Getting Started Guide Online Forum Bulletin Board
Written by Brad Markle
Published: Aug 24, 2011
Last Modified: Nov 11, 2011
This article will assist you with getting started adding an online forum / bulletin board to your website.
What is a Forum?
A forum is an online discussion board / bulletin board. It allows your users to post topics, and then for the rest of the forum community to read and respond to those topics. If you've ever searched the web to get more help on an issue you're having, whether it be anything from your website to your car, you've most likely read some information from a forum. InMotion Hosting runs its own forum as well. You can see a live example here: Help with Permission denied error - Running a PHP script with Cron
While most people are familiar with using a forum or at least know what it is, not as many people know how to setup a forum. There are several online forum applications you can install, most notably phpBB and SMF.
Choosing a Forum Application
While we don't officially recommend any one particular forum application for your website, we've included links below to pages on the phpBB and SMF websites that will give you more information about each program, which should help you decide which one to use.
phpBB - Features http://www.phpbb.com/about/features/?from=submenu
SMF - Feature List http://www.simplemachines.org/about/features.php
Please note that there are other forum applications besides phpBB and SMF. If you search the web for, "php mysql forum software", you should find other applications you can review as well.
Installing your forum
If you choose to use either phpBB or SMF as your forum, you're in luck, as both applications can easily be installed within Fantastico (located in your cPanel). For more help with using Fantastico to install phpBB or SMF, please see the following link:
If you decide to choose a forum other than what is offered in Fantastico, please see the program's installation instructions for more help with installation. While we cannot install third party applications for you, if you run into a problem during installation, please contact our Support Department and let us know and we'll be more than happy to assist.
Using your new forum
After you've installed your new forum, you'll want to review the program's website to find the documentation you'll need to get started with all the available features. We've included links below to help get you started.
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