla admin Email address.

Create Categories

Kunena forum allows you organize your forum into sections. They are also called Top-level Categories, and they basically contain categories.

On the left side of your screen, click on “Categories”.

Kunena - Categories

When you are on the Categories page of Kunena forum, you will see: Main Forum, Welcome Mat, and Suggestion Box. The Main Forum is a section while Welcome Mat and Suggestion Box are categories of the Main Forum.

You can see a section as a container for categories!

So, we will start by creating a section for our forum, after that we will as well create a category for it.

To create a section in Kunena Joomla forum extension, click on “New Category”.

Kunena - New Category Button

Remember that we are creating a section (a container for categories), so for Parent, select the “Top Level” option.

After that, enter your section name. Here we are choosing “JovialGuide Discussion Topics” as our section name. Next, fill other details, and remember to set the Published option to Published, for the section to be visible on the frontend.

Kunena - New Category Settings

Once you finish, click on the Save and New button so that we can create a category for this section.

Once you have clicked on the Save and New button, a new form will be created for you with blank fields.

So, let’s create a category for the section we just created.

For the Parent option, select the section we just created. In our case it is “JovialGuide Discussion Topics”. After that, fill out the rest of the fields. Remember to set it to Published. When you finish click on the Save & Close button and you will be taken to the category list page.

You can create as many sections and categories as you want.

Define Permissions for Categories/Sections

Usually, you will have a category or section that you want to restrict access, to only a particular group of users. This is actually possible with Kunena Joomla forum extension.

To set permission for a category or section in Kunena forum, click on the section or category that you would like to set permissions for.

Kunena - Categories

After that, click on the “Category Permissions” tab.

Kunena - Category Permissions Tab

On the Category Permissions tab, select the Access Control Type and the Access level.

If you select “Access Level”, which is the default option for Access Control Type, you will be able to select the Joomla access levels.

However, if you select “User Group” as the Access Control Type, you will be able to select the Joomla user group as the Primary User Group. And other settings will be available for you to configure. These settings are not available in the “Access Level” option.

Let’s look at the additional settings that are available in the User Group Access Control Type.

  • Primary Includes Child Groups – If you want primary child groups to have access, set to Yes, else to No and access to this section or group will be restricted to the selected group only.
  • Secondary User Group – Here, you can select the secondary user group that is allowed to view this section or category.
  • Secondary Includes Child Groups – If you want secondary child groups to have access, set to Yes, else to No and access to this section or group will be restricted to the selected group only.

If you select the “Access Level” option as the Access Control Type, the above options will not be displayed to you (except you select the “User Group” option).

After everything’s configured, click on the Save & Close button.

Install a Kunena Forum Template

To install a Kunena forum template, on the left side of the page, click on Templates.

Kunena - Templates

Once it opens, you will see the Kunena forum templates that are installed in your Joomla website. To install a Kunena forum template of your choice, click on New Template.

Kunena - New Template Button

On the template installation page of Kunena forum, choose the Kunena forum template you downloaded, and click on the Upload File & Install button.

Kunena - Upload & Install Template

After a successful upload of your Kunena template, you will be taken to the Templates’ page of Kunena.

For the template that you just uploaded to be used on your forum, you have to set it as the default template. To set a default template in Kunena, simply click on the Star icon beside the template name that you want to set as default.

Kunena - Set Template to Default

Alternatively, you can click on the radio button next to the template name, and then click on the “Default” button at the top of the page.

Kunena - Set Template to Default Alternative

That is it, you just installed a Kunena template.

Add a Menu Item

For your forum to appear on the frontend, you will have to add a menu item that points to it.

To add a Menu Item in Joomla, goto Menus » Main Menus (the one with the house icon).

Joomla - Menus - Main Menus

On getting to the page, you will notice that there is a Menu Item named Forum that points to Kunena. Since we do not need that, we will delete it.

To delete a Menu Item in Joomla, tick the box beside the Menu Item, after that click on the “Trash” button, and the Menu Item will be deleted.

Now click on the New button at the top of the Main Menu page.

Joomla - New Menu Item Button

On the new Menu Item page, enter the Menu Title. You can enter “Forum” or “Discussion”. After that, click on the “Select” button beside “Menu Item Type”.

Joomla - Menu Item Title & Type

When the “Select” button is clicked, a modal will appear.

Click on Kunena » Home Page.

Joomla Item Type - Kunena - Home Page

After that, Save & Close.

Congratulations, you just created a forum in Joomla using Kunena Joomla forum extension.

Visit your Joomla website, click on the Menu Item you created (forum). There is your forum!

Here is our result.

Joomla Forum Result

You can go ahead and create as many forum sections and categories as you want.

If you would like to see other forum extensions, see best Joomla forum extensions.

We hope this JovialGuide helps you learn how to add a forum to Joomla.

You may want to see how to build a Joomla website, how to create a blog in Joomla and how to make money with Joomla.

See other of our Joomla tutorials for more.

JovialGuide

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