Well, well, well, looks like we’ve got a real Sherlock Holmes here, stumbling upon all those question and answer sites. Bravo! But let’s be real, who wants to be just a user when you can be the king of your own Q&A castle?
Lucky for you, WordPress has got the goods to make it happen. With just a few clicks and some plugin magic, you’ll be running your own Q&A forum like a boss.
CM Answers is a WordPress plugin that makes adding a Q&A forum a piece of cake. It is highly intuitive and easy to manage, plus creates a forum that is similar in style to Stack Overflow.
And if that’s not enough, the plugin even integrates with ChatGPT, giving you an extra hand in answering those frequently asked questions.
In this hands-on review of CM Answers, we’ll look at how to set up and configure the plugin from scratch. Read on to discover how you can enhance your website’s user experience with this robust Q&A plugin.
CM Answers: Overview and Key Features
CM Answers is a WordPress plugin that lets website owners create a Q&A section for their site. It offers a customizable and user-friendly interface with features like moderation and notification options, seamless integration with other plugins, and customizable design.
- Customizable Q&A section: Create categories, subcategories, and tags for questions and answers.
- User-friendly interface: Easy to submit and interact with questions and answers.
- Moderation and notification options: Manage questions and answers effectively, approve or reject content, and customize email templates.
- Seamless integration: Works well with other popular WordPress plugins like WooCommerce and BuddyPress.
- Customizable design: Customize templates to match brand identity and improve user experience.
- ChatGPT support: Give immediate answers to members of your community.
- Premium add-ons: Add-on features include file upload, payment systems, and polls/surveys.
Hands-On With CM Answers
In this section, I’ll demonstrate how to install and start using CM Answers for your business.
First, download the plugin from its WordPress.org page or official website. Then, go to the Plugins area in your WordPress admin and upload the .zip file. Now install and activate the plugin.
Once done, a new menu for CM Answers will appear in your admin dashboard.
CM Answers has many different use cases. You can use the plugin to:
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- Launch a question answer website
- Create an industry-specific forum/message board
- Create a forum with paid subscriptions
- Add expert questions and answers
- Automatically answer people’s questions
- Let users suggest, improve and approve ideas
We will showcase some of these use cases to demonstrate the versatility of CM Answers (Note: many of these require functionality that’s only available in the Pro version).
Once you’ve installed CM Answers, activate it on your WordPress site. This will automatically create a page at (your.domain)/answers/ where your users can add questions and answers.
How Can Users Post a Question (Frontend)
To submit a question from the frontend, follow these steps:
- Go to (your.domain)/answers.
- Alternatively, find the link to the answers page by going to CM Answers → Settings → General Settings and clicking on Link to questions frontend list.
- Fill out the Ask a Question form.
Submit your question by clicking the Add button.
How Can Users Post an Answer (Frontend)
To submit an answer for any question, take these steps:
1. Open the question and type content in the Post your Answer form2. Click on the Post your Answer button
Managing Questions and Answers (Backend)
In the plugin settings, you can edit questions and answers, filter unwanted content, and easily keep track of user actions in the forum.
- To see a list of all the questions, go to CM Answers → Questions.
- To see the list of answers, select CM Answers → Answers & Comments.
Adding a Question (Backend)
To add a question from the backend, follow these steps:
- Go to CM Answers → Questions.
- Click Add Question.
- Populate the fields and click Publish.
Editing Questions/Answers (Backend)
To edit both questions and answers, follow these steps:
- Go to CM Answers → Answers & Comments.
- Hover over any answer and click the Edit link.
Once you’ve made all changes, click Update.
CM Answers allows users to rate responses by voting for the questions and answers submitted. You can organize questions based on either the date published or the number of votes.
The plugin offers many features and customization options, including the ability to attach files to comments, answers, and questions and to restrict who can answer, comment, or view the questions.
Adding a forum
You can use CM Answers to create an industry-specific forum. This requires you to use categories to divide the forum in different parts.
Go to CM Answers Pro → Categories. Then fill out the relevant fields including the category name, description, and custom fields for any questions.
For instance, if you’re creating a tourism forum, you can create a category for a country such as Italy.
Now your category will be created and it will have a similar address as the answers page, i.e. (your.domain)/answers/categories/Italy/.
Want to moderate all comments and answers? Visit the Access and Moderation tab and switch off all Auto-approve. This will enable you to approve every content before it goes live
Using Notifications for Questions and Answers
Email notifications can be useful when users want to follow questions and answers. To enable this option, go to the Notifications tab and select notify all users for new questions, new answers, and new comments.
Now, users will see a “Notify me” toggle besides the questions and answers. If they check it, they will receive email updates.
Posting Automatic Answers with ChatGPT
As mentioned earlier, CM Answers integrates with ChatGPT to allow site owners to post automatically generated answers in certain categories. To enable this functionality, follow the steps below:
1) Create an API key following the instructions on OpenAI’s website.
2) Go to the Users section. There, you will see a user profile named “AnswersChatGPTUser.” This is automatically created and is what the plugin uses to post AI-powered answers.
3) Now configure the integration by going to WordPress admin → CM Answers Pro → Settings → General tab → ChatGPT area.
4) Now configure the below options as stated:
Enable Chat_GPT – Activate this option to make use of ChatGPT feature.
- Chat GPT API Key – Enter the API key obtained from OpenAI site to connect to ChatGPT.
- Category answered by Chat GPT – Choose categories where ChatGPT can provide automatic answers. You can select a few categories such as “Movies” and “Music”.
- Chat GPT user display name – Pick a name for ChatGPT User that will be shown for its answers. For example, let’s change it to “DAN 9000”.
- Chat GPT Prompt Template – Define the request that the plugin will be sending to ChatGPT for answers. It’s essential to note that this template must have one or both of the following placeholders: question_title and/or question_body. These placeholders match the fields of the question title and body.
- Chat GPT Reply Length – Set the maximum length of the reply requested from the ChatGPT. The value is measured in tokens. Keep in mind that longer replies use more tokens and can exhaust your token limit faster. Check out Pricing Plans to learn more about this.
Once you have finished configuring the settings, hit the Update button at the bottom of the page to save the changes.
Now ChatGPT should be able to post automatic answers to questions on your site.
CM Answers Pricing
The basic version of CM Answers is free to download and use on your website. But, if you’re looking for some extra functionality, the Pro version has got you covered.
CM Answers Pro comes with three different price plans:
- Essential: $39 for 1 website
- Advanced + 1 Add-on: $59 for 3 websites
- Ultimate + 6 Add-ons: $119 for 10 websites
All plans come with 1 year of support and updates and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Integrating a Q&A forum to your WordPress site can have numerous benefits. By building a community around your business, you can stay in touch with your audience and help people resolve issues. One of the significant benefits is its potential to improve your website’s SEO by boosting activity.
Using a solid plugin like CM Answers, you can easily integrate question and answer functionality into your website. Instead of making you patch various third-party tools together, this plugin provides everything you need in one place.
Whether you’re looking to support your products or services, foster communication in your workplace, or create an educational community, CM Answers is the perfect solution. Give it a try and start building your community today!