recommend me a forum engine

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by felix_suwarno, Aug 4, 2002.

  1. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    i need to create a forum for the alumni of my previous university in another country.

    please recommend me anything, other than infopop!

    thanks
     
  2. Brian E

    Brian E Screenwriter

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    Are you looking for something you host or a hosted solution? Free or pay?
     
  3. Rob Speicher

    Rob Speicher Supporting Actor

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    PHP Solutions:
    Not free:
    HTF runs on vBulletin. There's vBulletin Lite, which is free but you'd be better off with a free package that's fully-featured.
    Free:
    phpBB
    YaBB SE
    Invision
    XMB
     
  4. AllanN

    AllanN Supporting Actor

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    For somethign that is pre setup and has veryy little administrative effort. You may want to check outYahoo! Groups.
     
  5. Darren Lewis

    Darren Lewis Supporting Actor

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    The advice above is good. You must decide if you are hosting it yourself or using a third party such as ezboard. I started The Book Forum on ezboard last November, but in March moved over to my own server with vBulletin. I found ezboard didn't give me as much control or customisation over the look of the site as I wanted. I was also able to develop the PHP to control the homepage look and feel, and integrate the forums into the rest of the site, such as the links directory.
    Next decide which scripting language you want. Most of the forum software uses PHP as the language and MySQL as the database. There are others that use PERL (such as YABB) and ones that use Microsoft Access (Snitz forums I think).
    Personally I preferred PHP as it is generally considered easier to learn if you want to modify the forum software (you don't have to). I didn't know any PHP when I bought vBulletin, but have learnt the basics just by messing about with the forum software.
    There are free forum sofware packages out there. PHPBB is considered quite good, as is Invision Board (sorry I don't have the links with me).
    One of the most popular which HTF and my site use is vBulletin. It has a strong user base and a good modifying community.
    There are loads of features to vbulletin, both from the user and admin side. Have a look on their site - they have a user forum and an admin demo which you can play with.
    Both HTF and my site use customised versions of vBulletin, each with their own little additions which the standard vBulletin doesn't have (eg the quick reply box). There's a real good modifying community with loads of people willing to help out.
    Personally I think vBulletin is the best, but you do have to pay for it. I tried a couple of free forum packages such as YABB and YABBse (the se is the PHP version, the other is the PERL). I found I was trying to modify their code and apply "hacks" to get what vBulletin already had. The cost of vBulletin more than made up for the time and effort I was spending.
     
  6. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    i want "pay", not "free". free means ads, slow server...etc etc.

    but i dont want to spend more than 90 bucks a year either.

    how does vbulletin work? i need to purchase the software, right. and then, i need to "purchase" a sever, right? duh, i am confused.
     
  7. Darren Lewis

    Darren Lewis Supporting Actor

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    Free doesn't always mean ads. I don't think the software like PHPBB has ads with it. Ezboard has ads unless you pay, and if you're going to pay you might as well host it yourself.
    You will need to rent some web space with a hosting company and register your domain name. There are loads of companies that offer hosting packages, some far better than others. Which company you go with is up to you, and will depend on which part of the world you are in.
    Make sure that they have PHP and MySQL in their packages. Some companies will only give you a single MySQL database, whereas others will give you more.
    Look for things like the power of their servers. Some cram loads of sites onto a P3-500.
    Other things are tech support - is it all email, or can you pick up the phone and chat to them.
    Do they give you SSH access to the server - this can be useful sometimes for backing up and restoring MySQL databases which can be large in size.
    Make a list of your requirements and future expansion ideas and ring them and ask them if they have sites hosting vBulletin and do they know much about it. My hosts use vBulletin for their tech support forums so they know loads about it and its requiremements.
    vBulletin has two options; either pay an annual fee to use the software, support and updates, or pay a single higher lifetime fee, and then a small optional annual fee for updates and support. Check their website for the latest prices.
    Darren.
     
  8. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    is 50 mb enough for a small forum?
     
  9. Darren Lewis

    Darren Lewis Supporting Actor

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    Should be OK. My whole site and forums is about 30Mb (at the moment). The database will be the main thing that uses the size. Check with your host if they have a maz size on the MySQL or if the 50Mb can be nearly all database.
     
  10. Rob Speicher

    Rob Speicher Supporting Actor

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    phpBB has no ads, neither do the other free solutions I mentioned either, I don't think. I haven't used the others, but I can personally recommend phpBB, it's a great forum.
     
  11. Ben Menix

    Ben Menix Stunt Coordinator

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  12. MickO

    MickO Extra

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    I use phpBB2, and it's really sweet. Easy to set up, a gazillion mods if you want to dive into the PHP code - no banners, no ads... It runs adequatly on a small Dual PPro 200 box with 132MB RAM. I have about 1,700 posts and the database (with structure and data) is about 4MB. All you need is Apache 1.3.x, PHP 4.x and mySQL. It runs under Linux, Solaris, AIX... Whatever you can compile those three prerequisites under. [​IMG]
    Word of warning... PHP4 doesn't play well with Apache 2.x yet...
     

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