How to Create a Forum

Three Methods:Hosting a Forum on Your Own DomainThe Hosted Forum on a Sub-domainSample Forum Rules

At one time, you needed special knowledge about web programming languages in order to create an internet forum online. Things have become a lot easier these days, with great new ways of creating forums for feedback without ever having to learn a new language. Follow these steps and get all the feedback you are looking for, and then some!

Method 1
Hosting a Forum on Your Own Domain

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    Register a domain at a host who supports PHP. Many services provide a place to host your BBS, and generally offer guaranteed uptime, easy setup, domain names, and customer support. Many forum hosting providers now include a service that automates forum installation of 2 of the more popular forum software applications, SimpleMachines and phpBB (if so, follow your hosts instructions to install and then skip to the login portion of the instructions below).
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    Download forum software. Consider free open source software that's very well supported, both in terms of development and community support.
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    Download an FTP client. You will need this to upload your PHP content to your host.
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    Create a MySQL database. Set this up on your host through the control panel of your domain.
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    Set up your forums. Go to to install and configure your forums.
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    If you are using phpBB: In your FTP client, go to config.php > Properties and set the CHMOD settings to 666.
    • Follow the instructions on install.php.
    • After finishing installation, go to the CHMOD settings of config.php and change them to 644 (if you are using phpBB 2).
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    Clean up time. Delete the install and contrib directories.
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    Login and Customize
    • Go to
    • Login and go to the admin panel to customize your forum.

Method 2
The Hosted Forum on a Sub-domain

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    Visit a forum hosting service. There are many to choose from, just search for "free forum host." Though hosting your forum on your own domain name as described above is preferable as you control the domain (not the forum host company).

Sample Forum Rules

Sample Forum Rules


  • If you are not very technical, you can register at a site that can automatically set up a forum for you.
  • If you want to run the forum on your own computer for development reasons, testing, customizing, etc., then see how to Install WAMP.
  • If you use Mozilla Firefox as your browser, then try for your ftp add-on.
  • Most experts recommend getting forum hosting on your own domain name as then you own the name, which not only looks more professional to your forum members but you can transfer the forum and URL to another hosting provider if you ever want to.


  • You may be exposed to harsh language, but a lot of forum software allows you to ban certain words which can help.
  • All forum software is at some point vulnerable to hacks, but keeping your forum software up to date is a good way to help prevent issues.
  • You will be thought less of by the web programming community if you use software as opposed to your own script.

Things You'll Need

  • A host that supports PHP
  • An FTP client
  • Knowledge of how to CHMOD.

Article Info

Categories: Internet Forums and Message Boards