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How to Create a Q&A Website Like Quora: Tech Stack, User Acquisition and More

15 May 2019
3383
10 min

Despite the fact that Q&A websites aren’t newbies to the Internet, Quora has managed to move this category to an entirely new level. Creating a question and answer website, you will meet some challenges. Along with some technical difficulties, you may face problems while attracting users.

In our article, you’ll find out what should you do to create a successful Q&A website: vital features, user attraction, monetization models and so on.

Why Is Quora So Popular?

Quora is a website where users can ask their questions and get answers. Also, the service gives an opportunity to answer questions asked by other users, edit and update answers after a while, and organize them.

Also, Quora allows you to follow certain topics, questions, and people. Their activities will be displayed on a user’s feed.

According to Adam D’Angelo, the founder & CEO of Quora, there are more than 200 million monthly unique visitors.

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This platform has a simple and intuitive design. It’s easy for visitors to start using it from the main page by scrolling to the latest questions from different categories. Near the ‘Home’ button there is the ‘Answer’ one. Clicking on it, users can find topics they may be interested in or were asked to answer. Then there are ‘Spaces’ that are collections and communities created around shared interests and tastes, so users can follow any space. The last tab is ‘Notification’, intended to notify about any activities connected to a user.

All these tabs are simple and understandable for visitors, so they make a website pretty straightforward and user-friendly.

How to Build Q&A Website like Quora. Homepage

Quora. Homepage

How to Build a Question and Answer Website

Follow these steps to create your own Q&A website.

  • Step 1. Analyze the competitors’ websites, e.g. Quora.
  • Step 2. Find the developers’ to assist you.
  • Step 3. Create a user-friendly and intuitive design.
  • Step 4. Develop several vital features for your website and launch an MVP.
  • Step 5. Create a promotional strategy to engage users.
  • Step 6. Build several unique features to make your website special.
  • Step 7. Consider ways to monetize your question and answer website.
  • Step 8. Update your website regularly.

According to the steps mentioned above, features are vital for creating a Q&A website. There are several features that helped Quora become successful.

Activity Feed

This part consists of recent activities about the interesting content for the user. So, this feed is shown on the home page and helps organize the content. On Quora, you can follow two main fields: topics and people. Following the topic, you see all the questions and answers tagged with this topic. The same happens when you follow people — all content marked with them is shown.

Following topics

The opportunity to follow topics is quite convenient. When you sign in the Quora account, you can choose topics from the database. So when the user sees the question they are interested in, they can follow the topic and get all the updates. By the way, on the right side of the page, there are ‘Related Questions’. This section gives an opportunity to find new questions that are connected to the chosen one. As a result, users are able to explore Quora more convenient and quicker.

How to create a Q&A website like Quora. Related Questions

Quora. Related Questions

Add comments to the answer

At the bottom of the answer, there is ‘Add comment’ bottom. So, every user can comment on a certain answer and ask the author any related question to start a discussion.

Sharing questions and answers

Quora also provides an opportunity to share any question or answer on social media linked to the user account. The platform offers sharing opportunities via Twitter, Facebook or any other website.

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User profile

There is the page where users can write a description of themselves as well as add photo. The user needs to add a headline that means a short bio. Headline and description provide a piece of detailed information about users and their interests.

Home

The Quora home page gives a visitor all updates of the tops answered or ranked questions. It also offers to discover new people and topics.

Spaces

Spaces is a new Quora feature. It allows people to build communities based on common interests as well as to search within these ‘Spaces’ and find answers. Questions posted to space can be answered only by contributors of the space.

How to create a Q&A website like Quora. Spaces

Quora. Spaces

How to Attract Users to a Q&A Website?

The whole concept of Q&A websites is based on the opportunity to exchange the content and share ideas with a community. The content should contain external links, photos, GIFs, videos, etc.

How Did Quora Gain First Users?

Before you find out how to build a website like Quora, you might want to learn a little more about promotion techniques its creators used to acquire first visitors.

Quora was not always as popular as it is nowadays. In the interviews, its founders pointed out that they had no audience and content in the very beginning, so they had to find ways for attracting first users. What did they do?

After the launch, founders have spent several months over creating content on their own to see first users coming. They were asking and answering questions from their accounts.

If you are trying to create a question and answer website, you need to build a community and the strategy above may work pretty well for you. Nobody wants to surf an empty website, so make sure it has some valuable content.

One more thing, it’s better to create less variety of content and make an emphasis on what you are really good at if you’re filling the website with content on your own. This way, you will provide visitors with valuable content and increase the chances that they will return to your website.

Websites like Quora demand well-thought-out UI/UX design and flexible database to work fast and to be eye-catching.

Talking about user attraction, there are several ways.

Advertisements

You can use paid search, social media advertising and so on. But it’s better to consider your objectives beforehand. Each paid channel has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Content creation

If the question and answer website provides quality content, users start being more active and tend to trust. As a result, it’s possible to get more traffic via shares and referrals.

Email newsletters

Quora tends to send letters once a week. There are some top questions that you’re interested in.

