Forum Set-up

Discussion in 'Reading & Writing' started by Avigail David, Aug 30, 2015.

  1. Avigail David

    Avigail David Well-Known Member
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    There are a few questions my mind is reeling with interesting ideas (to me). But I don't know how to address them, what to ask and who to ask. Here are 6 of them (for now):

    1. How much money should I prepare to spend on a new forum set-up?
    2. How much to maintain a forum?
    3. Do you know of any website that I can join or sign up to build a forum with them?
    4. What are the pre-requisites? Does a forum owner have to be computer savvy to understand all the technical language.
    5. Do I need to hire a website developer or website designer to build a forum? Or do I need to study Website Developing 101?

    6. Will you recommend a website community to build my forum with them?

    I hope I made myself quite clear. Or you can help me clarify about some things I should be looking for.

    Thanks.
     
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  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    1. That depends on the forum software you choose. There are some very good free forum scripts. However, with the free scripts, any support that you might need will come from other people using the script, which may be good or it may be bad. In other word, when something goes wrong, and invariably something does, you may be pretty much on your own. Paid forum scripts will range from a hundred dollars or so to a couple of hundred dollars, or more. This forum uses Xenforo, which cost $140. A good comparison can be found at Forum Matrix.
    2. Again, that depends on too many things to cover here. You will have your hosting fees and, depending on which forum software you are using, there will be costs for any add-ons you might want to use, upgrades, support, etc.
    3. There are places online where you can start a forum for free, with them supplying the basic script. In most, if not all, cases however, they will inserts ads on your forum from which they will collect money. Another thing to consider is that if you should ever want to upgrade or change to another software, you may not have access to the database, meaning that you would have to start all over.
    4. That depends on what you want to do, and which software you are using. You will be able to do fancier stuff with your forum if you understand the underlying script, usually PHP. Otherwise, most forum softwares have third-party add-ons that you can use either for free, in some cases, or for a fee. Of course, at some point, they may decide to no longer upgrade their add-on and you might be left with something that isn't supported by a subsequent upgrade of the forum script. The simple answer is that a working forum can be setup with very little knowledge on the part of the forum administrator, but maintaining it might be difficult down the road. Some are easier or more difficult than others. I am computer savvy, but I am not terribly familiar with PHP so I am dependent upon third-party add-ons.
    5. Most forum scripts will give you a fairly attractive forum theme, and most will give you a choice of several themes, with additional themes available for a fee, either developed by the forum script company or, more often, by third party developers.
    6. No, I can't.
     
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