CM Answers plugin User Guide

David Rashty,

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Initial Plugin Installation

Installing the CM Answers plugin is as easy to install as any other WP plugin. If you are unfamiliar with plugin installation, you can use this step-by-step guide.


How the CM Answers Plugin Works

CM Answers provides a powerful but yet simple Questions and Answers forum just like StackOverflow . CM Answers enables you to ask questions and receive several answers per each question. Users can rate answers by voting and which then can be ordered according to either quantity of votes or date published. CM Answers has many more features and customizable options, for more information on additional features read this user guide. CM Answers Plugin User Guide


Updating the Free Version of CM Answers or Upgrading to the Pro Version

If you are reinstalling the CM Answers plugin, don’t worry about the plugin writing over your previous data (previous Question & Answers Posted), they will not be erased and you can safely update the plugin version or upgrade to the Pro version without losing any of your existing Data. When upgrading to Pro, please remember to first deactivate the regular version before activating the Pro version, since they overlap each other and can not work together. simultaneously.


Setting up Permalinks

Before using CM Answers, make sure your WP Permalinks settings are set correctly to “Post Name” or to a “Custom Structure” CM answers plugin user guide1


Your CM Answers Page (All Questions List)

Your CM Answers page will be ready to use once plugin is installed successfully on http://your-site-domain/answers page. In some cases, for example, when your permalinks are setup according to a custom structure configuration, the CM Answers path may be different and require further customization. Find the correct path in the plugin settings. CM answers plugin user guide2


Setting Up User Permissions

CM Answers supports only submissions of Questions or Answers from registered WP users, regardless of their WP user’s role or user capabilities. This means that every registered user must be logged in to be able to post a question or add answers to your assigned webpage.


Anonymous Users’ Comments

CM Answers does not support anonymous user submissions of either questions or answers. In addition to the free version, the CM Answers Pro plugin supports users that login with Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+ profiles which allows them to post their questions and answers easily after they authenticate their social media profile with CM Answers.


Changing User Roles, Permissions and Capabilities

Once installed, CM Answers allows you to manually change the access permission. You can specify who is allowed to directly submit a question to the forum or submit an answer, by editing the CM Answer Theme files. For example, to allow only users who are editors to post questions or answers you need to do the following – In the theme, under /answer, you will need to edit two files: index.phtml and single.phtml. Replace the following code: if (is_user_logged_in()): for instance with if ((is_user_logged_in()) && current_user_can('edit_posts')): For more Capabilities options look here


User Profile Page – (Pro Version Only)

In Pro version, clicking on the user who submitted the question or the answer will open a new page on a new tab that will contain additional information of a given user’s profile. Profile information includes all questions and answers submitted by user and shows their Gravatar icon linked to their Gravatar profile (if one exists). If a user is registered using his social profile, a link to his social profile will also appear. CM answers plugin user guide 3


User Rating of Comments – (Pro Version Only)

In the CM Answers Pro plugin version, you can define settings that show, next to user name, the number of questions and answers each user has submitted. Wordpress plugins like the cm answers plugin by creative minds is a fully enhanced dashboard web development kit that publishes a discussion thread on your specified pages. This will show like this CM answers plugin user guide4


User Gravatars with Social Media Login – (Pro Version Only)

The Pro plugin supports Gravatar icons which shows their Gravatar beside their poster’s name (for both submitted Questions and Answers). To enable this feature, first define their parameters in the plug-in settings. This plugin uses .php technology and wordpress's own discussion comments database to modify your webpage into a moderated discussion group about topics that you approve and moderate. When user had no image defined as their Gravatar, the mystery man icon will appear CM answers plugin user guide 5


Managing User Comment Ratings

You can control which comments are most popular among your website's visitors by sorting user comments ratings through the wordpress plugin dashboard. In the plug-in settings, you can define whether or not the rating system is enabled for answers, and further, CM Answers also lets you choose whether or not you would also like to include negative ratings. CM Answers is a fully functional dashboard plugin for wordpress that publishes a q&a discussion forum on your site where you can test your readers knowledge and comprehension of the article they just read.


Managing User Votes for Answers

Wordpress plugin for publishing a discussion thread for questions and answers about content from your post or webpage, user feedback and reader comprehension questions. On the CM Answers Questions page you will be able to define way that the Views box is shown. The following options can be found in the plug-in settings. The creative minds set of wordpress plugins are specifically designed with functionality and convenience in mind. We give great customer support for all our plugins for wordpress.


