MembershipWorks is proud to announce our new announcements board WordPress plugin!
Why Add an Announcement Board in WordPress?
Announcements are a great addition to a website as they encourage repeat visitors. Adding an announcements board plugin to a WordPress website can also remove administrative tasks as it enables website visitors or members to create content without an administrator doing the typing.
Why Use an Announcement Board WordPress Plugin?
Before websites, many businesses had a bulletin board where people could post announcements. This is the same idea, but in virtual form, and with the potential for a much wider audience. Using a WordPress plugin to add announcement board functionality is an easy way to get up and running quickly. No coding necessary. See what an Announcement Board Plugin for WordPress looks like. Some ways organizations use an announcement board plugin include:
- Lost and found announcements
- Posting calls for proposals (RFPs and RFQs)
- Career announcements
- New business announcements (e.g. Chambers of Commerce)
- Coordinating ridesharing or carpooling
- Requests for support or help with short term tasks
- Offers of service or support
- Ongoing volunteer opportunities
- Events announcements
What to Look for in an Announcement Board WordPress Plugin
While every organization is going to have slightly different needs, some of the features you should look for when choosing an announcements board plugin include:
- Enabling admin screening of announcements prior to posting.
- A way to control who can post announcements.
- Ability to monetize announcements by charging for posting announcements or for viewing them. For example, if you have an RFP board, vendors who want to respond to the RFPs may be willing to pay to see the RFP listings. Or those who post RFPs may be willing to pay to post them.
- Capability to upload an image to a listing.
- A method of categorizing announcements with tags so that listings can be easily sorted by those viewing the listings.
Here are some ways your organization can decide to monetize an announcement board:
- Only allow members to view announcements as a membership privilege
- Charge a posting fee for users to create announcements
- Only charge non-members for posting announcements or offer members a discounted posting rate
- Only allow members to create announcements as a membership benefit
- Upsell higher membership levels by including the opportunity to post announcements for free or at a discounted rate for those levels
Note that some organizations may use a forum plugin to host their announcements, while others don’t want the added burden of moderating forums and are looking for something more simple.
What to Expect from an Announcement Board WordPress Plugin?
The main thing you should expect to see would be the notices, listings or announcements themselves. They’ll come listed on a notice board format as shown here. Admins and those who post notices should have their own notice panel where they can edit and manage their listings.
How to Use the Announcement Board WordPress Plugin
Once you’ve set up an account with MembershipWorks and installed the plugin, the steps involved to add the announcement board to your website are simple. Note that you’ll need to be on a paid version of the plugin to add in boards.
- If you are collecting funds for listings or memberships, set up your payment gateway in MembershipWorks.
- If you require membership to add or view the announcements, set up your membership levels.
- Next, go to Jobs/Other Boards and create a new Announcement Board. The announcements board form template is pre-populated with the fields that are useful to most organizations, but you can add, edit and remove fields to suit your needs.
- From the board’s Dashboard > Embed button, you can copy and paste shortcodes to embed on three new pages you build for:
- Viewing announcements
- Posting announcements
- Managing announcements
Once you have the plugin up and running, your administrators can easily log in to approve, edit or remove listings. Those who post announcements can also log in to edit or cancel their listings as well.
WordPress Announcement Board Plugin Features
The full list of plugin features can be found here, but highlights include:
- Admins can screen and edit listings prior to posting
- Admins can manually add postings
- Primary admin can create secondary admins with access to manage announcements
- Announcements can be categorized with tags for purposes of filtering announcements on the front end
- Optionally charge for postings
- Add custom fields
- Restrict announcement viewing to certain users
MembershipWorks’ announcement board is designed to be mobile responsive, so it scales to fit the screen size of the user. So whether your site visitors are on smartphones, tablets or desktops, they all have the same great experience.
Adding a public announcements board can be beneficial for SEO purposes as your site will contain additional, fresh content and could potentially show up under additional keywords related to the announcements contained within it.
The Announcements Board is easy to protect against spam postings. You can add layers of spam prevention including:
- You can require users to create an account to create postings. Accounts can require payment and/or admin approval.
- You can also optionally require admin user approval for each announcement before they are posted on the site.
Works with most themes
MembershipWorks has yet to encounter a theme that does not work with the Announcements Board plugin. If your theme uses Ajax loading, we advise disabling that feature so that MembershipWorks will function properly.
How to Choose your Announcement Board WordPress Plugin
Here are the advised steps involved when choosing any type of plugin:
- Create a list of features you are looking for (including whether the plugin is a SaaS or not).
- If you are going to monetize your board, look for the ability to charge for membership or announcement posting fees.
- Look for plugins that meet your requirements, including your budget. Note any differences between paid and free offerings.