Social networks

How to make a website like Quora popular? Use the power of social networks. They will help you generate more traffic. You can create a page on social networks where your target audience hangs out. By the way, Quora is present on Facebook and Twitter.

Q&A website. 4 Ways to Attract Users

4 proven ways how to attract users

How to Monetize Question and Answer Website?

According to the most recent research, Quora has about 200 million monthly active users and was valued at $1,8 billion. The platform has been opened to advertisers since 2016. In fact, advertising is the only monetization model Quora is using at the moment.

Advertisements

Quora has successfully incorporated ads in the revenue model because it focuses on showing relevant advertisements from relevant advertisers. Ads don’t seem like something unusual on the Quora website. On the other hand, this platform doesn't want to use sponsored posts. So, users get good answers but not promoted content.

But there are more possible monetization models for the question and answer website. Below we will discuss three of the most popular ones.

Offer premium features

It’s good to develop additional features and offer to purchase them. For instance, there can be improved analytics. Quora shows just the quantities of users, without any kind of detailed information (e.g. demographic data) about users that read answers or follow users.

Accept donations from users

Providing users with the best content, it’s possible to ask them to donate money to support the project. This monetization model is actively used by Wikipedia. To make this process as simple as possible, it’s better to integrate PayPal or Stripe.

Google AdSense

Nowadays Google provides two advertisement tools — Ads and AdSense. It’s possible to earn money on Google AdSense by placing the ads on the website. Every time a user clicks on the advertisement, your platform gets money.

Monetization Models of a Q&A website

4 monetization models of Q&A website

How to Improve the Q&A Website

Creating a question and answer website requires studying how to promote user engagement, how to organize the content properly and more. So, we’ve prepared several hints for you.

Engage your visitors

The time spent on a website is an important factor. For instance, Quora allows their users to follow an unlimited number of questions, topics, spaces, and users to increase the time spend on their website.

Also, every question page on Quora contains a section called ‘Related Questions’ that immerse users deeper into surfing the website.

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Integrate social network

In addition to a good-old login and password registration, the majority of modern websites allow their users to sign in via social networks like Twitter, Facebook or Google. Also, it’s better to add an opportunity to share posts/answers.

Add some relevance

It’s vital to deliver relevant data to users to save their time and make interaction with the platform smoother. For example, Quora sends notifications if the question asked by the user got a new answer.

The combination of notifications and followed topics allows delivering only relevant and customized content to users.

The content placed on Quora is also organized in such a way to increase the total spent time. The more relevant content you offer, the better engagement rate you’ll get.

However, not only the accuracy of the content makes sense but its quality as well. Quora uses a blue tick to indicate users who are experienced in a certain field.

Use emails wisely

It’s better not to send emails without a reason. Instead, focus on replacing quantity with quality. For instance, you may send weekly digests based on users preferences. On the other hand, websites like Quora send questions that can be interesting for users. Moreover, adding links to your email letters is an extremely good idea since users can go to the topic they’re interested in.

How to improve a Q&A website

5 ways how to improve a Q&A website

Tech Stack to Build a Q&A website

Developing a Q&A website, it’s important to consider the tech stack of the project. Below we will discuss two variants on how to create a question and answer website.

Why Did Quora Choose Python for the Development?

Quora is a platform that completely depends on the participation of users. As a result, it was important to choose the programming language that is reliable, flexible, and simple.

Of course, such languages as PHP, Java, C#, and others were considered, but Quora creators decided to utilize Python.

There are some clear benefits of using this coding language.

  • Python has a solid ecosystem that supports deep learning.
  • This programming language has great readability and efficiency. So, it’s better to use Python than PHP for developing front-end and back-end for a platform like Quora.
  • Python was chosen because it’s a language with a simple syntax. It’s suited for prototyping.
  • This coding language allows designers, data analysts, and non-engineers to develop code for Quora.
  • Fast ideation with Python provides an opportunity to save time and money.
  • Python has an extensive standard library and ecosystem.
  • If we compare Java and Python, the last one guarantees faster and easier writing of programs with better inter-opportunity.

What Technology Does Cleveroad Offer to Choose?

The team of our company’s website developers offers to utilize JavaScript to create a question and answer website like Quora.

There are some advantages to this decision:

  • JavaScript language provides a high development speed and prototyping.
  • This coding language has a lot of ready-made solutions. So, the development process is fast and easy.
  • JavaScript is easily integrated with various technologies.
  • JavaScript language allows development for various platform, including front-end and back-end (Node.js), mobile development (React Native or NativeScript), and desktop (if necessary, Electron or NW.js).

Ready to Build the Next Big Thing?

Creating a question and answer website requires preparation and time. Cleveroad is a software development company experienced in web development. We’ve been helping our clients create software solutions for entertainment, social media and many other industries.

We recommend using one of the following models for similar projects: Time & Material or Fixed Price. Time & Material model offers changeable workflow and high requirements control. However, Fixed Price guarantees defined time frames and detailed specification. So, you can select the model that fits your budget or any other requirements.

Need assistance or have questions? Fill in the contact form and get the project estimation at no charge.

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