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How to start an internet forum?

You need to use a server side language and a database. You really cannot via just HTML because there is a lot happening on the backend.

FP 2003 provides a way but via Frontpage Server Extensions - which are actually going to be gone in a few years it seems with MS going to the new program - Expressions.

A forum is a key element to operating any web site. In fact, some web sites consist of a forum and nothing else. These message boards are popular because you give your visitors a voice on your web site, allowing them to express their thoughts and ideas. It usually creates viral traffic for your web site as well, since people will naturally return to the web site to see if anyone has made a reply to the topic they created on the forum.

Building a forum from scratch would be an interesting project... but long and unnecessary unless you're really interested in learning how to do it.

If you want to get something off the ground quickly, there are some great, free, open-source forum scripts that you can download and install on your own server pretty quickly.


In particular I'd recommend one of three:
  1. phpBB
  2. Simple Machines Forum
  3. Vbulletin

All will work and all of them are great. I would recommend staying away from Vbulletin unless you want to front the cash. They do provide a great forum and I would say it is the one I prefer. But for any start up don't waste money on the easy parts. Because getting active users is the true name of starting a forum, the software is useless if no one is using it.

There are a few easy steps, that can get things going quickly:-

  1. Buy a domain name
  2. Obtain web hosting
  3. Create a MySQL database for your forum.
  4. Choose a forum script to use on your web site. There are a large number of forum scripts to choose from. The three most popular are Vbulletin, phpBB and Simple Machines Forum (SMF). Vbulletin carries an annual fee for use of the software, but that money is used to hire professional developers to constantly work on improving the forum script. Both phpBB and SMF are free forum scripts that have received a large amount of international recognition for providing high quality message board software without charging anything for the product.
  5. Install the script for your forum. After selecting a forum script in the previous step, download the files for the script and upload them to your web hosting account. The easiest way is to use an FTP program, such as SmartFTP.
  6. Configure your forum.

Web hosting guide

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  1. Web server system
    The most common use of web server system is to host Web sites.
  2. How to start an internet forum?
  3. Virtual web hosts
    Also known as shared hosting, virtual hosting is common among budget and entry-level hosting plans.
  4. Affordable web hosting for small business
    An affordable business web site hosting plan is the perfect type of hosting if you run a small or medium sized business.
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  7. Make money online without paying
    CPA is probably the best way to monetize a Domain/Webseite.
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  9. Reputation management strategy
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