Before you install phpBB and jump into it, you may want to first go over how forum software works. Forum software is designed to help you build an interactive community with users, or members. Visitors will come and sign up so they can participate in discussions with other like-minded individuals on specific topics. By managing a community, you get credibility for creating a place for the exchange of ideas. This can be a very rewarding type of website.
First things first, you will need to install the program. Typically, you will have a tool such as Softaculous install your phpBB for you. Softaculous is a program that installs other programs and takes care of a lot of the extraneous work such as creating and naming the database and its default user, setting up the proper folder structure, etc. If you do not have a program such as Softaculous, or you prefer to do so, you can perform a manual install. Remember, a manual installation does include more work.
Log into the Admin panel
Since the administrative account is created during the installation, the next thing you need to know is how to log into the administrative panel. This is very simple in phpBB as there is no specific URL, or web address, designed just for the administration. In phpBB, all users, moderators, and administrators log into the same area.
Create a Forum
Once you have installed the program, you need to create your first forum. Without a forum, your users have nothing to interact with. A forum is a place where users will post topics of conversation and respond to each other. They are often organized into broader categories to give a better user experience.
Your members will need to create accounts in order to be able to post to your forums. Creating a user account is a simple process which is initiated by clicking the ‘Register’ button on the main page of your website.
Create a post
Once a user has created an account, they will be able to contribute to the community by creating topics. This is the bread and butter of your community. Users will begin to create their own conversations about whatever topic they want.
Create a reply
After a user creates a topic or post, it is visible on the board and available for response. Users can then respond to each other, creating a thread, or conversation. As your users create topics and respond to them, giving them an active community, they will also invite other people to join. This helps your community grow and you can keep them happy by creating new categories for them to discuss.
As your community grows, you may get to the point where you need help to manage your members. You can do things such as create user groups or add moderators and even other administrators. All of these types of members can have several permission levels for different tasks. These features fall under advanced user management and are covered in more detail with our higher level classes.
That is a general overview of how forum software like phpBB works. We hope this gave you a basic understanding and you are ready to get started creating your own forum community.
Ready to get started? Click here to read how to install phpBB using Softaculous!