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  1. Need message board

    Hi all,

    I run an educational charity based in the US that supports grassroots projects around the world. Our site, omprakash.org, desparately needs a message board/forum feature. Our site is hosted by web.com. Anyone willing to help out, or at least give some advice?

    Ive looked into PHP options but Im still pretty confused. Thanks a lot,

    Willy

  2. #2
    Most hosting services now include many free forums. You might want to check with your hosting service and see if they offer anything similar.

    Here are links to a few which you can download and install for free:

    Invision Board
    phpBB2
    SMF

    However you will need to make sure you have at least 1 mysql database.
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  3. Thanks for the quick reply. I have checked and I know that web.com doesnt offer any sort of message board service. Ivwe also checked out phpBB2 and it seems great but very confusing to me. And Im sorry to say that I dont know what an mysql database is. Can oyu have some pity and explain a little more? Thanks,

    Willy

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by QualityHost View Post
    Most hosting services now include many free forums. You might want to check with your hosting service and see if they offer anything similar.

    Here are links to a few which you can download and install for free:

    Invision Board
    phpBB2
    SMF

    However you will need to make sure you have at least 1 mysql database.

    IPB Isn't free anymore, and hasn't been since a few year's back (IPB 1.3 was the last free version).

    I recommend SMF of all free board's. MySql is a type of database, which obviously, stores data. In this case, thing's such as user's etc.

    Care to tell us which control panel your host uses so we can explain how to setup an database?

  5. #5
    Willy,

    An sql database stores all the posts and other configuration of your forum. You will need to check with your provider and make sure you have at least 1 database.

    Installation procedures will vary on the forum you want to install but they are generally simple. The forum developers also have their own forums where people will be better able to help you get that specific board installed.
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  6. #6
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    You will most likely want to use phpbb3 as phpbb2 is out of date. A mysql database stores all the information for your forum such as your post, category, members, and etc.

    PHPBB3 has a variable such as $title and looks on your mysql database for what $title would be equal to such as $title = Yourname.com .

  7. #7
    SMF works fine. It has a nice design and decent functionality. phpBB is also good. As you know it is one of the most popular forum software.
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  8. #8
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    William, as I can see that your domain is hosted on IIS, so you also have a choice of ASP based forum and one free software is http://forum.snitz.com where you can use MsAccess as database.

    But before having a forum on your site there are three things you should consider about.

    1) Administration and Moderation of your forum, once you have a forum you attract forum spammers and such, soon your forum will be flooded with spammers ranging from SEO related link builders to porn to pharmacy, so you should be prepared to actively moderate your forum.

    2) Security, most of these application become vulnerable at some point of time, new versions are released to fix bugs, security holes and enhancements, so you should be prepared to patch and update your application.

    3) Contingency plan, site move, change of hosting provider, there also comes a point when because of any or many reasons you feel like changing hosting provider, so you have to plan today for future, hence while choosing a forum application or any other such thing like Guest Book, Photo Gallery etc you should see if you will be able to migrate every thing to new server or will you be losing them.

    So, in nutshell, if you don't know about DB and all, better engage someone who can take care of it or learn to DIY.

    BTW you have one more option and that is to get a pre-installed forum at some free or paid hosted forum provider.
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  9. #9
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    SMF works great. Look for a host who has Fantastico or any other automated script installer. This will make it easy for you to keep your message board patched with the latest security fixes.
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  10. Quote Originally Posted by BetaOrange View Post
    IPB Isn't free anymore, and hasn't been since a few year's back (IPB 1.3 was the last free version).

    I recommend SMF of all free board's. MySql is a type of database, which obviously, stores data. In this case, thing's such as user's etc.

    Care to tell us which control panel your host uses so we can explain how to setup an database?
    Thank you so much everyone for your prompt responses. Im not sure what which control panel my host uses. I was under the impression that I would need to download some MySql software myself (such a Firebird)...but is it possible that this software already exists within the web.com server? Sorry again for my ignorance, and thanks,

    willy

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by willyoppenheim View Post
    Thank you so much everyone for your prompt responses. Im not sure what which control panel my host uses. I was under the impression that I would need to download some MySql software myself (such a Firebird)...but is it possible that this software already exists within the web.com server? Sorry again for my ignorance, and thanks,

    willy
    Mysql is something that just about every host has installed. You wouldnt need to do anything other than create the db, upload your forum software and run the installer.

  12. #12
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    Most probably your hosting control panel must be having some web based MySql admin tool, may be phpMyAdmin.

    They must have provided a page (a form like) to create MySql DB, so just explore and see if some thing is there to create a MySql database, create a user, add user to database.

    It should be something like you create an email address (sort of).
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  13. Quote Originally Posted by Chris_M View Post
    Mysql is something that just about every host has installed. You wouldnt need to do anything other than create the db, upload your forum software and run the installer.
    okay, so in that case could you fill me in on how to create the db? and if i am doing this from a computer that is not my own, does it matter? in other words, to manage the forum in the future, do i need to have specific things on my harddrive, or can everything just be saved "inside" the site itself? thanks-

    willy

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by willyoppenheim View Post
    okay, so in that case could you fill me in on how to create the db? and if i am doing this from a computer that is not my own, does it matter? in other words, to manage the forum in the future, do i need to have specific things on my harddrive, or can everything just be saved "inside" the site itself? thanks-

    willy
    The provider you pick should be able to help you create the db. Everything is stored on the hosts server, and you will administer your forum via a web-based admin section.

