Channels are nodes that can contain other nodes. Nodes are any content within vBulletin 5. They can be discussions, photos, links or channels among other content types.
In vBulletin 5, channels include: Forums, Blogs, Social Groups, Private Messages, Visitor Messages, User Albums, and Flagged (reported) Content. Additional Channels may be added in the future. Some channels can be maintained with the Channel Management (formerly Forum Management) tools in the Admin CP.
Others are hidden from view and maintained by the individual users. Such as the case with Blogs and Private Messages.
What are forums?
Forums are a type of channel that allow users to talk about various topics by starting discussions and making replies to those discussions. Forums can be sorted under categories with multiple sub-forums within them to further organize the discussions by topics.
Types of Forums and Using Them
Creating a usable forum structure is one of the integral parts of running a successful bulletin board. vBulletin allows you to create an infinite depth of forums and configure numerous settings related to the forum.
Some of the most common ways to setup individual forums include:
- Category – this is a forum that people cannot post in; it is just used for grouping other forums.
- 'Normal' Forum – this is simply a regular forum that people can post in.
- 'Sub' Forum – this is a regular forum that people can post in and is a subset of a 'Normal' Forum.
- Link Forum – this really is not a forum at all. It is just a link to another web page; it could be another forum, or it could be an entirely different site.
- Archive Forum – this forum was once a 'Normal Forum', but is now just used as an archive for old information.