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Forum Software Recommendations

kcnychief

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Political User
#1
Hey All,

I have always had a thing for hosting documentation, but never really kept up on it because the system I had was annoying. Recently I decided I should use a forum-style, which worked well. I found a free PHPBB host, www.ezforum.org and they worked well for awhile. Recently, however, they have been down intermittently. Before today, they were down for about a week. So, I am caving in, I'm going to purchase something that I can host on my own. I spent about an hour comparing packages, came across this one which seems to be my favorite....

http://www.wowbb.com/

Mostly because of the 90 day money back guarentee, free trial and great features!

Anyone ever setup their own forum, and have input? Please note, I am NOT a programmer and don't want to deal with setting up PHPBB on my own. I just don't have the time. Thx
 
#2
Could you clarify what you mean by hosting documentation? I think I know what you mean, but I might be wrong. If it is what I think it is, have you considered using a wiki?

Anyway, if you want to stick to the forum route, how large do you expect the forum to be in terms of membership, threads, posts etc? If it's going to be on a relatively smaller scale, and you already have a web host that supports PHP/MySQL, you could install PunBB. It's extremely easy to setup and would probably take you less than 15 minutes. If you're looking for a forum that's already set up, you could try InvisionFree.

PunBB: http://www.punbb.org/
InvisionFree: http://www.invisionfree.com/
 

kcnychief

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Political User
#3
Sorry, when I was visioning that post in my head, I meant to include what my current setup looks like...

http://bhsweb.ezforum.org

Another bone I have with this free site, is that their HTML post SUCK. Mostly because they dont' do much in the support of HTML.

I have thought about Wiki, but as previously mentioned, I am looking for something that requires very little interaction by myself in the terms of design maintenance. This WowBB is a WYSIWYG editor, which I think would suit me better.

I can fix Computers and Run Networks, but I hate Web Coding :)
 
#5
kcnychief said:
Sorry, when I was visioning that post in my head, I meant to include what my current setup looks like...

http://bhsweb.ezforum.org

Another bone I have with this free site, is that their HTML post SUCK. Mostly because they dont' do much in the support of HTML.

I have thought about Wiki, but as previously mentioned, I am looking for something that requires very little interaction by myself in the terms of design maintenance. This WowBB is a WYSIWYG editor, which I think would suit me better.

I can fix Computers and Run Networks, but I hate Web Coding :)
Ah, I see. Fair enough. :)
Look into InvisionFree then (link above). IPB is a widely popular forum used on several high-traffic sites. InvisionFree hosts the board for you, so there's no set up involved. You can also configure IPB so that selected member groups are allowed to post HTML (just don't make this a forum-wide setting!).
 

kcnychief

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Political User
#6
NetRyder said:
Ah, I see. Fair enough. :)
Look into InvisionFree then (link above). IPB is a widely popular forum used on several high-traffic sites. InvisionFree hosts the board for you, so there's no set up involved. You can also configure IPB so that selected member groups are allowed to post HTML (just don't make this a forum-wide setting!).
Thanks for the suggestion. However due to my frustration with EZforum, I want to host it on my own servers that are backed up since they are paid for. I do my hosting through http://www.1and1.com My main website is at http://www.bighammersolutions.com

I figure if everything is in one place, easy to manage, maintain and backup.
 

kcnychief

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Political User
#7
Ya know what, tried out IPB, looks real cool. My only gripe is still with the HTML. I turned it on throughout the forum quickly just so I can try it, set the permissions for the thread, and still got...

http://s12.invisionfree.com/testforum191828/index.php?showforum=1

The reason being it's easier for me to write my posts within MS FrontPage, so I can insert pictures, do lists, etc. I was hoping to then copy/paste.

I know it's lazy, but that's how I like it. :)
 
#8
vBulleting, its nto free but they offer installation services, and if you lease it instead of buy out-right you get support for as long as you have a license. My guess is that would be best for you - plus theres more hacks/mods/skins out for vBulleting than any other (it's been around longest).
 
#10
kcnychief said:
Ya know what, tried out IPB, looks real cool. My only gripe is still with the HTML. I turned it on throughout the forum quickly just so I can try it, set the permissions for the thread, and still got...

http://s12.invisionfree.com/testforum191828/index.php?showforum=1

The reason being it's easier for me to write my posts within MS FrontPage, so I can insert pictures, do lists, etc. I was hoping to then copy/paste.

I know it's lazy, but that's how I like it. :)
Hmm...are you sure HTML is enabled? You should be seeing a dropdown box under the text area with the following options:

HTML Off
HTML On - Raw Linebreak Mode
HTML On - Auto Linebreak Mode

Selecting one of the HTML On options should allow HTML to show up in the post. I tried posting a reply, but I didn't see those options.
Take a look at this thread for details on how to enable it: http://forums.ipbhelpers.com/index.php?showtopic=5964
 

kcnychief

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Political User
#12
NetRyder said:
Hmm...are you sure HTML is enabled? You should be seeing a dropdown box under the text area with the following options:

HTML Off
HTML On - Raw Linebreak Mode
HTML On - Auto Linebreak Mode

Selecting one of the HTML On options should allow HTML to show up in the post. I tried posting a reply, but I didn't see those options.
Take a look at this thread for details on how to enable it: http://forums.ipbhelpers.com/index.php?showtopic=5964
Thanks for the reply, I had already found a similar post and set those options the way they are to be set. I do not see those boxes either, but have discovered they encourage BBcode instead of HTML. Hmmm.....darnit :)
 

vern

Dominus
Political User
#14
kcnychief said:
I looked at Vbulletin, however looking at the comparison chart i think WowBB is better, and cheaper too...

http://www.wowbb.com/compare.php
It is ultimately your decision. What I'd also look at though is the support and the and developer friendliness of the software. I think EP or X-istence could probably tell you more about the level of support vBulletin has.
 

kcnychief

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Political User
#15
I just downloaded the trial version of WowBB, wasn't impressed. Moving on :)

Can't seem to find a BBcode WYSIWYG editor either, hrmph!
 

kcnychief

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Political User
#16
I suppose I could do a forum with BBcode support, partially in part b/c I did some reading and found that allowing HTML (eventhough you can control which groups can use HTML on some boards) is a security risk. So, I would probably rather not.

W-O-W, Vbulletin, H-O-T. Don't need HTML, it actually gives me enough options within my post to do what I need. I'm just did the Admin CP Trial, it rocks. I'm gonna switch, thanks so much for everyone's fast replies and input.
 

Johnny

.. Commodore ..
Political User
#18
Vbulletin is the best one out there. I use it for my forum, a lot of people use it. You will find more support, hacks and mods for it than you will for any other board. Second favorite would phpbb, the only draw back with that one is that you have to hack it to much to get what you want .. It is still a nice board though.
 

kcnychief

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Political User
#19
Johnny said:
Vbulletin is the best one out there. I use it for my forum, a lot of people use it. You will find more support, hacks and mods for it than you will for any other board. Second favorite would phpbb, the only draw back with that one is that you have to hack it to much to get what you want .. It is still a nice board though.
Thanks Johnny. Do you use PHP support or an alternate file extension?
 

kcnychief

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Political User
#20
vern said:
We just switched forum software from phpBB to SMF in a forum I admin at:

www.istorya.net/forums/index.php

If I was to go with paid software, I'd go with vBulletin. Unfortunately, the forum doesn't bring in any money through ads or other means.
I am actually re-visiting SMF. While I admit Vbulletin is awesome, it looks like it might be time-consuming to maintain. This is a tough decision...
 

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