How To : Make a Forum Website [With Images]
Online forums are the best way to have a discussion with people on various topics, currently there are forums on every possible topic in the world from technology to fashion just about everything. Best part about forums is content is contributed by the users, for the users. Now if you would like to create your own forum then this is the article for you. I will guide you will all the steps in setting up an online forum.
To make a forum we need to have a forum software, these softwares are generally coded in php and use mysql as its database. There are premium and free versions of the software. In this article we will be using free forum software called mybb. I personally like mybb alot because of its simplicity and extensible plugin system. There are alot of mybb themes present in the market also. I have used it for all of my forums till now.
Some other popular free forum software are
Simple Machines (SMF)
But as said earlier in this article we will be using mybb. So lets get started.
Step 1 – Download Mybb
Firstly you will need to download mybb forum software. You can download it directly from the official mybb site. To visit follow this link mybb.com. Current stable version of Mybb is 1.6.5 and size is 1.83 MB
step 2 – Extract and Upload
Extract the archive that you downloaded from mybb.com. It will be containing 2 folder i.e. Documention and Upload. Upload all the files in the upload directory to your webserver through ftp or cpanel. If you want your forum on the main site then upload files in www directory of the webserver, if you want it in sub-directory then just create another directory in www and upload all the files there.
Step 3 – Database Setup
As said earlier these php forum softwares uses mysql as backend for storing data of your website, you will need to create a new database from Mysql wizard present in your control panel. Create a seperate user who has access only to this newly created database, this is recommended for the security of websites. After that edit privileges of new user to all.
Step 4 – Installing Mybb
Now comes the main part, which is actually installing the forum. If you have uploaded files in at yoursite.com/forum then just visit yoursite.com/forum in the browser and it will automatically redirect you to the installation page. If it doesn’t redirects to installation page or gives you a mybb internal error then you will have to manually visit the installation page i.e yoursite.com/forum/install. Installation is as simple as installing any other desktop software. Following set of images will guide you through the process.
Now next is requirement check step for mybb where it checks to see if all the needed extensions are installed and all the needed directories are accessible. In my case everything is installed and writable. If in your case certain extension is not installed you will have to contact your hosting provider to install that extension (PS : Extensions needed by mybb are present on all hosts). If certain directories are not writable then you will have to change their permissions using chmod to 777 if you are on linux server. If you are on a windows server you will have to contact you hosting provider and ask him to make those directories writable.
After you click on next, mybb will automatically create tables in the database. Simply click on next after this step. Now it will ask you to insert data into the tables, simple click on next and let it insert the data such as themes. After one more next it will ask for the board configuration. This is where you put the name of you website and forum. Also, put a valid contact email in this page.
Next is the last step of the installation, here you will put administrator username, password and email. These login details will be used to login into the admin panel of mybb. To login into mybb admin panel simply visit yoursite.com/forum/admin
Everything is done now you can visit your forum at yoursite.com/forum and admin panel of forum at yoursite.com/forum/admin
If you have any doubts or issues related to installation of mybb or if you would like to contribute your experience with mybb then please use our comment section.