We use Website Toolbox as our company's user forum - we contacted them in the midst of a site re-design, requesting assistance with porting *years* of past historical forum posts and user accounts from a crumbling platform crippled by spam users, not expecting that they not only could do this, but facilitated it and lost no data. Customer support with this company is consistently the best I've experienced in 20+ years as a web developer - highly responsive, very knowledgeable, does not drop the ball on issues. Any questions I've had have been answered promptly and thoroughly, any issues have been rectified. Our website is well over 500 pages, with full e-comm and locator functionality - of the four main components I deal with in managing the project, Website Toolbox's user forum is the least costly, least time consuming, highest performing component, hands down.
Features, ease of use, simplicity of admin console, cost, customer support , ability to customize
Not applicable - it checks all the boxes in terms of what we need and then some, and far exceeds expectations on customer support.
Wow! Thanks for those extremely kind words Tanya! It's reviews like yours that make all of the hard work worth it! :)
They respond to support requests in a reasonable amount of time. They resolve issues on their end quickly. Communicating with my users has helped smooth a lot of potential issues.
It was relatively easy to set up and works (mostly) seamlessly. Does very nice job of setting up PayPal subscription accounts for paid forum features. Also tracks when users respond to a post and e-mails me.
Occasional glitches. Was throwing users out of paid access for a while but customer service fixed that promptly. Sometimes a customer cannot sign in and the issue resolves itself in a day but i can never tell if it was a user error or temporary software glitch. It has a lot of action logging features that I don't have time to play with.
Many features are over my head (and available time) to install or implement. You can blame that on my head and lack of time, or on the software not being as user-friendly as it could be. I don't have anything else to compare it to.
Access issues for a visually disabled user. Maybe this is beyond anyone's capacity to fix but I have a visually disabled user who is unable to consistently access the forum. Has to do with her text reading software not able to pick up click boxes and the like. I think that a tech would need to sit down with her at her computer to adequately understand the access issue. I suspect this is commonplace.
Thanks for the 5-star review! I'm glad Website Toolbox has been easy for you to set up and that you're earning money from your forum through our Paid Access feature!
If you ever decide that you want to explore the more advanced features a bit more, try our help center for detailed guidance. Even better, just live chat, call, or email us anytime and we'd be glad to walk you through it!
Our website forum is integral to our sales. As customers post photos on our forum it encourages others to buy the product. The forum provides a great customer community. It includes members from all around the world.
The number one thing I love about Website Toolbox is the ease of integrating a forum into my website. The forum sits on their servers so there's no software or maintenance required on my end. In addition their team will work closely with you to ensure your forum looks exactly like your website. Plus the flat monthly fee includes unlimited image storage which is so important to us since we cater to woodworkers and almost every post includes images. Website Toolbox is continually improving and upgrading the software which I love.
I don't have any negatives. One feature I'd love to see in the future would be a built in translator for foreign language posts and for members from different countries to be able to view the forum in their native language.
Thanks for your awesome 5-star review! There's nothing that makes us happier than seeing "love" in all capital letters! :)
Built-in translation of user's posts to another user's current language is a fantastic suggestion. Thanks for that! We will add it in the future.
Note that users can see the forum in their own language. The forum automatically detects the language that the user speaks and displays the forum in that language. 12 different languages are supported, and we can add any other language upon request. This is supported in any forum theme created within the last 2 years.
We all love it! As the Admin, I find it very easy to use and create content for the users. The users all love the ability to chat and get info from each other.
As a Life Coach, I occasionally run book groups for my clients, when I do I use this software. It has helped my clients be able to learn and grow and change their lives. I write assignments and then each client reads the book and posts their input on the board for the group to read and interact with. It helps the client to not feel that they are the only person dealing with a specific situation and helps them leave their issues behind them. Thanks for this very useful tool!
I currently have one client who has changed her name and unfortunately there is no way to change her name on her account. We have discovered that in order to begin using her new legal name she must close out her old account and begin a new one, but that would be abandoning all previous posts and content. I wish it was easier to edit personal info so that my client could edit her name and keep her contributions.
