Questions and Answers


Vanilla supports question and answer type discussions. Q&A discussions differ in the following ways:

  • When a question is answered, the member who asked the question will receive a notification and will be prompted to indicate if the answer answered the question or not.
  • Valid answers are highlighted and displayed at the top of the discussion list.
  • Members who answer questions will receive badges (if badges are turned on).
  • A shortcut can be displayed in the side menu to show all unanswered questions.

Enabling Q&A

The Q&A addon can be enabled from the Dashboard on any plan level. You can find it in the list of addons by searching for Q&A.


There is only one setting for the Q&A addon. You can decide if reputation points should be awarded to members for answering questions.

Using Questions and Answers

Q&A adds an option to the “New Discussion” button on your forum:

The arrow to the right of the "New Discussion" button expands the menu, revealing the "Ask a Question" option

Creating a question will create status labels in the discussion view. Status labels appear next to thread titles

Users will receive pop up notifications when their questions have new comments, prompting them to mark a post as the solution.

By default, the selected answer will be pulled out of the post order and pinned directly under the original post for easy access. This behavior can be modified with a support request, allowing the post to be duplicated instead of being completely reordered.

In your side navigation, you’ll notice a new option:

The unanswered count appears in the side panel

Navigating to /discussions/unanswered will allow you to see all the questions that still need attention in your community.

Restricting Q&A

You can set the ability to create questions with category permissions. When creating or editing a category, check the option “This category has custom permissions.” This will reveal the “Discussion Type” options.

The unanswered count appears in the side panel

You can choose to disable discussions in a category, which will change the “New Discussion” button into “Ask a Question” in that particular section. If you’d like for “Ask a Question” to be default forum wide, you can request for us to toggle the option through Support.

Discussions that have already been created can be changed into questions by Moderators and Admins. Simply use the cogwheel menu on a post, and select Q&A:

Choosing the Q&A option in the cogwheel menu will open a pop-up that allows you to change the discussions type.

Customizing Q&A

Q&A can be easily customized to match the look and feel of your community. We have some theme tips on our blog to help you get started:

Additional Resources:

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We believe that online communities should be intuitive, engaging and true to your brand. Vanilla allows you to create a customized community that rewards positive participation, automatically curates content and lets members drive moderation.

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