You’ve got questions. The Internet has answers. The trouble is that the Internet has far too many answers and it can be particularly difficult to figure out which ones are the right answers and which ones are the wrong answers. That’s why people still turn to tightly-knit online communities for specific help on specific questions.
And you can capitalize on this trend without having any real coding or technical knowledge. All you have to do is set up an account with Qhub and you can have your own branded Q&A site, focusing on whatever niche you’d like. Over the course of this review, we’ll take a look at how Qhub works and the various features that it offers.
Build Your Own Branded Q&A Website
In terms of raw functionality, Qhub isn’t particularly original. It provides a simple back-end software and infrastructure for you to build your own Q&A site. However, you’ll find that it is probably one of the easiest to use and customize.
What you see here is a sample account and site that the Qhub people have set up for us for the purposes of this review. You can check out the live demo of this site if you want to take a closer look.
As you can quite plainly see, the Q&A site has been completely customized to mirror the look and feel of the main John Chow dot Com site. It is hosted as a subdomain on Qhub.com, but there are options to do it through your own domains and subdomains as well.
There is also a quick YouTube video that will run you through a brief overview of how Qhub works and why you may be interested in it.
Up and Running in Minutes
Rather than getting you to install WordPress and then install a plugin (though there is one), or install forum software then alter it, Qhub was designed from the ground up to facilitate a simple question and answer exchange.
The whole thing can be set up in under three minutes and you don’t need any technical skills. The entire system is a hosted and fully managed solution too, so you don’t have to worry about hosting costs or downtime. The Qhub folks will take care of that.
For users to interact with the site, either to provide questions or answers, they can create a new account specifically for the site, or they can log in using the appropriate Facebook or Twitter authorizations. You can see the sample question above. I used my Kwanye Twitter account, as well as the John Chow Qhub account to test that functionality.
A Social Experience with Badges
There are many motivations you may have for wanting a Q&A website (or sub-site). You may be interested in a self-sustaining site with user-generated content. This can allow for some great passive income. Also, a Q&A site can help you “build a community around your website.”
Further to that end, Qhub comes with the additional feature of reward badges. Users who participate on your site can earn various badges for completing certain achievements, not unlike the “game” that they play with Foursquare.
You get the “socialite” badge if you invite 10 friends and they join the site. You earn the “helper” badge if you answer a question. Contribute an answer with a +10 rating (since each response can be rated by the community) and you earn the “awesome answer” badge. These badges can provide for a fun way to encourage greater interaction.
How Much Does It Cost?
Depending on your needs and preferences, Qhub has four pricing plans.
The free version is the most limited, of course, while most people would probably opt for the $40/month Pro plan, which allows for more white label functionality, moderation controls, API access, and so on. The John Chow Qhub example above runs on the $199/month Enterprise plan.
All plans come with a 15-day free trial, so there really is no harm in seeing how it all works. Ask the folks at Qhub, and they’ll tell you that they’ve got the answer to all your worries.