Hi Wendy! Thanks for your great feedback! I'm so glad that the forum is helping all of your clients.
As an admin, you can edit a user's username or their legal full name if they provided that. Here are instructions on how to change the username: https://www.websitetoolbox.com/support/changing-the-username-of-a-user-76
Here are instructions on how to edit a user's profile to change their full name: https://www.websitetoolbox.com/support/editing-members-254
(Users can also do that themselves.)
If you're using a custom Single Sign On integration which uses the full name and because of that you aren't able to change that information, please contact our support team and we'll be glad to make the change for you.
Useful but too many issies
Ease of use and set up. Setting it up and customizing it was easy.
A large number of people i forum do not reveive emails, and no fix is offered. Fixes are offered only on individual basis when tech support is contacted reg a certain user.
Thanks for your review Petra! I'm glad that setting up and customizing the forum was easy for you!
We've recently worked to make any email delivery issues very transparent to the user. If the email isn't received due to a returned email from the email provider (full inbox, non-existent email address, etc.) , we show a message to the user informing them of that when they log in to the forum.
In the next few weeks, we'll also be making a change that will show a notification in the forum Notifications menu if a user is unsubscribed from any type of email due to the email being returned as spam either because the email provider returned it as spam or the user marked it as spam.
This way it'll be super clear why an email wasn't received by a specific user.
We're also constantly monitoring email delivery to email providers to ensure that your forum maintains the highest possible email reputation score to ensure successful email delivery.
Before we found website toolbox, we were using a very, very cumbersome, confusing discussion forum that came with our online course platform. It was just awful. People dropped out of our course because of their low quality experience in this discussion forum
We then tried a software tool called Discuss but discontinued right away because there was no way to set it up as a confidential discussion group...... participants were prompted to share the discussion on facebook etc which does not work at all for a course study group.
Once we found Website Toolbox we had found the perfect tool to meet our needs.
Ease of set up.
Ease of use.
Very user friendly.
Participants in our online course are able to have high quality discussions on multiple categories and topics within categories.
The administrator sets up the discussion categories
Within a specific category, the users are able to start new topics and respond to existing topics.
A bit of a learning curve.... but so is everything worthwhile.
Thanks for the excellent review Linda!
I run a discussion forum connected with a website. I have found the platform to be completely stable, and whenever I have had a technical query it has been quickly resolved.
Ease of use, and flexibility, offering both Forums and Guestbooks. Very good customer support via online chat and email.
Limited range of design templates, some a bit dated now.
Thanks for your review! I'm glad you loved our support and found Website Toolbox to be easy to use, reliable, and flexible.
Please check out the two new themes called Classic and Material that we've launched over the last few months. A while before that we launched the Angela and Modern Elegance themes. We're also in the final stages of launching several new themes called Minimal, Lights Out, and Compact. All of the new themes have huge design improvements. Definitely take a look!
We've also launched the newest and most powerful version of our easy theme editor, which gives you even more control over the appearance of your forum.
A simply excellent Discussion Forum to go with our Online Courses. We can set up separate discussion forums for separate courses.
Our non-profit, community education organization researched about ten Discussion Forums before we found the wonderful Website Toolbox. All the rest are either too expensive for us to even consider, or free but totally unsupported and confusing, or have very confusing demos.
In contrast, Website Tool Box provides a clear demo and a full feature free trial that has been so easy to set up, use and customize. The cost is less than per month instead of getting charged high by other supported Discussion Forums. We have been able to make our Discussion Forum confidential for use by students. We have found it to be well organized into Headings, categories, sub categories, topics and replies so we can set up separate Discussion Groups for separate courses. Our students who have been testing the forum find it easy to use and easy to follow. Ideal for groups of students taking a course together to use for high quality confidential discussions, as well as posting and giving each other feedback on assignments. The support provided by the Help Centre documentation, the live Chat Function and the Email questions and answers is simply amazing.
Thanks for those kind words Linda! I'm so happy to hear that Website Toolbox has provided an excellent experience for the students in your courses, while also being super affordable! We're here to support you each step of the way. Good luck!
The overall platform has worked well for what we needed. I did have a period of time that users were unable to login and our forum was inactive for about a month. Besides the few small glitches I have had, it has been a great product and the customer service works hard to solve your issues.
The customer service is amazing. They're always quick to respond and handle your issues.
Functionality can, at times, be unstable if you embed into a Wordpress site. You cannot use your theme builder to change the page or the code will be damaged. All design of the page must be handled through Website Toolbox.
This may not be an issue for other site builders.
Thanks for your wonderful comments! We definitely do strive to have amazing customer support!
Thanks for reporting the issue regarding not being able to use the WordPress theme builder without it damaging your embed code. I've escalated that to our Quality Assurance team for investigation. Can you contact our support team regarding this at https://www.websitetoolbox.com/contact so that they can discuss with you if they have any difficulty reproducing the issue? Thanks!
I use the Forum to share analysis of the stock and market with my followers. This software allows me to do that effortlessly while avoiding other people to submit/share irrelevant topics. The permission levels allow me to monitor/control that. There is an email facility that helps me to keep in touch with my followers.
Most of the customizations like theme etc. can be done by the user him/herself. No special skill is required. Permission is at a granular level.
The paid forum functionality is for the "whole forum". It cannot be activated for a selective category.
Thanks for the fantastic review! I'm glad that you've loved the customization and permission controls we have.
You can set up Paid Access for specific categories instead of the whole forum by going to Settings -> Paid Access -> Permission and changing it to "Specific Categories". You can then select the categories that you'd like to enable Paid Access for.
The experience has been good with Website Toolbox is just a shame that Facebook has pretty much done away with forums.
Very easy to use and looks professional.
It’s been around for a long time and could stand an update.
Thanks for your feedback Wayne! I'm glad Website Toolbox has been easy to use and looks professional.
Definitely do check out our new Classic and Material themes for a fresh and modern look for your forum. We have a new theme called Minimal coming soon, along with others called Classic, Compact, and Lights Out to follow shortly after.
We're constantly updating all aspects of the forum and admin area. You can always check here for the latest updates: https://www.websitetoolbox.com/blog/whats-new-504
Facebook is great for short-form comments, but it's not really ideal for long-form discussions, owning your own content, improving SEO, monetizing your community, privacy of your users and data, or customizing the appearance. Forums are still the best!
I was able to make a forum for my friends and I after struggling for several months trying to figure out BBEdit and other software like that. This was really, really helpful in fixing my problems. It's not without its flaws, but it's good enough for me!
The ease of use. I don't know much about coding at all, but the instructions and customer service are really helpful. The features were well worth the price after weighing everything; there are perhaps more complete solutions for companies out there, but not much for an individual who just wanted to make a forum.
There doesn't seem to be an easy way to add pages to a forum; I wish I could integrate it more fully with my website. Also, letting you only read the newest posts would be nice; not sure if there's a way to easily implement that.
Thanks for your feedback! I'm glad you've liked our ease of use, customer service, value for the price, and features!
Adding custom pages to the forum is a great idea that is currently on our development roadmap. We will add the feature in the near future. In the meantime, please see if this approach works for you: https://www.websitetoolbox.com/support/adding-a-link-to-the-navigation-menu-616
To view the new topics in your forum, click on the "New" link on the topics listing page. That will sort the topics so that the most recently created topics are at the top. You can click the "Latest" link so that the most recently updated topics are at the top. If you're using an old theme, you'd need to upgrade first.
When you view a topic, the forum will automatically show you the newest post first. It will remember where you stopped reading and will take you directly to the next newest post.
I hope that helps!
Our group is just a hobby group so wanted software that was easy to use and maintain. Love the software and the customer support is outstanding
Ease of setting up a forum.
Ease of maintaining a forum.
Speed. Loads too slow sometimes.
Some features will disappear for users occasionally.
Thanks for your review! It's lovely to hear that Website Toolbox has been easy to set up and maintain and that you think our customer support is outstanding! :)
We do build the platform for split second page loads, so if the page is loading slowly for you now or at any time, please contact us and let us know (websitetoolbox.com/contact). The issue could be caused by custom HTML that you may have added to the header/footer of your forum or by something else that is interfering with normal page loads. We'll be glad to investigate it for you.
The initial set-up was easy and straight forward. It took a bit of time getting use to the software as it doesn't operate in any similar way to previous software I have used. There were some parts ion the setup I really struggled with however I over came these with the help of the excellent customer support.
No coding knowledge is needed to be able to get set up and running.
The ability for users to access the forum via Facebook login has been well received from our test users and we believe it has reduced the amount of users who abandon us during the signup process.
Some features were tricky to set up. I found the difference between embedding or using an app wasn't very clear. Couldn't see the advantages from one over the other nor which one had actually been executed in the first instance.
Also some features no longer work, such as embedding the forum into a Facebook page state tab as Facebook have changed some of their features. The tutorials need to be updated to reflect this.
Thanks for your feedback Nate! I'm glad the forum has been easy to set up and that Facebook login has been well received!
We're investigating the feedback you provided regarding embedding the forum into Facebook and the distinction between app vs embedding. We'll definitely update our documentation if needed. Thanks!
I use my forum as a support service for my non-fiction how-to books. I use to run online classes using Moodle. But it was technically cumbersome. If I wasn't semi-retired, I would definitely explore the possibility of using a forum from this service for paid online classes.
I have owned 2 Yahoo Groups for a good number of years. But I am now moving my discussion groups to this service. The tech support is great and the features are far superior to what Yahoo offers. I like having the ability to exclude advertising which I find very distracting from the purpose of my forum.
I can't think of a thing that this service does not offer that I need.
Thanks for your wonderful comments Don!
We just use it as a conversation and communication tool.
Able to have different topics and subjects.
Not easy to get a list of users so a mass email can be sent.
Thanks for your feedback! I'm glad Website Toolbox has been useful for your group.
You can email your users through the admin area by going to the Users -> Email section. If you click on the View Email Addresses link, it'll even give you a full list of the email addresses in case you want to use a different email system to email the users.
Alternatively, you can download your entire members list in the Content -> Export section of the admin area. You can open it up in a spreadsheet program or even in a database.
Let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding this process.
The ability to add HTML/CSS to format the look of the site to match own personal website.
The default layouts (aesthetically speaking). They look dated and have some CSS-clunkiness to them.
Thanks for your 5-star review! I'm glad that you've been able to customize the forum to match your website.
Please check out our new themes called Classic, Playtime, Material, Angela, and Modern Elegance that we've launched over the last few months. We're also in the final stages of launching several new themes called Minimal, Lights Out, and Compact. We recent launched the newest and most powerful version of our easy theme editor, which gives you even more control over the appearance of your forum.
I'm glad you have a tool like this - but I'm sure I'm using uniquely.
I like that it helps me to create a forum for my teams to share ideas and communicate what they are learning in trainings.
Can be wonky log in and stuff and the price jump from the first year I used it to now is a lot..
we only use it for a forum - for intercommunication - so the price we pay is high for what we are using. I understand that it can do much more than we use it for - but I wish there was tiered pricing that was more in line - or that we could have been grandfathered. The issue is that because I use with one team for 6 months and then close it out and then have to open another to use with the next training - it's frustrating for pricing and set up.
Thanks for your review! I'm glad it has been helpful for communication among your teams.
I'd like to clarify that we do have tiered pricing. We have a Starter, Growth, and Pro plan that each serve a different size forum. You choose your plan when subscribing and can change it at any time.
Your situation is definitely unique! If you're starting with a new team every 6 months, you can keep the same Website Toolbox account and just ask us to erase the content of your forum. That will allow you to start from scratch and still keep the same pricing due to grandfathering.
Inexpensive, yet had the basics we needed. Fairly easy to use out of the gate.
