I continue to flirt with the idea of a proper forum section on here. I’ve brought it up in the past and had mixed reactions. However, the other night the company that produced the theme on which this website is built upon issued an update that incorporates a slick new forum addition. I have had a poke around and seen what is possible with it, and I believe that this is the best opportunity yet to create one on here. But, before I go wasting my time, I need to know if people would actually use it, and if so, what types of content they would like to read and participate in.

Why bother with forums?

There is no doubting that Twitter has been, and continues to be a massive media platform within our industry. On a business to business level it is very effective. Yet, the one thing that continues to hold large and expansive conversation and debates back is Twitter’s 140 character limit.

This limit not only restricts points of view to a minimum, increasing the chance that certain points of view could be misread. But it also holds back the number of people realistically able to take part in a thread of debate and conversation.

Forum’s however don’t have those sorts of limits, therefore the conversation can be as wide and as inclusive as it wants to be. It also allows for a variety of different topics to be live at the same time and not be lost down a timeline.

Also, from my own perspective, the site not only has a growing industry readership, but a consumer one too. More home owners than ever before are finding this site and either leaving comments or sending me emails posing their questions or asking for advice. So, it seems a natural addition to add a forum to be used as a platform for the industry to talk to itself, but to also talk to the public should a home owner leave a new topic thread for people to respond to.

Done right, or not at all

The main reason I am looking at this again is because of the new website updates that have gone on in the background. The theme developers (I use a theme called Avada made by the guys at Theme Fusion) released a brand new version of the Avada theme which DGB is now running on. One of the new in-built features of this update is a new forum section.

This new forum feature genuinely looks the bees knees. Far better than any other forum “plugin” which is have tried or looked at in the past. It would allow me to build a quality forum area that people would hopefully be happy to spend some of their time in. Crucially, these new updates also allow me to get people to register and confirm via email to be part of the forum. This means I can keep an eye on who is using the forum, but also lets me (in theory) have much better control of spam. The last one I had got attacked by so much spam it was easier for me to get rid of it all rather that clean it all up.

So the idea is to do this right, or not at all. I have ideas in mind, and if I can get them on the page and make it work, it’s going to be brilliant. If I can’t for whatever reason, or time is against me, I’m not going to release a half arsed version. But that’s my problem, not yours. What I want to know from you guys is what sort of topics and content you would like to see on there. If it goes live, I will help to get the conversational ball rolling with a few launch subjects, and then registered forums users would be free to add their own threads and topics and expand the conversation further. It’s at this point that I would like your feedback!

I have created a little poll below with a few subject ideas that I could open the forum with. Please click on the options you would see yourself commenting on. You can pick as many as you like, there are not voting limits on this one. Just click the stuff you like, avoid the stuff you don’t. This will help me determine the topics the forum should start with, or to decide not to bother at all! For the record I would like to give this another go, but I will base my final judgement on the feedback.


Please take a second to vote before you leave!

If the feedback is good, I shall start to put together everything I need to make it work, including the registration, login and “forgot password” services, with a mind to launch it in early to mid-January.

To get daily updates from DGB sent to your inbox, enter your email address in the space below to subscribe: