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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Need help with Adding Forums to My Website

    I am struggling to get people to come to my website and return later, and so I am thinking that adding User Forums to my website where people can comment on Articles on my website and so on would be very beneficial.

    I know there are a lot of open-source choices out there, like vBulletin, but my fear is that using a 3rd-Party app will not integrate well with my home-grown website.

    For instance, I have spent a lot of time creating User Accounts where you can Register, Log-In, Reset a Password, and Change a Password, and I would want anything associated with the User Forums to use what I already have (or in the very least work using "Single Sign-On").

    I had a book by Larry Ullman that explained how to "roll your own" User Forums, but I don't have the book with me and don't know how well a working example would really be.

    So can someone help me figure out how to add User Forums to my website, and suggest some strategies that would make this fairly painless?!

    I sorta like the idea of building my own basic User Forums myself - I mean I created a basic e-commerce site from scratch for the love of programming, so why stop there?!

    Anyways, some wisdom is definitely needed on this topic!!

    Thanks,


    Debbie

  2. #2
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    I am thinking that adding User Forums to my website where people can comment on Articles on my website and so on would be very beneficial.
    Why not just allow them to post comments under the article itself? There are lots of sites out there with empty forums.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Mentor silver trophy
    Rubble's Avatar
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    Why not just allow them to post comments under the article itself? There are lots of sites out there with empty forums.
    I was looking to do something similar a year ago or so and could not find any code I liked; all I could find was blogging software that would do something similar to what I wanted but not quite and I did not take it any further.

  4. #4
    dooby dooby doo silver trophybronze trophy
    spikeZ's Avatar
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    Unless you can dedicate stupid amounts of time to deleting the garbage and spam that are added by bots daily, you would be fighting a losing battle DD.
    I added a forum to a client site and I get 200+ spam registrations DAILY. Once a commercial application is exploited by hackers it makes it look amateur at best and garbage at worst.

    Forums can be good as can comment forms as long as there is a backup plan, security and someone with the time to monitor them.
    Mike Swiffin - Community Team Advisor
    Only a woman can read between the lines of a one word answer.....

  5. #5
    SitePoint Mentor silver trophy
    Rubble's Avatar
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    I use a SMF forum and have added a couple of questions directly relating to the product on registration that cut down the spam drasticaly.
    I am also a member of a VBulleten forum and every now and again it is swamped by spam; one problem with that is the owner is in America and will not allow any other moderators. This means that I can see all the spam going on here in the UK but the nothing can get done until the Admin gets out of bed and checks his site/emails; there were over 500 spam posts a couple of times.

    The spammers seem to be using people now not just bots - I suppose they pay them a pitance to get past forum security and post the spam.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    I am struggling to get people to come to my website and return later, and so I am thinking that adding User Forums to my website where people can comment on Articles on my website and so on would be very beneficial.
    Comments on the article would be a better option than a forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    I know there are a lot of open-source choices out there, like vBulletin, but my fear is that using a 3rd-Party app will not integrate well with my home-grown website.

    For instance, I have spent a lot of time creating User Accounts where you can Register, Log-In, Reset a Password, and Change a Password, and I would want anything associated with the User Forums to use what I already have (or in the very least work using "Single Sign-On").
    Anything already out there will have its own user system and it will be difficult if not impossible to integrate your own into it. Integrating a forum's user system into your site may be possible depending on what you use. But that may mean existing passwords may not work.

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    I had a book by Larry Ullman that explained how to "roll your own" User Forums, but I don't have the book with me and don't know how well a working example would really be.
    Creating a simple message board is not difficult. I've done it. It's just entries in a database. A simple message board is one thing, something as complex as this forum is a whole other matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    So can someone help me figure out how to add User Forums to my website, and suggest some strategies that would make this fairly painless?!
    You could create a simple, no-frills message board in the matter of a few hours. By no frills, I mean no user profile pages, no ability to quote prior posts, no ability to automatically hyperlink URLs, no ability to hotlink images, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    I sorta like the idea of building my own basic User Forums myself - I mean I created a basic e-commerce site from scratch for the love of programming, so why stop there?!
    If you like doing it and you have the time go for it.

  7. #7
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    Vanilla forum has a wordpress integration module. I've never used it though.

    I wouldn't recommend trying to write your own forum code unless you have a whole lot of time.
    Doug G
    =====
    "If you ain't the lead dog, the view is always the same - Anon

  8. #8
    SitePoint Enthusiast jakub_polak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    So can someone help me figure out how to add User Forums to my website, and suggest some strategies that would make this fairly painless?!
    It seems that your website is something small like your personal blog. In that case you probably don't need complete forum solution. Adding comments under articles should be enough.

    I would just create one database table called "comments" with fields:

    1. id_comment
    2. id_article
    3. id_user
    4. time_added
    5. comment (text of comment)
    6. approved (comment needs to be approved before displaying to other users)

    The rest should be easy to implement (it is more or less just one formular).

    In case that you want to allow users to post comments without being signed on, then I would suggest using some kind of captcha (there are plenty of ready to use captchas) to avoid getting overhelmed by spam robots.


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