Interface seemed a little outdated, but this didn't affect how I used it.
It's great to hear that you think Website Toolbox is great value for the money and that it was easy to use from the get go.
Please check out the two new themes called Classic and Material that we've launched over the last few months for a fresh new interface. We're also in the final stages of launching several new themes called Minimal, Lights Out, and Compact.
This year we're also planning to launch a complete redesign of the admin area!
Good way for people all over the world to communicate.
Ease of use, architecture of the message board.
Cost and customer support. There is no phone number to call when help is needed.
Thanks for your feedback! It's awesome to hear that Website Toolbox has been easy for you to use!
We do provide phone support. Our phone number is published on our contact page: https://www.websitetoolbox.com/contact/. The phone number is 1-800-921-7803. We also provide live chat and email support. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns!
Great customer service, but limited functions (payments, social media).
Ease of use makes the site an attractive option.
Would like to see more social media interface.
It seems like everyone loves our customer support and also how easy Website Toolbox is!
Thanks for your feedback regarding the social media and payments features. Definitely check out our Facebook Connect integration (log in with Facebook) and our Paid Access feature (users can subscribe to your content or donate).
Overall we are very pleased with Website Toolbox!
The ease of set up and online subscription payment.
I really wish there were push notifications when posts are made.
Thanks for your 5-star review! I'm glad that the subscription payments feature has been earning you some money!
Your users can choose to be notified via email when any new post occurs, when a topic they post in has a new reply, or when topics that they follow have new replies. This is a great way for them to stay engaged with the forum. We're also working on in-forum notifications of those events as well, just in case users would rather not receive email notifications.
If you'd like to set up something more advanced or creative, like SMS (mobile text message) or browser push notifications, you can use our webhooks feature to develop that functionality.
Please contact our support team if you need any assistance with setting those things up.
I run a fan forum out of my pocket. This is inexpensive in relative terms to others I’ve seen. It gives me options to customize to the fan experience.
It’s easy to set up and I’m not a web developer by any sense.
I had a hard time sizing it width wise at first but figured it out.
Thanks for the excellent review Clay! It's great to hear that you've found Website Toolbox to be easy to set up, fully featured, and inexpensive!
The speed with which it is set up.
The access to chat support is one of the reasons I am still here
Lack of self-produced themes
Icon issues EVERY update.
I'm glad to hear that you've loved our chat support and speedy set up!
Please email me details regarding how you'd like to produce your own theme. Is that via writing all the CSS from scratch, or do you envision a different process? Your feedback will help us understand your needs better so that we can build the right thing.
Also let me know what icon issue you're facing during updates and I'll be glad to look further into that for you.
It does serve as a resource for new farmers however it’s hard to keep people engaged because the posts do not automatically feed into other social media. First year I did not have a lot of traffic, this year I’ve had a lot more and the negative feedback I’ve gotten from users is embarrassing. I feel trapped because I can understand their frustrations but I can’t do anything about it.
It was easy enough to setup. I’m not familiar with other products.
Templates are outdated looking, fonts are outdated. Nearly impossible to filter into other social media sites, which is the main thing all of my users are looking for. It’s extremely difficult to organize topics, people post everywhere. People complain it’s hard to follow conversations. I also do not like not being able to customize the url.
Hi Paige! Thanks for your feedback. I'm glad you found Website Toolbox easy to set up!
We usually add new themes every few months. Just 2 days ago we added a new theme called Minimal.
Each theme allows you to choose from over 34 of the most popular fonts provided by Google. You can easily preview and choose a font in the theme customizer.
I see that your forum already has Facebook integration enabled. Please contact us (reply to this email) to let us us know how you'd like posts to filter into other social media sites. It is possible to have the post posted on Facebook when it is posted on the forum.
You can create as many categories as you'd like so that people post in those categories. I'd recommend assigning a trusted moderator with limited permissions so that they can move topics into the correct category when it is in the wrong category.
Users can receive email notifications of topics they're following or have posted in.
I'll be glad to hear more about how we can improve.