the creative internet technology co.

First Steps in Setting Up Your Own Website Forum

Monday, 2 May 2011
Forums and bulletin boards have been around since the very early days of the internet and there a lot of different ways to create or manage your own.

Free and Open Source

You could use a free service like invisionfree.com where it's all hosted for you.

If you want to host it yourself, consider open source software, like phpbb.com (probably the most popular of all the open source forums – see reading-forum.co.uk).

Also look at simplemachines.org and phpnuke.org and jforum.net and on and on – there are literally dozens of them. So really it's a case of deciding you want from the forum and which product suits you best.

Commercial Software Packages

Start by looking at vBulletin. That's about $195. The Digital Point forum that I use sometimes is run with vBulletin. Or something like ASP Playground which is about $300.

I have used UBB Threads for one of my clients, which is very good and costs $139, but isn't hugely customisable, visually-speaking.

Obviously, if you're not a developer yourself, the cost of setting up one of these sites will combine the cost of the software (from zero upwards), plus the amount of time it takes to install, plus a degree of customisation, plus a degree of integration with the rest of your website.