How to Change your CM Answers Theme

CM Answers allows you to change your theme while continuing to upgrade versions of the plugin. To do this you need to have some basic HTML/PHP knowledge in manipulating template files. First, create a sub-directory named “CMA” in your current template directory. Inside this sub-folder you can place your file structure similar to the one that is inside “cm-answers/views/frontend/”. CM Answers is a fully functional plugin for wordpress that uses a dashboard to manage the open and closed questions and moderated answers on your wp website. Once CM Answers finds your CMA sub-directory inside your template directory, it will be given priority over other files stored in the plugin directory under “cm-answers/views/frontend/”. If you would like to change the look & feel of the plugin or want to incorporate it into your custom theme, start by editing one of the following files: index.phtml (for Questions) or single.phtml (for Answers). Both can files can be found inside the “CMA/answer” folder. Cminds designs and develops wordpress plugins that enhance your users' experience. Our cm answers plugin publishes a discussion forum on your wordpress website or blog.


Controlling the Widget Area Maximum Width

In the plugin settings you can define widget area max width. This will prevent cases where widget and questions area do not fit together Publish a discussion thread forum on your wordpress website with this Question and Answer plugin by cminds. In Pro version while using shortcode CM Answers display questions and Answers using Ajax and fit the Questions interface into your current theme.


Ajax Plugin Support – (Pro Version Only)

In the Pro version of the plugin, CM Answers uses a shortcode to display Questions and Answers by using Ajax forms plugin to fit the Questions interface into your current theme.


Using Category Shortcodes – (Pro Version Only)

In Pro version, use the category shortcode in order for the CM Answers plugin to insert a Questions interface into your current theme.


Setting Notifications for CM Answers Administrators

Inside the plugin settings, there is a section that deals exclusively with handling notifications. CM Answers allows a CM Answers Admin or Moderator to receive a notification every time a new question is posted. The best choice in quality wordpress plugins come from the designers at cminds. This setting allows you to define the email address the CM Answers admin (the one to receive notifications for new questions posted) , the title of the Email sent, and the structure of the email. Inside the structure of the email you can use several shortcodes that can be then applied only within the content of the email.


Permission Setting Notifications for Users

Users that post content to CM Answers will receive notifications in the following custom controlled cases

    • If they are the creator of the question and have checked the “Notify me of follow” when submitting the question

Notify users that their comments are being followed on the discussion board.

    • If they are someone who has submitted an answer to a question and have checked the “Notify me of follow” once submitting their answer.

Users can follow their comments and answers by viewing the number of votes their responses receive. If you would like to control the structure and the kinds of notification messages that users receive, CM Answers enables admins to change these features in the following section that is found in the plugin settings dashboard. Here are several examples of shortcodes that can occur within an email message’s content this is what a user notification for their comments or questions looks like. They can track their responses to see how many people like what they wrote.


Controlling the Types of Users who Comment and Ask Questions

For more information about how to define which users can use the CM Answers plugin, please refer to the user section of the guide.


Auto Approval of User’s Questions

In the plugin settings dashboard you will find a check-box feature that allow the admin to define whether or not all questions are to be auto-approved or whether they will require admin approval before showing up in the questions list. Our wordpress plugins can be customized from within the dashboard interface that is displayed in the administrator control panel. Questions are not auto-approved by default, the Admin / Editor can moderate them by going into the Questions section in the CM Answers admin control panel. Remember to check back often for more updates to our wordpress plugins. Here you can see how to moderate questions and answers by logged in users to your wp website or blog. Questions that are waiting for administrator moderation will appear beside the question with a pending status alert. auto-approve questions or answers by visitors you trust and give permission to. This way you can control and moderate the direction of your conversations so that you stay in charge of the situation. Admin can edit any question and either approve or delete them.


Auto Approve Answers

In the plugin settings there is check-box feature that enables administrators to define whether or not all Answers are to be auto-approved or whether or not they need further approval before showing up on the Answers list. This is how the answer list to questions looks, you decide whether or not their answers are approved automatically or if they need further moderation. When Answers are set to not be auto-approved, Admin / Editor has to moderate them by going into the Answers section in the CM Answers admin area. Administrators can control how to moderate the discussion, whose answers are auto-approved and who needs further review and permission considerations. Answers that are waiting for moderation will appear in yellow, once the cursor hovers over the link, an approve button will appear. All answers use the WP built-in Comments mechanism, so if you are using this feature in another plugin or if your WordPress is already set for leaving WP Comments on posts, they will appear together with all the other comments that have been submitted. There are many q&a plugins for wordpress, ours is the most functional and versatile, download the free version of this plugin from here or from the wordpress website.


