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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
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    how do I do a self contained chatforum?

    Http://www.mmpcs.org.uk

    I got asked a while ago to make a website for my work, and until now i'd been using free chat forums like aimoo etc.

    The problem with this, besides losing the forum when the host is down and often having to put up with advertising, in competion with the site, is the lack of control over them.

    I want a self contained forum added for visitors to use, and for providing answers to questions and support, which is hosted along with the main site, but only have limited html knowledge and most forums seem to be in php nowadays.

    are there any scripts, or precreated templates without adverts, links etc, which can act as a template for a chat forum that I can simply upload, create a link to, and sit back, or am I asking for too much and need to have someone else do it?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Addict KelliShaver's Avatar
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    I would reccommend something like phpBb or Invision Power Board, both are free (or if you're not opposed to spending a bit of cash, vBulliten, which is what SitePoint uses, is really good).

    Basically, you'll need PHP and an SQL database. Most web hosts provided these things today. It's very rare to find a paid host where you don't have access to them.

    (Note: there are also boards in ASP, CFML, etc. those particular 3 just happen to be PHP boards).

    Beyond that, just find the forum package that suits yoru needs best and download it. Follow the instructions in the documentation that comes with it and it'll get you set up and running.

    If you don't already know your SQL login/connection info, your hosting company cann give it to you. Most of them also have some form of web-based control panel such as phpMyAdmin for adminstering them as well.

    Oh, as for customizing the look/feel of the board to match your site, each of the 3 listed above have various template systems which allow you to change the board's appearance (most all big boards are like this at least to some degree).

  3. #3
    Huh? What now? tntcheats's Avatar
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    Just remember to always have it in relation to your site, don't try to suck people onto the forums, just make them know it's there, and that they can go to it, but will want to return to the site after they've visited. They're a great way for return traffic, they'll post, then come back later for an answer!

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard Keriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by groundzero
    Http://www.mmpcs.org.uk
    I want a self contained forum added for visitors to use, and for providing answers to questions and support, which is hosted along with the main site, but only have limited html knowledge and most forums seem to be in php nowadays.
    Does this mean you do not have access to php?

    If your host provides php and mysql then I highly suggest phpBB. I found them easy to setup and customize, even for a novice like myself. And they are free with no advertising!


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