Hey! I'm Matt, and I'm a newbie to this sort of thing.
While I may not be trying to do anything nearly as hardcore and corporate as the community appears to be here, I was hoping to get some insight from a more experienced/knowledgeable community.
So let me start by saying I'm creating a website (with little experience myself) targeted at holding interest on a small social group. Since I do have an artistic background in both digital and in drawing/painting and since we're a group of similar interest, catching their attention shouldn't be too difficult for me. My concern is holding it, and building a small community with slight growth. Not aimed at making money, and I'm willing to spend within reason, being that I'm an individual and not a company.
Really, its a small gaming website, but I don't like the typical "WoW" gaming websites, they don't serve my purpose and look unappealing so I won't build off that sort of thing.
Firstly, what I'd like as far as input is what forum provider would be best suited to my situation? I found this site through googling a forum review of Xenoforo, and I like the idea of this forum. What I'm looking for in a forum is something with a clean feel which I can work into my website and will allow for social interaction through things like status updates and the like. Also options such as being able to incorporate customized registration fields, allowing further information such as a persons gaming information, ideally to appear next to their posts as well as personal profiles.
Otherwise, I'm hoping to eventually incorporate a website log in that'll allow simple things like a profile, blog, and small personally galleries, and ideally be linked to the forum itself. If someone could point me in the right direction with what I'd need to know for this sort of thing as far as hosts, and webdesign skills I'd be very appreciative.
You could use SMF + Tiny Portal + Copermine Gallery or:
Joomla + SMF + Copermine Gallery
There are a lot combinations. You should look at the available "bridges" among the softwares you plan to use.
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Both helpful posts. @Dr.Michael, I'll look into those today. @Daniel, thanks, that'll significantly help me decide on whether or not XF is the right forum for me. I really want one with additional features that'll hold interest and get people to know each other better.