Auto-Approving Questions and Answers from Specific Users – (Pro Version Only)

In the CM Answers Pro plugin version, you can define which users are allowed to automatically post questions or answers to CM Answers without moderation, even when the moderation option is turned on. This feature also works with users that login with social media, once authenticated, they are defined as WP users. Defining users and giving them permission to post comments and answers to questions that you moderate in a discussion on your website or post.


User Dashboard Login – (Pro Version Only)

In the CM Answers Pro version, the plugin has additional metrics for “My Questions” and “My Answers” profile views according to each user made anywhere within the site. This enhancement is done by using shortcodes within cma-my-questions and cma-my-answers. The CM Answers Pro plugin version has enhanced features and metrics for how many views and votes a user's comment or question has had. There are many uses for the cm answers plugin, with the pro version the customizations to your discussion board are vast and plentiful.


Question List Management – (Pro Version Only)

In the Pro version of the CM Answers plugin, administrators can generate questions lists by using shortcodes within [cma-questions] by adding additional parameters:

  • limit – number of questions to display (default: 5)
  • author – ID of the question author (default: empty)
  • cat – slug of category (categories separate by commas) (default: empty)
  • sort – one of following: newest, hottest, views, votes (default: newest)
  • form – add “question form” below list (default: 0)

Example: [cma-questions limit=”10″ author=”123″ sort=”hottest” form=”1″]


Categories Management – (Pro Version Only)

In Pro plugin you cac show define categories and insert a shortcode containing all categories question into a page in your template’s theme. To define and manage categories, you first need to add them in the CM Answers admin menu. You can have as many categories as you wish This discussion thread plugin uses a lot of features that already exist in wordpress to publish your question and answer forum on your wordpress website. In the main answers page, once your categories are defined, you can search answers according to a specific category using the dropbox The CM Answers uses the dropbox category tag to sort and order your questions and answers according to topic and relevance. To use category shortcode inside page you can for example use this shortcode to display 2 las questions from category names “first” [cma-questions cat=first form=1 limit=2] This will result in displaying the following inside the page Cm Answers shows all the comments and answers to specific questions by way of a shortcode placed inside the html code of your webpage.


Social Media Login – (Pro Version Only)

The Pro version of CM Answers supports social media login from Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. Here is an example of what the login console looks like: This is what the social media login console looks like. This is where users first log in before posting their comments or questions to your site.


Facebook Login – (Pro Version Only)

Once you allow Facebook users to authenticate their login with the CM Answers plugin, they will be able to submit Questions or Answers to the CM Answers. This setting can be customized to specifically allow FaceBook authentication within the plugin settings panel. If this setting is left empty, the FB option will not appear. To register your site with FaceBook, the admin must do the following steps:

    • Create Facebook application at
    • Remember to enter App Domains (your-domain)
    • “Website with Facebook Login” must be checked, but for “Site URL”, you can enter any landing URL

The pro version of the cm answers plugin supports facebook authenicated users who can then post comments and questions to your website. In the plugin settings panel, add these values in the following fields: This is how to create a facebook app that can be used with the cm answers plugin to authenticate contributions by users that have logged in using their Facebook account.


Google+ User Login – (Pro Version Only)

Once Google+ users are allowed to authenticate the credentials with CM Answers, they will be able to submit Questions and Answers to the CM Answers discussion forum. This setting specifically allows Google+ users to be authenticate with their Google ID from the plugin settings control panel. If the field is left empty, the G+ logo and option will not appear. To register your site with Google+ and allow for G+ authentication with the plugin, do the following steps:

      • Create a Google APIs project at
      • You do not have to enable any services from the Services tab.
      • Make sure to go to “API Access” tab and Create an OAuth 2.0 client ID.
      • Choose a Product name and home page URL (ex

Google+ users can log into your site with their Google credentials, making it quick and easy for them to start posting comments.

      • Choose a web application for your application type

How to make a Google+ authentication app for your CM Answers plugin.

