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Question2Answer is a free and open source platform for Q&A sites

Question2Answer (Q2A) is a popular free open source Q&A platform for PHP/MySQL, used by over 14,000 sites in 40 languages.

As of version 1.6.3, all development is taking place through GitHub. The collaborative development process is being managed by Scott Vivian. (Note that official releases are still distributed via the Q2A website.)

Installing Question2Answer for the first time (without single sign-on)

The instructions below are for installing Question2Answer where it manages user accounts and logins for you. If you would like Question2Answer to integrate with your existing user database and account system, see the instructions for single sign-on installation. From version 1.4, Question2Answer also offers easy integration with a WordPress 3.x site and user database.

  1. Download the latest version of Question2Answer to your computer or web server (also available on GitHub).
  2. Unzip the download using a tool such as WinZip (or unzip in the Unix shell).
  3. If you want to run a non-English site, check if the appropriate language file is available. If so, download and install it in the qa-lang folder. If not, it's simple to translate Question2Answer for yourself.
  4. Create a MySQL database, and a MySQL user with full permissions for that database.
    If you're interested, the privileges actually needed are: CREATE, ALTER, DELETE, INSERT, SELECT, UPDATE, LOCK TABLES
  5. Note down the MySQL details: username, password, database name and server host name. If MySQL is running on the same server as your website, the server host name is likely to be or localhost.
  6. Find qa-config-example.php in the unzipped question2answer folder, and rename it to qa-config.php.
  7. Open qa-config.php in your text editor, insert the MySQL details at the top, and save the file. Do not use a word processor such as Microsoft Word for this, but rather Notepad or another appropriate text editing program.
  8. Place all the Question2Answer files (including .htaccess) in the appropriate location on your web server:
    • To serve Question2Answer at the root of a domain (e.g. http://www.mysite.com/), move or upload all the contents of the unzipped question2answer folder into the root directory for that domain on your web server.
    • To serve Question2Answer in a subdirectory of a site (e.g. http://www.mysite.com/qa/), create the subdirectory inside the root directory for the site, then move or upload all the contents of the unzipped question2answer folder into this subdirectory.
  9. Open the appropriate web page for Question2Answer in your web browser, for example:
    • If you installed Question2Answer at the root of a domain, http://www.mysite.com/
    • If you installed Question2Answer in a subdirectory, http://www.mysite.com/qa/
  10. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up your database and administrator account. That's it!

Upgrading to the latest version of Question2Answer

The instructions below are for upgrading from a previous version of Question2Answer. Click for a full version history.

  1. Before upgrading, it is recommended to make a backup of your MySQL database using mysqldump or a similar tool.
  2. If you have modified any core Q2A files, or installed any extra themes, languages or plugins in the qa-theme, qa-lang or qa-plugindirectories, make a copy of your whole Q2A directory, to help reapply your changes after upgrading.
  3. Download the latest version of Question2Answer to your computer or web server (also available on GitHub).
  4. Unzip the download using a tool such as WinZip (or unzip in the Unix shell).
  5. Replace all the Question2Answer files and directories (including .htaccess) on your web server with the new ones.
    • Your custom qa-config.php file will not be affected, nor will your qa-external directory.
    • You will need to reapply any other changes and reinstall any themes, languages or plugins as appropriate.
  6. Open the page for Question2Answer in your browser, and look around the admin center. If appropriate, you will be prompted to upgrade the database, so follow the on-screen instructions. You've now successfully upgraded - congratulations!

Question2Answer service providers

The following providers specialize in Question2Answer services. This information is provided as a free service to the community, and the providers listed are not endorsed. If you wish to be included here, please contact us.

  • Q2A Market - premium themes and custom theme development.
  • Q&A Themes - custom and premium themes, plugin development, support.
  • ASKIVE - customization, plugin development, support.
  • Q2A Pro - plugins, themes, video tutorials and tips.
  • LogicWeb - web hosting with one-click installation of Q2A.
  • Q2A Store - themes, plugins, customization services and support.
  • CiviHosting - web hosting with free installation of Q2A.

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