- Note setup cost and ongoing costs
- Scan each plugin’s product reviews on the WordPress repository and elsewhere
- Look at a live demo of your favored plugins
- Consider each plugin’s support offerings and support costs, if applicable
- Ask any pre-sale questions and gauge responsiveness of the plugin developer
What’s Next After Choosing your WordPress Announcement Board Plugin?
If you choose MembershipWorks’ Announcement Board, here are the steps involved:
- Sign up for a MembershipWorks account and then watch for an email with further instructions. Pricing is based upon the number of members or accounts you have. If you don’t have existing members or people who have access to post to your board, you can choose the Plan 300 which is the lowest level of paid plan. This plan will allow you to have up to 300 accounts that can add and manage their listings. Only paid plans have access to the Announcement Board feature.
- Install the plugin. Plugin installations are generally pretty straightforward. You can download the plugin at the WordPress repository.
- If you are going to collect money from those who post announcement listings — either through listing fees or membership (or both) — you’ll need to select and connect your payment gateway to MembershipWorks.
- Create a signup form by creating account or membership level(s) in MembershipWorks > Labels & Membership. Accounts are necessary to provide users with a login to enable them to post and manage their announcement listings. Accounts are not required for those who want to simply view listings unless you want to make that a requirement.
- Add the account signup form to your website first creating a new page on your website. Then on this page insert the shortcode you can find in Help > Basics & Setup > WordPress > WordPress Shortcodes. The feature you are looking for is “Membership sign-up form”.
- Build a separate page on your site and add an account login page using the shortcode for “Member sign-in and manage account.” This will allow account holders to edit their information, including their password.
- Create your first announcement board from the “Jobs/Other Boards” section of the software. You can find detailed instructions in MembershipWorks > Help > Jobs/Other Boards.
- The shortcodes related to announcement can be found in the “Embed” tab of your board’s Dashboard. You’ll want to build separate pages for:
- Viewing announcements
- Posting announcements
- Managing listings
- Before telling others about your board, it’s important to test out your account or member sign-up process to make sure that everything goes smoothly. Note the welcome email you receive and customize it to include links to your board. For example, if you are charging for membership or postings, be sure the money makes its way to your payment gateway. You can always refund yourself afterwards.
Final Thoughts on Announcement Board WordPress Plugin
One thing to note about MembershipWorks’ Announcements Board WordPress plugin is that it offers a multitude of features beyond just announcements. Some of the other features that come built in with every paid plan include:
- Job boards
- Classified boards
- Member directory
- Membership management, including renewal notices, autorecurring payments and more
- Online events calendar and online event registration
- Other forms to collect information
- Shopping carts and donations
- Members only content
- Multiple admins with access controls
- Integrations with popular software such as MailChimp, Quickbooks and Xero
Announcement Board WordPress Plugin FAQs
A WordPress noticeboard provides a great way for people to share information. Here are some of the FAQs from board administrators and webmasters.
How to install announcement board WordPress plugin manually?
You can manually install the MembershipWorks Announcement Board plugin by following these instructions:
- Download the plugin at the WordPress repository. Note where you save it on your computer.
- Go to WordPress > Plugins
- Click “Add New”
- Click “Upload Plugin”
- Browse to locate the plugin .zip file and then install it
- Click “Activate Plugin” to activate the plugin
- Login to MembershipWorks in the backend of WordPress using your email address and the password you provided when signing up for an account.
How to display announcements in your WordPress blog?
You can easily display your announcements in your WordPress blog.
- Go to MembershipWorks > Jobs/Other Boards
- Click on your announcements board
- Click on the “Embed” tab of your board’s Dashboard
- Build a new page from “Pages” in WordPress
- Copy the shortcode under “View listings shortcode” and paste the shortcode into the new page.
- Add the page to your menu so it’s easy for blog readers to find.
- Mention and link to your announcements feature within your blog posts and consider adding a button to your blog sidebar to make the announcements board easy to find. Don’t forget to also build pages and links or navigation menu items for posting announcement listings and managing listings.
How to use the notice board widget?
Rather than offer a widget, MembershipWorks offers shortcodes to integrate notice board features into your website. There are shortcodes for:
- Displaying announcements
- Posting announcements
- Managing/editing/deleting announcements
- Logging in
- Managing an account/contact information
Note that you can’t place more than one MembershipWorks shortcode per page.
Do I need to enable registration on my site?
You will need to enable account registration or memberships on your website. Asking those who are posting listings to register, join or create an account enables them to be able to log in to edit or delete their listings later. This saves administrative time as the admin doesn’t have to deal with these types of requests when users are enabled to do this themselves.
You can opt to charge a one-time or ongoing fee for the ability to post listings. Or registration can be free. You can decide to charge for each announcement post whether or not you charge for membership or account creation. If you are having trouble with setting up registration or have questions regarding the best approach, reach out to MembershipWorks support team for free support by phone, email or live screen share training.