How To Start A New Forum Using Free Software ?

meetdilip

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How To Start A New Forum Using Free Software ?

There was a time when I thought starting a forum was rocket science. But it took only a few months for me to learn that starting one is easier than we think. Main question everyone ask is do I need to know coding / programming to start a forum ? The answer is a big No.

There are 3 main things you will need to start a forum.

1. A name for your forum.

This is just like www.google.com. My forum's domain name is www.techiewiz.in

There are mainly two reason I chose .in

a. .com TLD is not available

b. .in or similar domains are cheaper

2. A place to keep your website

In technical terms we can say this a hosting. It is nothing but a computer (usually called a server) where you keep the files of your website.

3. A script/software to power your website


A forum script is more like an Operating System on your computer. Literally it is with which you interact mainly.

Where can I get these ?

a. Domain - I would recommend www.namecheap.com

b. Hosting

There is a lot of factors that you need to consider while choosing a hosting. The main factors are

* Disk space

* Bandwidth

* and of course, the price.

I will leave the hosting part to you or for further discussion, advice on the forum.

c. A forum script / software

I left the hosting part for discussion mainly to address the forums script part. Depending on the forum script you use, for eg. setting up a forum using bbpress which is a plugin for WordPress will be the best choice if you want to go as light as possible. The installation takes maximum 10 minutes (Don't worry, we are here to help).

Other options are free scripts like Vanilla, MyBB, SMF, phpBB, NodeBB etc. Though ElkArte, which is a fork of SMF is not stable at the time of writing article, there are many sites running on it with community support. So do check them as well before you decide. They already working on the close to final stage of the software.

If you have enough budget, you can also have a look at paid software like Xenforo, IPB, Wotlab Burning Board etc.

There are many cheap / free domain and hosting providers. You can choose them at your own risk.

That's all. Congrats ! You are a forum owner now. :)

Remember, making a forum is easy but making it a success is something you will have to learn the hard way.

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