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Setting up a forum

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:34 am
by iistapp
No idea if this is the right place to post it.


This is basically what I want to do, simple it sounds? Not too simple..

First things first:
get phpBB
Get tool for setting it up localy – XAMPP?
Read up on SQL databases and php
Set up the forum –
Make the "welcome page" -
Figure who/how to host and what domain service to use.

Yea, that’s what I got so far. I have basically no experience when it comes to web development, nor security.. Well some, but it’s just basic stuff.

Anything else I need to know? Should take in consideration for doing this?

I’m open for suggestions and improvements so shoot people!

Re: Setting up a forum

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:42 pm
by mShred
Ah, this shouldn't be too hard. I've done this before. First things first, you need to set up a working website. The method depends on whether you'd like to host it locally, on your own computer, or if you'd like to pay for better hosting. The other thing, regarding a domain: depends on if you want to pay for a good domain, or if you'd rather stick with a subdomain on some other commercial website. If you take that route, you'll have to look up how forwarding nameservers and such. Not too bad, it's just dealing with getting the domain of the site to work.

Secondly, you'd have to get a server up and running. If you're running Linux, I'd suggest LAMP for a first time. Windows, I think it's WAMP. What that is is Apache, MySQL, and PHP. Apache is the webserver. It's what runs on your computer to broadcast your webpage to the world once they connect to your computer. MySQL as I'm sure you know is the database. That's what stores all of your users and passwords and shizz. But if you were going to install phpBB, then it would create and handle it's own data in the database. You wouldn't really have to mess with it that much unless you were planning on tweaking, adding, or removing things from your site to make it more original. PHP is just a sexy language website devs like to use to make their site more sexy. Keep in mind that I'm sure you know a lot of this. I just don't want to miss anything, and this way other users viewing this will know exactly what to do. As for setting up the LAMP or WAMP or whatever, after you install it you should look up how to set it up. There are some things you're gonna have to go through and configure to make everything go the way you need it to.

After that, you need to install and set up phpBB. I've personally done this before as a test a few times. One time using godaddy's hosting services which are the shittiest shit I've ever seen. IMO. But if you're not into the whole managing your own box, you can always role with that and it'll be a lot easier than installing phpBB on a local box. Anyway, I'd say look up a good tutorial or something on installing and setting it up for your specific OS. Once again, configure it after that.

That's just a broad rundown tutorial.. I can almost guarantee you'll have more questions, so please feel free to post back with any questions or updates on your progress. It's a lot more complicated once you get into it, but while you're down in there troubleshooting all the bullshit you learn a hell of a lot.

Re: Setting up a forum

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:06 pm
by iistapp
Wow.. So much information in one place..

Thanks for the reply!

And, as you could guarantee, I already have questions.

I'm not exactly sure how phpBB work, I thought you just extracted it and then used a program to be able to view it in your browser and do some editing in that way, or do I actually have to get it hosted and out on the internet to do this?

I think I'll end up buying my own domain and then put the forum on a sub domain like I mentioned in the first post, I already found a guy that could host the page for me and he even got a few other pages up so I trust he know what he's doing, but I will defenitly look into WAMP as I'm running Windows, and in the long run I want to be the one hosting the page just to be on the safe side and for the learning and experience.

Hell, after writing this I'm thinking of doing it the way you wrote it and do it step by step.. I'm not sure to be honest, I guess I have to do some reading to figure what I'll do. I just want to get the forum up first I think.

Mmmm.. Yeap! I'll keep you guys updated as I go along the road for my victory to host a darn forum! Hah.

Re: Setting up a forum

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:07 pm
by limdis
@mshred +1!

Re: Setting up a forum

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:04 pm
by mShred
phpBB needs to be on the box that is hosting it. If you're hosting it at your house, or if you're hosting it at that other dude's server, it needs to be on that computer. This is unless you decide to forward the subdomain to a different computer just for the forums. But let's not get into that, because I highly doubt that's what you're going to start off with. After you get Apache set up, maybe you'll see what I mean on where phpBB needs to be.

Re: Setting up a forum

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:37 pm
by iistapp
Cheers, I'll do my best to follow your first reply, and ask questions as I move on instead of before.. I kind of tend to do that without really having tried it out on my own first.. >.< Bad habit, I just feel more secure if I know more of what I'm going to do I guess.

Thanks anyhow, I'll keep you guys up to date!

Congratz on 1234 pots, mshred!

Re: Setting up a forum

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:24 pm
by dm79
Ever assembled an IKEA furniture? You probably ended up with a furniture and a handful of screws that should have been in the assembly. When you setup the server yourself be prepared for the fact that you will end up looking riddled while watching your site run as you are standing there with a hand full of screws.

I think that if it is your goal to learn how to set up a server etc then you know what to do as it's explained in former posts. If it is your goal to set up an active forum then I would consider a payed hosting plan if I where you. There are providers that offer a domain, optional installable frameworks like phpBB etc for less then € 100,- a year. If you go to a professional provider then the basics are covered: correct server configuration and properly working setup. If you will set this up yourself then it is best to assume you will be running on an unsafe unstable server.

Not to mention the prospect of migrating the site to a live server after developing it locally on frameworks. This will not be a walk in the park and will cost more as you will probaly need your provider to do it for you at € 120,- a hour.

So it comes down to to either prepare for success and invest a little or to be happy and enjoy the learning experience.

Good luck with it!

Re: Setting up a forum

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:36 am
by tremor77
^ A single site CMS/MySQL installation is not that hard to migrate. phpBB is cake but you'll find the either v2 or v3 still lack alot of features that you might want, most noteably front-end support (ala pages that are NOT part of the forums). For that you generally need to get a mod or plugin. I've found phpBB not to be the most backend friendly either. If you want to stay free and open source, and build an entire site around your forums I'd suggest starting with MyBB instead. But that's beside the point and matter of personal preference.. If you really wanted to be gung-ho i'd say install Drupal but then you'd be in for a lifetime of misery. Wordpress with the SimplePress forum plugin is probably the most noob friendly of all.

Additionally - you really SHOULD do your development locally in LAMP/WAMP environment.. forget whether your local machine is windows and your remote hosting is linux or whatever.. shouldn't matter just make sure your PHP and MySQL environments are the same. 2 reasons for this.. if your tooling around locally and mess something up it doesnt affect your production environment. And other reason is you always have that redundancy for the purposes of backup/failsafe.