I recently announced about installing Flarum on Nginx with WordPress as my community forum software under the tag name as restoreBin Explore. However, there were some missing elements and tools that I need to fulfill by adding Flarum extensions.
In this article I’m going detail about the Flarum extensions I personally use and which are not available default. The Flarum developer community should consider that these as every person need, and make these readily available out of the box.
There is the hand-picked extension that I personally use on our explore forum. Let’s get started with top Flarum extensions.
The list will be updated regularly with new additions or replacements.
The SEO plugin helps to add the schemas into the topics and questions to make it discoverable in search engines. The SEO will add the rich structured data snippet into the elements to make the forum topics looks like questions and answers.
The extension will also add the unique meta title and description from the topic content to make SEO friendly. All you need is to install the extension and extension will take care of rest.
Installation of Flarum SEO extension:
composer require v17development/flarum-seo
Updating Flarum SEO extension:
composer update v17development/flarum-seo
Unfortunately, the Flarum does not support Google Analytics tracking out of the box. This extension comes handy to add in the Analytics tracking snippet without touching the code. It also supports the Piwik’s tracking along with GA.
The installation and setup for an extension are quite simple. Once the flarum analytics is installed, you can navigate to the Administration page and navigate to the Extensions tab.
Enable the Analytics checkbox and hit on 3 dots to view the Settings popup window. Within the popup window, enable Google Analytics and add your UA-XXXXXX-X tracking code. That’s all.
Install Flarum Analytics
composer require flagrow/flarum-ext-analytics
Update Flarum Analytics
composer update flagrow/flarum-ext-analytics
This is another useful extension that helps to select and highlight the best answers in a particular topic. This will further help in minimizing the effort to look up the actual answer to the post.
Once the response is marked as “Best Answer” the Flarum SEO extension will also display it as “Answers” in the search result page.
Install Best Answer Flarum extension
composer require wiwatsrt/flarum-ext-best-answer
Update Best Answer
composer update wiwatsrt/flarum-ext-best-answer
If you’re interested in adding the quick navigation bar at the top of the Flarum forum, then FoF (Friends of Flarum) Links extension can handle that very smoothly.
All you need is to install FoF Links into flarum software and head over the administration tab for setup.
The extension allows you to add internal as well as external links without any worry and also provide the ability to open the links in a new tab. Just in case.
Install FoF Link in Flarum
composer require fof/links
Update FoF Link
composer update fof/links
Another feature that is missing in the Flarum is the ability to upload the files. You can embed external image links but cannot upload directly to Flarum software.
The Flarum Upload extension enhances and adds the feature to upload the files into Flarum forum software directly. The extension also has the ability to host the file via CDN and disable hotlinks to avoid uncontrolled bandwidth.
Install Flarum Upload Extension
composer require flagrow/upload
Update Flarum Upload Extension
composer update flagrow/upload
Unlike WordPress, even Flarum does not generate sitemap.xml without any plugin support. The Flagrow sitemap extension auto-generate the XML file based on the topics on the forum and will update after every new topic creation.
All you need is to copy the sitemap link and submit into Google Search Console for indexing. The XML sitemap link after enabling the extension will be available in forums root URL.
https://restorebin.com/explore/sitemap.xml wherein https://www.restorebin.com/explore/ is our explore forum’s root directory.
Install Flagrow Sitemap XML for Flarum
composer require terabin/flarum-ext-sitemap
Update Flagrow Sitemap
composer update terabin/flarum-ext-sitemap
If you’re looking to bombard ads to your forum users, this Flagrow Ads extension will help to set up the ad placements as well as display ads within the forum thread.
The extension enables the ads in three locations:
- Header location inside the navigation bar
- Home page sidebar under category and links
- Inside the forum topic threads
You can also adjust the frequency and placement location per needing the Ads extension setting area.
Install Flagrow Ads for Flarum
composer require flagrow/ads
Update Flagrow Ads
composer update flagrow/ads
BBCode helps to type the text in a rich HTML format. If there is no BBCode or similar extension, the Flarum topics and replies will be in plain format.
The BBCode extension helps in adding the button to enhance the writing and display with proper HTML format within the flarum discussion.
BBCode in Flarum is pre-installed. We do not need to install any extension to add or remove. Instead, you can just visit the Administration > Extensions to enable or disable the BBCode from the list.
This was added as a part of the improvement to display the stats about the flarum software in real-time. The extension is enabled by default, however, you can disable in the Administration section.
The Statistics will display the basic information along with a graphical representation of over the period of time. The information includes the number of users, number of discussion threads, and the number of total responses on the discussion thread.
The Statics help to visualize the status and health of the Flarum forum by looking at real-time and historical data.
This is another useful extension that helps in assigning the question as sticky to stay at the top of all other topics. Fortunately, the Sticky extension is available out of the box after Flarum installation.
This extension allows tagging a topic discussion in Flarum to be on the top always.
- Open any topic that you want to be on top
- Hit on the down arrow next to [Reply] button
- Select the Sticky command
- Navigate to the forum home page and refresh to see the changes
For removing the sticky post, just disable the sticky option.
Clearing the Flarum Cache
Once you’ve made all the installation or even the updates, it’s necessary to clear the cache of Flarum installation. This will help in updating the obsolete files and refresh the data.
Within the Flarum’s root installation run the following command via SSH.
php flarum cache:clear
Your Flarum cache will be cleared and changes will start reflecting immediately for external users.
Watch the Flarum Extensions Tutorial
Watch the entire flarum extensions installation and usage tutorial demo for new flarum users. I’ve covered most installation and setup steps for Flarum extensions.
I hope you liked the video, please subscribe for more such video tutorials.
What Flarum extensions do you use?
I’ve already listed out the Flarum extensions that I currently use to power up my forum. I know there is a lot of development going around Flarum community software and improve supporting extensions. You can find the extensions development updates under this tag.
If I’ve to predict Flarum’s future or long term goal, I think improving the support to integrate with WordPress on DigitalOcean should be the best. Since 65% of the market is powered with WordPress, this will be the best market to tap on and grow the Flarum exponentially. My two cents!
What Flarum extensions do you use or looking forward to from the developer community to integrate? drop your ideas below.
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