With the WP-Answers pluginyou can turn WordPress into a powerful Question and Answer Website. This has many interesting use cases and is a potential traffic magnet.
There is no doubt that WordPress got famous because it is an excellent blogging platform with one of the strongest open source communities ever. However we have seen a clear indication lately that WordPress is gaining serious popularity for other usages. The strongest trend is certainly using WordPress as a CMS. This is an interesting topic I think because WordPress can be a perfect match for most basic websites. Look at these examples and see for yourself. Another intersting movement in the WorPress space it plugins that extend it into completely new areas. A quite new but interesting example of this is WP-Answers that I will introduce you to in this article.
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WP-Answers basically does what you would expect. Visitors to your website can register and ask questions, other members can answer these questions and then the original person selects the best answer and the question is marked as solved. It is related to a forum in to some extent, but as it is highly focused in solving the problems your visitors have it will put instant value on the table and this way increase traffic. If you have a blog already a Q&A feature may be a great way to build a stronger community and add more interesting content related to your niche – all on autopilot with WP-Answers. There are different views visitors can use to find questions and the pages have a design what quickly gives the user an overview.
WP-Answers Question and Answer Page
The demo on their site shows pretty well how WP-Answers works and if you take a look you will also see that there are many answers from different people even though it is just a demo app. People stopping by feel invited to take part and it is very important and an indication that it is well designed and worth considering. The question and answer page looks like this.
Using Categories and tags in WP-Answers
All questions is assigned to a category and it makes it possible for users to quickly browse relevant topics. Also as an administrator you will be able to control the types of questions you get in and what areas the belong to. A design blog like tripwire magazine could fx. have categories like: Web design, Photoshop, CSS, Blogging etc.
WP-Answers Points System
Members receive points for answering questions and lose points for asking questions, a leaderboard is included showing the top users. This encourages members to get be more active within the site.
The points system is full configurable via the admin panel.
WP-Answers Profile Pages
Each member gets their own profile page which shows their information, questions asked and questions answered.
They can edit this and upload an avatar.
Automatic Content from Yahoo Answers
You can configure the plugin to pull content directly from Yahoo Answers (US, UK or Canada sites). It then posts this as questions and any replies are also posted as if from members of your site.
Regular members can also contribute answers.
Actually you can use this part of the plugin on its own with Any Theme
Using a built in CRON system you can configure the plugin to post content regularly when you specify, from every hour to once a month.
This is great to feed the search engines with fresh content.
Customise Content to your Niche
Whatever the subject of your site is, WP-Answers can be tailored to fit its needs by the use of search terms. You can set up unlimited search terms which will pull content from Yahoo Answers based on that. You can then assign each search term to a different category on your site.
Full Advertising Management
You can control the appearance of all the ads on your site from the admin panel, insert adsense blocks and affiliate / private banners with ease.
6 Optimised themes Included
Buyers receive 6 Premium, optimised wordpress themes included with the plugin which are very easy to customise. They are full widgetized and include a theme options panel for you to configure them. We are always working on creating new themes which will be released regularly.
If you want to try out WP-Answers or see the demo go here.
WP-Answers Admin Panel
The new admin panel look really great and is easy to use. Facebook and twitter integration has been added and is managed from here.
As always with websites based on WordPress it is easy to customize the design. Using WP-Answers does not change this as you can see below. If you know of other Q&A websites running on WP-Answers I will happy to add them here. Just post a comment.
WP-Answers popular entries view