Discussing Discussion Boards


I’ve been programming with php for about a year. On a website that I’ve developed, I’d like to add a --not too complicated–message board. My options are to build one from scratch for the sake of the learning experience, or use something that’s already “out there” and tailor it to my needs.

My question is whether you all think that it’s worthwhile in the grand scheme of things to put one together from scratch. And, if not, are there any recommended message board templates that I would use for the basic structure of it.

Thank you for your thoughts…


Are you thinking of building one from scratch for the practice of it? If not, then I’d go with something like SMF (Simple Machines Forum) or Vanilla Forums.

I’ll check them both out. I guess at this point, I can’t quite decide if I want to build my own for continually developing my skills. If I feel relatively comfortable with php and mysql at this point, would you think that building one from scratch would advance my skills, or would it be “more of the same”?

Thank you again for your thoughts.


Hi Eric,

I don’t know your skill-level, obviously, but there never really is an end to learning, so if you feel you have the time, energy and commitment to do it, even if it’s just for fun and educational gain, then I’d say, go for it.

SMF is quite well built compared to almost all other forum solutions, so it can’t hurt to take it apart and looking at its inner workings too.

Thank you! I do have the time as it’s a personal project (I’m not a “professional” like you guys!) so I think I’ll do a little bit of both; take a look at SMF to get some ideas, then try to work out the details myself.