      • Make sure that the redirect URL is set to actual OAuth 2.0 callback URL:

In the plugin settings, add these values in the following fields: Here's the values to use when setting up the Google+ icon and login interface.


LinkedIn Login – (Pro Version Only)

Once you allow LinkedIn users to authenticate their credentials with CM Answers, only then they will be able to submit Questions and Answers to the CM Answers forum. Setting to specifically allow LinkedIn user authentication can be found in the plugin settings panel. If this option is left empty, the Ln icon and login option will not appear. To register your site with LinkedIn and allow LinkedIn user authentication, do the following steps:

In the plugin settings add these values in the following fields: This is how to allow users of LinkedIn to authenticate their login to your discussion forum.


Using Tags to Track Discussions – (Pro Version Only)

The CM Answers plugin supports Tags for questions posted. Administrators can control the appearance of these tags in system. In addition, a tag widget is also available

Tags Widget for the wordpress plugin
Tags Widget


Sticky Questions – (Pro Version Only)

The CM Answers plugin supports Sticky Questions. This means that questions marked as “Sticky” by the administrator will always appear on top of the list. Admin can defined a background color for sticky questions. To set a question as Sticky admin needs to edit the post related to the question and use check-box control to mark it as Sticky

Sticky Questions Background Color
Sticky Questions Background Color


Using Code Snippets – (Pro Version Only)

The CM Answers plugin supports Code Snippets. This means that questions can include code. Admin can set different background color for code snippets in settings

Code Snippets Background color
Code Snippets Background color



The Cm Answers plugin supports localization preferences and currently comes with several language files as described in the plugin WP page (this is updated from time to time so please check the WP site). It is easy to add another localization file to support any additional desired language. Simply take one of the already existing language files from plugins/cm-answers/lang and use it to convert to your language. Use POedit to do the actual processing. Once translated, place the two files (PO and MO) inside the lang directory and WP will detect it. More information about localization preferences can be found here. Please remember that in order for the localization version to work, you will need a WP version installation in same language as your localization file. Another option for editing the localization files can be found by using this plugin.


Widgets Container

CM Answers has a defined widget container area which appears when displaying the Questions and Answers on the right side of the screen. You can place widgets inside this container by selecting them from the admin menu Appearance -> Widgets panel. a widgets control panel for moderating and controlling how the discussion is displayed.


CM Answers Widget – (Pro Version Only)

CM Answers has a defined widget which can be incorporated into any existing widget container area This widget makes using the cm answers plugin easy, just install the pro version of our wordpress plugin to see how it works for you.


Multisite Support – (Pro Version Only)

The Plugin Pro version Supports WP Multisites. Using the Glossary plugin in a Multisite environment means that The Glossary Terms table is different for each site within separate installation folders.


File Attachment to Questions or Answers – (Pro Version Only)

The CM Answers Pro version plugin allows attachments of files into Questions asked (this feature is not supported in Answers). In the plugin settings, you can define maximum file size allowed to be uploaded and also can define the permitted file extensions which are supported by this feature. If the extensions option is left empty, the section for adding a file in the dialog box does not appear within the Questions screen File uploads and downloads can be attached to a user's response, comment or answer, or provide additional resources for further research with posted questions. Resources are more effectively managed with the cm answers plugin for wordpress.


Show the Number of Views for a Question – (Pro Version Only)

In the Pro plugin you can choose whether or not to show the number of views per each question. You can also define how views are counted Sort the number of views that each question has accumulated, also show negative votes on answers people didn't like.


Show the Number of Answers to a Question – (Pro Version Only)

In the Pro version of the plugin, you can choose whether or not to show the number of Answers that each question has received. Show how many answers a given question has had.


Define the Sorting of Answers According to Vote or Popularity – (Pro Version Only)

In the Pro plugin, you can choose whether or not answers can be sorted in ascending or descending order. See which answers have the most votes or views.


If you have a Problem with loading the Second Page of Questions

Please check that your permalinks are set to post names (settings->Permalinks->Post Name)


PHP Version

If you receive the error message “We are sorry, but you need to have at least PHP 5.3 to run this plugin (currently installed version: 5.2.17) – please upgrade or contact your system administrator.” this means that you are running a version of PHP which is lower than 5.3 and need to upgrade. The PHP version number is returned by phpversion() native function ( Make sure you have the right version enabled on your server. Also make sure that you don’t have two different versions or that you forgot to restart your server after upgrading.


FB Connection return Error

Could be several reasons.