Creating a Forum. Advice wanted


#1

Ok, so I’ve been seriously kicking around the idea of creating a forum for something else I’m involved with, and have absolutely no idea where to even start, so I figured I’d ask for advice, tips, or links to some info from this community.

What forum software is good to use (is hitmanforum wordpress?), Should I host it myself or have a site run it, what would the expenses be? Literally any info or advice would be appreciated.

Bare in mind that in terms of budget, I am willing to invest some money into it personally, as it’s for something for which I would really like to start to build a community around.

Thanks in advance :blush:


#2

It would certainly help to know what the forum would be about, if you are willing to share that.


#3

Without going too specific, it would be a based around bringing people together to play certain videogames a certain way. It’s in an area that right now is not being represented or catered for.


#4

For a long time forum software all looked like it is stuck in the 90s. Now with Discourse, the software you see here, it finally became modern. So you might skip all the other softwares and try to work with that instead. It is Open Source too.

Hosting depends on how big it will be. I would not host it at home. That is more complicated, people have your IP (=DDoS results in your own Internet being down) and you have to buy hardware that runs 24/7 (power bill will rise).

Better look for a host, a vserver or something.


#5

Thanks! This is the sort of info I need. My biggest worry is starting anything only to have it crumble because I made poor choices early on. I want to be fortified with some knowledge before I pull any triggers.


#6

Your biggest problem at the beginning is gathering an active group of people. Pretty much anything on the technical level can be improved later too.
Though maybe open a Twitter for it too to inform your users for downtimes or movings.


#7

I have about 20 ready to go, even if they don’t know it yet, and have some YouTubers I have spoken to previously who could help bring in some numbers immediately. At least that’s my hope.


#8

Just wanna give this a little bump, any other advice us greatly appreciated.


#9

No advice, just well wishes.


#10

Definitely listen to @Urben, he knows what he’s saying.

Host this in the cloud. You can use Discourse (the software you are using now), and if that is indeed of your interest, I recommend contacting @Jarbinger. He is more than glad to share with you how he got this shit going. Whether you use discourse or not, he will still provide you with help on managing a remote cloud server

EDIT: You gonna tell us what this is for, or just be an evasive cunt? We’re all curious. Maybe one day we’ll visit and bring chocolates… Just sayin…


#11

This forum runs on Discourse (http://www.discourse.com/) which is a fantastic piece of software but requires either a significant investment of time in maintenance or quite a chunk of cash. They originally gave Hitmanforum a discount but that’s no longer sustainable and basically if we were to try to go back to them hosting and running everything for us - I’d need to negotiate a plan under the “Enterprise” section.

So instead, I run the software off a hosting cloud hosting service and do all the routine maintenance myself, including setting up to host image files on Amazon etc. At the moment it costs me $25 USD a month plus the damage to my brain caused by having to work out how to unix.

We used to use IP Board (https://invisioncommunity.com/) which offers a similar decision to make, it’s doubtlessly has changed a lot since last time I touched it but back in the day it was popular with people who liked coding because it had a lot of potential for forum “games” per se (giving you currency per post you can use to buy “items” kind of like Gaia) etc.

Even further back, in another life, I used to mod at places that used vBulletin (https://www.vbulletin.com/) which was a lot more business like but is still very functional and provides for discussion if you don’t mind the minimalist look (EN World, for example, still uses it).

And to be honest, if you’re just tossing something out to check the viability - phpBB (https://www.phpbb.com/) is free, easy to set up and quite functional even if it is widely mocked by people used to fancier forums that look more modern.

But all this depends on what you’re wanting - if you did want a specialist approach like say, a forum for speed runs where a new speed run gets announced and then people discuss it then WordPress might be the best solution.


#12

Sorry, I’m not trying to be an evasive cunt. I don’t want it public yet until I’ve weighed all my options and know if I’m gonna do it. If you really wanna know I’ll PM you.


#13

@Jarbinger, thank you! Great information. A couple of questions…

Can you give an idea of what sort of time commitment that entails?

Do you have any tips/resources for how to do that?


#14

If you or @doom-generation need help with bash or CLI on unix, feel free to PM me. I’m wouldn’t classify myself as an expert, but I do run a headless home server on Ubuntu and my laptop is Linux.

sudo reboot


#15

I have a Google Document with all the steps I took to build the forum, mostly so that I’d be able to fix it or redo it as needed - it took like eight attempts to work out how to get it to run stably.

If you want further details etc it’d probably be best to PM me so I don’t have to deal with people dropping in to tell me I’m wrong etc.