Well I was expecting for some help from SitePoint users to guide me in that. Anyway the only platform that I feel more comfortable using is phpBB but that is a self hosted forum as opposed to a hosted forum.
My advice to the client in this case was for them to use a social networking site/app like Facebook Group or Twitter for several reasons, being some of them the ease of use, the fact that everybody already uses/knows how to use, the marketing possibilities, etc.
Does anybody have used any of this sites or others to work as a support group?
When I said saving money I wasn’t referring to how much a forum program would cost (some of the best are free ex. phpBB) but to the costs related to the implementation, design and management of a self-hosted forum.
I agree with you that a self-hosted forum offers more advanced features related to managing users, threads, posts, etc; but most of this features aren’t even necessary for most of the communities.
The three main reasons for my choice for a Facebook Group or Twitter, are the ease of implementation, the interface, that the majority of people know how to use, and the registering/login process that becomes either obsolete because a big percentage of the users are already registered or really easy because most of the people are comfortable with registering to a service that they know already.
There are other factors that should be taken into consideration like building your community inside a proven social network with millions of users that can multiply exponentially the visibility of the company.
Thank you for the tip. However, I could not get SMF to install because I could not figure out how to setup an ftp account on my server (running opensuse 10.3 x64). I eventually settled for MercuryBoard as it is very easy to customize to match the rest of the web site.
Also tried phpBB3 but could not figure out how to customize like MercuryBoard. IMHO, phpBB3 also has a security issue that could compromise the forum. It automatically sends confirmation emails to new members that includes the new member’s username, password and url to login
Hi Hosting, when I started the installation, it kept asking for ftp account information. Tried setting up an ftp account on the openSUSE server but could not find a screen where I could create the ftp account.
I run Apache on my laptop (openSUSE 10.3 x_64) and was trying to install it on the laptop (localhost) and it kept asking me me for ftp account details. I could not configure an ftp account on the laptop either.