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Discussion Starter #1
I'm pretty new to this site, but I'm a forum junkie in general. It occured to me, well after some friends suggested it, that I should have my own forum. I've been researching it and I'm pretty much sold on some version of Vbulletin- I've looked at some that just won't suit my needs. An example would be Invision. Too many restrictions.

Now, my real question is what sorts of hurdles can anyone help me avoid- any advice? I'm seeking economical hosting options, including several I found via this site.

I'm a complete noob when it comes to this, so I have questions which may seem basic to all of you: I know I'll have to upload my forum software to a server- anything to watch or prepare for here? I don't imagine I'll have a huge membership, so bandwidth won't be a huge concern, at least at the outset.

In sum, I guess I'd appreciate anyones input.
Thanks!
Jim :)
 

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Running a forum can be tough. vBulletin is a good choice, just make sure you buy it straight from them. They have a lot of issues of people selling you a copy they purchased and then saying you didn't pay and they get the copy of vb back. Which leaves you out of money and no vb. They don't seem to care about this and they don't seem to be trying to stop it. So buy a copy straight from them.

That being said. Setting up vb is pretty easy, upload load the files, make some permission changes, setup a database and run the install script. There are also people who will install it for a price.

If you want to customize it, you should have knowledge of PHP and some MySQL. Again you can also pay to have someone customize it. You can also purchase skins for vb from various sites to change the look of the site if you aren't good at graphics.

vb has some performance issues, but overall it is good. It is very popular and there is decent support to be found for it. You can go to vbulletin.com for it, although if you install any hacks they will not support most issues, or you can go to vbulletin.org for hacks and support. Its hit and miss there.

It can be costly to run, due to the server load. Don't expect to make much from advertising, I'm getting about half of my server cost paid through advertising, the rest is out of my pocket.

Running your own forum can be rewarding though. You get to meet people, and if your lucky have a good time. Depending on the type of forum you can also help people.

Hope this helped some.
 

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Well worth it...

Its is well worth running even a little forum, as it can help keep you in touch with friends etc.... Better than a Guest book.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, I decided to go for PHP bb and I'm having a heck of a good time with it. I've done a few simple mods- eventually, I'll do one that let's you attach pictures from your harddrive, but for now, it's a nice, quiet little place- only 56 members so far- I think I'd like to keep it small. As it is it only costs me 60 dollars a year to run, including server costs and domain name :)
 
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