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  1. #1
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    Creating a Discussion Board

    I've seen a lot of comments on how to grow and protect your community and why the community is being built, but how does one create the discussion board in teh first place?

    - Do you have to host the discussion board yourself?

    - All discussion boards seem to be alike, is there a company like yahoogroups that allow you to build such communities without having to deal with all the technicalities? (I don't like the way yahoogroups is structured. I want people to be able to look over posts and threads the way the do on technical sites such as sitepoint.)

    - If there are companies that will host it for me, then can I use my own URL?

    Thanks guys.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Evangelist jimday1982's Avatar
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    You'll find that most users here at SitePoint use a message board application like vbulletin or phpbb to create their community. What's nice about those solutions is that you aren't limited to the layout and functionality of something like Yahoo groups...which is completely antiquated in my opinion.

    You also might want to check out EZBoard if you're looking to create a message board without getting involved in the technical aspects.
    Jimmy Day
    Senior Systems Analyst
    Piedmont Healthcare Corporation

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Bleys's Avatar
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    You don't have to host it yourself, but I'd recommend it. It gives you a lot more flexibility, you can more easily have your own domain and monetize the community later, switch software if you want to, add a custom skin or install modifications that you might want, etc.

    If you're looking for a hosted service, there are a ton of them, ranging from free (like EZBoard or ProBoards) to enterprise (like Groupee -- who host the Discovery Channel forums, for example -- and Prospero -- AOL, New York Times, iVillage, NASCAR, etc.). This is a pretty good list, that I've found: http://thinkofit.com/webconf/hostsites.htm
    Josh is a ghost
    rails & work & twitter

    Organization is the
    death of creativity.

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys.

    Good to see you Jim Day.

    I have a webserver to host the message board if I wanted to so hosting is not a big problem in itself. It is simply getting started and maintaining it that is a question. I don't want to spend tons of time on techical details.

    If i hosted my own site, will there be a large learning curve? I don't mind learning some things since I'm in teh technology field. I just don't want a lot of work.

    What do you think? Thanks.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Bleys's Avatar
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    Actually using the software and using the moderation tools won't be very difficult. Installing or customizing the software--perhaps. It depends what sort of experience you're already bringing to the table.
    Josh is a ghost
    rails & work & twitter

    Organization is the
    death of creativity.

  6. #6
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    I don't have any experience with message boards at all. I'm familar with html and i took vb6 in school. I don't know anything about PHP at all.

    I would like to learn a lot of things. But time is an important factor. Thanks.
    Last edited by jacobpressures; Dec 7, 2006 at 10:19.

  7. #7
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    Looks to me like EZ Boards require that you pay to create a message board with them--around $60 per year.

  8. #8
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    Looks like I'm leaning toward SMF. VBulletin is way expensive for a start up site that you are creating only to help a few people.

    I'm going to look up MyBB also. Thanks.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Bleys's Avatar
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    EZBoard used to be one of the largest free bulletin board providers on the Internet. For many years the paid, ad-free option was an uprade... looks like they've evolved. In that case, ProBoards might be the largest free community provider now. There are some very large and successful boards build on ProBoards. A lot of fan forums for rock groups use ProBoards.

    It still might be a better idea to pay someone to install one of the popular forum software suites out there for you (phpBB, SMF, IPB, vB, MyBB, etc.). You'll have more flexibility and control of your forum and users and won't have to deal with someone else's ads on your community.
    Josh is a ghost
    rails & work & twitter

    Organization is the
    death of creativity.

  10. #10
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    Do i really need someone else to install the BB software for me?

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Bleys's Avatar
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    No, but you said you had no experience with PHP and were in a rush, so I thought that might be a time saver.
    Josh is a ghost
    rails & work & twitter

    Organization is the
    death of creativity.

  12. #12
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    Nah! Thanks. I'm working on it.

    My server supports everything for SMF except i can't find anything on this
    GNU Aspell 0.50 or higher thingy. It says for spell checking functionality.

    I don't know if i really need it but since it asks for it, i thought i would take a look.

    Thanks!

  13. #13
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    You do not need it, thats optional, just means the spell checker won't be available.
    Liverpool FC Forum SMF powered with 2.4 Million Posts - UK Proxy


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