  15. #15
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    As someone mentioned earlier. You can more than likely find someone by posting in the community forum such as phpbb.org that will help you install the board. Some may charge but many may do it for free.

    Again the problem comes when you have a problem or need to apply an update. If you can follow step by step instructions it should be pretty easy for you to install it.

  16. #16
    Flash tutorials for phpBB3: w w w.phpbb.com/support/tutorials/3.0/

    phpBB2:
    w w w.phpbb.com/support/tutorials/2.0/

    These will 'walk & talk' you through setting up a phpBB forum.

    View the installation video from the /2.0/ page a few times until you begin to understand and then take the plunge and install at the same time as running and pausing the video.

  17. Before I go any further I want to make sure I understand what kind of forum/message board I will get from a program like SMF or PHPbb. My main question is this: will the message board end up "inside" my site, or will users be directed to a totally different site?

    For the time being, I dont feel like I need anything super complicated. If you have time, look at ww.cochamo.com and click on the "message board" link on the nav. bar-- its very simple, but I think my site would benefit from something like this. To obtain this kind of very basic feature, would I still need to go thru a program like PHPbb, or is there a simpler way?

    thanks a lot,
    willy

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by QualityHost View Post
    Most hosting services now include many free forums. You might want to check with your hosting service and see if they offer anything similar.

    Here are links to a few which you can download and install for free:

    Invision Board
    phpBB2
    SMF

    However you will need to make sure you have at least 1 mysql database.
    IPB isn't free anymore as others have stated. I remember I was browsing the internet and found a 3rd party group that has released a ton of manual security updates to add to IPB 1.3.1 in order to secure it to the same level IPB 2.x.x is at. I'm not sure if it's really that secure but it's better than nothing .
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  19. #19
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    will the message board end up "inside" my site, or will users be directed to a totally different site?
    You can simply install it in a subdirectory. Say yourdomain.com/forum.

    phpbb and the other forum applications that were mentioned would give you a forum similar to the one we have here. Definitely more advanced than the one present at the site you referred us to. That one is almost like a guestbook, which may be an option for you, I guess.

    in other words, to manage the forum in the future, do i need to have specific things on my harddrive, or can everything just be saved "inside" the site itself?
    While everything would indeed be kept on the server, you need to do two things quite regularly. Upgrade the forum to keep it secure, and make backups (especially of your database) so you don't end up losing years worth of data.

  20. Quote Originally Posted by ldcdc View Post
    You can simply install it in a subdirectory. Say yourdomain.com/forum.

    phpbb and the other forum applications that were mentioned would give you a forum similar to the one we have here. Definitely more advanced than the one present at the site you referred us to. That one is almost like a guestbook, which may be an option for you, I guess.

    While everything would indeed be kept on the server, you need to do two things quite regularly. Upgrade the forum to keep it secure, and make backups (especially of your database) so you don't end up losing years worth of data.

    I understand the that message board I referred you too is much less sophisticated than this one. However, would you mind suggesting a way to create this kind of feature within my site? I just want to have an idea of what the differnet options would require. Thanks a lot,

    Willy

  21. #21
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    To build something like that from scratch, it would mean creating a script or a small application, using some kind of database, be it a simple flat-file or the significantly more advanced Mysql. All this would take a good bit of programming knowledge to be done right.

    IMO the way forward is a well maintained, popular forum software, like the ones that were suggested to you. You can scale a forum according to your needs. In the beginning you could have only one category with only one forum in it. As popularity grows you can easily expand it.

  22. [QUOTE=ldcdc;5045183]To build something like that from scratch, it would mean creating a script or a small application, using some kind of database, be it a simple flat-file or the significantly more advanced Mysql. All this would take a good bit of programming knowledge to be done right.

    QUOTE]

    thanks for the help, again. suppose i wanted a very simply message board like that one but didnt want to build it from scratch? could i find code for one somewhere? i understand that something like phpbb would be better in the long run, but i am planning on doing a major overhaul on my website in the near future, so for the short-term i am curious about how hard it would be to just set up a super-simple message board like the one discussed above. thanks for your time,

    willy

  23. #23
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    See if http://www.ymbb.zzl.org/ymbb/site/index.php suits you, they say "YMbb is a free PHP powered Forum, no database required"

    Its running live at http://www.ymbb.zzl.org/ymbb/forum/index.php

    And you have lot of more to chose at http://www.hotscripts.com/PHP/Script...rds/index.html
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by willyoppenheim View Post
    For the time being, I dont feel like I need anything super complicated. If you have time, look at www.cochamo.com and click on the "message board" link on the nav. bar-- its very simple, but I think my site would benefit from something like this. To obtain this kind of very basic feature, would I still need to go thru a program like PHPbb, or is there a simpler way?

    thanks a lot,
    willy
    I clicked that link and that's more of a guest book than a message board.
    Last edited by the_pm; 04-07-2008 at 04:09 PM. Reason: Per RossMAN's request

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