Polly don't need your cracker...
I know there are a couple questions in the forum(s) about what happened to the old forum and the contents thereof and why does it now seem there are two separate forum areas. I know this not because of any site omnipresence (though there is that), but because I posted them. It’s all part of my larger ‘entertain myself’ philosophy.
They (you know them) say talking to yourself is fine as long as you don’t answer, but to me that seems stupid. Why ask myself a question if I have no intention of answering it? The truth is that I find it sometimes quite useful to ask myself questions, and of even greater value to discover the answers, which I invariably know, but don’t always realize I know until I ask the question.
So, what happened to the old forums? They were bbPress, made by the same folks who brought us WordPress. It is a fine forum system and with the proper addons would do most anything you could want. But I ran into some technical issues with it and every time I tried to read a topic it would send me back to the home page. I discovered lots of others had similar issues, but I could not find solutions so easily. That led me to investigate some alternatives and I found 2 plugins i really liked. One is called Asgaros, and the other is wpForo. I couldn’t decide between them so used both, since they play well together and each has distinct strengths. Besides, I would like to offer extended benefit to those that make the effort to actually join our community and this gives me an easy way to do that.
wpForo is really slick and it offers 3 distinct forum types, including one specifically for questions and answers (Q&A as us tech geeks and other normal folks call it). That’s something I feel is of value to all our visitors. Features like embeds and uploads are available only as paid add ons, which is the primary reason for using Asgaros as the members only system. Frankly, I just can’t afford to buy all the cool plugins I would like.
Asgaros has a very close look, which means I can likely tweak them up to almost imitate one another. This one I named the italian for ‘The Community’, just because I thought it looked neat. It does not have the multiple structural selections offered with wpForo, but it does allow uploads and embeds without adding cost to the deployment. That’s a big plus. So, I will make this a members side only forum. I’m not yet sure if either or both will make private forums and/or groups available, but I’ll keep looking for those enhancements.